How long does it take to get a visa in Australia?

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Australia is one of the most beautiful continents and countries available for living and visiting. It is host to beautiful landscapes, sophisticated cities and oceans that are pristine and inviting. However, if your interest lies in more than a holiday, then there are requirements for you or your family to complete before receiving approval for a Visa.

Two of the most popular Visa’s available for residence in Australia are the Skilled Worker Visa and the Family Visa. Each is available to those who meet the necessary requirements and provide the proper paperwork to qualify.

The purpose of the skilled worker visa is to open Australia up to receive those persons who are skilled in an occupation that can assist the Australian economy and provide opportunities for those who would like to reside in Australia.  Through the skilled work visa, Australia hopes to prevent worker shortages, encourage innovation and bring creative entrepreneurs to Australia to develop their ideas and businesses.

The traditional Skilled Worker Visa has several initial requirements. These requirements include the following;

  • You must be under the age of 45
  • Proficiency with the English language is necessary
  • Your occupation must fit within the nominated categories
  • Your skills must be assessed by the Australian Skills Assessment Authority within your nominated profession
  • A health assessment must be performed by a panelled Australian doctor to assess general good health
  • A character assessment will be performed to assess your overall character

There is an online assessment process that each applicant can use to begin the process. The application can be found at the Visa Bureau here.

The categories of skilled worker visas include;

    1. Employer Nomination Scheme – the position has been approved by an Australian employer
    2. Regional Sponsored Employment – the position has been approved by an Australian employer for a regional job
    3. Skilled Independent Visa – the applicant has a relevant occupation and suitable skills and passes the mandatory testing
    4. Skilled Nominated Visa – the same requirements as the Skilled Independent Visa however the position has been nominated by a state or territory
    5. Training Visa – be 18 years of age and nominated or invited to participate for up to 2 years
    6. Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – Must meet the job requirements submitted by an approved employer
    7. Temporary Graduate Visa – Be under 50 years of age, hold an eligible visa and meet the requirements of CRICOS registered course
    8. Skilled Regional Visa – Hold one of the many subclasses, be skilled in the nominated position, be invited or sponsored by an employer and meet the testing requirements

In any of the above-mentioned categories, the applicant must meet all of the eligibility requirements to be considered for their particular skilled worker visa.

The process can be made easier by using the Visa Bureau’s Australian Skilled Migration Visa Service. This online service allows for applicants to begin by completing an initial survey. Subsequent to the initial questionnaire, an applicant can opt for a free email or telephone consultation to discuss their score and skills and the likelihood of receiving a visa.

The second popular visa available in Australia is the Family visa. This visa allows partners, spouses, children and other family members to join their Australian citizen or another permanent Australian family member.

The following persons are eligible to join an Australian citizen or another Australian family member;

  • Spouse
  • Prospective spouse (fiance)
  • Interdependent partner (same-sex)
  • Children; including dependent children, orphan, or adopted child
  • Parents of children who are Australian citizens
  • Aged dependent family members, remaining relatives and caregivers of Australian citizens

These applications can also be started online at the Visa Bureau.

All applications are subject to Capping and Queuing; meaning it is possible for the allotted number of Visa’s to already have been distributed. This causes outstanding applications to be placed on hold until spaces become available for family members to migrate into the country. However, the exception to this includes a compelling and compassionate need or circumstance. It is possible that your family member could qualify for this exception.

After you have submitted your application you will be subject to a waiting period. During the waiting period, various other steps will be taken to investigate your request for entry into the country. It is possible you will be subject to some or all of the following;

  • A personal interview
  • An invitation to comment; in the event that information has been provided that is hindering your application, you will be given an opportunity to explain or respond to the negative allegations
  • Report all changes in circumstance which can include; change of residence, change of person authorised to act on your behalf during the application process, change in family composition, anyone intending to travel to or from Australia while your visa is in process, changes in sponsor or person assuring you, the relationship with the Australian citizen you are coming to live with, changes or ends.

If your Family Visa is approved, you will receive a letter from immigration notifying you that you are allowed to join your family member(s). At the same time, you will receive a visa grant number, the date upon which your visa will be valid, the imposed conditions of your visa and a detailed explanation of what you will need to do next. Once all of these steps have been completed, you will be free to join your loved ones.

The choice to migrate to Australia can be an exciting opportunity. If it is for the purpose of work, it will create a chance to use your skills to the best of your abilities in a new environment for positive purposes. If you are coming into the country to join your loved ones, or to care for an elderly family member, you will have the opportunity to thrive inside of your familial relationships. In both instances, success as a member of the Australian community will be available to you.

In the event that you find yourself in need of assistance regarding Visa issues, please contact the law offices of Owen Hodge Lawyers. We are always happy to assist clients in understanding the full ramifications of any and all of your legal needs from immigration to spousal maintenance.

Please feel free to call us at your earliest convenience to schedule a consultation at 1800 770 780.

Here at Owen Hodge Lawyers, we are always striving to deliver the immigration guidance you need. Read more about the immigration process, latest updates and more on the Owen Hodge Blog, including our post regarding changes for 457 visa holders.

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