If you want to come to Australia from abroad, you need to apply for, and be granted a visa. Applications are processed by the Australian government’s Department of Immigration and Border Control (DIBP).
Reading about your visa options on the DIPB’s website can be confusing. There are dozens of visas on offer. Knowing which ones you’re entitled to apply for is your first step along the way to making a successful visa application.
Apply for the wrong visa and your application will be refused. A visa refusal can have an adverse impact on any subsequent visa applications that you make. If you’ve got a lot riding on getting an Australian visa , understanding your visa eligibility in Australia is crucial.
Factors affecting your Australian visa eligibility
Your Australian visa eligibility depends on many different factors and variables that are personal to you, your background and your situation. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Understanding how your individual situation dovetails with each Australian visa category can be difficult as it’s affected by a whole range of factors including:
• Where you come from
• How old you are
• Why you want to come to Australia
• Your background, including whether you’re a person of ‘good character’
• Your proficiency in the English language, and
• Your financial resources.
Your visa eligibility also depends on some things that are beyond your control, including Australian government policy. This is something that can be very fluid and subject to change with very little notice. For example, it can be directly affected by Australia’s response to world events, such as the events unfolding in Syria.
Your Australian visa eligibility can also be greatly affected by forces of supply and demand within the Australian labour market. For example, if there aren’t enough skilled workers in a particular industry, such as the offshore gas or oil industry, then you might find it much easier to obtain a visa if you’re a skilled worker in that field. It will be much harder for you to get a visa if you fall within the definition of an unskilled worker. Similarly, you’ll find it more difficult if you work in an area where there are already enough Australian workers.
Here are just a few of the many factors that can adversely impact upon your visa eligibility in Australia.
Your reason for wanting to come to Australia – work, study, for a holiday or to migrate
Your reason for wanting to come to Australia is perhaps the most important factor determining your visa eligibility in Australia. Different criteria apply to different types of Australian visas. For example, your eligibility for a student visa is dependent on you having an offer of a place at a recognised educational institution. Your eligibility for visas such as the Higher Education visa (subclass 573) is also dependent on you being enrolled in an ‘award’ course; that is, a course that will ultimately result in you attaining a tertiary qualification. If you’re not enrolled at the right kind of educational institution or for the right kind of course, you won’t be granted a student visa.
In much the same way, most Australian work visas are also dependent on you having a firm job offer as well as your level of skill.
Strict criteria also apply to work visas and visas that allow you to migrate to Australia. You have to know whether you’re eligible for an Australian visa prior to even lodging an application.
Your country of origin
Your country of origin has a dramatic impact on the range and type of Australian visas open to you. For example, if you want to apply for a working holiday visa you won’t be eligible unless you have a passport from an ‘eligible country’. An ‘eligible country’ is a country that has a reciprocal arrangement with Australia.
Currently, there are only about 20 countries listed as eligible countries for the purpose of obtaining a working holiday visa. If you’re not from one of those countries then it would be a waste of time and effort applying for that type of visa.
Your age also plays a role in determining your visa eligibility for Australia. Some Australian visas are only open to persons who meet the strict age criteria attaching to that particular visas. Strict age limits apply to visas such as skilled migrations visas. The same age limits don’t apply to tourist visas.
Your educational and employment qualifications
Some Australian visas have strict criteria that you have to meet in terms of your educational or employment qualifications. These types of visas are usually working visas.
Your background – Whether you’re a person of good character
If you have a criminal record or a prior conviction for a criminal offence, it may affect your eligibility for an Australian visa. That’s because it’s relevant for the purposes of meeting the ‘character test’. Most Australian visas require you to be a person of good character. The extent of your criminal history is an important factor determining your visa eligibility in Australia.
Your English language proficiency
Your eligibility for an Australian visa is also dependent in many cases on your English language proficiency. That means that you may have to provide satisfactory proof of having passed a recognised English language test. These tests include the International English Language Testing Systems Test (IELCTS), the Cambridge English Advanced Test (CAE) and the Test of English as a Foreign language (TOEFL). This prerequisite applies to many Australian Student visas and work visas. However, it doesn’t apply to some of the other types of visas open to you.
Your financial resources and assets
Some Australian visas require that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself for the duration of your stay in Australia. You need to make sure that you can satisfy these requirements before lodging an application for those types of visas.
Taking the stress out of deciding which Australian visa to apply for
Getting expert advice and assistance from a reputable and experienced migration agent and immigration lawyer is the best way to ensure that you apply for the right Australian visa from the start. At Results Migration, we’re only a phone call away.
However, we also understand that you’re busy and may be contacting us from a different time zone. If you don’t want to make a costly international phone call to Australia to discuss your prospects of getting an Australian visa, try our online visa assessment service .
Results Migration’s free online visa assessment test
Results Migration offers a free online visa assessment. Your obligation-free, expert assessment as to your prospects of obtaining an Australian visa is waiting for you. You can take the assessment test at a time and in a place that’s convenient to you. We’re completely separate from the DIBP so you can be confident that we’ll always act in your best interests and that your test answers are confidential.
Completed the visa assessment test? Your next step
If, after evaluating your visa eligibility for Australia, we believe that you’re likely to be a successful applicant, we’ll contact you. We’ll let you know which visa you should consider applying for. We can then guide you through the complicated and unforgiving process of applying for an Australian visa. That way, you’ll have the best chance possible of realising your dream of securing an Australian visa.