Getting a Visa for Australia

Getting a Visa.

How do I get a visa? Which visa is best for me? And how do I calculate my points total? These are some of the questions I am asked on a regular basis. I have rolled all three of these questions into one and, fortunately, they are reasonably easy to answer.

Why?

Well, let’s go through them. Firstly, how do you get a visa? There is only one place you will get your visa from, and that’s the Australian Government, via the Department of Immigration & Border Control (DIBP), so you need to apply to them.

Of course, you can go through a MARA registered migration agent. If that is something that appeals to you, visit my…

Visa Assessment Service

…page for details of how you can get your own personal help from a MARA registered migration agent. But ultimately, all agents will forward your application on, so your visa can still only be granted by DIBP.

So which visa is best for you and how can you calculate your points? DIBP can answer that for you too, simply by visiting their website and using their Visa Wizard. But before you go “off to see the Wizard”, you might want to take a look at a video I’ve made to show you how the Visa Wizard works.

After watching this video you will know how to 1) find out which visa is best for you, 2) find out if you have enough points for that visa (which you can also check on my Points Calculator page) and 3) find out how much the Australian Government will charge you for that visa.

Update:

DIBP (formerly known as DIAC) have now removed their ‘Visa Wizard’ video and replaced it with a new tool called ‘The Visa Finder”. I think it’s great and it has a ton of information to help you, here is my new video to explain how it works…

DIBP have also changed their website address completely, so please ignore the instructions in the above video and instead go to…

More useful links:

I have a whole series of posts that explain the entire process that we went through to get our visas for Australia. The first instalment is called Moving to Australia – An Idea and the series ends with Moving to Australia – Part Fifteen in which you will find us sitting in our new home in Australia, waiting for the furniture to show up.

You can see a full list of all the topics covered in this series over at How to Move to Australia.

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{ 838 comments… add one }
  • Zoe Taylor February 8, 2017, 1:58 am | Link

    Hi Bob

    I know you don’t give advice on VISA’s and have a MARA agent that you recommend. However, we are someway down the line with our MARA agent based here in the UK. We have had the skills assessment done (189), all fine and the EOI has gone through so we are at Form 80 stage. However, our MARA has started to ignore us saying that he is very busy. We emailed him with some important questions last week and he’s now saying that he can’t drop all of his clients because of us! I don’t suppose you know if there is a route to make a complaint? Also, I learned from your blog that I need 5 years on my passport before entering Oz. He hasn’t picked this up and I am now concerned that I will need to get it renewed before filling in the Form 80? I understand if you can’t help with any of this, but any advice would be gratefully received.

    Thanks.

    Zoe

    • Mark February 8, 2017, 8:15 am | Link

      Hi Zoe It may be the case your MARA is up to his neck in it. Its my own view that right now is for them like Mothers day is for a florist, utter chaos. So many in England are watching down under programs and the long month of January in the cold …Plus USA Canada and so on Id liek to think you are well down the process so you almost a done deal and It may be if as most are one man bands even working in agencies he is trying to grab as many as he can from the deluge that appears at this time of year to sustain him in leaner times…. here….It may be you are correct he is just ignoring you.but I feel it less likely I am only playing devils advocate… Only you and him know what is going on…I am assuming he will be checking the 80 before its submitted….How about email saying how excited you are and thats making you very eager and I know how your busy you are etc etc and then your questions If your only question is the passport I am pretty sure times may have changed, and looking at it you dont need five years having read what is public domain. it would appear you simply get your new passport and even on DIB website it says this
      The following online forms are available in ImmiAccount:
      Appointment or withdrawal of an authorised recipient (including migration agent)
      Change of address details
      Change of email address details
      Change of passport details
      So you can go into your account and update the passport number in time to come I have to do it with our children soon So at least thats one less problem that you may be blaming him for eg not spotting it It looks like he has no need . If the otters are easy questions . Whilst Bob and anyone else cannot give migration advice I cant see how anyone can complain about pointing out where forms are etc and others can give details of their experience which may help and guide you, certainly with small issues like this Incidentally it also says on the website there is also a form for change of passport for what might be termed postal manual system its form 90. As they are registered then there will likely be some operating body but as your this close get the visa in and then complain, if you still feel it right ti do so. After all and I am not suggesting he would but imagine getting a complaint about you and there are two forms to process on your desk the complainer and the other its likely the complainer will be done the following day…. Are your otehr questions simple ish

    • BobinOz February 8, 2017, 9:39 pm | Link

      Just to reiterate what Mark has said, yes, it is a busy time of the year at the moment for MARA agents. I call it the New Year’s resolution crowd, my website traffic always increases in January and February and my MARA agent is busy as.

      To answer your question though, yes, there is somewhere you can go to complain, it’s MARA.org, details are on my page called Migration agents.

      I’d give your agent a chance though, no point in rocking the boat now, sounds like you are 90% of the way into the process.

      • Zoe Taylor February 9, 2017, 12:18 am | Link

        Hi both

        Thanks for the speedy responses. We both understand that he is busy but he has also been incredibly rude within several responses and has also changed the name of his company during the process, telling us that ‘mistakes were being made’ and also personal info that we didn’t really need to know and might affect his job IMO. As you both point out though, we are a good way through and he probably knows he has us over a barrel… Thanks for the info on the passport – that has at least eased my mind! We won’t be complaining right now – just hoping he gets back to us as we want to submit the VISA application asap! Thanks again.

        • BobinOz February 9, 2017, 9:04 pm | Link

          Well, let’s hope your agents or is it all out and get a contract with it. If he doesn’t know, you do know where to go to complain now. Fingers crossed for you.

  • anuj Kumar December 18, 2016, 7:51 pm | Link

    Hie Bobinoz ..Howz u as I saw so many comments so after reading such comments I m pretty much sure that you gonna give me ryt guidance as I am indian and did my b.tech and pass out 2014 after that I m doing job and have a experience about nearly 2 years and wants to apply for work pr for Australia so plz guide me what to and how to do in a cheap legal way ……So that I can afford fees and I have some relative in Australia also so plz guide me. Thanx

    • BobinOz December 19, 2016, 8:05 pm | Link

      I am surprised, given that you have read so many comments, that you’d didn’t notice I don’t give this kind of advice. You need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent.

  • Aaron December 7, 2016, 8:07 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, im born australian and my wife an australian citizen , vietnamese born with her mother living in the USA. Which visa type is best and fastest to support her in australia to live?
    Thanks
    Aaron

    • BobinOz December 8, 2016, 8:28 pm | Link

      There are no guarantees your mother-in-law would qualify for a visa, never mind fastest. I’m afraid it really is complicated, that’s why you must speak to a MARA registered migration agent about how best to proceed. Good luck, Bob

  • Prakash November 22, 2016, 6:57 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    I am planning to apply for SkillSelect for Australian immigration.
    From all the information on sub classes 189,190 and 489, I couldn’t come to a judgement on which one to apply for. I do not have any blood relatives staying the Australia. Could you please advice.

    Regards
    Prakash

  • Tony Murphy November 16, 2016, 3:30 am | Link

    I would like to hear from other elderly parents whose only child is living in Australia and who have or want to move there. I am 70 yeas old English National, still working and my wife is 71 yeas old Finnish National. We live in South Africa and have South African Nationalities as well. Our only child is living in Australia on the temporary visa with her Australian boyfriend. We are desperate to retire in Australia to be nearer to her and our future grandchildren. Would like to know if there is any hope for us to get a visa.

    • BobinOz November 16, 2016, 5:43 pm | Link

      Well, hopefully somebody in the same position as you will see this and give you their opinion on it.

      As for any hope, you would either need to speak to a MARA migration agent about that or visit my page called Visas.

      If you watch the video there, it shows you how to go to the government’s website, answer some simple questions and then see if any visas are available to you.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Ashok November 4, 2016, 10:21 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    This is Ashok again 🙂

    I have a situation here where I’m a Indian national and my wife is a Malaysian national and my baby was born in India. Both me and my wife were granted a Subclass 457 visa by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship on 13th May 2016 and our visa is valid until 13th May 2020. Both my wife and baby are in India currently.
    I have applied for a 457 dependent visa for my baby earlier this week and I was advised that the waiting period is 3 months. Unfortunately, my wife do not have a valid visa in India until then. Her visa expires early Jan.

    1. Is there any way to expedite the process?
    2. Can I bring my baby in tourist visa first and wait for the wait period to be finished?
    3. Heard about bridging visa. Can I get that one once I’m here while waiting for the 457 visa to be approved?

    Awaiting your response on this Bob.

    Thanks as always.

    Cheers,
    Ashok

  • mohammed j kromah October 27, 2016, 1:36 am | Link

    hello my name is mohammed j kromah am a high school graduate from the republic of Liberia but staying in Sierra Leone Bo city can you please send me all necessary information to my in box . THANKS.

    • BobinOz October 27, 2016, 7:47 pm | Link

      All the information? That might take a while.

  • Sneha October 20, 2016, 1:35 am | Link

    Hi Bob. Thanks for your blog. It’s really helpful. I was just wondering if you could provide an estimate of cost for the whole process. I did see a cost of 150$ (and a discount of 50$ if we were readers of your blog, and used the same MARA agent as you did). But that would be only for assessment of our case, points and suggestions to improve our chances etc right? What if we needed help with the positive skill assessment, and EOI? If you can provide an estimate, I would really appreciate it. Thanks,

    • BobinOz October 20, 2016, 6:56 pm | Link

      Glad you like my website, thank you.

      Yes, the payment after the discount is only for the assessment, but within the assessment you will be given a full written quote of what it would cost you to take it further if you wanted to do so.

      The quote includes government fees and also my MARA agent fees should you decide to appoint him to represent you. If you need help with skills assessment and EOI, optional prices for that are also included in the quote.

      It’s impossible to say how much it will be before your assessment, simply because my MARA agent doesn’t know which visa you will be applying for or the amount of work involved. What I can tell you though is that my MARA agent’s fees are extremely competitive, you will not be disappointed. But with something like 130 different visas, and different government fees for them and also additional fees for family members, it’s impossible to quote you before you go through the assessment.

      Hope that helps, and good luck, Bob

  • Melissa September 30, 2016, 3:31 pm | Link

    Hi how are you going? I was wondering if i could ask you a question about applying for visa 189. I am on a student visa which expires 31/12/16. I’m submitting my skills assessment to AITSL in november (uni results release 4 November) and i’ll have to wait 10 weeks for the skills assessment. by then my student visa will expire. Question – how do i extend my student visa (no further stay condition NOT PRESENT) and stay in the country while waiting to apply for my EOI and wait for my invitation? currently sitting on 75 points for Early Childhood Teacher. thank you!

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 10:30 pm | Link

      As I stated above Melissa, you would need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent, I really can’t help with these kinds of questions. If there is a way for you to stay in the country, a MARA agent will be able to help you with it. Good luck, Bob

  • Taiwo September 25, 2016, 9:31 am | Link

    Hi Bob,
    Thank you for this informative post,i am a citizen of Nigeria with various visit to the Europe.i am 26year old with a job in achitecture.I will like to visit Australia for a 14days tour do you have any information that might help prove to the Visa Officer that my intention is purely for holiday and i will return back to Nigeria after 2weeks of holiday.Im happily married with 2kids i will appreciate any advise
    Thanks Bob

    • BobinOz October 2, 2016, 5:06 pm | Link

      No I don’t. All you can do is answer the questions honestly and let the immigration department decide for themselves. Good luck, Bob

  • Derrick himmel September 21, 2016, 4:18 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, I’m am American and I’ve always wanted to move out of the US because I just don’t agree with a lot of the things going on today. Australia has always been the place I have wanted to move to and I’ve been wanting to get more information on if I will even be eligible to move there. I’m only 21 years old and have been working in carpentry for 3 years, but I filled out some skilled profession form and was told that I didn’t qualify. I have also thought a lot about furthering my education in Australia considering I decided to go into a trade instead of college. I had a good gpa and great scores on my SAT/ACT’s and would’ve been able to attend probably 80% of schools in the US. Is that an option that I would be able to consider and possibly qualify for? And are there any visas that you would think I could possibly be eligible for?

    • BobinOz September 21, 2016, 7:51 pm | Link

      If you want to explore the idea of coming here on a student visa to study, then you can get some help from my expert, see my page about Student Visas.

      For other visa options though, you really do need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your situation. Good luck, Bob

  • Kerry Ann Coates September 8, 2016, 3:02 pm | Link

    Hi bob which is the best place to live in Australia away dangerous animals and spiders

    • BobinOz September 8, 2016, 11:55 pm | Link

      A fifth story apartment in Elizabeth Street, Hobart, Tasmania 🙂

      Seriously though, I really wouldn’t suggest anybody chooses where to live in Australia based on the possibility of bumping into a dangerous animal or spider, it’s far better to choose where you want to live based on, well, where you want to live.

      Australia is a very safe country and our dangerous critters get more publicity than they deserve. See my page about Australia’s Killer Creatures and Death.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Mario September 3, 2016, 5:33 am | Link

    Hi. I found your site very helpfull. I was wondering if someone is granted a visa subclass 189 and finally enters australia, can he apply for any job?

    • BobinOz September 4, 2016, 8:35 pm | Link

      Sorry Mario, but I can’t answer these kinds of questions, please see my important notices above. It might be a good idea if you had a chat with a MARA agent, they would be able to clear this up for you.

  • Doherty August 28, 2016, 7:35 pm | Link

    Hello, I have found your site very informative! I know you cannot answer case specific questions but I just wondered in all your research about visas if you might know the answer to my query! My husband and I are both teachers on the SOL and both plan to work. Do we both need a working visa (it’s the subclass 189), or can one person be the main applicant and the other a dependent and still work when they get there? Thanks in advance Bob.

    • BobinOz August 29, 2016, 6:32 pm | Link

      Because of the laws in Australia this is still one of those questions that I am not able to answer, even though I know the answer.

      However, if you watch the video above it does tell you how to find out this kind of information. Then click on the recommended link to the government’s immigration website and you can find out the answer for yourself. Just select the visa subclass 189 and then when you get to the details page about that visa, click on the link that says “What this visa lets you do” and just check that the visa type allows you to bring your family.

      Hope that helps, good luck, Bob

  • Susie July 25, 2016, 11:33 pm | Link

    I am separated to an australian man not yet legally devorced. Now i have found a new love of my life which is australian also he invited me for a holiday . Is there any fair chances for me to be able to go to australia with different sponsor?? Please help me answer my quarries thank you

  • Anil sharma July 11, 2016, 11:41 am | Link

    Sir i need Dr. Job anywhere. I work hard and i become a sucessful person. Sir I request u plzz u give me jo. I quilified b.sc science my contact no. -+919813542871

  • Bhavesh July 7, 2016, 2:34 pm | Link

    I thank you Sir bob. You are very helpfu person. That’s great. Even I’m following you on Twitter! Thankz.

  • neha rohra July 4, 2016, 3:39 pm | Link

    I m beautation i m skin slpiest hace exprince of 15 yers can i get job Australia

  • Geeta June 22, 2016, 1:42 pm | Link

    Hi bod it’s me Geeta from India . I have 12 passed certificate. I want to to Australia for study beautician course I am 33 year old . It that any possible for me

    • Ritu June 28, 2016, 9:08 pm | Link

      Geeta, get in touch with me if you are so interested in doing beautician course in US

    • satya July 8, 2016, 8:51 pm | Link

      greta ,

      if you are interested to move to dubai . get in touch with me .

    • Yasir August 23, 2016, 11:43 pm | Link

      Hi geeta yasir .i am 33 year

  • Bhavesh Katariya June 15, 2016, 6:37 pm | Link

    Hii
    Sir Bob,

    I wanted to ask dat I’m from india nd I wnt to work in Australia nd also moved so could I get some help from u. wht should I prepare. nd what should I do for getting such visa. I request u to help me.

  • Atakilti June 9, 2016, 8:37 am | Link

    Hi bob my name is atakilti i am eritrean notinality but i lived in israel i have a big problem my mother from eritrea my father from ethiopya so. But i donkow my father. Eritrean govermonet he seid me you are not eritrea becouse your father is from etiopya so go to your father he seid me. How i can go to my father becouse i dontnow my father. Now i live in israel israel goverment is very very dunjer becouse is not have humanity. Sory iam not writte good in engilish help help please help help me thnks. Mister bob

    • BobinOz June 9, 2016, 8:15 pm | Link

      I’m assuming you are asking if I can help you get a visa to move to Australia? I’m afraid I’m not able to do that, only MARA registered migration agents are able to assist and it is only the Australian Government who issue the visas.

      So I’m afraid I can’t assist you with this in any way, but I do hope you find a solution to your problem.

  • jay kumar Pazaniappan June 6, 2016, 5:14 pm | Link

    Hi Mr. Bob

    I am a singaporean, just finished my diploma in audio engineering and would like to seek job in Australia. How do i get a sponsor to apply a work visa.
    Need your advice

    regards
    Jay

    • BobinOz June 7, 2016, 11:36 pm | Link

      Getting a job sponsorship isn’t easy, but you will find help with that on my page called Getting a Job or a Sponsorship. Good luck, Bob

      • Kali July 14, 2016, 4:32 pm | Link

        Hi Bob,
        My boyfriend and I are looking to move to Australia from the USA within the next year. I’m 20 years old and he is 22. He has management experience and I have customer service experience. We are both looking for job opportunites and housing in Australia. If you could recommend job sites and visa applications for us, that would be very helpful.
        Thank you for helping us with this opportunity.
        Sincerely, Kali

  • carol May 30, 2016, 1:07 pm | Link

    hello good day pls can i ask how to get a tourist visa to australia i want to know more about coz i want to go to australia for tourist only hope i can hear back soon thanks for read my comment have good day from carol

  • Christine Eslick May 27, 2016, 9:52 pm | Link

    Hi there, I am 61 grandmother of 6, both my children immigrated 18 months ago and I would like to find out how I go about immigrating as well. Any help will be appreciated,

    Kind regards
    Christine

  • Neha May 21, 2016, 3:20 am | Link

    Hii Bob

    plz let me one thing that my fiance living in Melbourne. He is student of cookery.I am from India.so I can come to Melbourne nd live with my fiance. If I hve apply tourist visa so I can get easily visa.my ??fiance visa finish in march 2017.if u have any other options so plz tell me.in February 2016 we get engaged. My fiance was come to India.

  • Tina May 18, 2016, 1:43 am | Link

    Hi bob, im a registered nurse in the UK wanting to emigrate to Melbourne. I want to look at sponsored visa options. I have husband, 2 children and my mother who I need to go on my visa. How would I begin this process?

    Kind regards
    Tina

    • BobinOz May 18, 2016, 11:15 pm | Link

      Well, you need to either speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your situation, or if you really want to try and do it yourself, check out my pages Getting a Job or a Sponsorship and Nurses, doctors and dentists in Australia.

      Just a warning though, you may find it very difficult to include your mother on your visa application and for that reason, I think you really do need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent. Good luck, Bob

      • Tina May 19, 2016, 4:52 pm | Link

        Thank you. I would be going down the lines of proving she is dependent on me. Which she is financially and socially. Do you know of the visa requirements to prove parents dependency?

        Kind regards

        • BobinOz May 19, 2016, 7:37 pm | Link

          No I don’t, you would really need to speak to a MARA migration agent about that. Good luck, Bob

  • Riikka Talsi May 13, 2016, 7:24 am | Link

    Hey!

    We have a one year old daughter and we would like move to Australia for attleast for one year. Is there any visa what would fit for us? My husband would work in your friends restaurant, but the restaurant is so new that the sponsor deal wouldt work for us.

  • Clare Tyson May 13, 2016, 5:53 am | Link

    Hi Bob,

    I’d like to know if is possible/allowed to get 417 Working Holiday visa, while having an application for 309/100 Partner visa already being processed?

    I know that you can’t comment on specifics of individual cases, but wanted to check that point specifically, as from lots of searching on the DIAC website and elsewhere I can’t seem to find an answer.

    I know I meet the criteria for a 417 visa (age eligibility, UK citizen, not had a 417 before) and am pretty confident of being eligible for a 309/100 visa (have lived together for 3 years, and were together for 3 years before that), but am anxious about the currently estimated processing times for the 309/100 visas, so looking to see if I could enter on another visa while awaiting decision.

    Many thanks for any thoughts you’re able to provide!
    Clare

    • BobinOz May 13, 2016, 5:49 pm | Link

      It’s not individual cases I cannot comment on Clare, I am not qualified to give advice in any way whatsoever about eligibility and visa options, only MARA migration agents are allowed to do that. If you have any doubts, I strongly suggest you talk to one before proceeding. Good luck, Bob

  • Neil Duncan May 6, 2016, 10:30 am | Link

    Hi,

    Would anyone perhaps no if i myself would be able to do my driving test in Australia. I’m British and i lost my licence in 2009 for two years but obviously I’ve been eligible to retake my test again which has to be the pass plus test but i’m hopefully going to be in Australia for two years and am just wondering if it would be possible for me to take my driving test anywhere in OZ??

    • BobinOz May 6, 2016, 7:08 pm | Link

      Hi Neil

      Well, I’m pretty sure you can, what I’m not quite sure about though is this ‘pass plus test’ that you mention, I really don’t know what that is.

      Here in Australia, each state and territory has their own transport departments, and it’s possible that each might do things in a slightly different way. For example, here in Queensland, we have the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

      What I suggest you do is Google similar titles for whatever state is you intend to go to find the right department and then look for the section on taking a driving test. That should clear it all up for you. Good luck, Bob

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