Australian Immigration & Visa Questions

Australian Immigration Law is extremely complex and for ever changing. We have selected a small sample of frequently asked questions as it is not feasible to address every scenario. Given the complexities of migration law, some answers to questions have been greatly summarised and should not be considered as the law or policy in their entirety.

Each visa category can take a varying time to process. The exact time depends upon several factors including: The visa subclass you are applying for, changes in legislation, visa quotas and the number of people applying for a particular visa category. The Current processing times for visa applications as advertised by the Department can be found here 

Application fees depend on the visa you apply for as there are substantial variations within each visa subclass. For most visas there is generally an initial visa application charge (VAC) paid at the time of application.  Other charges are based on individual via subclass. Variations include: a 2nd (VAC), an assessing body, English language, health insurance, bonds, tuition, investment.  All permanent visas require X-rays medicals and police clearances to meet health and character criteria. The professional fees that we charge are outlined on our website under the various services that we offer.

This all depends on the visa subclass. Some visas require applicants to settle in designated regions of Australia for a set period of time. Other visas have no geographic restrictions. For Example the Regional 187 visa requires that you work in a regional area for two years with your nominating employer.

You will generally be required to obtain Health Insurance if you are applying for a temporary visa. Your health Insurance must be obtained from a complaint fund.

Please visit IMAN Australian Health Plans for a compliant fund to obtain your health insurance:

Some applicants may not have to obtain Health Insurance and may be able to enroll in Australia’s Medicare program if they come from a country that has reciprocal health care arrangements with the Australian Government.

Once you have applied for Permanent Residence you are entitled to enroll in Australia’s Medicare Program. You do not have to wait until you visa is approved before enrolling in Australia’s Medicare Program.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has appointed Panel Doctors to conduct the relevant medical tests you will be required to complete.

We will provide you with instructions and the details required to book your medical examination whatever country you are currently residing in.

Your individual circumstances and the visa you are applying for will determine if you are required to take a medical examination. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship use a Legislative Instrument called the Health Matrix in determining whether or not a medical examination is required for your visa application.

You will ordinarily be required to complete a medical test if you apply for a permanent visa whereas most temporary visas may not require a medical examination.  

  • IELTS (English Language Test) Preparation Classes
  • Company Formation
  • Health Insurance
  • Translations
  • Business Plans
  • Auditable Training Programs

Yes, your partner can join you on a visitor visa in Australia provided they meet the requirements. The Department of Immigration has provided specific policy guidance on partners who make applications for visitor visas. It is our practice to lodge both the partner visa and visitor visa at the same time.

Importantly, people making partner visa applications from outside Australia and intending to enter Australia on a Visitor Visa are required to make arrangements for their departure from Australia when it is time for a decision to be made on their partner visa.

Yes, we can assist you to source suitable candidates who are assessed as eligible for approval under the Employer Sponsored Migration Scheme. Alternatively you may select prospective overseas employees seeking Sponsorship through the Departments Skill Select online portal.

Please call our Seeking Sponsorship team on (02) 8324 1423 or email us at

Registered Migration Agents are highly trained professionals who are required to have an up to date knowledge of Migration law, policy and procedure to be admitted to registration every year. They must also regularly attend continuing professional development courses to keep their skills up to date as a condition of registration each year. A registered Migration Agent can assist you in making sure you meet the strict legal and policy requirements and also that your application is provided to the department with all the required documentation to ensure that a speedy decision can be made on your matter.

We are regularly contacted by clients who have made fatal mistakes because they have tried to do it themselves resulting in the loss of substantial amounts of money or at worst facing deportation or having to leave Australia to reapply or wait a number of years before they are eligible to apply again. Many people in these scenarios languish in Australia without work rights while they await their appeal hearing and ultimately fail at the tribunal because they failed to meet the legal requirements that they are required to meet at the time their application was made.

The use of a Migration Agent does not guarantee success and in fact Migration Law strictly prohibits an agent from guaranteeing a successful outcome. It is the Department of Immigration who decides if you meet the legal and policy criteria. There are serious consequences for an agent who provides incompetent advise including sanction and deregistration. Experienced Migration Agents have demonstrated that they can provide sound advice and you would be well advised to take advantage of their expertise.

Our fees are disclosed on our website under the various visas/services that we offer.

We charge set fees for the work we complete for you. All our fees are notified upfront in writing before you enter into any agreement with us. You do not have to pay our fees all at once as fees are payable by instalment. Upon appointing us to act as your Agent/representative we will invoice you for 50% of our professional fees. When your application is nearing ready for lodgement you will be invoiced for the remainder outstanding on your account and your application fees.

Other costs involved in a visa application may, depending on your circumstances, include the cost associated with obtaining Police Clearance, Medicals, English Language Tests, Obtaining Skills Assessment and Translations.

People changing employers or occupations need to only lodge a Nomination application. You must lodge your nomination application no later than 90 days after you have left your employer or change your occupation with your current employer. There is no requirement to lodge a new visa application in these circumstances. You must be approved by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to change your position or employer. You are required by law to notify the department of changes in your circumstances.

Yes you may be eligible to apply for permanent residence straight away.

Ordinarily, you will have to have your skills assessed by an appointed skills assessment authority for your occupation and provide evidence of your employment experience.

Temporary Work 457 Visa that are lodged with all required documentation can be processed within 2 – 3 months.

Permanent Work ENS 186 and Regional 187 Visas that are lodged with all required documentation can be processed within 5 – 6 months.

Partner Visas can take from 5 – 12 months depending on your country of citizenship and what country you will be applying from.

Visitor Visas can be processed within 1 day to 4 weeks depending where you are when you lodge your application and what country your passport is from.

There is no set list of required documentation because every visa application is different. The documentation that you will have to provide is based on your individual circumstances.

A comprehensive list of all the required documentation will be provided to you once your individual circumstances have been taken into account.

Businesses seeking sponsorship that have traded for over 12 months are required to show that they have spent at least 1% of their payroll on training Australian employees in the previous 12 months prior to application.

Startup businesses or Businesses trading less than 12 months are not required to show they have spent money on training but must show in an Auditable Training Plan how they will in the next 12 months meet the training requirement.

The policy guidance on the training requirement is quite complex. There are certain requirements that must be considered such as the types of expenditure that can be included, the form of documentary evidence to prove the expenditure and the percentages allocated to specific types of expenditure.

Standard business sponsors are required to pay their overseas workers the market salary rate. The market rate must not be less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) currently set at $53,900.

The TSMIT is set at this level to ensure that all Subclass 457 visa holders have sufficient income to independently provide for themselves in Australia. The TSMIT helps ensure that Subclass 457 visa holders do not impose undue costs on the Australian community or find themselves in circumstances which may put pressure on them to breach their visa conditions. This is particularly important given these workers do not have access to a range of government support available to Australian citizens and permanent residents.


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