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Australian visas

Australia is a popular choice for immigration thanks to its high quality of life, prosperous economy and diverse population that is already home to tens of thousands of expats from all over the world. If you’re thinking of making the move, we can offer you expert advice and representation for moving to, and gaining permanent residency in, Australia.

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Why thousands use our service to migrate to Australia

 

We have over 20 years of experience in providing immigration and nationality advice

 

Our visa consultants are trained professionals who understand the ins and outs of Australian immigration

 

We treat each case on an individual basis to provide you with advice that caters to your circumstances

 

Australian employer sponsored visas

An employer sponsored visa is a great way to make a permanent move to Australia. To be eligible you will need to find an Australian-based employer to sponsor you.

Temporary Skilled Shortage visa (subclass 482 visa)

In April 2018, the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) was replaced with the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa.

The TSS visa has a short-term stream and a medium-term stream. The stream you apply for is dependent on which list your occupation is on. Applicants with occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for a visa of up to two years on the short-term stream. Applicants who apply for jobs on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are eligible for a visa of up to four years on the medium-term stream, and may apply for permanent residency after three years.

Standard business sponsorship (SBS)

Businesses who wish to employ workers from another country first need to obtain an SBS to sponsor overseas workers on the TSS visa streams. As each application is assessed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Australian companies who wish to sponsor international applicants need to show that they are legally trading in Australia and have processes in place to train local employees.

Overseas businesses with plans to expand their business in Australia, or with contracts to fulfil in the country, are also able to apply for an overseas business SBS. If granted, these foreign companies can make use of the TSS visa. The companies must declare that they have been unable to find a suitable local worker from the Australian work force.

Nomination

Employers must select the role that needs to be filled from the defined list of skilled occupations. All nominated roles need to meet certain minimum criteria relating to salary and skill level.

Once a role is selected, immigration authorities will evaluate the nomination and determine whether it meets their criteria. As nominations are thoroughly examined, it is important that applications are well-prepared and correctly completed.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 visa)

work in Australia. These applicants usually hold positions that appear on Australia’s Skilled Occupation List.

The Subclass 186 visa has three visa streams:

  • 1

    The Temporary Residence Transition stream

    This is for applicants who are currently in Australia on a medium-term stream TSS visa (or a 457 visa) and have worked for their employer for at least two years. The employer must sponsor the applicant’s permanent residence visa application.

  • 2

    The Direct Entry stream

    Applicants who are outside of Australia and who have never, or have only briefly, worked in Australia will take this route. A positive skills assessment is necessary to obtain this visa.

  • 3

    The Agreement stream

    This stream is for applicants who are sponsored by an employer through either a labour or regional migration agreement. As the 186 visa is a permanent residence visa, it is the end goal of many TSS visa holders.

Additional criteria for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 visa)

When applying for this visa, you will be assessed on a number of different factors, including age, English language ability, training, health, character and what the market salary rates are.

We have dealt with a wide variety of employee nominated visas and can assess your eligibility to determine if you qualify for the Employer Nominated Scheme. If you do not qualify we can advise you on what you need to do in order to qualify.

Is an employer-sponsored visa not the right fit for you? Read on to learn more about other visa routes such as Skilled Migration visas, Australian Partner visas and Australian Parent visas.

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Live and work in Australia on a skilled visa

There are a variety of visas for skilled migrants available for those wanting to make a permanent move to Australia. These visas are points-based and depend a range of factors that vary depending on what kind of job you apply for, where in Australia you intend to move to and your own personal skills and circumstances.

How the points-based system works

The Australian government operates a general skilled migration programme. It is essentially a points-based system with points awarded to applicants based on age, qualification, experience and English language skills.

Your occupation is the basis for your eligibility, so those holding occupations in demand will have the greatest visa options. Australian immigration officials frequently update both the national and regional skills list which determine which occupations are most needed.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189 visa)

The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent resident visa. It is the most desirable visa as it gives the holder the freedom and flexibility to live and work anywhere in Australia.

Successful applicants must be under 45 years of age, score at least 60 points on the immigration points test and have an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190 visa)

The Skilled Nominated visa is a permanent resident visa, only granted to applicants who are nominated by a state or territory government.

The state governments have assessed their own labour market needs and formed lists of occupations in demand. In addition to receiving state nomination, the successful applicant must be under 45 years of age, score at least 60 points and have an occupation on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). State nomination adds an additional five points to an applicant’s score, which could make the difference in meeting the 60-point threshold.

Skilled Recognised Graduate Visas (subclass 476 visa)

This visa is specifically aimed at engineering graduates, under the age of 31, who wish to gain up to 18 months of skilled work experience in Australia.

You will need to have completed an engineering degree at a recognised institution within the last two years. This can be either a university or a technikon. You will also need to have had a major sequence of study, or a specialisation in:

You will also need to have had a major sequence of study, or a specialisation in:

  • Civil engineering

  • Structural engineering

  • Chemical engineering

  • Environmental engineering

  • Electrical and electronics engineering

  • Mechanical, production and plant engineering

  • Mining and material engineering

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Australian partner visa applications

If you are in a relationship with an Australian citizen, a permanent resident of Australia or an eligible New Zealand citizen, you might qualify for an Australian Partner visa. These are extremely popular visas.

Types of Australian Partner visas

The Australian Partner visa category is divided into various subclasses. Their classification is dependent on whether the visa is temporary or permanent as well as where the application is made.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection assesses applications under a “combined application”. This means that your application will be assessed against the criteria for both temporary and permanent partner visas. You will be issued with the appropriate visa, depending on which criteria you meet.

Temporary Partner visa

The temporary Partner visa is valid for two years. During this period your relationship will be assessed to ensure that you intend to stay with your partner. If your relationship passes the test, you will be granted a permanent Australian Partner visa.

Permanent Partner visa

The Permanent Partner visa is valid for five years. Once you have held this visa for four years, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship.

All Australian Partner visa applications are assessed on the following:

  • The financial aspects of the relationship, which includes how financial responsibilities are shared or pooled

  • The nature of the household, which includes how household tasks are divided and shared

  • Social aspects of the relationship, which includes how you are perceived as a couple in public

  • Nature of the persons’ commitment to each other, which includes the willingness to move to another country

Bringing your partner to Australia

There are four routes to bringing your partner to Australia:

  • 1

    Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309 visa) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100 visa)

    Must be applied for outside of Australia

  • 2

    Partner visa (subclasses 820 visa and 801 visa)

    Can be applied for within Australia

  • 3

    Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300 visa)

    For those couple engaged to be married

  • 4

    New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461 visa)

    For those with New Zealander partners

  

Partner (Provisional) visa (subclass 309 visa) and Partner (Migrant) visa (subclass 100 visa)

Any person submitting an application for a visa falling under either subclass 309 visa or 100 visa must do so outside of Australia. You may not enter the country while your application is being assessed.

Partner visa (subclasses 820 visa and 801 visa)

As subclasses 820 visa and 801 visa cover permanent partner visas, you may apply from within Australia.

To apply, you must hold a valid Australian visa (excluding a Bridging, Criminal Justice or Enforcement visa) or be eligible for a waiver. In addition to this, these applicants must not hold a visa with condition 8503, which prevents you from making a further application in Australia.

You may apply for this visa if you possess a Bridging visa, which allows you to live and work in the UK while your partner visa is processed. Applications for the partner visa can take a year or more to process.

Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300 visa)

The purpose of this permit is to allow the unmarried partners of Australian citizens to travel to Australia to get married and is granted for nine months. As this is a temporary visa, you must be outside of Australia when you apply for the visa as well as when it is granted.

The Prospective Marriage visa has unrestricted work rights. The holder is required to marry their partner and apply for the Australian Partner visa before the visa expires.

This visa is often referred to as the fiancé visa and is used by unmarried individuals who cannot show that they have cohabited for 12 months.

New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461 visa)

This visa allows a non-New Zealand family member of a New Zealand citizen, who is living in Australia, to live and work in Australia for up to five years.

This is a five-year provisional visa that will not lead to permanent residency in Australia but can be renewed onshore as required. This visa allows the holder to:

  • Work and study in Australia
  • Live in and travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Reunite your family with an Australian parent

Parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents can apply to migrate to Australia. You must have lived in Australia for at least two years prior to your parents’ immigration to be an eligible sponsor.

Australian Parent visa options:

  • 1

    Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143 visa)

  • 2

    Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173 visa)

  • 3

    Parent visa (subclass 103 visa)

Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143 visa)

To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must:

  • Be the parent of a child (natural, adopted or stepchild) who is a settled Australian citizen, settled permanent resident or settled eligible New Zealand citizen

  • Have at least half of their children permanently residing in Australia

  • Have more children living permanently in Australia than any other country

  • Can be applied for within Australia

 

This visa allows the applicant, their accompanying spouse and dependent family members to:

  • Work and study in Australia

  • Live as permanent residents in Australia indefinitely

  • Sponsor additional applicants for permanent residency in Australia

  • Apply for Australian citizenship, subject to the residency eligibility criteria

  • Receive subsidised healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

  • Travel to and from Australia for five years, from the date the visa is granted

Assuror of support

The applicant will need an assuror of support. This person, usually their child, must be prepared to provide financial assistance to the visa applicant, spouse and dependent family members. This ensures that they do not need to rely on government support for 10 years.

In addition to this, the assuror must reimburse any recoverable social security payments made to the applicant or their accompanying spouse and dependant family members in the first 10 years of residency in Australia.

Finally, the assuror needs to lodge a bond of AU $10,000 for one applicant, and AU $4,000 for each additional adult family member. This amount may be returned after the 10-year period.

The Contributory Parent Migrant visa is similar to the Non-Contributory Parent visa. The main difference is the reduced waiting period due to the larger contributory grant fee. With this payment, the visa is processed within 15-18 months from application, rather than 12-18 years for the Non-Contributory Parent visa.

Contributory Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 173 visa)

This visa allows the holder to enter Australia and live in the country for up to two years.

To be eligible for this, applicants must:

  • Currently live outside of Australia

  • Be the parent of a child (natural, adopted or step child) who is a settled Australian citizen, settled permanent resident or settled eligible New Zealand citizen

  • Be able to pay the high contributory amounts, which are split into two separate payments under the 173 visa and 143 visa applications

This visa is temporary and cannot be extended. After arriving in Australia, holders of this visa have two years in which to apply for a Contributory Parent visa (subclass 143 visa). This will give the applicant permanent resident status in Australia. Applicants must apply for their permanent visa before their temporary visa expire

This visa allows the applicant, together with their accompanying spouse and dependent family members, to:

  • Work and study in Australia

  • Live as temporary residents in Australia for two years

  • Have access to Medicare, Australia's medical expenses and hospital care assistance scheme

The applicant will need a sponsor to give written confirmation that they will provide support, accommodation and financial assistance to the applicant and any accompanying spouse and dependant family members during their first two years in Australia.

 

Parent visa (subclass 103 visa)

To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must:

  • Be the parent of a child – naturally or by law - who is a settled Australian citizen, settled permanent resident or settled eligible New Zealand citizen

  • Have at least half of their children permanently residing in Australia

  • Have more children living permanently in Australia than any other country

 

This visa allows the applicant, their accompanying spouse and any dependant family members to:

  • Live as permanent residents in Australia

  • Work and study in Australia

  • Receive subsidised healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

  • Access certain social security payments

  • Apply for Australian citizenship, once residency eligibility criteria are met

  • Sponsor other applicants for permanent residence

Applicants for this visa currently have to wait over 20 years before it is granted, as the government limits the number of places available each year of the programme. To manage demand fairly, applicants who meet the core criteria for this visa are placed in a global queue.

Due to the long waiting period, applicants may choose to apply for a Contributory Parent visa instead (see above). This visa requires that applicants, or their sponsor, pay a much higher visa application fee and Assurance of Support bond. This contributes to government revenue and helps to offset some costs placed on the community by parent migration.

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Apply for an Australian working holiday visa

An Australian working holiday visa allows you to come to the country to live and work for 12 months. The visa is a popular choice for younger travellers keen to explore Australia for an extended period.

Apply for an Australian Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa

In order to be eligible for this visa you must:

  • Be aged between 18 and 31

  • Have a passport from an eligible country

  • Have saved AU $5,000 to support yourself during your stay

  • Have not previously entered Australia on a Work and Holiday (Temporary) visa (subclass 462 visa)

If you have a partner, they cannot be included on the visa. They will have to meet the same criteria in order to obtain their own visa.

During your stay in Australia, you cannot do either of the following:

  • Have a dependant accompanying you at any time
  • Work for longer than six months for any one employer

The visa can be extended for a further 12 months should the applicant work in a regional area of Australia for three months.

Countries eligible for the Australian working holiday visa

Belgium Ireland
Canada Italy
Cyprus Japan
Denmark South Korea
Estonia Malta
Finland Netherlands
France Norway
Germany Sweden
Hong Kong Taiwan
The UK

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Visit Australia on a Visitor visa (subclass 600 visa)

The Australian tourist visa or Visitor visa (subclass 600 visa) is for individuals who wish to visit Australia for holiday, to see family and friends or to conduct a short business trip. This visa is valid for up to three, six or 12 months.

There are three types of Australian visitor visas.

Your country of origin will determine which visa you can apply for. These include:

  • Visitor visa (subclass 600 visa)

  • Electronic Travel Authority visa (subclass 601 visa)

  • Visitor (subclass 651 visa)

The subclass 600 visa is for individuals who want to visit Australia as a tourist or for business.

As a subclass 601 visa holder, you can visit Australia on multiple occasions for tourist or business purposes . It allows you to visit Australia as often as you wish and stay up to three months at a time within a period of one year. Only individuals from certain countries may apply.

The subclass 651 visa allows you to visit Australia for three months at a time within a 12-month period for tourist or business purposes only. This visa is only eligible for individual from certain countries.

Apply for an Australian Visitor visa

YIn order to be eligible for this visa you must:

  • Be able to show that you are travelling to, or remaining in Australia as a genuine visitor

  • Have your own health insurance

  • Declare any criminal convictions and have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Move your business and family to Australia: The Business Innovation visa

Do you own and run a successful business and wish to relocate to Australia? Then the Business Innovation visa (subclass 188a visa) might just be the solution you’ve been waiting for. This visa is available to anyone under the age of 55 looking to start or buy into a business in Australia. It’s valid for four years and three months, and allows you and your family members to live, study and work in Australia, and eventually be eligible for permanent residence.

The perfect Australian visa for those over 45

The cut-off age for most Australian visas is 45, making it difficult to move there if you’re in your early forties. The Business Innovation visa gives those over the age of 45 a route to Australia if they have experience in owning and running a successful business. The good news is that many business owners have the abilities and experience needed to qualify for this visa, but very few are aware of its existence.

Do you qualify?

The minimum requirements for the Business Innovation visa are easy to understand. You must:

  • Be under the age of 55 years*

  • Score at least 65 points on the immigration points test

  • For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before applying, have had ownership of an established business or businesses that has/have at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those years

  • Either by yourself, or your business partner, or you and your partner combined, must have total net business and personal assets of AUD800,000 that can be used to establish a business in Australia

*A state or territory can choose to waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

 

The Australian immigration points test

You must score at least 65 points to be eligible for the Business Innovation visa. The table below sets out the categories and points available in each category. Please note: You should always consult with a MARA-registered Australian immigration advisor before you apply for this visa. Do not assume that because you have the right amount of points that you will qualify. The visa application process is complex and without professional representation it is difficult to successfully navigate the regulations.

Estimate your point score

Categories Description Points
Age 18-24 20
  18-24 20
  25-32 30
  33-39 25
  40-44 20
  45-54 15
 
English ability Vocational 5
  Proficient 10
 
Qualifications Trade, diploma or bachelor’s degree 5
  Bachelor’s degree in business, science or technology 10
 
Net financial assets (AUD) 800,000 5
  1.3 million 10
  1.8 million 25
  2.25 million 35
 
Business annual turnover (AUD) 500,000 5
  1 million 15
  1.5 million 25
  2 million 35
 
Business ownership experience Four of the past five years 10
  Seven of the past eight years 15

A route to permanent residency in Australia

Your Business Innovation visa, subclass 188 visa, will be valid for four years and three months from the date it is granted. However, your aim should be to qualify for the Business Innovation visa, subclass 888 visa, which is a permanent residence visa. The transition between the 188 visa to the 888 visa can be made after living in Australia for two years and requires you and your business in Australia to meet certain benchmarks, set out in the table below.

Check that you satisfy the requirements

Business criteria (two out of three must be satisfied) 1. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD200,000 net main business assets for the last 12 months
2. Applicant’s main business has had at least two full-time Australian employees for the last 12 months
3. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD600,000 net business and personal assets for the last 12 months
Business turnover Applicant and partner’s main business generated turnover of at least AUD300,000 for the last 12 months
Time spent in Australia Applicant must have spent one out of the two years preceding the application living in Australia
Time of ownership of main business Applicant must have maintained ownership of the main business for a period of at least two years

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Obtain permanent residency in Australia

Australian permanent residents are residents of Australia who hold a permanent residency visa but are not citizens of Australia. A holder of a permanent residency visa may remain in Australia indefinitely.

How to stay indefinitely in Australia

A five-year initial visa, which corresponds to the underlying migration programme, is granted alongside the permanent residency. Until the initial visa expires, the visa holder may leave and re-enter Australia freely. A notable feature of the permanent residency visa is that, even after the initial visa expires, the holder is entitled to stay in Australia indefinitely without breaching immigration regulations.

Permanent residency may be revoked at the discretion of the responsible Minister, for example in cases of criminal misconduct.

The benefits of permanent residency

Permanent residents enjoy many of the rights and privileges of citizens, including access to free or subsidised legal and health services.

They do not have the right to vote in federal or state/territory elections, unless they were registered to vote prior to 1984, but may vote in some local government elections.

Permanent residents are not entitled to an Australian passport.

Most permanent residents are eligible to become citizens after a waiting period. When the waiting period is complete, the process of taking the citizenship test and attending the ceremony will add an additional three to twelve months.

We provide specialist immigration advice and assistance.

Work in Australia as a New Zealand citizen

Citizens of New Zealand are allowed to enter and work in Australia under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, being granted a Special Category visa on arrival.

If a New Zealand citizen decides to become an Australian citizen, then they need to apply for a permanent residency visa first.

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