Australian Migration and Visas

Australian Migration Law

Australia has a system of entry by visa – if you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you must obtain a visa before entering Australia. Visas can be either:
•    Temporary visas which allow you to visit Australia for a specified time, or
•    Permanent visas which allow you to settle in Australia permanently

The Australia government makes laws saying what sorts of visas are available and the criteria which must be met for each visa. These laws are called the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994.

The government manages Australia’s migration program through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (‘the Department’). The Department follows the laws and regulates how people must apply for visas, including what forms you have to fill out, what evidence you have to provide, and how much you will have to pay.

The types of visas available and the criteria which must be met are determined according to Australia’s national interests. For example, the government can change the law to attract people from certain occupations when there is a skills shortage in that area.

Australia’s migration program can be divided into general groups depending on the person applying to enter Australia. You may be eligible for more than one migration category, and can choose which visa best suits your requirements.

The following categories are available under Australia’s migration scheme:
1.    Family member visas
2.    General skilled visas
3.    Employer sponsored visas
4.    Business skills visas
5.    Refugee and Humanitarian visas
6.    Student visas
7.    Retirement visas
8.    Visitor visas

Some of these visas offer pathways to permanent residency and other visas have strict requirements that visa holder leaves Australia within the expiry of their visa and is barred from applying for other visas whilst in Australia.

Migration law changes regularly and can be very technical or confusing. Harris Wake and our team of qualified registered migration agents, led by Cathrine Burnett, are here to assist you through this difficult process.

All Migration Agents at Harris Wake are registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority, and adhere to the MARA Code of Conduct, which can be found on the MARA website (Click here for further information)