Immigration Frequently Asked Questions

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Temporary entrant

  • How does the new TSS visa work if I want to sponsor an overseas person to work in my business or I am a visa applicant and want my employer to sponsor me?

    Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa, subclass 482, allows employers to sponsor overseas staff to be employed by them.

    Here is how it works: –

    • The TSS visa program is comprised of two streams – short term STSOL and medium-long-term MLTSSL– and eligibility for either stream depends on the occupation being applied for:
      • Short-term stream: a visa of up to two years can be granted with an option to apply for another two. There is no option to apply for permanent residency through this pathway;
      • Medium-Long term stream: a visa of up to four years can be granted. There is an option for the visa applicant to be sponsored for permanent residency after three years.
    • There are three stages involved in the TSS programme: –
      • Standard Business Sponsorship – Business needs to be approved as a business sponsor;
      • Nomination – the position within the business needs to be approved -this is based on a specific list of occupations and will either be on the short-term list, STSOL, or long- term list,
      • Visa applicant has to meet the skill level requirement either from a relevant qualification or in some cases relevant work experience can replace a qualification, as well as having 2 years of work experience in that or a closely related occupation

    All the above 3 are separate applications and have specific criteria that needs to be met.

    Whether you are an employer or visa applicant, please contact us and we can discuss how the TSS can apply in your situation.

  • What if I have a subclass 482 or 457 visa and I want to change companies?

    It is a condition of both the 482 and 457 visas that the visa holder can only work for the employer that sponsors them – which means that a visa holder cannot change employers unless another Australian business lodges a new nomination to link their visa to them. In addition, 482 or 457 visa holders cannot work for another employer on the side or part time.

    In order to switch employers, the new potential employer must lodge a new nomination with the Department of Home Affairs. The new sponsor must apply to be approved as a Standard Business Sponsor if not already approved as one. Only once the sponsorship and nomination are approved, can the visa holder commence working for the new sponsor. The new nomination must be in the same occupation as what the visa holder was approved as when their visa was approved.

    The visa holder can be employed for their new sponsor for the remaining time left on their visa.

  • Can I add my partner and / or child to my already approved 482 or 457 visa?


    To do this, the visa holder will need to provide evidence that they are in a genuine relationship with their partner, even if married. If in a de-facto relationship this is taken to mean that they are living together under the same roof as a couple for around 6 months at least.

    The employer must also agree in writing to meet their sponsorship obligations towards the secondary applicants. ​The subsequent dependant applicants will be granted a visa for the same period as the 457 or 482 visa holder.

  • Can my spouse work on a subclass 482 or 457 visa?


    The spouse of a 457 or 482 visa holder has unrestricted work rights – providing they are included in the application or are subsequently added into the application.

  • Can my sponsor cancel my visa?

    Your sponsor can inform the Department of Home Affairs once your employment ceases and that they no longer wish to sponsor you. The Department of Home Affairs will grant 60 days to find a new sponsor or lodge a new visa application, which can be a different subclass of visa such as a student or partner visa.

    Your sponsor has not got the authority to cancel your visa, only the Department of Home Affairs can do that and it goes through a process so you will be made aware that it is going to happen unless you take some action such as lodge another visa or leave Australia.

  • My employer can no longer sponsor me. What are my options?

    From the date when your services are terminated you are required to find a new employer willing to sponsor you within 60 days of your employment ceasing. This usually means transferring your 482 visa to the new employer. The new nomination and visa (if it will soon going to expire), will need to be lodged within the 60-days of your employment ceasing with the most recent employer that sponsored you.

    If you cannot find a new employer you may wish to look at other visa options, such as skilled migration, partner or student visa.

  • I am an Australian employer and wish to sponsor an overseas worker to fill a skill shortage in my business - is it a mandatory to advertise the position and can these adverts be placed on my website and other places local to my business?

    Yes, it is mandatory to advertise the position. They have to appear in 3 national reaches on a prominent or professional recruitment website with national reach that publishes advertisements for positions throughout Australia. Typical websites are Seek, Indeed, Career-One and Jora. It is mandatory to advertise on Job-Active, as one of the 3 sites. A job advert on your own business website won’t count. The ad has to have compliant wording. Only if the nominee is from certain countries will you be exempt from advertising. These include countries with which Australia has a trade agreement with such is a citizen/national of China, Japan, Mexico, Thailand or Vietnam, or is a citizen/national/permanent resident of Canada, Chile, South Korea, New Zealand or Singapore.

  • I want to apply for Permanent residence based on the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) – what are the pathways I can do this?

    If your employer is based in a regional area of Australia you may be able to apply for RSMS. Regional Areas are defined by postcodes.

    You will need to meet the following pathway:

    Temporary Residence Transition:

    You have been employed for the same employer in the same occupation in that regional area for two years under 457 or three years under a 482 visa.

    You hold:

    • either a subclass 457 visa and must have held it as a primary visa holder on or after 18 April 2017; or
    • a subclass 482 visa in the Medium-term stream and must have held it as a primary visa holder on or after 20 March 2019 or was a primary applicant for a subclass 482 visa in the Medium-term stream on 20 March 2019 that was subsequently granted.

    Your employer has to present a range of documents to meet the requirements of the nomination. These include financial documents, position description, employment contract, organization chart, a statement about why the position is genuine, evidence that the salary is market related etc

    No new RSMS Direct Entry (DE) nominations or visa applications can be lodged from 16 November 2019.

Resident Return Visa

  • Resident Return Visa, subclass 155 – what are my options?

    You are required to apply for an RRV (Resident Return visa) if your Permanent Residence visa is about to expire and you intend to depart and return to Australia or you are offshore and wish to renew your permanent residence visa.

    If you’ve been living in Australia for at least two years (this can be accumulative) in the last five years prior to lodging your Resident Return Visa (RRV), you will be granted a new five-year block of time so you can continue living in Australia with your Permanent Residence visa.

    If you have been living in Australia for less than two years in the last five years, or living overseas but have visited Australia even for a short period of time, prior to the date of lodging a new RRV application, you may be eligible for a one-year RRV.

    To be eligible for a one-year RRV, you would need to present evidence of your ties to Australia, such as employment, family/personal, investment or business commitments. If you have spent a substantial amount of time offshore in the last 5 years and only on occasion visited Australia, it is also advisable to write a statement explaining your absence from Australia.

    If you live in Australia and your Permanent Residence visa expires, your visa status will automatically carry over – meaning you will continue to have Permanent Residence visa status. If you then wish to travel outside Australia, you will need to apply for an RRV, which will enable you to return to Australia as a continuation on your Permanent Residence Visa, but with a new RRV visa.

    Please contact us and speak to our expert team at AustraliaMigrate to help you with the renewal of your RRV.

Bridging visa

  • Can I apply for a Bridging visa?

    In limited circumstances, you can apply for a bridging visa if you are in Australia without a valid visa.

    A bridging visa A is granted automatically when an application is made for another visa while the applicant is holding a substantive (that is a proper visa, such as student, visitor, working holiday visa TSS etc).

    A bridging Visa or C is granted if an applicant is in Australia and holds a bridging visa A, or in some cases does not hold any visa, and applies for another visa. It allows them to remain in Australia until a decision is made on their application. The Department will usually place a work restriction on a bridging visa C, but it is possible to apply for work rights to have this overturned to be able to work.

    If you are granted a bridging visa A, and only when it is active and you want to travel outside of Australia while your application is being assessed, then you need to apply for and be granted a Bridging visa B prior to your scheduled travel.

    At all times, you must avoid being in Australia without a valid visa or a Bridging visa. Unlawful stays in Australia usually carry a three-year restriction on any temporary visa that allows re-entry into Australia.

Visa status

  • Where can I see my current visa status?

    As a visa holder, you can use VEVO to check your current visa details and conditions. VEVO stands for Visa Entitlement Verification Online. This is a link on the website of the Department of Home Affairs. You will need to have your passport details with you when you apply for a VEVO check.

Skilled migration

  • What is an Expression of Interest (EOI)?

    An EOI is not a visa application, it is an application that you would like to be invited to apply for a skilled visa. It’s an online form, with no fee which asks you a series of questions about how you intend to score your points for a subclass 189, 190 or 491 visa application. It is imperative that your points are calculated accurately so that when a visa application is lodged after being granted an invitation, the points in the visa application are the same as the points claimed in the EOI. An EOI does not result in a bridging visa.

  • I have lodged an EOI. Does that mean I will get an invitation?

    No, not necessarily. You must obtain a minimum of 65 points to lodge an Expression of Interest. The higher the points, the more likely it is that you will receive an invitation to lodge a visa application.

    However, depending on the volume of applications with the same occupation received by the Department of Home Affairs, a higher score than 65 is usually required to be granted an invitation to lodge a visa application. As an example, accountants may require 90 points or more to be granted an invitation whereas high school teachers may only require 80 points. The way the Department of Home Affairs will issue an invitation depends on a lot of factors, which could be what occupations are in most need at that point in time, such as medical occupations in the covid – 19 era receive the most invitations.

  • I am a holder of a subclass 491 visa. Can I apply for a subclass 189 or 190?

    If you are a holder of a subclass 491 or 494 you must have held that visa for at least 3 years before you can lodge an application for a subclass 189 or 190. You will have to meet all criteria of that visa subclass in order to be granted the new visa.

Partner visa

  • I want to sponsor my partner, what are the basic things to consider?

    Many Australians find overseas partners who they wish to spend the rest of their life with, and there is a pathway to obtain a permanent visa based on a genuine relationship with an Australian citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or Eligible NZ citizen.

    Most partner visas can be lodged in or out of Australia, except for Prospective Partner visas, which must be lodged when the overseas partner is offshore. To lodge any partner visa, the applicants must show that their relationship is genuine and mutually exclusive.

    This visa can be based on marriage, a de-facto relationship of living together for 12 months under the same roof, or de-facto of less than 12 months of living together and registering their relationship with the Registry Office of their State/Territory in Australia. Please note that not all States and Territories have a facility for relationship registration. As an example, WA and NT do not allow for relationship registration. In the case of these two states, you and your partner need to either be living together for 12 months under the same roof or get married prior to lodging your partner visa. Please also note that if you are going to lodge on basis of being married, the marriage needs to have taken place prior to lodgement.

    A partner visa is a two-stage application. In the first stage, once positively assessed, a provisional visa is granted. After two years from lodgement of the provisional visa, the provisional visa holder can apply for a permanent visa.

    It is important to check if your overseas partner does not have an 8503 condition (no further stay) on their visa from which they are going to lodge a partner visa, as this condition would prevent them from lodging another visa onshore. A no further stay condition is (8503) is typically, but not always, placed on some visitor visas, especially 600 visas and family-sponsored visitor visas.

  • I’m currently on a bridging Visa awaiting the assessment of my subclass 820 visa or I am on a provisional partner visa, subclass 820. The relationship with my partner has ceased. Do I have to leave Australia?

    You have the right to request the Department of Home Affairs to make a decision on your 820 or 801 visa (PR), even if it highly likely to be refused. Once refused you can appeal the decision by lodging an appeal application at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and remain in Australia while the application is in the AAT queue, pending a hearing date. If you withdraw your application, you do not have the right to appeal.

    You may be able to apply for your 801 (PR) if special circumstances apply.

    These include:

    1. Sharing parental responsibility, if there is a child born of the relationship;
    2. If your partner has died;
    3. If you have been the victim of domestic violence.

    The other option is to consider lodging another visa such as an employer sponsorship TSS or 186 visa or student visa while holding an 820 visa.

  • What if my partner and I have just started living together or we have been living together but have very little evidence to demonstrate this?

    You can lodge a Partner visa 820/801, based on either a de-facto relationship or being married, with limited evidence and keep adding new relationship evidence even after the application has been lodged, so when the Department of Home Affairs assesses your application, there will be a lot more evidence than at the lodgement stage.

    The Department of Home Affairs will take into consideration whatever evidence you have provided in your application, before and after lodgement, at the time they assess your application. You can also lodge a partner visa based on a de-facto relationship without presenting your relationship registration certificate at the lodgement stage, but it is recommended to provide it as soon as possible.

Parent Visa

Employer sponsorship for permanent visa

  • I want to apply for permanent residence based on Employer Nominated Sponsorship –what are the overall pathways?

    There are two application pathways for this category.

    Pathway One – Temporary Residence Transition:

    Once 457 visa holders have been employed for two years with the same employer or an associated entity of that employer, and provided their 457 visas was lodged prior to 18th April 2017, they can apply for an Employer Nominated Sponsorship, 186 visa before reaching 50 years old.

    Alternatively, 482 visa holders can apply for an Employer Nominated Sponsorship Visa, 186, provided their occupation is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL), and have been sponsored by the same employer, or an associated entity of that employer, for three years. The application has to be lodged prior to turning 45 years old.

    Pathway Two – Direct Entry:

    The occupation that the business nominates has to be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL) list of occupations. The 186-visa applicant must complete a Skills Assessment from the assessing authority of that occupation and demonstrate that have had a minimum of three years’ experience post qualification in that occupation. Applicants need to be under 45 years old at the time of application.

  • What about the Employers?

    In both Pathway One and Two, the employer has to present a range of documents to meet the requirements of the nomination. These include financial documents, position description, employment contract, organization chart, a statement about why the position is genuine, evidence that the salary is market-related etc.

  • I am a holder of a subclass 482 visa (Medium-term stream). I have been working for the company that has been recently sold. When can I apply for a permanent visa?

    If a new ABN is established, due, for example, to the sale of the sponsoring business, the new company/business will need to be approved as a Standard Business Sponsor under the new ABN. Then a new 482 nomination will need to be lodged linking your visa to the new nomination under that new ABN. Once it is approved you can start working for the new business ABN.

    You will need to work on a subclass 482 visa for 3 years in total (which can include working for your initial sponsor whose business has been recently sold and excluding any unpaid leave you may have taken for either sponsor) before you can apply for a permanent visa. Your occupation, however, has to be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic List (MLTSSL).

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