Applying for an Australian visa is often a daunting prospect. There are countless visa subclasses and each one has its own specifications and guidelines.
Whether you choose to navigate the visa landscape and lodge your application yourself, or use the services of a Migration Agent, is entirely down to personal choice.
However, a Migration Agent will support you every step of the way, dramatically reducing the stress and hassle of obtaining an Australian visa. How exactly can a Migration Agent help you? Let’s take a closer look...
Changes, changes, changes...
Australia’s migration programme is constantly changing and keeping track of the updates and amendments is really challenging.
During the past two years, for example, we’ve seen major changes to Australia’s Skilled Occupation Lists in relation to employer sponsored visas and General Skilled Migration. SkillSelect point score requirements change regularly and many Australian states have altered their State Migration Plans.
Migration Agents are always up to date with migration changes, including law updates, state-specific changes and new visa options and will help you to submit a carefully planned and meticulous application.
Visas are often more complex than you think
A visa application can initially appear to be manageable and straightforward, but when you start the application process, further complications are revealed.
Partner Visas, for example, have a whole host of specific requirements and a failure to fulfil all the necessary conditions often leads to visa refusal.
The Graduate Temporary 485 Visa is another one that’s subject to pitfalls - students often decide to lodge this visa themselves and can miss key requirements. It’s easy to choose the wrong stream within the 485 Visa, resulting in visa refusal, or a visa with a shorter validity period.
This visa also has a number of ‘time of application’ requirements, such as evidence of English Language testing, police clearances and health insurance. Failing to provide these time of application requirements often results in visa refusal.
Experienced Migration Agents have a detailed knowledge of migration regulations and procedures. They have a full awareness of pre-lodgement requirements and will make sure that all necessary details are completed at the time of lodgement.
No second chances with some visas
If your visa application is refused, not only will you lose your application fee (often a substantial figure), you may also be subject to further consequences, including:
- A Section 48 bar if your onshore visa application was refused - this would prevent you from lodging further onshore visa applications,
- Missing your ‘window of opportunity’ - some visas specify a timeframe that you must apply within to be eligible,
- Falling outside the age limit for re-applying - many skilled visas specify an age limit,
- A 10-year ban on visa approvals if you’re refused on the basis of providing false or misleading information, and;
- Changes to migration rules after lodgement, which may mean that you’re no longer eligible to re-lodge your application.
Since 20 December 2017, the Department of Immigration falls under the Home Affairs portfolio. This means that Immigration is now closer to other national security agencies and visa applicants may face closer scrutiny around matters such as their identity, whether an application is entirely genuine and whether any supporting evidence contained within their application is false or misleading.
Letting a small mistake or oversight stop you from achieving your migration outcome just isn’t worth the risk - an expert Migration Agent will ensure that your visa application is scrupulous.
Keeping your options open
You may have a particular visa in mind, but experienced Migration Agents will assess your unique situation and advise you on all suitable visa options.
They will pinpoint the visa that’s best suited to your circumstances and have alternative visa options ready in the event of migration rule changes.
Applying for permanent residency can be a long and worrying process and a Migration Agent can provide much-needed support and reassurance during this time.
A go-between with the Department of Home Affairs
Dealing with the Immigration Department can be challenging. Visa applications are no longer assigned a dedicated case officer and are instead processed by teams, making it tricky to discuss a particular aspect of your application.
A general increase in visa applications, along with funding cuts, mean that the majority of clients are now dealt with electronically and reaching the department by telephone is very difficult. Due to processing pressures, Immigration has also indicated that it will refuse applications that are not fully documented.
If Immigration asks for further details or clarification, this request could be difficult to decipher. Applicants could easily misunderstand and fail to provide an essential document.
A professional Migration Agent will ensure that your application is complete at the time of lodgement, reducing the likelihood of further requests from the Department.
However, if you are contacted for further details by Immigration, a Migration Agent can quickly make sense of the request and help you to provide the correct information.
Migration Agents are also familiar with the Immigration Department’s structure and procedures and can raise particular issues with management if necessary.
In the competitive world of Australian migration, having an expert Migration Agent on your side will give you the best possible chance of success.
FastVisa’s experienced Migration Agents are friendly and approachable and can help you to achieve a successful visa outcome.
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