Specific Questions About Australian Visas

Questions about visas.

I am often asked questions, rather specific questions, about visas.

For example:
“I came over three years ago on a temporary residency visa, but four months later switched it to a student visa when I started college. But I didn’t turn up to many of the lessons and got thrown out of college. So then I managed to get hold of a work/play visa 11 months ago but I have been working for the same employer for all of that period. But I’ve just discovered I’m pregnant! Will my child be Scottish or Australian and can I now apply for permanent residency?”

Well, they might not be as specific or as complex as that, but they might as well be.

Knowing the ins and outs of all 100+ Australian visas and to keep up with all the latest information requires the knowledge of a migration lawyer.

I’ve been called many things in my life, but never a migration lawyer. So unfortunately I am not in any position to answer specific questions about visas and there is really no point in asking me these kind of questions in the comments below.

So, how do you find out if you would qualify?

Fortunately though, I now do have a MARA registered migration agent who works with me on this site, and he can help. He will need ALL of your information though, not just a few snippets, so you will need to complete a six page questionnaire and he will work out all of your options, whether you qualify or not, and provide you with a written report.

To find out more about how this works, visit my Visa Assessment Service page.

Important: Please read before commenting…

And for those looking for professional assistance…

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{ 864 comments… add one }
  • Eli February 18, 2017, 7:47 am | Link

    Hi, can any one help, if some one have sibllings, but dont know about their state, date of birth, is it possible not to mention their name for question 45 in form 80?

  • Ruchira Vithanage February 17, 2017, 1:53 am | Link

    My father has Australia PR in recently.but I’m married now.can I apply to get australia PR?

  • Scott February 16, 2017, 11:10 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, i am living in Australia with my son at the moment, we hav pr visa with me being the main applicant. Over the last 5 years we have only lived here approximately 8 months, my son wants to go back to the UK for a holiday. Would he be able to get a RRV ? would me being here in Australia be sufficient ties ?
    Cheers Scott

    • Mark February 17, 2017, 10:43 am | Link

      So many bits unanswered here, eg sons age, length staying on holiday, the intervening 5 years and so on..It would with the answers make it just as hard for anyone else’s experience to match yours to answer what they did…If your in Australia contact Dibp with your question/s they even have a web form for travelling in and out of Australia or give them a call.

      • BobinOz February 17, 2017, 9:04 pm | Link

        Yes, you should speak to the immigration department to find out the correct answer, it’s not a question I can answer. It’s best to get this one right, nothing more irritating than popping out of the country to go on holiday and not being able to return.

  • Betty Modupe February 15, 2017, 3:33 pm | Link

    My sister applied for a visa since December 9th ,for four weeks she didn’t get any response until she contacted them ,she was told her medicals was incomplete and was required to send two more test results which she did,still no response till date..,making it 9weeks since she applied.
    Her institute resumed yesterday and she is expected to enroll like other students,
    We are contemplating on whether to write the embassy in South Africa or not as we are scared not to cheese them off.
    Please can you advise what to do?

    • BobinOz February 15, 2017, 11:32 pm | Link

      The Embassy in South Africa do not process visas, so there is little point in writing to them. If you want to chase it up, speak to the department processing the application.

  • Karen Leanne Sandberg February 8, 2017, 1:02 pm | Link

    focus better than “Australian with friends”, country-Australia collectively covered by the technical term “Australian languages”? Europeans made the effort to learn any Aboriginal language, it was expected that Aboriginal people would have to learn English. During the period of the “stolen generations”, aboriginal children were removed from their families and placed in institutions where they were punished for speaking their indigenous language. Different mutually?

    • BobinOz February 8, 2017, 11:08 pm | Link

      Well, I removed the link you built into your name, simply because it went to a page that does not exist. I’m also not going to answer your question, because I do not understand it.

      Sounds to me as though you are unhappy though, but I believe your unhappiness is not related to the information on this page. There is a discussion about what I think you want to talk about on the following page if you’re interested…


  • Guna February 3, 2017, 9:36 pm | Link

    hi I am BE (CSE). can I get 476 visa. some one told cse cannot qualify for this visa. pls reply soon

  • Angela February 2, 2017, 9:59 pm | Link

    Hey bob ive lived in Australia for 8 years and recently I got sponsored, nomination was put on the 23 of December and until now it’s hasn’t been approved, my son is doing year 12 this year, before my visa expired we agreed to exit Australia and apply for the 457 while being overseas, I’m also working with an agent it’s been a month and nothing happened, so I was wondering if you know approximately how long it might take and if my son doing year 12 might help and speed up the stuff.

  • Annie February 1, 2017, 4:16 pm | Link

    Hi people,

    I am a subclass 309(provisional visa) holder living in WA. Can anyone advise how long can I drive on my Indian licence? I know we can drive for max of 3 months after getting PR. Does anyone know about provisional residency? Thanks

  • Amii February 1, 2017, 2:21 am | Link

    Hey I’m Australian citizen currently living overseas with my husband whose the applicant of my partner visa we went through everything except medicals that needs to be done. I got an email saying that they want to interview me as I’m the sponsor is that normal and is it a good thing or not. What kind of questions will they ask. Please help I’m worried about this.

    • BobinOz February 2, 2017, 12:06 am | Link

      I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but I do know one thing; you are going to have to do it otherwise your application won’t get very far.

      Only they will know what they want to ask you, all you can do is give honest answers. No point in worrying about it, just do it and see what happens. Good luck, Bob

  • Abi January 28, 2017, 4:06 am | Link

    Does anyone know how long you have to enter Australia once your PR visa is granted? I read somewhere that it depended on when your police check and medical expire but I can’t find any solid evidence to support this.

    • Mark January 28, 2017, 8:13 am | Link

      I will start by saying I am not an expert on this its just what happened to us. You will find a lot on the web saying along the lines of ….

      “The department will advise you of the date you are required to enter Australia (your initial entry date) at the time of visa grant. Your initial entry date is usually the same as the expiry date for the validity of either your health or character checks, whichever is the earlier.’…..

      So yes as your police check comes to its one year anniversary….Not many will be concerned with the health check date as this is done towards the granting end of the process. However several I assume including me got all the paperwork together at the start including a police check. You can always get a second one done nearer the time of submission, If submission has passed then Im not sure. However ours would have only given us about seven weeks and that included a Christmas period. I had another check done just in case. I dont know to this day which one was used at the end, the earlier one was originally submitted the second one was also sent with a covering letter explaining why , our entry was far longer (I cant remember but nearly 11 months ) certainly not my date one year on of my original police check. Other option of course and yes its an expense one for some but fly in activate your visa ….Have a look round, as a holiday then go home and finalise affairs and fly back. Hope this helps and good luck as Im assuming you are awaiting the grant ….if your not and for others perhaps get the police check done as late as you can and pay for the quick return service I think its only days

    • Sam January 28, 2017, 10:14 am | Link

      I came to Australia on a PR and the last date of entry to Australia will be printed on your Visa grant notice.Thanks

      • BobinOz January 29, 2017, 8:18 pm | Link

        Yes, my last date of entry was stamped on my visa as well, AND it was also exactly 12 months after I did my police check, as Mark has suggested. I believe that it could also be 12 months after your medical and probably whichever comes first.

        • Abi February 1, 2017, 7:05 am | Link

          Thanks very much for your reply’s. We cannot move until October. I was concerned that if it all went ahead we would have to do a flying visit first but we haven’t done our checks yet (we just received our invite today) so we should be OK.

          • Mark February 1, 2017, 9:25 am | Link

            Congratulations on your invite, its one more hurdle on what I seem to remember was a hurdle course. So hold on with Police check till its needed eg skills assessed and so on. Once you are all done with that then medicals, you wait for them to say you need one, then it gets tied up with their paperwork by the Doc As in the Doc sends it straight to the requester. Shop around on medicals and I personally avoided Squire group after a friends treatment.

            • Abi February 1, 2017, 6:12 pm | Link

              OK. Thanks for the advise.

  • Toni January 24, 2017, 5:26 pm | Link

    I need some info please I had my daughter in April 2016 while on a 457 visa . We applied for a 187 visa at the end of April as our visa was up at the start of May ,we didn’t have her passport so Our agent said we could add her once we got are pr . I recently been told that we should of just add her on to the application while waiting approval as now she is unlawful . I know our agent said they contact immigration and they said as our baby didn’t have a passport it would have to b done once we got pr . Any advice would b great full .

    • Mark January 24, 2017, 8:26 pm | Link

      Hi Toni Its perhaps not much good anyone on here chipping in their opinion..You really need to speak with the agent and have them resolve this.if in fact its correct . You dont say who gave you the advice about adding her recently. was it someone with the authority to say so or just some lay person chipping in their opinion. If you are concerned ask the agent to put the statement in an email to you so you have your back covered so to speak. The response is perhaps no immediate help but to avoid muddying the waters go to the agents with your concern it is after all them you will have likely paid some money to.

  • Rem January 6, 2017, 3:01 pm | Link

    I had submitted my eoi for visa 489 in oct 2016.
    Anzco 26311
    Initially Points are 60 in oct and in dec 2016 it has been automatically upgraded on 65.
    Applied for victoria.

    How many chances to get an invitation with following points?
    And how much time it will take?
    Any idea.

  • nitisha January 5, 2017, 11:10 am | Link

    am planning for Tasmania state sponsorship, i just want to know that is it compulsory to move along with the spouse or is it OK if the main applicant moves to that place or both dependent and main applicant has to move for 2 years

  • Bipendra Koirala January 5, 2017, 6:07 am | Link

    dear all,

    i had applied 489 visa for me and my family ( wife and son) of NT in april 23, 2016. its been more than eight months i could not get any updates. i applied through agent. when i asked my lawer, he told to have patience. as i submit my all family and mine health doc, i had paid fee, i had enough points. but still they did not appoint any co.
    so if some one can help me in this regards.

    • BobinOz January 5, 2017, 9:13 pm | Link

      Your agent is the person who should be helping you, I hope you went with someone who is registered with MARA.

      • Bipendra Koirala January 11, 2017, 4:57 am | Link

        i contact him many times but he did not pick my call. he hardly response me in mail. he told me that they did not appoint co.
        what should i do please guide me

        • BobinOz January 12, 2017, 6:49 pm | Link

          I’m guessing your agent is not MARA registered? If that is the case, then it is possible you have wasted your money. I cannot help you with this, you would need to talk to a MARA registered migration agent, for more details about that see my page about Migration agents.

          If your agent is MARA registered and you feel you have reason to complain about the service, you can also find the organisation to which to do that linked from the same page.

          Good luck, Bob

  • AMA.E January 2, 2017, 11:57 am | Link

    i applied for visa 600 and was refused the first time then reapply the second time, now is 5 months , i haven’ heard anything from the embassy,please advice me on what to do or should i continue to wait?

  • Hillary December 25, 2016, 3:00 pm | Link

    Hello my name is Hillary and I applied for the 189 visa. Case officer made contact on the 2nd September asking for PCC, medicals for me, siblings, parents and girl friend. In addition, he also asked for evidence of the defacto relationship with my girlfriend.

    I went ahead and submitted my PCC and medical on 9th September. However, I had not intended to include my siblings, parents and girlfriend in the application as they are not dependant on me. I thus filled form 1023 “notification of incorrect answers”
    Requesting for them to be removed from the application and also me and my girlfriend friend stay separately hence not in a defacto relationship. I have not heard from DIBP since and my siblings Ns parents are still included in my application when I check my immi account. I am getting worried, could this impact on me getting the visa?

  • NISHA jaishwal December 20, 2016, 3:14 pm | Link

    My spouse has overstayed and donot hold any degree due to financial problem in cyprus and he has not performed any criminal activities there.So, my concern is that is there any problem or threat which may occur during visa process.

  • Rohit December 13, 2016, 7:08 am | Link

    Hi, I have applied for permanent residency last year (august 2015). I am on bridge visa in Brisbane,Queensland.
    I don’t know if anyone can help or suggest me about how long I have to wait to get any answers from Australian embassy. I applied through a solicitor.. all paperworks are up to date but still don’t know why there taking so long .
    Can I got directly to embassy and ask someone there.

    Any help???

  • Fred Little December 3, 2016, 9:43 pm | Link

    Dear Sir, Madam; I hope you can help my wife and I. I am Australian, my wife is Canadian. We live in Australia, My wife was refused temporary status. due to Psychiatric issues. Immigration wants to deport her back to Canada. I lived in Canada for 40 years. We have a home/furniture. We also have a Psychiatric service dog. I am my wife’s carer. We have no money to go back to Canada. I can’t imagine they would send her back, without me, since I am Australian. Thanks Angie, ZOE [dog] Fred.

    • Mark December 4, 2016, 9:59 am | Link

      Hi Fred There is sadly no immediate answer you will find on here… You really need some legal help .it can be found on the internet and may possibly come aided to you financially. There will be a lot more to this than the few lines you have written above I am sure. Do not share anymore of it with us but google for something like …legal aid for visa. …. talk to someone who can really help you. Speak to the organisation who supplied the dog or ask someone who helps you to help find someone for you to deal with this.

      • BobinOz December 5, 2016, 12:08 am | Link

        Yes, as Mark has suggested, you really need to get professional legal assistance as soon as possible. I’m not sure if this is something that iarc.asn.au can help with, but they might be worth a look. Good luck, Bob

  • Rod November 23, 2016, 5:36 am | Link

    Your migration assessment seems oriented towards job seekers, but what about retirees? My situation is that I’m an Australian citizen by birth living with my wife in the U.S., and we would like to move to Oz permanently. My passport application is in process. Who do you recommend for helping us with assessing her for a resident visa, and helping to push it through? What costs might we expect for this help? Thanks so much!

    • BobinOz November 24, 2016, 8:26 pm | Link

      Hi Rod

      Sorry for the delay in my response, I wanted to speak to my MARA agent first about this. I do know that he is quite capable of dealing with all kind of visa applications, including retirement, but I wanted to run your situation past him.

      He tells me that he would be happy to look at your case, not so much on the retirement side, but more on the partner situation as you are an Australian citizen. A key to that apparently is you being able to prove you have the wherewithal to support your wife as your partner here in Australia.

      If you do want him to help you, please go ahead and purchase an assessment but do not complete the usual questionnaire you will receive by email. Instead replied direct to me, the email comes from my address, and I will let you know the information you would need to supply in order to progress this.

      It is difficult to almost impossible to quote accurate costs until my agent knows how much work is involved, but the fees applicable to the government for the visa and the fees my MARA agent will charge you will be clearly explained to you in writing as part of this process.

      Hope that helps, Bob

      • Rod December 4, 2016, 4:44 pm | Link

        Hi Bob, thanks for the response, much appreciated! We have some assessment to do on this end first, and I will plan to proceed as you suggest after that is done.

  • Lisa November 23, 2016, 4:06 am | Link

    Hi all

    We are very much at the idea stage but have a question… when do you actually pay for the visa? I have calculated that it will cost about £4500 for a skilled visa for myself with my partner and 2 children on it but cannot seem to find when I pay. Is it all in one go at the beginning of the application???
    Thank you

    • Mark November 23, 2016, 8:42 am | Link

      Hi Lisa If your at the idea stage your money is safe with you for now…there are fees to pay along the way such as assessment fees etc etc and if you are using an agent, (highly recommended ) their fees…Their is no fixed time frame but as an idea we started our application in February..paid some small fees assessment etc and paid the visas in mid September receiving them in late October…Id liken it to paying for small entry fees in a competition before you get to the chance to compete in the finals but your pretty sure you will win in the finals…..We used an agent as well who only took part payments. but we had a 45th birthday looming in the October..cutting it fine. Also you have to look at it as a business venture a little. Your investing £4500 (it will be more with other expenses) but for what most believe is a higher reward…I was well paid in the UK (legal pro, without making me sound a stuffed shirt) my wife a teacher now on a salary she would struggle to get as a head in UK.

      • Lisa November 23, 2016, 9:31 am | Link

        Thank you for replying Mark.
        So you paid the final (largest) amount towards the end of the process, is that right?
        I’m a teacher too and hoping to get a visa based on that. Great to hear that the pay is good. Was it difficult to find a job?

        • Mark November 23, 2016, 10:48 am | Link

          Hi Yes arguably paid towards the end…its likely your getting the Visa soon after… My wife was our lead on the visa despite my job as I still work for my London based company…in fairness they paid all our expenses.. She applied for around 6 jobs prior to the visa grant 5 said get in touch when you have your visa thanks but no thanks The Friday we got the visa phone call, she applied for another one that weekend and emailed the others that had said keep in touch…Tuesday email for interview for new application Thursday interview Friday got offered the job…One of the others came back pre appointment offered and had an interview as well offered that position Monday but had accepted the first one…She was probably height of right timing, right place . It may not work anywhere near as well You may have to come out here to get one even … My point I make is probably not worth applying till you have a visa , you may also likely need to join the Aussie state version of what was the GTC…No OFSTED here, no silly heads, making life a misery because they want to work for OFSTED themselves and have to be School of Outstanding first…Job market is perhaps a bit (marginally) tougher since we arrived but teachers will always be wanted. Salary mmmm my wife forget to ask the question what the salary was and thought will wait till contract arrives… She was stuck for words.. Its more than a maximum grade 1 head 2016 UK…You will see why I say treat it as a business venture almost the cost…Sydney Melbourne Brisbane are perhaps your best options dependant on Visa eg any state sponsorship or the like..I cant guarantee it, no one can, but you will be happier, id put good money on it…Bob has my email…happy to offer any help guidance…or rather my wife can..We were helped pre and when we arrived by strangers, its kind of the Aussie way so I figure I can repay them by helping others, hence even helping on here… I’m well looked after in my profession but Teachers are in my view pushed and pushed in UK to breaking point…no wonder so many quit. Its becoming a thankless job…just google teachers quitting UK in droves yiu probably already know …if your husband is reading, You will likely have a far happier wife, not planning till midnight, plus many other benefits. leap of faith needed now oh and a visa…

          • Lisa November 23, 2016, 5:18 pm | Link

            Just what I needed to hear! Thank you so much!
            Let the skills testing begin!

  • t m raviteja November 14, 2016, 4:20 pm | Link

    I am Teja, I got my visa(Skilled Recognised Graduate visa, 467) on 20th of October 2016 and I am planning to move to Australia by 20th of January 2017. I need to know about the skill assessment processing, as I am having all 6 in my IELTS general, my friend told me that it is sufficient for the skill assessment. Can you plz explain me about skill assessment…

    and can you plz mention any other things which i should to before entering Australia…

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