Welcome to Australia… well, almost!
Australia is probably the only country in the world that requires visas for every person who crosses its borders. And, arguably, it has the most complex visa requirements in the world. Because of this, it is vital to know what visas are available and what the criteria are for each when you plan to come to Australia. Changes are frequent, and new possibilities open as old pathways close.
The Migration Act governs the entire Australian migration program. Under this Act, there are detailed regulations that describe the criteria for most visas, and define the procedures for their administration. Under the regulations, there are a large number of gazette notices and prescribed forms, Ministerial Directions and Migration Series Instructions. Filling in all the gaps at the base are the Department’s internal laws, contained in the Procedures Advice Manuals, or PAMS.
Planning is crucial. You may not be able to obtain a visa immediately. In many cases it is necessary to undertake careful planning to bring more than one adult member of an extended family to Australia. In other cases, someone may have to undertake some study in Australia, obtain further work experience in Australia or overseas, improve their English, or wait until a relative is qualified to be a sponsor, before they will be able to apply.
If you want to study in Australia there are now complex rules in place determining what evidence you need to show, where you can make the application from, and what courses you can study. It is very important to understand the rules for skilled migration if your objective is to remain in Australia permanently.
Unfortunately, we do not have the space here to reduce all the possible visas to any simple formula. However, we can provide you with some of the basic rules:
Because most people don’t know what opportunities there are when they make an initial enquiry, we have provided an online Assessment form on this site. The assessment’s cost is AU $220 and you will be required to submit your most recent CV. We can identify the options for 90% of enquirers from this form. Please note that occasionally we may ask for more information, such as a family tree, or a detailed job description.
In addition, the Department of Immigration has established links on its website for most common visas. These can be identified using their website www.immi.homaffairs.gov.au and using the website search engine for the visa you’re interested in.