PAX Migration Australia can assist you with an application for any visa under Australian law.
Which visa is right for you?
There are over 140 different individual visa types in Australia. Here are the broad categories.
+ Visitor Visa
Visitor or Tourist visas are designed to allow people to travel to Australia as tourists, for business or to visit family.
These visas are temporary visas.
This visa has four streams:
- Tourist stream: for people travelling to Australia for a holiday, recreation or to visit family and friends. If you apply for this visa in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is decided. If you apply for this visa outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is decided.
- Business Visitor stream: for business people travelling to Australia for a short business visit. This includes going to a conference, negotiation or meeting. You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided.
- Sponsored Family stream: for people travelling to Australia to visit their family. You must have a sponsor who might be asked to provide a bond. You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided. You cannot apply for another visa after you have arrived in Australia.
- Approved Destination Status stream: for people from the People’s Republic of China who are travelling in an organized tour group. You must be outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is decided.
+ Working Holiday Visa
Working Holiday visas are designed to allow young people (18-30 years old) to come to Australia on a working holiday. The visa is valid for up to 12 months.
Working holiday makers from certain countries are required to hold some form of tertiary qualification like a diploma.
The working holiday can in most cases be extended for a further 12 months provided the visa holder has completed at least 3 months of regional work of an approved kind.
Not all passport holders are eligible for a working holiday visa. Also, there may be special criteria that applies depending on what country you are from.
+ Student Visa
Australia’s education system is highly regarded, and is now a major export for Australia. The international student visa framework continues to be an important aspect of immigration and the Australian economy.
The student visa allows people to come to Australia to study. It is important to remember that the criteria for all student visas are that the applicant is a genuine temporary entrant. It is no longer enough simply to have a certificate of enrolment.
Other aspects of the student visa framework include assessment levels and financial capacity and evidence. For higher assessment level applicants, higher financial evidence is required to be approved for a student visa.
Streamlined visa processing arrangements allow high assessment level applicants to bypass the financial evidence tests. However, there still remains discretionary powers for the deciding case officer to investigate the genuineness of the applicant further and refuse if he or she is not satisfied as to the genuine temporary entrant criteria.
Have a look at our articles dedicated just to Student Visas.
+ Work Visas
Work visas in Australia consist primarily of two main groups:
- General Skilled Migration visas
- Employer Sponsored visas
General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas consist of points test requirements. English language ability, age, educational qualifications and work experience are strong contributors to points. If you need more points to be eligible for the cut-off point you may consider regional state sponsorship.
Employer Sponsored visas are designed to allow businesses in Australia to sponsor a foreign worker. These can be temporary or permanent visas.
+ Partner Visas
Partner visas are designed to allow Australian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their spouse or de-facto partner to live in Australia permanently.
The key criterion is that there is a genuine relationship that meets the definition of either de-facto or spouse.
Proving genuine relationship can be difficult and requires substantial evidence. When a de-facto relationship starts and whether periods not living together are taken to be included are also key questions in determining partner visa approvals.
Have a look at our articles dedicated just to Partner Visas.
+ Parent Visa
Parent visas are designed to allow Australian citizens and permanent residents to sponsor their parents to come to Australia to live permanently.
There are two kinds of parent visa – Contributory and non-contributory.
The contributory parent visa involves paying a very high visa application charge, designed to compensate the Australian Government for health care costs associated with the elderly.
The non-contributory parent visa has a relatively much lower application charge, however the processing times for this visa are extremely long.
There are other criteria such as the balance of family test and health criteria that must be satisfied to be eligible for a parent visa.
+ Other Family Visas
Other than Partner and Parent visas, there are a number of other family visas available. These include
Child, Dependant relative, Last remaining relative and carer visas.
These visas are designed to allow relatives to be re-united in Australia.
The carer visa is designed to allow someone to come to Australia to live on the proviso that they care for an Australian citizen or permanent resident who needs care due to health reasons.
+ Resident Return Visa
The resident return visa is designed to allow permanent residents who have left Australia to return to Australia.
A permanent visa generally expires after 5 years. After that time, a permanent resident does not actually hold a visa, nor is he or she a citizen. This means that when they leave Australia and attempt to return, they must hold a valid visa of some kind. Usually a resident return visa is granted.
In cases where absences are significant, it may require some submissions to the Department to show necessary ties to Australia to justify the grant of a resident return visa.
+ Medical visa
The medical visa is designed to allow someone who is in need of medical attention to receive that medical assistance in Australia. This can happen whether the applicant is onshore or offshore.
Generally, these visas are granted to people who
- have medical treatment or medical consultations in Australia
- donate an organ
- support the person who is having medical treatment in Australia.
+ Bridging Visa
Bridging visas are not a ‘real’ visa – the words used by the law is they are not a substantive visa. This means that a bridging visa holder generally has less rights under the immigration law framework than someone who holds a substantive visa.
Bridging visas are used to “bridge” the gap between one visa and another. When you apply for another visa, that application may not be decided for a number of months. In the meantime, your old visa may expire. In such an event, a bridging visa is used to keep the person ‘lawful’ in terms of immigration status.
Bridging visas can be complicated and there are some catastrophic outcomes for people who fail to secure a bridging visa properly.
+ Business & Investment Visas
Business visas allow people to come to Australia and either establish a business or invest in a business of some kind.
The financial requirements for investment visas vary but they start at $800,000 in total personal and business assets held over a number of years and a successful ownership of a business with at least $500,000 in turnover.
For a purely investment visa, a person needs business and personal assets of at least $2.25m and at least 3 years experience managing a business or investments.
There are points test criteria to meet in relation to standard business and investor visas.
The significant investor visa bypasses the points test in exchange for a $5m investment in a complying investment.
+ Retirement Visa
The Investor Retirement visa is a temporary visa designed to allow people over the age of 55 to come to Australia with investments to ‘retire’ in Australia.
The visa is valid for 4 years and requires state sponsorship.
The financial requirements are dependent on whether the applicant resides in a regional area or not.
This visa carries a restriction to work less than 40 hours per fortnight.