Immigration FAQ

Spouses, de facto partners, and dependent children. Children under the age of 23 are automatically deemed to be dependent children. Evidence will need to be provided to demonstrate why a child over the age of 23 is still a dependent.

The fee that must be paid to immigration at the time of submitting a visa application. Every person included in the visa application attracts a visa application charge. This fee must be paid as a lump sum. If it is not paid, then the visa application will not be processed.

1. Credit/Debit Card (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, JCB only)
2. PayPal
3. UnionPay
4. BPay (must have an Australian bank account)

A surcharge may apply to the payment. The current surcharges* are:

  • MasterCard (including Debit MasterCard) – 1.40%
  • VISA (including VISA DebitCard) – 1.40%
  • American Express (AMEX) – 1.40%
  • Diners Club – 1.99%
  • JCB – 1.40%
  • PayPal – 1.01%
  • UnionPay – 1.90%

*Please note that these surcharges are subject to change.

An additional fee that is payable before a decision is made to either approve or reject the visa application.

Applicants over the age of 18 that cannot demonstrate that they have ‘Functional’ English language abilities.

  1. Holding a valid USA, UK, Canadian, New Zealand, or Republic of Ireland passport 
  2. Obtaining a degree, a higher degree, a diploma, or a trade certificate in an institution in or outside Australia that required at least two years of full-time study and all instructions were in English.
  3. 1 year of full-time study, or two years of part-time study, at an institution in Australia where all instruction was in English.
  4. Completing primary school and at least 3 years at a secondary school where all instructions were in English.
  5. Completing at least 5 years at a secondary school where all instructions were in English.
  6. In the last 12 months scoring an average band score of 4.5 for all 4 components of an International English Language Testing System (IELT​​S Academic or General Training​​).
  7. In the last 12 months scoring a total band score of at least 32 based on the 4 test components of speaking, reading, writing, and listening for a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT).
  8. In the last 12 months scoring a total band score of at least 30 based on the 4 test components of the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). 
  9. In the last 12 months scoring a total band score of at least 147 based on​ the 4 test components of a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test.

To obtain and continue to hold an Australian visa, you must be of good character. Circumstances that may lead to failing the character requirement include:

  • having a substantial criminal record
  • being convicted of escaping from immigration detention, or convicted for an offence that you committed:
    • while in immigration detention
    • during an escape from immigration detention
    • after an escape, but before being taken into immigration detention again
  • being a member of a group or organisation, or had or have an association with a person, group, or organisation involved in criminal conduct
  • being involved in people smuggling, people trafficking, genocide, a war crime, a crime against humanity, a crime involving torture or slavery, or a crime that is of serious international concern
  • past and present criminal or general conduct 
  • there is a risk that while in Australia the following would occur:
    • engaging in criminal conduct
    • harassing, molesting, intimidating, or stalking another person
    • vilifying a segment of the Australian community
    • inciting discord
    • being a danger to the Australian community 
  • being found guilty of one or more sexually based offences involving a child
  • being subject to an adverse security assessment by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation
  • being subject to an Interpol notice
  • being convicted of a domestic violence offence or being subject to a domestic violence order

Police certificate/clearance for every country that you have lived in for a culminative period of at least 12 months in the last 10 years (since turning 16 years of age). For example:

Bob is 45 years old and maintains a residence in the United States. 5 years ago, he spent 6 months living in London. 3 years ago, he spent another 6 months living in London. 

This means that Bob needs to provide both a US and UK police certificate/clearance when applying for his Australian visa.  

A completed Form 80 is also required from each applicant over the age of 16. Other documentation that may be requested includes:

  • A statutory declaration
  • A military certificate
  • A letter from an employer

There may be a fee involved with obtaining a police certificate/clearance, which varies from country to country.

An assessment of a visa applicants health to ensure that they will not:

  1. Threaten public health; 
  2. Result in significant healthcare and community service costs; or
  3. Place a demand on healthcare or community services that are in short supply.

Family members not included in a visa application may also need to meet the health requirement. A health examination must be undertaken to meet the health requirement. 

  1. A health examination referral letter. This will become available after the visa application has been submitted
  2. A valid passport
  3. Prescription spectacles or contact lenses (if applicable)
  4. Any existing specialist or other medical reports for known medical conditions (if applicable)
  5. Any previous chest x-rays (if applicable)

The following costs may apply:

  1. The examining physician or radiologists
  2. Any special tests, investigations, or treatment needed
  3. Any specialists fees
  4. Courier fees

Documents that are not in English or bilingual need to be translated. If a visa applicant is in Australia, then a translator accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) must be used. 

If outside Australia, the English translation must be completed by a qualified translator and must be endorsed by the translator with their full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated. 

The Australian diplomatic mission in the country that issued the documents can be contacted for advice regarding acceptable translators and who can certify the original documents.

If you are an Australian resident for tax purposes, you will need to lodge an income tax return for each financial year. An Australian resident for tax purposes can include both temporary and permanent residents. 

Generally speaking, you will be considered an Australian resident for tax purposes if you have:

  • Come to Australia and now live here permanently
  • Been in Australia continuously for six months or more, and for most of that time you worked in the one job and lived at the same place
  • Been in Australia for more than six months of the year, unless your usual home is overseas and you do not intend to live in Australia
  • Gone overseas temporarily and you do not set up a permanent home in another country
  • Come to Australia to study and are enrolled in a course that is more than six months long.

A financial year is between 1st of July and 30th of June. Tax returns must be lodged by 31st of October. Individuals can lodge their own income tax returns or engage a qualified professional to do it on their behalf. For more information about taxation requirements for Australian residents, contact the Australian Taxation Office or a registered taxation agent. 

All Australian residents are eligible for public health care under the Medicare system. Medicare can subsidise some, or all, of the costs associated with doctor’s appointments, medication, and mental health care. 

It is also possible to purchase private health insurance. There are numerous private health insurers that operate in Australia, and government rebates can subsidise the cost of premiums in some circumstances. 

Australia has both a public and private school system. Public schools generally do not charge tuition fees. However, a fee may apply if the student’s visa status is uncertain (i.e the student is on a bridging visa).

Private schools will charge a tuition fee. Each school can determine what their tuition fees are and when they are payable. 

There are two main types of tertiary education institutions in Australia. These are universities and registered training organisations (RTO’s). These institutions charge tuition fees. However, if the student is an Australian citizen, then they may be eligible for the Australian governments fee HELP program.  

This program allows the student to receive an interest fee loan to pay for their studies. The loan is repaid once the student begins earning at least $46,620AUD* per annum. The repayment is automatically deducted from the students pay. The higher the pay, the higher the amount of the repayment. 

*Please note that this figure is subject to change.     

A temporary visa that allows a non-citizen/permanent resident to remain in Australia while a decision is being made in relation to their residency status. For example:

Cheryl has been living in Australia since 2019 as the holder of a student visa. Her student visa is set to expire on 30 June 2021. On 15 June 2021, Cheryl applied for a business visa. She was in Australia when this application was lodged. On 1 July 2021, Cheryl is provided with a Bridging A visa which will remain valid until her business visa application is processed.  

There are four different types of Bridging visas. These are a Bridging A, Bridging B, Bridging C and Bridging E visa. Each visa is related to a specific purpose. 

Can you travel outside Australia on a Bridging Visa? 

Only a Bridging B visa can be used to depart and re-enter Australia. However, Bridging B visa holders may not be able to re-enter Australia due to border restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

When the permanent resident has:

  • Been living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years;
  • Been an Australian permanent resident for the past 12 months; and
  • Not been away from Australia for more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.

They must receive a Resident Return visa to be able to leave and re-enter the country. 

Only Australian citizens are eligible to vote. 

Voting is compulsory for registered voters. This includes local, State/Territory, and federal elections. Registered voters who fail to vote may be fined. 

If the visa application was lodged in Australia, there may be an avenue to appeal the decision via the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. 

Temporary residents that overstay their visa period become ‘unlawful citizens’. This can prevent them from applying for another Australian visa for 3 years and can also lead to being detained in immigration detention/being deported.

Please note that information contained on this page is subject to change without notice. Lucidian Law has no control over when, or how, these changes may occur. Under no circumstances should the information displayed on this page be substituted for professional advice given by an appropriately qualified person. Lucidian Law cannot be held liable for any damages or losses incurred as a result of any reliance on the information provided on this page.