The world of Australian immigration is everchanging. On July 1, several legislative requirements (new or previously announced) will come into effect. To help you get ready for these changes, we have prepared a helpful guide to assist you to be as ready and prepared to lodge a visa application as you can be.
#1 Visa expiry date
The changes introduced on 1 July will make all aspects of applying for an Australian visa more difficult. Historically, June and December have proven to be peak months for application lodgements with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). Be prepared and do not leave anything till the last day to avoid being stuck in an unfavourable situation. Check the expiry of your visa and aim to submit your application (or instruct your agent to do so) well before expiry of your current visa. Be aware that frequent system outages are to be expected.
#2 Time of application criteria
The ‘time of application’ criteria is prevalent in many Australian visas and include age, English or skills requirement. It is important that you are aware of the time of application requirements that are relevant to the visa subclass you are making an application for. If this criterion is not met, your application may be refused which can cause restrictions on the types of subsequent visas you may be able to apply for whilst in Australia.
#3 Fees and charges
Every year the DIBP updates their fees and charges. These can be found on their website. It is important to be aware of the new fees in order to budget for visa applications. Your application may be invalid if you pay the incorrect fee.
#4 New or additional requirements
Many applicants get caught out by new or additional requirements because they are not aware or rely on outdated information. For example, starting from 1 July certain visa subclasses that require evidence of English will require higher test scores. Consequently, an English test result which may meet the requirements at present, may be considered insufficient from 1 July. Also, certain concessions or exemptions may be removed. It is important to be aware of these requirements when preparing a visa application.
#5 Professional assistance
As Australian immigration is always changing, it is important to seek professional advice and assistance from a Registered Agent or an Immigration Lawyer. Lodging an application for a visa can seem like a daunting experience, but being prepared and being fully aware of visa requirements are paramount. Your agent can provide you advice, strategy, quality assurance and a peace of mind.