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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{ 938 comments… add one }
  • shivkartik August 31, 2017, 11:57 pm | Link

    Hi Ben,
    I’m planning to apply for student visa on TRADE COURSE Level 4/5 by next month. But my friends saying that success rate of getting student visa for trade course(vet) is very low comparing with UG/PG courses. kindly let me knw is that true.

  • Lafi August 19, 2017, 11:50 am | Link

    I Lodged an application for visa subclass 190 in 2/6/2017 and the processing time back then was 75% 4 months and 90% 7 months but now it is different 75% 11 months and 90% 15 months, my question is in which processing time I impacted the first one or the last one.
    thanks in advance,

    • Ben August 25, 2017, 1:31 pm | Link

      This is a great question. I similarly lodged my application for a 189 on 31st July at which point the stats/ were 75% within 4 and 90% within 7mths. This went out to 8 and ? and is now also 11 and 15 (these are similar visas). Presumably this is in part down to the extra load of the new options for NZ citizens but it’s a significantly different equation.

      What would really be interesting to understand is what the spread of processing times is within the period. What is the minimum duration? Do some people’s applications get processed within, say, 2mths or is there no chance of getting the visa granted before 6 or 8mths or whatever.

      If and when my visa gets granted I’ll try to remember to drop back on here and give my processing time.

      • Lafi August 25, 2017, 4:00 pm | Link

        Yes, Visa 190 and 189 is very similar, and If my visa gets granted I’ll drop back on here and give my processing time too. And I hope someone can answer the question, because processing time is unclear subject, at least for me

        • mwangi August 25, 2017, 6:55 pm | Link

          No one has an answer to this one? I also lodged in May for 489 and timelines have changed from 6 and 8 months to 9 and 13 months 75% and 90% respectively.

          Bob? 

          • Lafi August 25, 2017, 7:20 pm | Link

            If that is true, then the only thing left out is waiting and hope the best for every one.

          • BobinOz August 25, 2017, 11:09 pm | Link

            I don’t know the answer to this one, which is why I’ve been staying out of it. All we can do is try and guess why they keep pushing back the timelines and at the same time wait patiently to hear from them.

      • Ben September 7, 2017, 6:54 am | Link

        I was contacted by DIBP on 5th Sept. for more info regarding my overseas employment. I managed to dig out someUK Tax Summary statements and historical pension payments (neither unfort. confirming the employer but hopefully they’ll suffice). I resubmitted 6th Sept..

        • BobinOz September 9, 2017, 12:04 am | Link

          Well, at least they are still on it.

  • Prabhat pokharel August 12, 2017, 12:06 pm | Link

    I’ve lived in Australia for last 10 years in student visa . I completed my bachelors degree and while i was doing my masters degree i didnt complete it and cane back to nepal because my visa was about to expire . I didnt breach any visa condition and came home. Now i want to apply for student visa again with new course MBA previously i was doing MA . Will i satisfy ghe GTE condition or i get refusal for student visa

  • Miriam Godwood August 8, 2017, 9:46 am | Link

    Hi. I have a 189 visa as a nurse. But do i have to actually work in nursing or work at all if my husband is working.

    • Ben August 25, 2017, 1:37 pm | Link


      Surely you should be able to answer this for yourself by checking the visa paperwork that you received when the visa was granted!

      Good luck

  • diamond August 4, 2017, 7:51 pm | Link

    hi .
    i applied june 1 for tourist australian visa .. it was a mistake coz instead of 3 months i put 12 months .. now i want to apply for 3months tourist visa again .. im so confused coz i dont know where i send the letter for case officer for them to know and not to confused why i refused for the first time .. i dont know what to do .. pls help .. and if i need to write a letter for the case officer where i upload ?.. thank you ..

  • Hannah July 25, 2017, 1:03 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    May I ask you this question regarding to visa 457-foreign police certificate?
    2015 I’ve got one foreign police certificate and submitted to IMMI for visa 485 in 2015.
    2017 now I’m going to do another visa 457, can I still use that foreign police certificate-2015 for 2017 v457 application? (P.S. I’ve been staying in Australia since 2015, didn’t travel out Aus from 2015-2017).
    Thank you for your feedbacks.

    • BobinOz July 25, 2017, 11:26 pm | Link

      My understanding is that police checks only lasts for 12 months, but given your situation, I’m not sure how you can get a fresh one or why you would need to do it. But then I’m not a MARA registered migration agent and I don’t know all the rules (which is why I don’t answer questions like this), so the simple answer is I don’t know.

      If I were you though, I would ask your case officer if it’s okay to use this old certificate on the basis that you have not been back to the UK since it was issued.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Hadey July 25, 2017, 11:43 am | Link

    I applied for my student visa on 23rd June, My university commencement date was 24th july( actually it was on 10th). Please let me know if I can get the visa, What is the current processing time for Australian student visa. What should i do if i do not get the visa? Please suggest me.

  • Sairam July 10, 2017, 4:45 pm | Link

    I applied for my student visa on 30th June, My university extended the commencement date to 24th july( actually it was on 10th). Please let me will i get the visa, What is the current processing time foe Australian student visa foe Indians. What should i do if i do not get the visa? Please suggest me.

  • Uche Nonso July 9, 2017, 11:48 pm | Link

    My Son gote admission to study in a Australia collage of education with a date to resume in school, and he has paid his tuition fees but embassy refuse him visa saying that he is qualified to study in Australia. Please can the school refunds him the tuition fees he paid. Please What is another way to make this right.

    • BobinOz July 10, 2017, 7:00 pm | Link

      This isn’t something I can help with, you will need to speak to the school directly with regards to a refund.

  • Rojal Nepal July 5, 2017, 6:08 pm | Link

    Can somebody tell of which month spouse visa applied applicant is getting visa. I mean to say like currently most of the applicant getting spouse visa of those who had applied on Jan 2017 or ,,,,,

  • madhuri July 4, 2017, 2:54 pm | Link

    Hi .I have applied visa on 15th April.Till now i did not any mail or status update from Australian government it is almost 11 weeks 3 days i heard that it only takes 12 weeks of time to finalize the visa but up to now i dint even receive medical’s too.Please let me know still how many days of time will it take to finalize

    • BobinOz July 4, 2017, 11:56 pm | Link

      There is no set time limit on this, but if you are concerned, I don’t see any harm in you contacting them to at least check they have received your application.

      • Madhuri July 5, 2017, 2:34 am | Link

        Thank you for the reply….before I applied visa on march and visa got refused within 2 weeks stating that I may not return to India . Then I reapplied again by submitting all the necessary documents that I will return to india.i applied again on April 15th upto now there is no communication received from embassy and application is only in received status.Please is there are any chances of my visa approving this time . I didn’t even received medicals to.Please reply on this .visa is very important to me and am very much worrying about visa

      • bhesh raj August 14, 2017, 8:08 pm | Link

        i have applied on March 26 2017 still not got a dependent visa why

    • Srikar July 5, 2017, 5:35 pm | Link

      even iam waiting for the same , i have applied visa on 1st june but till now i dint get any update

      • Madhuri July 5, 2017, 7:28 pm | Link

        Hi what type of visa had you lodged?

  • Mini July 3, 2017, 6:55 pm | Link

    Once we have 189, can I travel straight to Australia and then look for an opening or do I need to have a job to travel to Australia? Also can I apply for PR straight after obtaining the visa or do I have to have a job there for applying for PR? Can I initiate PR when am in Australia or even from outside country (I know this does not make much sense to apply for PR from outside country)?

    • Manpreet July 4, 2017, 6:27 pm | Link

      189 is itself a permanent visa which gives you status of permanent resident. Having 189 visa you can visit , work and live in Australia for indefinite period.

      • Mini July 5, 2017, 7:28 pm | Link

        Thanks very much

  • Rojal Nepal June 30, 2017, 1:59 am | Link

    Do the increment in number of student visa applicants effect partner visa processing time in Australian High Commission New Delhi ?

  • Kalyan June 28, 2017, 7:50 pm | Link

    My wife is in Australia from 2 n half month and her grandfather has critical health problem .and is it possible that can be back for a week to see her grandfather..??

    • Madhuri July 5, 2017, 7:32 pm | Link

      Hi on which visa is ur wife is in Australia?

  • Dirk June 28, 2017, 6:23 pm | Link

    If I’m married at the time of applying for PR, Can’t I apply it ‘only’ for me?

    I’m planning to apply for PR (skilled independent visa) and to get more points for age, I want to apply it before I turn 33 (3 months from now). I plan to apply for ACS on July 1st and expecting a reply in 10 to 12 weeks and if everything goes fine, I’m good.
    But there I get a question due to my personal life. I was married and we applied for mutual divorce 4 months back. Court had given the date for second motion after 8 months (4 months from now). What status (Married?) should I mention when I apply after getting a response from ACS? If I mention that I’m married, do they want me to provide any document from my current wife (future ex wife)? Someone mentioned that if I’m married at the time of applying for PR, I can’t apply it only for me. I must apply it for the family. I don’t have any kids out of the marriage.

  • Yong June 27, 2017, 3:58 pm | Link

    Hi there,
    Good day. My wife is currently working in Adelaide with 457 visa and I am holding the partnership visa as well. We have lodged an application for visa 187 with my wife as the main applicant. If the application is successful, can I work in non-regional area (e.g. Sydney) since I am not the main applicant? Your information would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you!

  • Rojal Nepal June 10, 2017, 11:09 pm | Link

    My wife has got PR and she came to Nepal on 23rd June and we got married on 7th Feb and after she returned to Aus on 26 th Feb 2017 after living 2-3 weeks together. So, On march 7,2017 we lodge Partner visa 309 online. After 2months Case Officer has been assigned and even asked for Police certificate of me and my wife which we have already proivded. For the sake of faster processing I already did Medical test also. My wife as sponsor has also been interviewed by Case Officer. Now its 3months 3 days running. We are unaware of visa progress. So, thinking to send mail inquiry for visa process progress, Shall we do that, do that make any negative impact on the process? Please advice. Thank you!

    • BobinOz June 12, 2017, 9:13 pm | Link

      That’s impossible to answer, three months does seem a long time to hear nothing. It’s hard to think that you would be penalised simply for asking for an update, but if you do chase it up and then you don’t get the visa you are hoping for, then you will always think that maybe you should have just waited.

      I think this is called ‘in between a rock and a hard place’ 🙂

  • Gurpreet chahal May 31, 2017, 3:18 pm | Link

    visa officer demands for 2nd instalment or evidence of functional English . and I provided evidence on 5th of July, its more than two months still application under process. so my question is it sure to visa grant when they demand for 2nd instalments, and how much time they will take to grant after this?

    • Angelo Fiedler June 6, 2017, 12:06 am | Link

      I’ve never heard of a case of a refusal after they requested VAC2.
      In my case I got the grant after 7 days of the payment confirmation. Good luck!

  • shaby May 26, 2017, 11:00 pm | Link

    i applied for aus residency visa,and got state nomination by nsw.as said by them i provided all the documents like english test ,medical,education ,etc.and they asked me to pay the fees ,which i haved done too.but now i received a mail from aus gov tht u dont have english test .pls can anyone help me out with the same???

    • BobinOz May 29, 2017, 7:06 pm | Link

      Have a look at my page about How to Pass IELTS and be sure to also read the update at the bottom of that page.

      Hope that helps, Bob

  • Samahare Ghoneim May 2, 2017, 2:57 pm | Link

    I want my sister to come to Australia from Lebanon to help with my pregnancy she is 17 and 9 months because I’m going through so much pain because I got a syst growing aswell thankyou I am in Australia on a marriage visa

  • Vidushi April 18, 2017, 3:23 pm | Link

    Hi bob…have been following yr blog ever since we decided on relocating to Australia. We have applied for 189 skilled visa . Its been 5months and have not received anything. They are increasing the timelines every month. Earlier it was 3 months..now 5 to 7 months. Checked our immi account everything seems clear but still no grant. Are there any changes made in the policies?? Is it something to be worried about.
    Really feeling helpless!

    • BobinOz April 19, 2017, 12:05 am | Link

      They have just made changes to the 457 visa, but not the 189. My understanding with immigration is that once an application is received, the terms and conditions at that time are honoured. Any changes made do not affect applications already in and waiting processing.

      I’m not a MARA agent though and I don’t know all the rules, so if you used a MARA agent for your application, have a word with them to see if they can help.

    • Mini July 3, 2017, 7:02 pm | Link

      Hi, Can I know if you received something from the Australian authorities? Also can I please know your total score? Thanks

      • Vidushi September 19, 2017, 5:06 pm | Link

        Hey Mini..! Just got our visa yesterday..after 10 months of application. They are taking too long extending the time every month. All the best..Keep patience!

  • Matt March 25, 2017, 5:37 am | Link

    Not sure anyone reading this knows the answer……but…….
    My partner has a positive skills assessment and a job offer with regional migration sponsorship which is currently with the RCB in VIC.
    Due to its close proximity to Melbourne three MARA agents have said I can work in the CBD as the regional restriction is only in relation to the main applicant – my partner.
    Any advice or similar experiences??

    • Mark March 25, 2017, 8:40 am | Link

      Hi Matt its not clear whether you are looking for back up of what the MARA agents have said or looking for pitfalls and advice about it and you accept what they say…. Yes they are somewhat correct in my opinion but I do not know the full facts…My wife is on a sponsored visa and I work for a company in LA and London. Ours isn’t regional which from my understanding is you partner will be working in regional Victoria. You say close proximity but I have learned since being here, Melbourne is a big area without as much traffic as London, it can still take forever to get from one side to the other. My point being it may be easier for you to give an idea of location of the work and then where you are looking to live eg work in Torquay live in Geelong (in the middle) so you can work in the CBD,.as an example that would be a tough commute.
      Many dont seem to realise how big Melbourne Metro area is and the CBD is only a small area of it, Its like comparing London to City of London. Id say the bigger percentage of jobs are outside it easily but it again depends on what you are looking at doing and for whom. There are several Regional certifying bodies in Victoria so I cant narrow your question down.

      • Matt March 26, 2017, 2:40 am | Link

        Hi Mark

        The job (my wife’s) is in Geelong. We will look to live in Lara which is just about as close to Melbourne as we can get within the rules of the 187 visa.

        My job here in the UK is as a Police Officer and so I will probably look to work for Victoria Police or the state government in some form if I can.

        The MARA agent has been paid by the employer and is lodging the paperwork with the RCB (I assume Geelong).

        Many thanks again.


        • Mark March 26, 2017, 11:25 am | Link

          Hi Matt
          Condolences to the thin blue line after last week, ‘It may be a bit thinner but will never break’.
          OK to Geelong yes it has its own RCB. I imagine you yourself might find a job there but appreciate you wont want to live where you work. I am guessing you have two years to do on the visa and its a way in for you both. Congratulations on that! Victoria Police are currently advertising a lot for officers so that may be good news. Id get in touch no harm asking pre-arrival. I mention about the two years as it may likely be a move after a few years as I feel a hankering by you to be near the city which you may find will pass. From Lara you are looking at around 45 minutes clear to 1.20 traffic run to the city. Another option is to look at somewhere on the Ballarine Peninsula. We have a beach house we use in Ocean Grove (Sunset Strip even) its OK but I do love it the other side of the bay. there is a ferry. Other alternative is to look towards Torquay. Its worth the look at least. If your long term plans are to be closer to Melbourne then it doesn’t matter whether Lara or Torquay. There is a ferry even from Queenscliff to Sorrento. The link here is Metropolitan Melbourne http://www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au/living-in-victoria/melbourne-and-regional-victoria/melbourne#.WNbol_mGO00 so regional follows it must be outside. A commute to the city is do able from Lara but not sure you need it.
          I dont have much love for the Geelong to to say Hoppers crossing run there isn’t much there, even the suburbs Point Cook as an example is still shouting for more infrastructure, it is still developing though, hence my best suggestion is look south or west into whats called the Ballarine then at least you have the beaches and so on. Look at Torquay, Ocean Grove all within 20 minutes drive for your other half. Hope this helps for now.

          • Matt March 26, 2017, 9:06 pm | Link

            Hi Mark

            Thank you for the response and for the condolences. I never new the gentleman but would have been at Hendon at the same time training for the Metropolitan Police.

            I have found a contact from Victoria Police who is a sergeant and offered to meet me upon my arrival to discuss an application. The 187 is a permanent residency visa and in that case is acceptable to them it was just the whole working in a regional area which was confusing but the MARA agents have said it isn’t an issue so long as the main applicant is working regional.

            I have saved these emails to submit with any applications. I did email immigration and they replied saying it’s a matter for the employer!

            My issue with joining the Police is shift work with my partner working full time including late nights and Saturdays when child care / school facilities are closed.

            Hopefully I will be able to find something suitable at least for the first 18 months and then look at an application to the Police. Thanks for the advice on commutes etc – it’s hard to wok anything out from looking at Google maps!!!

            Anything else you think of let me know!

            • Mark March 27, 2017, 9:46 am | Link

              Hi Matt I have several acquaintances in the MPS from working alongside them in my line. One emailed last week, not work related, “Several are looking to go, no one signed up for this”. was one comment in an email. He went on to ask me about coming out here. Hence I knew about Vic P looking for officers, I imagine your a shoo-in for it. I am not sure what else I can tell you for now. there is loads of things but I know not what you need.
              Tricks how to get a rental property, which if I put on here wont be a trick anymore. When are you looking at or have you no idea yet? ….You can always ask Bob for my email now or closer the time.I even have UK office numbers that divert to me if you need.
              The forum is supposed to share with all but sometimes the finer details are not for here. Stop worrying about the visa thing. Its fine, you can work anywhere, They will email your wife every six months asking for details and the home address and job are key. You actually become a non event for the visa. There are a lot of things that look very efficient on paperwork and complicated when going through the visa process. I feel when you get the other end and arrive here it becomes totally different.
              Children will make it tougher I grant you. its sounds like daddy day care for a while… Same here. though I work odd hours with USA and UK. I am pretty sure you will have a better future here and that goes for them too. As I say lots of things like bring you things with you even the big TV dont be fooled it wont work. Some dont but most do as long as they can be tuned a different way. Our children felt far happier when their possessions arrived it was like Christmas all over again, Its the little things folk forget like claim your tax back in UK if on PAYE as I say lots of little things happy to point in a direction even schools as my wife’s a teacher. .
              Then here more things, best phone service, internet etc, done all that been there but as I say happy to help, Its the Aussie way. We were helped phenomenally when we arrived and I had a company house to use. all sorts. We met some folk yesterday at an event half an hour later they asked us to dinner Friday (you have to get used to that) as Bob may have mentioned somewhere never turn an invite down.
              Geelong has a predominant Greek community, its older looking in places than some parts of Victoria but with the Great ocean road on your doorstep (don’t try and do it in one day) I did, its was like the Benny Hill chase scenes in and out of car. Make sure Grandma or the like have a laptop with some form of communication loaded before you leave. copy all you car insurance renewals for proof of no claims and all your Ids onto a stick (just dont lose it) You could make a long To do’s list.

              • Matt March 29, 2017, 6:18 am | Link

                Hi Mark

                Thanks for all of the advice – it’s really appreciated.

                Fingers crossed the immigration process will go as smoothly as it can! Although I note that the wait time is now 11 months for a 187 visa!

                • Mark March 29, 2017, 7:05 am | Link

                  Good luck with it all. It will take quite a few months to shut things down in the UK. Little things that mount up like that account with £300 in it for a rainy day its no point keeping. Selling stuff off and so on
                  I think the regional sponsored visas can move along quickly as they need the person. We started the process around this time and were gone by Christmas. It was fairly full on between normal life.

                  • Matt March 29, 2017, 4:23 pm | Link

                    Cheers Mark…..I’ll keep you posted. If you know anyone looking for staff in Melbourne that I would be a good fit for then let me know!

  • Mark M March 4, 2017, 7:06 am | Link

    My wife is an Australian citizen. I am Canadian. We have been legally married for 10 years. We currently live in Canada. We’re planning to move to AUS around April 2018.
    Must I necessarily apply for a partner visa whilst outside of AUS (subclass 309)? Or can I travel to AUS on a visitor/tourist/ETA visa and then apply for the partner visa (subclass 820) while in AUS, obtaining a bridging visa if necessary while waiting for the application to process?
    Would love to hear from anyone who might have taken this route or contemplated it.
    Would DIBP even address this question or would I have to seek counsel from a MARA agent?

  • Max March 3, 2017, 5:04 am | Link

    Hey Bob and everyone,
    this is a really great and inspiring site and I like to say thanks for all the info i ‘ve received so far. there are two more questions i havent found an answer yet.
    1. what might happen, if I get a visa 190 for South Australia and go for different Job than my nominated occupation. In my case it might be Quality Assurance Manager, but what if I work as a Supervisior on a fruit farm or whatever ?
    2. The QA Manager is now listed on the South Australian CSOL under low availablity. So, of course I know nobody can predict the future, but has anyone an opinion about what could happen, if I apply in may or june and when the new list is published in July and the occupation is not on the list anymore before a decision was made? will my money be gone for good ? and does anyone have expierences if its realistic that a low availabilty occupation might turn higher or does it rather stay that low after the new lists came out ?
    Like mentioned I know nobody will know for sure, I just would be very happy with just some opinions …
    Cheers everyone !!

  • Mollie February 28, 2017, 2:46 am | Link

    Hello! Great site guys, wish I had found it years ago!

    I just have a quick question really, I will be applying for the Resident Return Visa subclass 157 soon but I have a holiday to Australia for a fortnight booked in mid-June. I just want to know, if I apply for the visa and it is still being processed in mid-June, would I be able to get a holiday visa for my trip? Or can you not have a visa & a visa being processed at the same time?

    Hope this makes sense! Thanks in advance 🙂 Mollie

  • Justin February 27, 2017, 6:02 pm | Link

    Can i apply for student visa in australia if one of my parents is an illegal immigrant there? What are my chances?

    • Mark February 27, 2017, 6:11 pm | Link

      Absolutely no idea and doubt anyone will, its kind of like asking can I get a job at the Gold depository if my fathers a convicted gold bullion thief. As I assume your not with that parent and live or have lived with the other one you may want to apply but may end up dropping said illegal immigrant in it..

  • Nushma Baber February 26, 2017, 11:45 pm | Link

    Hey, me and my husband filed for my partner visa in January of 2017. Since we belong to a high risk country how long do you think the process will take? Also is it OK if I get a visit visa and go live with him for a few months?

  • Diya February 22, 2017, 4:29 am | Link

    Hi, Can we get 485 visa if the main applicant is pregnant ?

  • 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

      • karan May 22, 2017, 6:33 pm | Link

        Hi, I lodge my 489 visa file in Feb and employment varification done on 16 May could anyone tell how long does it take to finalized. And how we can guess its positive or negative

        • Mandy July 21, 2017, 10:27 pm | Link

          Hi, karan I also lodge my top visa file in Feb and for employment varification on15th may but after that there is no update😕have u got it visa??

  • 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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