Why use a Migration Agent?
Australian Migration Law is continually changing. Having a Migration Agent guide you through the process can limit the stress involved and optimize your chance of a successful result. We often see cases where applicants have incorrectly relied on advice from friends or internet forums and require our assistance to re-lodge or seek appeal.
What is The Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA)?
The OMARA is the peak professional association of migration agents in Australia. They were appointed by the federal government under a statutory self-regulation scheme in 1998 to help consumers and maintain high standards of knowledge, ethics and professionalism in the migration advice profession. Regardless of which OMARA agent you use they should provide you with a copy of the Migration Agents ‘Consumer Guide’ . Also the OMARA has developed a ‘Code of Conduct’ which should also be made available to clients upon request.
What fees should I expect to pay?
The standard fees associated with applications include:
– Visa Application Charge (VAC); and
– Sponsorship and nomination application charges;
If you appoint a Migration Agent the fees can vary and often depend on the type of assistance provided. Some agents calculate their fees on a time basis and will provide you with an estimate. It is important to know what the agent is charging and what service you should expect. The last thing you want is to be hit with an additional bill should your application become slightly complicated.
GW Migration will offer a fixed price for your matter depending on the circumstances of the case. The service fees and associated costs will be outlined in advance of proceeding with any matter. For standard applications we will often quote you a base service fee. If there are specials circumstances or you matter is significantly complicated we will outline the service fees associated with dealing with such issues.
Do I have to undertake a visa medical?
Most Australian visa applications require a medical examination. Depending on your application type you may only require a medical towards the end of the process. Medicals must be conducted by a registered panel doctor and are generally valid for 12 months. We advise clients on how to arrange medicals and provide advice on completing them at the appropriate time.
I have a medical condition can I meet the visa requirements?
In determining whether an applicant meets the health criteria, DoHA will look at the impact the condition may have on the Australian health system. Depending on the visa application being pursued there are health criteria waivers available and a well prepared submission would generally be required to secure a waiver.
I have offenses and previous convictions can I still meet the visa requirements?
DoHA will look at the number, type and severity of convictions. Focus is generally on the imposed fine or sentence. Those seen to have a substantial criminal record or appear to be a threat to the Australian community may have their visa refused. Depending on individual circumstances a visa approval can still be achieved. We have extensive and successful experience in assisting clients with criminal convictions to secure their visa.
What evidence is required for the Character Requirement?
All applicants including children over 16 years of age require a Police Clearance for any country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years. Note: 12 months can be made up of a number of short stays. As with medicals, Police Clearances are generally valid for 12 months and may be required before the application is made or towards the end of the process.
Do I have to be married to include or sponsor my spouse/partner for a visa?
You do not necessarily have to be married. Those who live with their partner in a genuine and continuing relationship can include their partner in an application as a de facto (common law) partner. Australian Citizens, permanent residents and eligible New Zealand Citizens can also sponsor their partner for a Prospective Marriage Visa. Please call for more information and to see if you meet these requirements.