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In our increasingly unstable global environment Australia is quickly becoming one of the most sought after countries of residence in the world.

Australia offers a non-discriminative immigration policy permitting anyone from any country, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion etc. to make application to migrate.

However, strict criteria apply to each category of application which must be satisfied before approval can be granted. These criteria may include requirements at the time of application and / or at the time the decision is being made. It is for this reason that many applicants seek the assistance of a registered migration agent.

Assistance from an agent will streamline the process and take the tedious,time consuming task of preparing forms and supporting documentation away from the applicant. An agent can analyse your circumstances and determine the most appropriate category (or in some cases, more than one category may apply) and provide advice as to the likelihood of success.

General categories that an application can be made under include:-

  • Temporary' Tourism & Education;
  • Permanent'
  • Economic'must satisfy points test, have particular skills, have a job offer or other links to Australia or have successful business skills or significant capital to invest which will benefit Australia.
  • Family'must be sponsored by a close family member (spouse / fianc' /dependent child / parent).
  • Humanitarian'refugees and arrivals under other specific humanitarian programs.

All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

Australia's migration policy incorporates a planned program which determines maximum numbers of visas to be granted in each category each year. Changes to relevant numbers in each category can occur based on the effect of outside forces which may include:-

  • Economic;
  • Family;
  • Cultural;
  • Humanitarian;
  • International.

As policy has a strong impact on the lives of many Australians, it can also be influenced by government strategies, current world events and the views of the general community.

The Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA)is responsible for the development of immigration laws, policies and procedures together with the day to day operations involving the administration of those laws, policies and procedures.

The administrative responsibilities of DIMIA are vast and include:-

  • visitors, temporary and permanent residents and citizenship;
  • settlement of temporary/permanent residents including services such as interpreting and translation;
  • running Australian departmental offices and overseas missions;
  • ethnic affairs;
  • arrest and detention of unlawful non-citizens;
  • decision review process;
  • research and distribution of information.


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.

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