Migration can be complicated, and finding the information you need isn’t always easy. That’s why Migration Agency Australia has compiled a list of some of the most common questions asked about the migration process. If your question isn’t answered here, or if you need more specific help, get in touch with us via email, our contact page or call for a free assessment.


Filterable FAQ

-What is the “Points Test” and do I have to pass it?
If you apply for a visa to work in Australia, you might have to pass the points test. The points test is used to help Australia select people who have the skills and attributes it needs. The number of points you need to pass the points test depends on the visa you apply for. You can be given points for a number of reasons, including your: • skills • age • English language ability • occupation • Australian work experience and Australian qualifications.
-How much will my visa application fee cost me?
The cost will depend on the visa you apply for. The fee is usually not refundable, even if your visa application is refused or if you withdraw your application. See www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Fees for more information. Lots of people are having their visa cancelled because they have a substantial criminal record. What is a substantial criminal record? You will have a substantial criminal record if you were: • sentenced to death or life imprisonment • sentenced to prison for more than 12 months • sentenced to two or more terms of imprisonment, where the total of those terms is 12 months or more (this includes all terms of imprisonment, including those that are to be served concurrently) • acquitted of an offence on the grounds of unsoundness of mind or insanity and, as a result, been detained in a facility or institution • found by a court not to be fit to plead in relation to offence but found to have committed the offence and as a result detained in a facility or institution. Periods of imprisonment include time spent in periodic detention and court-ordered residential drug rehabilitation schemes.
-My visa application form says that I have to meet the character requirement, do I really have to?
Yes. If you apply for a visa to enter or to stay in Australia, you will have to meet the character requirement.
-I am an Australian Citizen, my Irish father passed away and my Irish mother lives alone, she is now financially dependent on me, can she come and live with me here in Australia?
Yes, you can potentially sponsor her to live with you on a permanent basis.
-I have a sick father living in Australia, can I come to Australia to care for him?
There are visa options available for you if you:
  • Need to come to Australia to:
    • Care for a relative with a long-term or permanent medical condition, or
    • Provide permanent or long-term practical support to help a relative care for a member of their family in their household who has a long-term or permanent medical condition
  • Understand what kind of care or support your relative needs
  • Are willing and able to assist them
The person in need of care must be a relative (or a member of their family), who is an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen
-Can I bring my family with me to Australia on a student visa?
Most student visas allow you to bring your family members to Australia as your dependents if you are: • eligible for streamlined visa processing • assessment level 1 or 2 or • assessment level 3 or 4 and your course is longer than 12 months. If the duration of your course is less than 52 weeks, your family members are eligible to accompany you to Australia provided that: o your nominated course (if you are applying for another student visa) or your current course (if you are a student visa holder) is the same course as, or a continuation of, the course that was             associated with your previous student visa and the total duration of the course or courses as registered on CRICOS is 52 weeks or more, or o you have been in Australia lawfully for 12 months or more. Your assessment level is determined by your course of study and your nationality.
-Can I study on a visitor visa?
Yes, however you can only study for up to 3 months
-Can I study any course I like if I apply for a student visa?
No, you can only apply for a student visa if you apply to study an approved course at an approved institution. For more information see: http://cricos.education.gov.au/
-What does a Permanent visa allow me to do?
A permanent visa will allow you to:
  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia (and have access to government subsidies)
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • receive some social security payments
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted – after that time you will need another visa to enter Australia.
-I have previously sponsored a partner to come to Australia, can I sponsor another?
Maybe…… You must not been sponsored by another partner for a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the past five years; and, you must not have successfully sponsored two people for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa; and, you must not have already successfully sponsored another person for migration to Australia on a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa within the past five years.
-I am a Australian Permanent Resident, can I sponsor my partner on a Partner Visa to live with me in Australia?
Yes, to be a sponsor you must:
  • be an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
  • be in a married or de facto relationship with your partner
  • be older than 18 years of age.
If you are married and younger than 18 years of age, a parent or guardian must be the sponsor. That parent or guardian must be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens are expected to be living in Australia.
-Can I leave and re-enter Australia whilst on a working holiday visa?
Yes, you can leave and re-enter Australia as many times as you wish as long as the visa is still valid
-Can I study on a working holiday visa?
Yes, you can study for up to 4 months
-Can I work for the same person for the whole time I’m in Australia on a working holiday visa?
You can only work for up to 6 months with the same employer whilst on a working holiday visa
-How long do I need to have been in Australia before I can apply for citizenship?
You must:
  • have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying which must include the last 12 months as a permanent resident, and
  • not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, in the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year before applying.
-I am a New Zealand citizen and have been living in Australia for the past 10 years, can I apply for Citizenship?
Maybe…. If you are in Australia on a subclass 444 visa, you will need to apply for a permanent visa before you can apply for citizenship as a sc 444 visa is only a temporary visa. If you are here on a permanent visa and meet all the criteria for a citizenship application then yes. If you arrived in Australia on or before 26 January 2001, you may be eligible to apply for citizenship.
-I am in a same sex relationship. Can I apply for a partner visa to move to Australia to live with my Australian partner?
Yes you can as long as you meet the definition of being in a defacto relationship with your partner
-There are 2 partner visa options. What is the difference?
Yes there are 2 options. 1. Onshore Partner visa – you need to be physically in Australia when you apply for this visa. You can stay in Australia (on a bridging visa once your current substantive visa expires) until the determination of you visa application; 2. Offshore Partner visa – you will need to be physically outside Australia when you apply for and are granted this visa.
-I have been given a date that I must make my first entry to Australia by on my grant of visa letter, do I really have to make my first entry to Australia before that date?
Yes, your visa will no longer be valid after that date if you do not make your first entry to Australia by then.
-Can I apply for a visa whilst I am in Australia?
Yes, as long as your existing visa does not contain any conditions which prohibits a valid visa application being made whilst in Australia