There are approximately 130 types of visas available which are grouped under classes and subclasses and directly relate to the purpose of the applicant's stay in Australia.
This stream caters for migration of relatives of Australian citizens,permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens resident in Australia.Visa subclasses exist to cater for the migration of partners, fiances, children,parents, other dependent/aged relatives and special categories (such as carer,family relationship, close ties etc).
Most categories require either a sponsorship or nomination by the Australian resident relative. Sponsorship involves a formal agreement to assist the applicant financially, including accommodation for two years from the date of entry to Australia. Certain classes may also require an assurance of support to be provided which involves a security deposit (currently $3500 for the applicant and $1500 for each additional adult included in application). The bond is refundable after two years.
Sponsorship restrictions can apply. In particular, sponsors in the partner,fiance, interdependent subclasses are restricted to two sponsorships during a lifetime which must be a minimum of five years apart.
Capping and priority processing are factors that affect family migration applications. Once the limit for the number of visas approved in a particular subclass is reached, no further visas will be granted during that year. Both partner and child applications are given higher processing priority than parent applications.
Australia's migration programs and laws are complex and are frequently changing. As your representative a migration agent is up to date with the latest criteria, charges, processing times, necessary supporting documentation and review processes and is therefore better able to maximise your chances of a successful application.
An agent can provide you with advice in relation to a specific question,handle your application from beginning to end, provide the necessary support and representation in any decision review process or provide general guidance should you decide to prepare and lodge your application personally.
All agents are obligated to maintain and demonstrate an up-to-date and accurate knowledge of current immigration laws in order to retain their registration. They are also governed by a strict code of conduct which dictates,amongst other things, how they are to deal with clients and handle client funds.
This Information Outline is provided courtesy of Hall Payne Lawyers who are experienced in this area of law. They are located at Level 9, 344 Queen Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000 or call them on (07) 3221-2044 if you would like more information on this legal topic, or you wish to obtain formal advice regarding your situation.
Hall Payne Lawyers are an established Queensland firm practicing in the areas of employment law (unfair dismissal etc), accident compensation (WorkCover,motor vehicle accident, personal injuries), anti-discrimination &harassment, consumer law, family law, wills & estates, criminal law and conveyancing. Hall Payne Lawyers are a founding member of the Australia-wide PeopleLaw group.