Frequently Asked Questions

We are currently updating this section, the information below are not current. We apologise for the inconvenience.

  • I am here as a visitor but I have seen adverts for work visas and an agent has offered to make an application for me. Is this OK?

    Usually no. There are a number of agents who offer to get work permits for visitors. In fact they make an application for a Protection visa which is asking for refugee status. There are very few genuine refugees and almost all applications for Protection visas are rejected within 28 days. Then the Agent applies to the Refugee Tribunal and it may take 6 to 9 months for a hearing. You will be rejected and have to pay an application fee of A$1,400. You will also find it very difficult to get a temporary visa, that is another visitor, a student or temporary business visa, to come back to Australia during the next 5 years.

  • I know it is necessary to cohabit for 12 months before we make our application, but we will have been together for 11 months and 3 weeks when my visa expires. Will that be enough time for us?

    The regulation defining Interdependency says you must have been in a "relationship" for a period of 12 months immediately preceding the date of application. This "relationship" includes financial, legal, social and domestic criteria and includes living together, or "...not living separately and apart on a permanent basis".

    If you have known your partner for substantially longer than 12 months then it may be possible. However, people who met and formed a relationship within the 12 months would not be able to meet the requirements.

  • I sponsored someone before, can I sponsor my present partner?

    The regulations changed in November 1996 and from that time there has been a "Limitation on approval of sponsorships" This is set out in Reg. 1.20J. Simply, it states that a person may only sponsor 2 people in their lifetime and that the second sponsorship must be at least 5 years from the time of application of the first sponsorship.

    There are very few exceptions to this. One is for spouse visas and says if the relationship has been for at least 2 years and there is a dependent child involved. However it is unlikely that a waiver would be made under normal circumstances.

  • If I apply in Australia will I be able to work?

    To apply on shore for P.R. you must have a substantive visa. That is a visa which is NOT a bridging visa. The conditions set in your substantive visa for work and study will apply to the bridging visa which is given to you until your EEV is granted. Once the EEV is granted you will be able to work and claim Medicare benefits.

    If you need to work whilst you are on a Bridging visa you can apply on form 1005 for "Change of Conditions" and if the work restriction is lifted you can get a Tax File number and a Medicare card.

  • I'm here on a 3 month visitor visa. Do I have to leave the country before the three months is up?

    The current policy is that a person may remain here as a visitor for up to 12 months provided they are genuine visitors and have a return ticket and enough funds to keep themselves. Visitor visas are not intended to help you to meet the 12 months relationship criteria.

    However, if you want to stay past the 3 months allowed on most visitor visas you can apply here in Australia for a further visitor visa. This will override the multiple entry visa you arrived on and will have a fixed expiry date. Although you will be able to travel overseas you should understand the fixed expiry date on this visa. Visitor visas granted onshore are usually for 6 months. It now seems Department policy is to put the 8503 condition on further visas granted in this way and you will not then be able to apply for further stay after that visa expires.

  • My partner and I have known each other for some time and we have visited each other and keep in touch by email and speak everyday on the telephone. How can we meet the 12-month cohabitation and relationship requirement?

    The Partner Class of Visas is not intended for new relationships. It is to enable people in established relationships to bring their partners to live with them in Australia. The criteria are very strictly interpreted. See Fact Sheet 35

    To meet the requirements you must, for the 12 months immediately before you apply for a Partner Visa, have been living together in a "relationship " as defined in the Regulations. There is no visa designed to allow this. Visitor Visas often have condition 8503 on them, which will not allow a further visa application to be made whilst in Australia. Also people on Visitor Visas are not allowed to work.

    There are Working Holiday Visas that may be available to some people. It may be possible to get a Student Visa but these often have restrictions on applying for other visas.

    In general it is a "Catch 22" situation. You need to live together in a "Relationship" but the Australian Government does not provide a visa which will allow this. The same applies to opposite sex couples that want to establish a "de facto" relationship.

    In some cases it may be possible for the Australian to live in their partner's country for part of the time but it is up to you to find a way. If you want to be together enough, you must find a way in spite of all the barriers put in place by the Australian Government.

  • There have been many changes to the Migration Law in Australia. I applied before these changes came into effect will I have to meet the new criteria?

    The regulations and law which affect your application will be the law applying at the time you made the application. Any changes usually only affect applications made after the date of the changes.

  • Will my application be rejected if either of us are HIV positive?

    The HIV status of the Australian partner is not taken into consideration.

    If the applicant knows he is HIV positive then a "Health Care Waiver" should be made as part of the application. Seek advice from AFAO. See the Health Criteria and HIV section.

    There have been many changes to the Migration Law in Australia. I applied before these changes came into effect will I have to meet the new criteria?

    The regulations and law which affect your application will be the law applying at the time you made the application. Any changes usually only affect applications made after the date of the changes.