General FAQ Questions

Visa Lounge is an Australian immigration law practice based in Brisbane, Australia. We design and deliver customised Australian immigration and visa solutions for businesses and individuals. We also assist with global visas to any country in the world. We have a network of partners across the world, and we work with them to provide people from Australia and other countries with various global visa and immigration services.

During your initial consultation, we will gather all the information we need about your current situation and immigration status, along with details of your future plans and desires. We will then help you to choose the most appropriate visa for your circumstances and assign the best immigration specialist on our team to help you obtain it.

We offer a full range of services for individual visa applications in Australia. We also have a team of experienced corporate immigration specialists who assist businesses across the country with short-term and long-term visa applications for migrant skilled workers. Whether you are looking for a first-class partner visa migration agent or a business visa expert, Visa Lounge is your best option.

The purpose of an initial consultation is to establish which types of visas you qualify for and are most likely to be granted. We do this by gathering as much information as possible about your current circumstances, then discuss the available options with you. Our comprehensive consultations are conducted by Phone, Zoom, Google Meet, WhatsApp. No matter what method you choose, we make sure you receive the same thorough advice and information.

We offer initial free consultations for up to 20 minutes. The fees we charge are based on the complexity of the applications we handle but they are fixed, so there are no unexpected costs to worry about. Furthermore, as we are a registered Australian migrant agents, you know that our fees will always be fair and based on the amount of work we actually do for you.

The reason we always start with a consultation is that we need to be sure we have chosen the most optimal visa for your migration goals. These are the 3 stages: Consultation (strategy), Prepare Visa Application, Monitor Application. Email us to or fill out our online Request Consultation Form, we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.

We accept electronic bank transfers, Visa or Mastercard credit cards and cryptocurrencies.

We are Australian immigration law specialists and registered migration agents with over a decade of experience. A Registered Migration Agent is legally allowed to give immigration and visa advice in Australia. While the benefits of smart immigration strategy may not be well understood by individuals and businesses, Visa Lounge educates, raises awareness, and provides intelligent, responsive solutions through its immigration strategic planning services.

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Partner Visa

You may be able to apply for a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) while in Australia on a Subclass 600 Visitor Visa if you meet the eligibility criteria and you do not have an “8503 - No Further Stay” condition on your visitor visa.

There is no compulsory requirement for you to be in a married relationship before lodging a Partner Visa (subclass 309/100 or subclass 820/801). To be eligible to apply for a partner visa, you can either be in a married relationship OR in a defacto relationship for 12 months before applying OR be in a relationship that is registered under a prescribed Australian state or territory legislation. Quite often, couples are misled to believe that getting married will make it easy for them to be granted a visa. The Department of Immigration still requires evidence of various aspects of a couple's relationship including the financial aspects, social aspects, nature of household and nature of commitment to each other. A marriage certificate alone does not prove that your relationship is genuine and ongoing.

If you are currently in Australia on a student visa and you lodge an onshore Partner Visa, you will be automatically granted a Bridging Visa A. The Bridging Visa A will not come into effect until your student visa expires. This means that you will need to continue your studies and meet all the conditions of your existing visa until it expires or you complete your course. If you stop studying prior to the expiry of your student visa, you will be in breach of your student visa and both your student visa and Bridging Visa A may be subject to cancellation. If you need to stop studying for any reason, it is possible to request the Department of Immigration to cancel your student visa and apply for a Bridging Visa E to remain in Australia until your Partner Visa is granted. Please be aware that the Bridging Visa E does not give you the right to work or study when you apply for it.

The Prospective Marriage Visa and Partner Visa are designed for couples in different stages of their relationship. The Prospective Marriage Visa is for people who are engaged to marry an Australian and wish to enter Australia to marry the fiance(e). This visa can only be applied for from outside Australia. They do not have to be married or be a de facto couple to be eligible. However, the couple must have met in person at least once and intend to marry in Australia within 9 months of visa grant. After the wedding, the next step is to apply for the Partner Visa while in Australia. Meanwhile, the Partner Visa is for people who are already married, in a de facto relationship or in a registered relationship/civil partnership with their Australian partner and wish to migrate to Australia to be with their Australian partner. The first temporary stage of this visa can be applied for either in or outside Australia. The second permanent stage can be either in or outside Australia as well.

The main difference between these two subclasses of partner visas is that the Subclass 820 can only be lodged within Australia and the Subclass 309 can only be lodged from outside Australia. The Subclass 820 visa application will result in a bridging visa which allows you to remain in Australia until the visa is decided whereas you will normally need to wait for the grant of the Subclass 309 visa before you can travel to Australia. Which visa you lodge will depend on your physical location and personal situation.

When submitting evidence of a de facto relationship, applicants must be able to demonstrate that their relationship has existed for at least 12 months before the application is submitted to the Department of Immigration. The Department will assess whether the the relationship is a genuine ongoing relationship to the exclusion of all others based on history of the relationship, financial aspects, social aspects, nature of the household, commitment to each other, and future plans of the couple. The documents you provide must therefore evidence these parts of your relationships e.g. photos of dates and social outings, joint bank account statements, joint tenancy agreements. Other evidence includes proof of your identity, witness statements attesting to your relationship, and health and character checks.

If you have lodged a Partner Visa (Subclass 820/801) application while in Australia on a substantive visa, you will be granted a Bridging Visa A which automatically comes with the right to work in Australia. There are some situations where you may not be automatically granted work rights, for example, if you were not holding a substantive visa when you applied for the Partner Visa. In that case, you will have to show to the Department of Immigration you will be in financial hardship if you are not able to work to apply for a new bridging visa with work rights. Once your first stage temporary Partner Visa is granted, you will have full work rights, and this continues after you have your permanent residency.

Not if you are married or you have been in a relationship for 12 months and therefore you meet the 12 months de facto relationship requirement. There are Australian states that do not accept civil partnerships therefore you can apply for a partner visa as a married or de-facto couple only. If you have not been in a 12 month relationship, it may be possible to apply for a partner visa with a civil partnership certificate however it is best to get professional advice as to whether you meet all the legislative requirements of a partner visa.

The permanent 801 partner visa is preceded by the 820 provisional partner visa. Once you have been granted your 820 visa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will seek further evidence of your ongoing relationship approximately 20 to 21 months after the date of your application for your Subclass 820 visa, unless it is satisfied that your relationship is long term, in which case they will grant the permanent visa earlier. DHA will require evidence that your relationship is a continuing and genuine partner relationship and that you and your partner continue to live together. Once DHA receives this evidence and is satisfied of the genuineness of your relationship, it will usually grant the permanent 801 visa shortly after two years from the date of your initial application. As with any visa application, the time DHA takes to process the second stage of the partner visa will vary on a case-by-case basis.

Business Sponsor License

Yes, any business that is a registered business and has been operating lawfully in Australia can apply for a standard business sponsorship.

Yes, an overseas business can apply for a standard business sponsorship, and this is very common thing to do for businesses who for example, plan to set up a subsidiary in Australia and require a business development person on ground.

The business must provide supporting documents to demonstrate long-term financial viability and lawful operation. To find out more, book a consultation with us.

Once all the appropriate documents are lodged, it can take as long as 8 weeks (especially where the company is a new company setup), but often the processing time is much shorter than this, at around 4 weeks.

A standard business sponsorship is valid for 5 years from the date of approval.

There is no limitation on the number of people a business can nominate, however the business must have the financial capacity to employ the additional workers.

The employer sponsored visa process is complex and requires a significant financial investment from both the employer and visa applicant. The current nomination application lodgement fee is $330. A payment surcharge may also be applied, with the percentage rate dependent on your method of payment. The sponsoring entity must also pay a Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy at the time of lodgement of the nomination application. The amount payable will depend on the turnover of the business and the proposed term of the TSS visa.

Yes, there are several obligations that the business sponsor must comply with. These include: Cooperate with Department inspectors (can include providing access to business premises and providing requested documents) Retain records (in relation to compliance with sponsorship obligations) Notify the Department of certain events in relation to the entity (including changes to the business name, legal structure and insolvency, etc.) and in relation to the TSS visa holder (including cessation of the employment arrangement or when the duties of the nominated position change). These obligations commence from the date of approval, extending up to 5 years following the end of the sponsorship approval. The Department monitors Sponsors to ensure compliance with these obligations, and sanctions may be applied where breaches have occurred. Penalties can include cancellation of sponsorship approval and financial penalties.

No, the sponsored worker can only work for the approved business sponsor. If the sponsor worker leaves the employment and goes to work for another employer without transferring the visa the sponsored worker is in breach of the visa conditions.

Student Visa

There is no limit to when you can submit your student visa application however it is recommended that you lodge a complete application at least six weeks before your course commences.

Education providers can issue a new Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE). If you hold a valid student visa, your education provider will provide the Department of Home Affairs with your new CoE. If you have an open student visa application, you can attach your new CoE to your application through ImmiAccount. However, if you already hold a student visa and there is a major change in the course that you want to study (for example you study a higher education course but you want to change to a TAFE course), you may be required to lodge a new student visa application.

Condition 8202 requires students to maintain enrolment in a course at the same level or higher Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level for which they obtained the visa. This rule does not apply to students undertaking a doctoral degree (AQF10) or transferring to a master’s degree (AQF9). If you want to change to a lower-level course or non-award course, you must apply for, and be granted, a new student visa before you change your course.

We strongly encourage students to provide all the required information upfront to avoid any delays with the processing of the visa. It depends on the nature of the course, duration, country of passport, education provider what supporting documents you need to provide (particularly financial evidence).

You can apply for another type of visa which is more aligned to your intentions. This should occur as soon as possible, as a visa cancellation decision may impact your future Australian immigration options.

Visitor Visa subclass 600,601,651 Working Holiday Visa subclass 417 and 462 Student Guardian subclass 590

Yes, a student is allowed to work up to 20 hours per week during study period and full-time during school holidays. As a result of the Covid pandemic, the Department of Home Affairs announced a temporary relaxation of the working hours for students.

Yes, there will be additional financial evidence required for your family members, they also need to meet health and character requirements.

If your visa has already expired, this means that you are unlawful and may be subject to detention and deportation. Contact us immediately to discuss your situation and find a legitimate visa solution to regularise your immigration status. If you go to the Department of Home Affairs office, they will give you a very Short Bridging Visa E and instruct you to leave the country. In rare occasions you may be detained. Let us help.

Tourist & Visitor Visa

It is a visa for tourists, business activities or to visit family for 3,6 or 12 months.

The main difference between these visas is that subclass 600 is for all nationalities, subclass 651 is for European Union passport holders only and the ETA subclass 601 visa is for ETA eligible passports only.

This visa lets people 18 to 30 years old (or 35 years old for some countries) have their first extended holiday in Australia and work here to help fund their trip. The visa can be extended in Australia if the visa holder does 3 months of specified work.

No, a tourist visa comes with a ‘No Work’ condition, this means the visa holder is not allowed to work while in Australia as the holder of this visa.

Most visitor visas allow a stay of up to 3 months however it can be granted for longer period with single or multiple entries, you must check your visa grant letter carefully.

It is not possible. Each visa has an expiry date, and if you haven’t lodged an application for a new visa, or been granted a new visa, you will become unlawful once your visa expires. If the expiry date of your visa is getting close, then it is imperative that you apply for a new visa (if that is possible). If you find yourself in this situation, we advise that you seek expert advice about your options from a Registered Migration Agent, as you may find that the options that Department of Home Affairs offers you are limited.

Yes, you can, provided your tourist visa doesn’t have a condition 8503 “No further stay”, which means you can’t apply for any other visa whilst you are onshore. If you do apply for a 482 visa off a tourist visa, your bridging visa associated with your application will have a no work condition attached to it, and you won’t be able to work until your 482 visa is granted unless you apply for a bridging visa with no conditions – meaning you can work.

You need to create an Immi online account and lodge the visa application through this account. You do not need to worry about creating this account, prepare and lodge the visa application if you come to Visa Lounge for immigration assistance.

No. You do need to arrange your visa, but you don't need a physical sticker or label in your passport. If your visa is approved you will be sent a visa confirmation e-mail (approval letter). A visa confirmation email is equivalent to a visa, but there is no stamp or label in your passport and there is no need for you to visit an Australian diplomatic office. Your visa will be electronically linked to your passport number, so when you arrive at an airport for check-in on a flight to Australia, the airline check-in staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia.

Sponsored Work Visa

Yes, you can not apply for a 482 visa unless you have a sponsorship.

Yes, the English language test is required unless you hold a passport from an English-speaking country such as Ireland, UK, Canada, USA.

Subclass 482 sponsored visa can be granted for up to 4 years depending on your nominated occupation, if the occupation is on the short-term skilled occupation list, the 482 visa may be granted for up to 2 years however if the occupation is on the medium- and long-term list, it may be granted for up to 4 years.

Yes, it is possible to extend in Australia.

The 457 and 482 visas have condition '8107' and '8607' attached to them, respectively. In very brief terms this means that while holding your employer-sponsored you can only work for your sponsor in the occupation for which you were nominated. Breaching visa conditions can result in visa cancellation and a three-year exclusion period (ban) from Australia. You can change employers but not until you have a new nomination approved with the new employer. Do not change employers until this time. If you are considering changing employers, please contact us to discuss your situation, or ask your new employer to contact us and we can talk with them directly to help them understand what is involved.

Normally yes you can. But different visas to Australia have different requirements and one answer does not apply to all situations. For example, if you are applying for a working holiday visa you cannot bring your child with you to Australia at any time while you hold that visa. But if you are applying for a permanent skilled migration visa you can include your spouse and children. Another example is applying for an employer sponsored work visa (482). If your employer agrees to include them in your application they can apply too, but if your employer only agrees to sponsor you, your spouse and children cannot be included in your application. The requirements and restrictions on Australian visas differ depending on the visa for which you are applying. So do the costs. You should discuss your individual situation with one of our experienced immigration specialists.

The dependent usually has full work rights and can work for any employer as there is no work limitation condition attached to a dependent applicant’s 482 visa.

The original expiry date of your visa remains the same. The only change is that you have a new employer, and you must work there.

You must act quickly otherwise your visa may be subject to cancellation. If a new employer offers you a position, ensure that the employer becomes an approved sponsor (if not one already) and nominates you immediately for the position so that you can move into paid employment again as soon as possible. Remember that you cannot work for the new employer until the new nomination is approved by the immigration department. The new employer must lodge a new nomination application to take over your existing 482 visa. We are employer sponsored visa experts, please contact us so we can explain and commence the transfer process as soon as possible.

Skilled Visa

The minimum points required is 65 out of 100 to meet the pass mark however in order to be invited to apply for a skilled work visa you may require more points.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is an online application that you need to submit to the Department of Home Affairs including details about your age, qualifications, work experience, English language ability, civil status. The application is free of charge and is lodged online. You do not need to include any documentation. The EOI is a summary of your points, and it is normally valid for two years. It is a critical step of the skilled migration process because you can not make any mistakes, otherwise if you get the invitation and you are not able to demonstrate the points, your visa application will be refused.

No, the Expression of Interest is not a visa application. You will only receive a bridging visa once you have lodged the visa application itself - this would require you to pass skills assessment and receive an invitation beforehand.

Graduate skilled visa subclass 485 is a popular skilled visa which allows visa holders to work full-time upon completion of their Australian study and gain work experience in Australia. Other visas include extensions to skilled visas or permanent stages to provisional skilled visas such as subclass 887 or 888 visas.

Obtain a skills assessment that positively shows your qualifications and relevant work experience to your nominated occupation; Ensure you have met the minimum number of points required at the time you intend to lodge your expression of interest. The Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) opposes additional points cut-offs for occupations where there is lower demand Lodge your expression of interest through SkillSelect; Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190 only: be nominated by a state or territory government. The process varies depending on the state or territory; Once an invitation is received, you have 60 days to lodge an application for the visa through the SkillSelect portal.

It is difficult to predict the processing time for invitations, as this depends on the number of EOIs lodged by other people. If you have been nominated by a State or Territory Government, you will receive an invitation as soon as the nominator confirms the nomination in SkillSelect.

No - your invitation remains in the SkillSelect system for a period of 2 years. You could receive an invitation at any time during this period.

You need to login and make corrections as soon as possible before receiving an invitation.

The main difference between 189 and 190 visa is the requirements of state sponsorship. If you apply for 190 Visa, you’re required to be sponsored by the Australian state or territory government. Whereas you don’t need this sponsorship to apply for visa 189. Both the subclass 189 and 190 visas are points-tested visas which allow you to live and work in Australian permanently. To maximise your score, you should ensure that at the time you are invited to apply, you have: competent English or higher; employment experience in your nominated occupation; and recognised educational qualifications. You will be required to provide evidence supporting your claims when you lodge your visa application.

Business & Investor Visas

While visa applications are open for nominated investors and business owners who wish to establish a business in Australia, the stream in which one decides to apply under depends on the terms of the business operations. Please see below for an overview of which stream best suits your circumstances: These include the Business Innovation stream – applicants who wish to establish, develop, and manage a new or existing business in Australia Investor stream– applicants who aim to maintain business and investment activity and invest in each Australian State or Territory Significant Investor stream – in addition to maintaining business and investment activity in the country, applicants qualifying for this stream must wish to invest into complying significant investments in Australia Premium Investor stream – while also maintain business and investment activity in the country, applicants must also invest into complying premium investments in Australia Entrepreneur stream – applicants must have a funding agreement from a third party to undertake complying entrepreneur activities leading to commercialisation of a product or service, or the development of a business in Australia.

To be eligible for 188A (Business Innovation Stream) or 188B (Business Investor Stream), you must: score at least 65 on the points test provide proof of your business success (annual turnover, ownership interest). You, your partner, or you and your partner together, have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD1.25 million OR be nominated by a State or Territory government agency to invest at least AUD1.5 million in government bonds have net business, investment, and personal assets of at least AUD2.5 million.

Yes. If an individual has been nominated through SkillSelect by a State or Territory for a Significant Investor visa and you meet other mandatory criteria, the individual will receive an invitation to make an application for a Significant Investor Visa. The applicant will have 60 days to lodge their visa application using the Department’s electronic lodgement system.

In order to qualify for any stream in the 188-visa program, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the following minimum eligibility requirements: You will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before you lodge your visa application and be invited to apply. Be nominated by a State or Territory, or Austrade on behalf of the Australian Government. If you are over the age of 18, you will be required to sign an Australian Values Statement; and.

Upon lodging your application, you may include your partner, child, step-child or your partner’s child or step-child, on your application. You will need to provide evidence of their relationship to you in your application, and that they meet the relevant health and character requirements. If your family members are not included on your application and your visa has been granted, they will need to lodge a separate application.

Resident Return & Citizenship

You must obtain a Resident Return Visa. There are a few different types of these visas; the one which is appropriate for you will be determined by several factors. For example, if you have not travelled outside Australia since 1994 and don't have your old passport with evidence of your permanent visa you may need to go to the National Archives to obtain evidence of your original arrival in Australia.

There is no limit to the number of RRVs can be granted as long as you satisfy the relevant visa requirements. That is, numerous RRVs on the basis that you intend to relocate to Australia could be problematic as repeated applications indicate that you do not in fact intend to relocate to Australia.

You must be able to demonstrate 4 years of lawful residence in Australia with minimum 12 months as a permanent resident.

Meet the residence requirements Prepare your supporting documents Prepare official translations Complete your online application form Submit application

Yes. Another common reason to have problems when applying for Citizenship, is if the Department of Home Affairs discovers as part of assessing the Australian Citizenship requirements, that the visa holder has not complied with their visa conditions.

As part of the Australian Citizenship application process, the Department must consider if the applicant is of good character. If it comes to the DHA’s attention that a permanent resident applying for Citizenship has committed offences and has been convicted, they can have their PR visa cancelled. This is when DHA assess a person to not be of good character. Rather than getting Australian Citizenship, they can have their PR visa cancelled under the cancellation powers in the Migration Act, such as in s501. If the person whose visa is cancelled is not successful in appealing the decision, they can ultimately be deported.

Children under 16 years of age can be included on a responsible parent’s application form or can apply on their own form.

Consultations for prospective immigrants

VISA LOUNGE focus on Australian immigration law and our team of experienced registered migration specialists provides ethical, transparent, streamlined, and affordable migration advice. With our extensive experience, you’ll achieve the most desired outcome: an Australian visa!