Frequently Asked Questions

Australian Visa Application

mege-daltonHi, I’m Mege.

I want to help you better understand the Australian visa application process.

My goal is to increase your chances of being successfully approved for an Australian visa.

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Below are some of the most common questions I’m asked about Australian visa application.

1.  Is there a cut off age requirement for an Australian visas?

2.  What is the work experience requirement for a general skilled migration visa to Australia?

3.  Is there a minimum level of English an Australian visa applicant should have?

4.  How much money do I need to have in order to apply for an Australian visa?

5.  Do I need to a job in Australia before I can apply for a visa?

6.  One of my family members has a serious illness, can I still apply?

7.  I have a conviction for a drink driving offence, will I still be eligible?

8.  I have an Australian job offer from an Australian employer what visa should I apply for?

9.  How long are the visa processing times?

10.  Do I need to take a medical examination as part of the visa application process?

11.  I have sufficient assets to support myself and my family in Australia will that make it easier for me to apply for a general skilled migration visa to Australia?

12.  I overstayed my visa and was an unlawful visitor before leaving Australia, can I apply for another visa to Australia?

13.  What jobs are on the Australian government’s list of skilled occupations?

14.  I am an Irish registered nurse do I still need to sit the Academic IELTS test?

15.  My elderly father currently lives with me and my family, can he be included in my general skilled visa application?

16.  I am a carpenter and due to the recession’s effect on the building industry lost my job 12 months ago and have not been able to find steady work since in my trade.  Will I still be eligible to apply for an Australian visa?

17.  My partner is an Australian citizen and has been living overseas since we have been in a relationship together.   They would now like to return to Australia, what visa can I apply for in order for me to move to Australia as well?

18.  What are the requirements of an Australian Working holiday visa subclass 417?

 

1. Is there a cut-off age requirement for an Australian visas?

Depending on the particular visa category you are eligible there can be a cut-off age.  For example, the general skilled migration visa programme has a cut-off age of 50 years.  Once someone turns 50 they are no longer eligible to apply for an Australian general skilled migration visa even if they meet all the other requirement regarding skilled occupation, work experience, and English ability.

In relation the Australian business, if you are 55 and over, unfortunately you will not be eligible for the business (provisional) visas unless as an applicant you will be making an application based on operating a business that will be of exceptional economic benefit to Australia.

For other common visas such as the Australian spouse, defacto spouse, or prospective marriage visa fiance visa there is no age limit.  The Australian government recognises that it is never too late to fall in love!

2. What is the work experience requirement for an Australian general skilled migration visa?

Under the current general skilled migration programme, for the subclass 189, subclass 190 and subclass 489 visas, there is no longer a mandatory requirement that an applicant has at least 12 months of recent work experience in the last 24 months. Under today’s system, applicants can claim points for having at least 3, 5, or 8 in the last 10 years of relevant work experience in their nominated skilled occupation which is found on the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL).

3. Is there a minimum level of English for an Australian visa applicant?

Under the Australian general skilled migration programme there will be a level of English required to be verified.  If you are from Ireland, you will be assumed to have a vocational level of English for purposes of the substantive visa application to the Australian government.  However, when you are in the process of considering your overall eligibility to apply you will need to pay close attention as some professional occupations require a certain level of English for the pre-application skill assessment stage.   For example, an Irish nurse must provide an IELTS academic test result showing a proficient level of English.

If you are applying for State sponsorship as part of the skilled visa application, some Australian states may require a proficient level of English as part of their application process.  New South Wales, for example, requires a proficient level of English for most of the professional occupations it is willing to sponsor.

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4. How much money do I need to have in order to apply for an Australian visa?

The Australian general skilled migration visas do not have a requirement that you have a specific level of funds.  The basic requirements are based on skilled occupation, qualifications, work experience, age and English ability. However, if you are having to apply for state sponsorship as part of your skilled visa application, the particular state government may have its own requirements that you have a certain level of funds.

5. Do I need a job in Australia in order to apply for a visa?

For most Australian visas you will not need to have a job in Australia to apply for the visa.  There is one visa where a job in Australia or rather the offer of a job in Australia is essential and that is the temporary work visa subclass 457.  This is a visa that can be granted for up to 4 years provide temporary residence and applying for this visa requires the application to have a genuine job offer from Australian

6.  One of my family members has a serious illness, can I still apply?

It is very important that you get specific migration advice about any health issues you or a family member may have and what your prospects of success would be if you were to pursue an application. As part of the visa process, all visa applicants will have to undergo medical examinations. If one applicant fails to satisfy the health requirements of the visa, then all applicants are considered to have failed and the visa application will be refused based on this failure.

7. I have a conviction for a drink driving offence, will I still be eligible?

It is possible that you may still be able to satisfy the character requirements of the visa despite having a criminal conviction. There are a number of factors which influence this and it is important that when you are seeking advice about your eligibility that you fully disclose the convictions so that you can be properly advised on your prospects of success.

A visa applicant must satisfy the “character test”, if they don’t, their application may be refused.  The test relates to a number of factors like whether the person has a substantial criminal record or has served a prison term.  Full details of the character test can be found on the Department’s website.  A visa applicant must always disclose in their application any conviction he or she may have on their record.  It’s recommended that with disclosure the visa applicant should also explain the circumstances of the conviction, particularly factors that can lessen the charge associated with having a conviction  i.e it was a first offence, they were young & stupid and have now learned from their mistake, they really regret it, they pled guilty to the charge & saved the court’& police time, there was no prison sentence only a fine to be paid or community service.

Having a criminal conviction does not necessarily mean that person is of bad character.  Of course, if that person is a repeat offender (particularly violent crime), has served time in jail and has links to organised crime that’s a whole other story.

The bottom line is that if you have a conviction on your background and are thinking of lodging an Australian visa application, you must be willing to spend time going into the past to think about and explaining it so the case officer has the benefit of considering this when decided whether or not you satisfy the character test.

8.   I have an Australian job offer from Australian employer what visa should I apply for?

You may be able to apply for a temporary work visa subclass 457.  This visa allows Australian employers to bring highly skilled overseas workers to Australian on a temporary visa.

If you do not have a job offer in place, then a subclass 457 is not possible.  You might consider contacting an Australian recruitment company for assistance with finding Australian job opportunities.  Konnecting Ltd is a Sydney based recruitment firm that can assist skilled professionals in their Australian job search.

9.  How long are the visa processing times?

Please refer to the Department of Immigration & Citizenship

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10.  Do I need to take a medical examination as part of the visa application process?

Most permanent Australian visa categories will have a health criterion that needs to be satisfied.  The general skilled migration visa process requires an adult applicant to undertake a medical examination, an HIV blood test, and chest x-ray.  If you have an illness or condition and are considering an Australian visa application of any kinds, it is important to seek advice from a registered migration agent regarding your eligibility to apply.  All medical examinations are to be carried out by panel doctors, terms used for doctors who have been approved by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship (Australia).

11. I have sufficient assets to support myself and my family in Australia, will that make it easier to apply for a general skilled migration visa to Australia?

In short, the answer is “No”, the visa requirements do not require you to have a certain level of assets.  Wealthy applicants are not going to have an advantage over other applicants who do not have a high net worth or low net worth for that matter.  The reality is that emigration will pose a significant cost for any applicant regardless of their means so if you ultimately acquire the visa you need to be prepared for this financial eventuality of your own accord.

12.  I overstayed my visa and was an unlawful visitor before leaving Australia, can I apply for another visa to Australia

If you overstayed a temporary visa like a holiday working visa or a tourist visa and then were removed from Australia as an unlawful entrant, then it’s likely that a re-entry ban will or would have applied to you (depending on the time factor).  This means that for a period of time, usually 3 years from the date you left Australia, you will be banned from making an application for any temporary visas.  However, you are still able make an application for a permanent visa or a temporary visa leading to permanent residency (like a Business visa or Spouse visa).

13. What jobs are on the Australian government’s list of skilled occupations?

Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs

14. I am an Irish registered nurse do I still need to sit the Academic IELTS test?

Yes, since July 2010, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council requires that all overseas qualified nurses must provide an Academic IELTS test result show a proficient level of English.  Proficient English is proven by attaining 7.0 in each of the 4 components of reading, writing, listening and speaking in the IELTS test.

15. My elderly father currently lives with me and my family, can he be included in my general skilled visa application

You can include your elderly father or any parent for that matter if they are wholly financially dependent on you.  That is you are significantly responsible for all their basic living costs and they have no major means of supporting themselves.

16.  I am a carpenter and due to the recession’s effect on the building industry lost my job 12 months ago and have not been able to find steady work since in my trade.  Will I still be eligible to apply for an Australian visa?

If you are under the age of 30, you may be eligible to apply for an Australian Working holiday visa so long as you have not held such a visa before.  Your employment status will not be an issue.

For a person looking to apply for a general skilled migration visa to Australia, not having worked for 12 months may be an issue and affect their eligibility.  It is best that they seek a registered migration agent’s advice on whether they will be able to satisfy the work experience requirements of a possible skilled visa application.

17.  My partner is an Australian citizen and has been living overseas since we have been in a relationship together.   They would now like to return to Australia, what visa can I apply for in order for me to move to Australia as well?

If you have been in a spousal relationship with your Australian partner for at least 12 months you may be eligible to apply for an Australian spouse visa.  If you are engaged to be married to your Australian partner you could be eligible for an Australian fiance visa.

18.  What are the requirements of an Australian Working holiday visa subclass 417?

    • You must be aged between 18 and 30 (inclusive) at the date of your Australia work visa application
    • You must not have any dependent children
    • You have enough funds to support yourself when you arrive in Australia
    • You must hold a passport from an eligible country such as Ireland or the UK, valid for at least one more year
    • You have not received an Australian Working Holiday Visa before
    • You must not have any serious criminal convictions
    • You must not have any serious medical issues

 

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