Applying for a Visa in Australia
Aside from the citizens of New Zealand, all foreign nationals entering the Australian territory should have a valid visa. It is a mandatory document required by their government and expats who fail to provide one can either be denied permission to entry or sent back to their country of origin.
The visa application process for Australia varies depending on the volume of applicants applying at the same time. In some cases, approval can take a few weeks or even several years that’s why foreign assignees that have plans on working in this country should start applying for their visa right away. It is best to check with The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship every now and then for an up to date information about the requirements for visa application.
"Although it is very difficult, the great thing with Australia is they provide plenty of information with clear criteria on your chances with an application and how to apply. Then it is up to you to prepare and plan!" - Sofia Machado, Expat in Australia
Types of Visas
- Also known as a tourist visa, this permit is issued to foreign nationals whose purpose for going to Australia is for sight-seeing or to visit a family member. Visitor visa is usually valid for three months, but expats who are on business travel, parents of Australian nationals or under medical treatment can extend its validity for up to 12 months. The three-month visa typically costs AUD$85 to AUD$220 while 12months permit is around AUD$85 to AUD$260.
Temporary Residence Visa
- Foreign nationals who wish to work or stay in Australia from three months up to four years should get the temporary residence visa and in most cases, should have a sponsor. Spouses who are declared as dependents by the expats during the application are also allowed to work in Australia. Keep in mind that those who will be staying in Australia for more than three months should have a proof of health insurance. Also, temporary residence visa doesn’t renew automatically and prohibits the holder to change jobs or employer/sponsor within the length of its validity.
Skilled Migration Visa
- The Skilled Migration Visa is granted to those who want to work in Australia for a longer period. Some of the criteria set by the Australian Immigration is that the expat must be under 45 years old, in good health shape and has outstanding character. Applicants should have a strong command of the English language and have a skill set that are can contribute to the Australian economy. They will also undergo a point-system assessment that will measure their previous work experience, language proficiency and occupational skills.
- The Student Visa normally costs up to AUD$50 and is granted to international students who already got accepted in an Australian school/university and had paid at the first half of his/her annual tuition fee. Applicants must have sufficient financial resources that can support them during their whole stay in the country as well as proof of private health insurance or Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). Student Visa holders should maintain exemplary academic records and should leave Australia after the completion of their course.