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Immigration Law

The Migration Act 1958 and Migration Regulations 1994 provide pathways allowing eligible people to take up permanent or semi-permanent residence in Australia. The Federal Government allocates a certain number of places each year to different groups to reflect Australia’s economic priorities, international obligations, and current domestic policies. These laws and policies are constantly evolving, so getting the right information and advice when selecting and applying for a visa is important to avoid costly mistakes and delays in processing an application.  An experienced immigration lawyer is your most cost effective way to help you get your application correct first time.

Visa Types and Pathways

Identifying the most appropriate pathway and visa type is a key step in preparing your visa application.  You will need to choose the most viable category and type of visa based on your circumstances and the eligibility criteria required for that visa. Depending on the visa type chosen, criteria to be considered typically includes an assessment of your qualifications, skills and English literacy, and your personal circumstances including your age, health, family, and character.

The immigration system itself can be complex, slow, and confusing to an individual or person or even an migration agent that has little experience in drafting documents and dealing with the bureaucracy.  An experienced immigration lawyer can help demystify the process and take you through each step of the application.  If necessary, an immigration lawyer can also help you appeal a decision made by the Department of Home Affairs.  This is something a migration agent is not permitted to do unless the agent is also a solicitor.

Working Holiday Visa

This visa is for young adults who want an extended holiday and would like to work here to fund it.

The basic eligibility requirements are:

  • You must be 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries)
  • You must have a passport from an eligible country or jurisdiction
  • You must not be accompanied by dependent children.

Skills Visa

Employer sponsored visas such as the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa helps employers address genuine skills shortages in the Australian labour market.  Eligible employers may bring skilled workers into Australia, through sponsorship, if they are unable to source the workers they need locally.

When there is a skills shortage within the Australian population, the Federal Government expands the number of visas available to overseas workers who have the required skills or education. In addition to short-term working visas, individuals who have in-demand skills are more likely to be granted permanent residency. A prospective applicant may be able to apply for permanent residency if they are qualified for employment in one of the in-demand occupations.

Student Visas

One of Australia’s most important export industries is education. All sectors of the government work together to encourage suitable overseas students to travel to Australia to study an approved course. Student visas allow eligible students to stay in Australia while studying fulltime at a recognised educational institution such as an Australian high school, university, or technical college.

 Temporary Student Visa

 The Student Visa is a temporary visa that allows a student to live and study in Australia for the duration of their course of education. In addition, prospective students who are under 18, or otherwise need care and support, may have a relative apply to travel and stay with them as a guardian. This visa also allows the student to work in Australia (although international students need to demonstrate that they will arrive with sufficient funds to meet their daily needs for the duration of their course of study).

 Eligibility Requirements

 Before applying for a Student Visa, you must first seek admission as an international student to your chosen education provider.  You must also apply for the subclass 500 Visa from the Home Affairs Department. To be eligible for a subclass 500 visa, you must:

  • be enrolled in a registered fulltime course of study at a recognised Australian education provider;
  • produce a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) certificate;
  • meet minimum English language requirements;
  • obtain Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) from an approved Australian health insurance provider that covers the entire period of the proposed stay in Australia;
  • demonstrate possession of sufficient funds to cover your living costs over the course of study;
  • meet health and character requirements; and
  • not have previous visa cancellations or a history of failing to comply with visa conditions.

After Graduation

When an international student completes their course of study in Australia, they can choose to apply for a subclass 485 Visa to continue to live, study and work in this country. Students wishing to apply for a 485 Visa must ensure that they apply while still living in Australia, and while they still hold a current and eligible visa.

Family Visas and Partner Visas

 Australian citizens may bring eligible family members to live in Australia through the family migration stream. Eligible applicants may include spouses, a fiancé, de facto partners, children, parents, and sometimes other relatives. Applicants must meet a range of requirements including health and character requirements.

Bridging Visas

With this visa, you can:

  • stay lawfully in Australia until your substantive visa application is finally determined, or where granted in association with judicial review, until those proceedings are completed
  • work, if you meet the requirements for work

You must:

  • be in Australia when you apply
  • if you meet all the eligibility requirements, be in Australia at time of grant.

Refugee and Humanitarian Visas

Australia provides various visas for applicants that have arrived in Australia and are seeking asylum such as Protection Visas, Temporary Protection Visas and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas depending on your circumstances.

If you are living outside Australia, you may move here with either a Refugee Visa or a Global Special Humanitarian Visa depending on your circumstances.

If you need assistance, contact [email protected] or call 02 9386 5888 for expert legal advice.

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