Bridging Visa A

Bridging Visas are one the most confusing areas of Australian visas system. Not many people know what Bridging Visas are and what is the purpose of each one of them?

One of the most common Bridging Visas is Bridging Visa A. Bridging Visa A is the Bridging Visa that is automatically granted at NO COST once the visa applicant has applied for the substantive visa, onshore.

Offshore visa applicants won't be able to obtain a Bridging Visa A.

The purpose of Bridging Visa A is for the visa applicant to legally stay in Australia and wait for his/her substantive visa to be finalized. Therefore the Bridging Visa A does not really have an expiry date. It will cease once the substantive visa has been finalized, either successfully grant or refuse.

There are things that you need to know about Bridging Visa A:
  • Bridging Visa A does not have the travel facilities. If a Bridging Visa A holder wants to travel out of Australia, then s/he needs to apply for Bridging Visa B. Bridging Visa B will allow the visa holder to travel out of Australia, usually up to 3 months.
  • Working right will be exactly the same as the previous substantive visa. Therefore, it is important that the visa holder knows his/her work rights or work conditions of the substantive visa so that the work rights won't be breached while holding Bridging Visa A.
    • Student visa holders can still work up to 40 hours/2 weeks.
    • Tourist visa holder will have no work right.
  • Bridging Visa A will not come into effect until the last substantive visa expires. Therefore, it is important that the visa holder follows the visa conditions of the previous substantive visa strictly. For example, student visa holders need to attend school until either their previous substantive visa expires or the new substantive visa has finalized.
That is the basic knowledge that a lot of us should know about Bridging Visa A. So that we won't breach any of the visa conditions.

Becoming an Australain citizen

Personally, I think it is a privilege to be an Australian citizen, either by birth or by choice. There are several ways of becoming Australian citizen. One of the most common one among migrants is by "conferral".

You are eligible for Australian citizenship by conferral if you:
  •  Legally live here in Australia for at least 4 years (on whatever visa)
  • Have been a Permanent Residence and live in Australia at least 1 year after your permanent residency (on whatever Permanent Residence visa subclass)
It is important that you know how to calculate the residency period in Australia. Everytime you travel out of Australia, you cannot count those days toward your residency. 

If your child is under 16, your child can be a secondary applicant at no cost. There are greater benefits of become Australian citizen, especially for your child education.

Apart from any social benefits from Centrelink (I won't elaborate here), your child will have access to a FREE public education until year 12. Your child will have access to HECS and VETHELP if she/he decided to continue his/her education at higher level.

Many parents have decided to become Australian citizens, simply for their child's education.

In order to become an Australian citizen by conferral, the applicant needs to sit for the Australian citizenship test. It is 20 multiple choice questions. You need to get at least 15 of them correctly. You have 45 minutes to sit for the test. It is a computerized test, therefore, you will get your results immediately. You are allowed to take the test several times in one day, provided that the officer at the centre is available. It is quite obvious that the officer is quite flexible with the test.

As lots of countries now allow the dual citizenship. I personally encourage everyone to take up Australian citizenship. There are lots of benefits that you can access if you are an Australian citizen. Another great things of being an Australian citizen is that, there are lots of countries in the CommonWealth that you could travel to without having a visa or easily apply for "a visa on arrival".

As an Australian citizen, you could also live permanently in New Zealand as it is part of agreement between our 2 governments.

As you can see there are great benefits to call Australia home and become part of the country; be Australian citizen. I strongly suggest everyone look into this option seriously as the process of becoming Australian citizen is quite easy and straightforward.

Visa subclass 457 can apply anywhere

Many people have enquired about the differences between lodging visa subclass 457 application offshore and onshore. Visa subclass 457 has gone through many reviews and scrutiny and it has been refined many times. Personally, I am pleased with how the visa subclass 457 operates. Realistically, there is almost no different between offshore and onshore application. Apart from onshore application will get a Bridging Visa A once the application has been lodged, while offshore application will not receive any Bridging Visas at all. That is just the nature of all offshore visa applications anyway.

Therefore, offshore visa subclass 457 applicants can come to Australia and wait for their visa outcomes in Australia. It is just a matter of getting another visa to come to Australia and wait for the outcome.

In fact, visa subclass 457 is quite fast in term of processing timeframe. Based on my experience, visa subclass 457 can be granted within 4-5 weeks. That's  not long at all. Again, this is based solely on my experiences!

Those who have the concept and mindset about the differences between lodging visa application offshore and onshore for visa subclass 457 need to change their mindset a little bit.


While doing your own immigration application is possible, whenever you engage a professional to represent you on an Australia migration matter, please ensure that your representative has a MARN; Migration Agents Registration Number. It is mandatory for all migration professionals to have MARN from MARA and it needs to be renewed yearly. That is to ensure the standard and up to date knowledge as the Australian migration law is extremely dynamic and keeps changing all the time. Usually after the election, whenever there is changing in govern party, the legislation can go either way. Or even, within the same government but if there are changes or ministry shuffle, they can have some impact on the Australian migration law as well.

While offshore an Australian migration law practitioner does not need to hold a MARN, all onshore Australian migration law practitioner need to have a valid MARN. Otherwise, it is unlawful to give Australian migration law advice.

Therefore, whenever you engage someone for services, please check their business card, website and all marketing materials to ensure that they have a valid MARN. It is part of our code of conduct to make our MARN visible in all marketing material.

Once you know that you are dealing with a professional who has a MARN, more or less you are in good and competent hands.

Eligibility to be an approved business sponsor for visa subclass 457

While the Australian government has visa subclass 457 to address skill shortages in Australia. It needs to ensure that the business or employer who would like to sponsor the employees under visa subclass 457 has some certain qualities and meet some requirements set by the Australian government. That includes:

  • The business or employer needs to be a "good employer". A good employer from the Australian government's perspective means that the employer provides jobs for local people; Australian Permanent Residence or Australian citizen.
  • Apart from employ local people, the business needs to provide training for them as well. That is to up-skill and to ensure that they are more productive and more marketable. Just in case if one day business went down, at least those employees have enough skills to look for jobs so that they won't become government liabilities and become a burden to CentreLink.
  • The business has financial viable. Simply put, it means the business is financially strong to employ more staff. For example, the market rate for a restaurant manager is around $55,000 (+ 9.50% super ) per year and so forth. It also depends on location of the restaurant. That is just an example. If the business cannot afford to pay at that rate, is not financially viable to sponsor someone to work under visa subclass 457. In other words, the business bank statement needs to look pretty.
So, before any businesses want to jump onto the visa subclass 457 bandwagon, please ensure that you do a bit of checking first. Not all businesses or employers would get approved to sponsor some employees for visa subclass 457. Do a bit of research before you make any important decisions.

Employ and sponsor some employees under visa subclass 457, it is a big responsibility.

English language exemption for visa subclass 457

English language skill is part of the requirement for visa subclass 457. In order for visa subclass 457 to be granted, visa applicants need to demonstrate that they meet the English language requirement. In order to demonstrate that, visa applicants can sit for these tests; 

  • IELTS; International English Language Testing Systems,
  • OET; Occupational English Test,
  • TOEFL iBT; Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test,
  • PTE; Pearson Test of English, and
  • CAE; Cambridge English Advanced
IELTS used to be the only test that was accepted by the Department of Immigration (DIBP), however, it is now accepted the results from more tests as mentioned above.

There are some exemptions if you are a passport holder from Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, UK and USA or you are in a certain salary range. This information can be easily found from the Department website. I will not mention it here. Instead, I would like to mention and explain about another English language exemption for visa subclass 457. The 5 years fulltime study and during these 5 years of fulltime study,  English language has been used to conduct the course.

I have a few enquiries on that, that is the reason that I wrote this blog.

Here are things that I would like to highlight about those 5 years full-time study requirement:
  • It doesn't need to be continuously 5 years. It can accumulate.
  • As we have lots of overseas students here in Australia, the time that you spend in college learning English, doesn't count. It needs to be a course that leads to some certification, not an English language course for overseas students.
I have to say that the English language requirement for visa subclass 457 has been relaxed a little bit compared to a few years ago. It shouldn't be too hard (just my opinion) to get the test score that the Department needs.

Good luck everyone.

Apply for a Partner Visa and don't want to continue study on a student visa

Many students who come here to study and end up falling in love. Eventually they decide to apply for a Partner Visa, be it same sex or different sex relationship. It doesn't matter if the relationship is a marriage or de facto one. It makes no difference really.

Lots of students have a long term student visa and some wish not to continue their study after they have lodged their Partner Visa. That is because the tuition fees for overseas students can be expensive for some.

Many people plan to pause or postpone their study while they wait for their Partner Visa to be granted, but don't know how that will affect their Partner Visa application or their legal status in Australia. They can still continue their study, but it will be cheaper once they have become an Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen. Australian citizens can access study assistance, called HECS (Australian government keep changing its name). HECS allows you to study now and pay later.

By right, students still need to continue their study until either their student visa expires or the result of their Partner Visa comes out. Whichever happens first. Well....what happens when they've decided not to continue their study as I mentioned above?

  • The education institute will inform the Department of Immigration.
  • The Department of Immigration will then cancel your student visa. It will also cancel your Bridging Visa A as well (I will write about Bridging Visa in a separate post).
  • Then you will become an unlawful non-citizen. Just a fancy word for illegal overstay.
Fear not, once you have become an unlawful non-citizen, then you can lodge your application for Bridging Visa E, to legalize your visa status. It is FREE.

This Bridging Visa E will allow you to stay and wait for your result from your Partner Visa. There are pros and cons for this Bridging Visa E.

  • You no longer have to study and pay expensive tuition fees.
  • Although Bridging Visa E does not allow you to work. You can lodge in an application together with a nice and simple letter asking for permission to work, given that you have reason for financial hardship. It can be done quite easily at no cost.
  • You are not allowed to travel out. You cannot apply for Bridging Visa B to travel, unlike Bridging Visa A. If you can bear living in the country for at least 12 months and wait for result of your Partner Visa, I personally think that it is worth the wait.
That is a bit of information about student visas and Partner Visas. I hope that you find this post informative.

Whatever path you choose to follow. Please think about its pros and cons carefully. Each path you choose will have its own consequences.

Student visas can't be renewed forever

The education industry is one of the most profitable for the Australian government. Therefore, the Australian government makes it quite attractive for overseas students to study in Australia. This has become one of the avenues for some of us to emigrate to Australia.

Studying in Australia is a pathway for many visa categories. There are many paths that you can take to gain an Australian permanent residency or PR status. At the same time there are also groups of people that use student visas as a way to work in Australia as a student visa allows you to work 40 hours fortnightly. That is one of the legal conditions that student visa holders need to follow. Yet, there are huge number of students breaching that legal condition and risking their visa to be cancelled.

Many students enroll in some of the cheap private colleges in the big cities around Australia. Some of the private colleges require students to study only 1-2 days per week. The rest of the week, they just work and receive cash-in-hand payment. 

However, these students need to know that student visas are not something that you can continuously renew. You can't possibly keep renewing your student visa forever. In order for student visas to be granted, there needs to be some "genuineness" surrounding it to study. That can be hard for some, if that person keeps changing his/her course or have been enrolled in a private college and yet have never finished their study or have never received any significant qualifications.

In order for student visas to be granted, you need to at least gain some qualifications from your previous or existing student visa. That is the purpose of a student visa, for you to study. There also needs to be some progress forward from your study. The course that you choose to study should be something that is a higher qualification from your current or previous qualifications. You can still choose some qualifications that are slightly lower than whatever qualification you may have, as long as the new qualification or course of study is in a different field.

Overall, I do think that "common sense" does make sense. Just bear in mind that student visas can't be used as an avenue for you to work forever. Eventually, the renewal of your student visa can be put to paused.

It is important for those people who have had student visas for a few years and have not gained any significant qualifications so far. It might be a good idea to look into other avenues as well.

Training benchmark is to train your employees, not employer

Training benchmark as many people probably already know, is necessary to have if your business wants to sponsor someone for visa subclass 457 or ENS; Employer Nomination Scheme. However, it is important to note that the expenses can be counted towards the training benchmark if the expenses are to train the local employees who have either a permanent residency visa (PR) or are a citizen. I have mentioned this in my previous blog post.

Of course, you can still train your non-local employees, if that will help boost your productivity. However, you can claim only 50% of those expenses for the training benchmark, for immigration purposes. Usually for visa subclass 457 and ENS.

I didn't suggest that you don't have to train your non-local staff or employees. Training staff and employees is always good for your workforce. This is to boost your productivity and improve the workflow in the organization. However, you need to know what you can claim towards your training benchmark, so that you won't make a mistake when submitting your paperwork to the Department of Immigration. This is to speed the process time of your application as well.

Set up a business and sponsor yourself

Last few blog posts, I have mentioned about visa subclass 457 and use your business to sponsor yourself for the visa. No need to worry about getting a job from any employers. Today, I will expand that a little bit more on how you and a group of friends and set up a business and then use that business to sponsor yourself and a group of friends, for get visa subclass 457 and eventually proceed to Australian permanent residence visa; PR.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa, subclass 457 is one of the visa subclass that many people use as their pathway to permanent residency visa; PR. This can be done with some steps below.

There are ways that you and your friends can pool the money together as a partner and then set up a business. Then you and your friends can use that business to sponsor yourself and your friends. This sponsorship can be sponsored the whole family, not just yourself or your friends.

Here is just 1 scenario:

  • 4 families pool their money together and open a restaurant, be it, Indian restaurant, Chinese restaurant, Thai restaurant, Italian restaurant or all sorts of restaurants.
  • You need to set up the business as a company, not a sole trader or partnership.
  • Presumably that you study commercial cookery or business management (or related fields). Then you can use your own business to sponsor yourself and your friends.
  • 1 normal size restaurant; 40-100 seats should be able to sponsor 2 chefs and 2 restaurant managers under visa subclass 457. That is 1 chef at lunch and 1 at dinner. Same thing, 1 restaurant manager at lunch and 1 at dinner.
  • You can have your partner or kids (if any) as secondary applicant(s).
  • Your friends can have their partners or kids (if any) as their secondary applicant(s) as well.
It will be become a happy ending for at least 4 families.

Use your own business to sponsor yourself

As the Australian government is now focused more on skilled migrants who are more employable and will boost the Australian economy, visa subclass 457 (Temporary Work; Skilled ) is now at its peak. The number of visa approvals has skyrocketed.

Visa subclass is more for businesses or employers to sponsor their employees, to work in occupation that has skill shortage issues. Here is the list of occupations that can be sponsored under visa subclass 457.

While having businesses or employers sponsor you for visa subclass 457 it is a good and ideal situation. What if you yourself wants to set up your own business and then use that business to sponsor yourself. Yes, it can be done.

In order for you to set up your own business and then use that business to sponsor yourself, there are steps and things you need to follow:

  • Register your business as a company, not a sole trader or partnership. I personally strongly suggest to leave this to the experts, either get your solicitor or your accountant to do this for you. You will be one of the companies directors.
  • Then go through the normal standard business sponsorship as per normal. Visa subclass 457 has 3 stages that needs to be achieved:
    • Standard Business Sponsorship
    • Nomination
    • Visa application

Buying or setting up a business in Australia

Last blog I was writing about how any visa holder can own a business. I will now follow that up with this post, about buying or setting up a business in Australia. 

Buying or setting up a business in Australia is quite straightforward. It doesn't have anything to do much with Australian migration law. It will be more on commercial law and you need to engage a solicitor or lawyer to act on your behalf.

Buying or setting up a business in Australia doesn't require many documentation from your end. The thing that you really need is "your signature" as majority of the paperwork will be done by the solicitor and accountant.

Setting up your business name registration with ASIC can be done either by yourself, your account or your solicitor. If you set this up either as a "sole trader" or "partnership", personally I would just do that by myself. It probably takes you less than 15 minutes to organize that on the ASIC website. Yeap, the Australian government wants to make things easier for people to set up a business here and create job & boost the economy.

However, if  this is set up as a company or trust, the best way to do it is to leave it to the experts, either your solicitor or your accountant. As the company structure or trust structure can be quite confusing for some (for me as well).

Lots of people wonder what type of documentation they need? Not much really. Just your passport & IDs.

Any visa holder can own a business in Australia

Many people want to know what type of visa they need to have to own a business in Australia. To be frank, most visas don't prevent people from owning a business. However, working in a business is different.

For example, student visas allow visa holders to work for up to 40 hours fortnightly. That doesn't stop students from owning a business. Students can own a shop, and work in their business 40 hours fortnightly and the rest of the time, students can employ someone to run business on their behalf. They can be shop manager or whatever. 

All visa holders need to be careful that, they do not work over the work-right limitation that comes with their visa. It is important that every visa holder checks their visa conditions and strictly follows it.

They also need to take into account what will happen to the business when their visa is expired. They need to think about the "exit strategy" as well. Those temporary visa holders, be it; student or visitor visa, they cannot assume that they will keep on renewing their visa forever. Unless they have a plan for a longer term or permanent basis they will eventually apply for a permanent residence visa.

Things you need to know about the Australian Tourist Visa

The Australian Tourist Visa is quite self explanatory, the purpose of this visa is for people to come and visit Australia. The Australian government loves to have more tourists as that leads to economic growth in the tourism and hospitality industry. Tourism and hospitality is one of the main export industries that brings more cash to the country.

However, in order for people to get tourist visa, they need to illustrate that they are in fact genuine tourist, as there are way too many unlawful non-citizens here in Australia. The Australian government also needs to ensure that those who come here under a tourist visa will not overstay their visa.

Here is some basic information that you can illustrate to the case officer that you are indeed a genuine tourist. You will not overstay your visa. You will definitely go back to your home country before the visa expires.

  • your job back home is stable and you will definitely go back to your work
  • you are a full-time student and will definitely go back to school to continue your study back home
  • you own a business and will need to go back to continue running your business back home
  • you have family members back home that you will definitely go back to
That is just a rough guide, hope that you get the idea. There are many ways that you can illustrate that you are indeed a genuine tourist depending on your circumstances.

Apart from that, money is important for tourist visas....

Tourists come to Australia either for visiting friends, family members or sightseeing. Tourist visa applicants need to illustrate that they have enough funds to cover all their expenses while they are staying in Australia. That will include food and accommodation.

Those who stay with friends and family need to inform the case officer that the accommodation has been sorted.

The fund and financial support can be provided by your family members. However, if the fund will be provided by friends or persons that are not blood related to you, it needs to accompany with some explanation.

So far, that is only a rough guideline for tourist visas. Every case is different, the merit of visa application is based on a case-by-case basis.

Hope that you have some basic idea on how the tourist visa works.

Fraudulent document

I can't stress enough to let people know that using any fraudulent document to apply for the Australia visa is illegal. Yet still got people thinking that they can get away with that. That's a bad move!

The application fee that you have paid, that is for the case officers to do their work, to work on your case and YES, they check on the authenticity of your document as well.

I understand that many people may have friends in whatever organization that can issue a fraudulent certificate. It is not worth doing it as the case officer or staff from the embassy or the department will call and check. You "never" know who will answer the phone at the other end!!!

Be true to yourself, if you don't have whatever document that the department needs. Perhaps, that particular visa category is not suitable for you. It might be better to explore other types of visas. Always consult the one in the know...

Once the department finds out that you are using the fraudulent document:

  1. your visa won't be granted
  2. you will have a bad record. 
It may jeopardize the chance of getting a visa next time you apply.

Genuineness of position

Since the last blog was about "Training Benchmark" for visa subclass 457 and ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme), it is logical to touch base on "Genuine of Position" for this post.

In order for the employer to sponsor or employ someone under visa subclass 457 or ENS, the employer needs to show the genuineness of the position. 

The position needs to match the business profile. There needs to be a real need for the employer to employ that particular visa candidate.

There are many ways to show the genuineness of the position. It really depends on the nature and scale of the business.

  • Employer might indicate that the business is expanding and needs more workforce in that particular field.
  • The skill-set of the potential visa candidate is needed in order for the business to flourish and grow.
  • The potential visa candidate is the current employee (under whatever visa that allows him/her to work) and she/he has tremendously contributed to the growth of the business and the employer wants to employ the visa candidate in a longer full-time basis.
That is just a few examples that the genuineness of the position can be met. The employer needs to be a bit creative and sometimes think outside the box to illustrate that.

Whatever the employer does, do not just simply nominate the position to be approved on the basis that "I need staff". That is not good enough for the position to be approved for nomination.

Training Benchmark

The Australian workforce is important for the economy, however, sometimes there is a shortage of skilled personel. It is important that the migration and visa system in Australia supports the needs for the workforce. The Australian visa system has visa subclass 457 and Employer Nomination Scheme to allow people to work and live temporary & permanently in Australia.

In order for a business to sponsor a foreigner to work in the organization, the business needs to show to the Australian government that the organization is a good employer. "Good employer" from the Australian government's perspective is that the organization should employ more Australian workforce; Australian permanent resident or Australian citizen. At the same time the organization also needs to give the training to the Australian workforce as well. So that they are equipped with necessary skills and be more marketable in the workplace.

While training the Australian workforce is good for the organization in terms of the productivity. The Australian government needs employers to train its staff because business comes and goes. If one day business no longer continues its operation, at least its theAustralian workforce that is equipped with the necessary skills and be able to look for another job and so forth.

Therefore, in order for the business to sponsor its foreign worker, it needs to meet the training benchmark. Those businesses that have Australian workforce needs to spend at least 1% of its annual gross payroll in order for the business to meet the training benchmark set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Department's name keeps on changing). And it is 2% for business that do not employ any Australian workforce. 

Those new businesses that trade less than 12 months needs to demonstrate the commitment to the staff training. It needs to submit the auditable business plan and the training plan. This can be done by showing the contract made with any training organizations; TAFE or private colleges...etc.

The employer also has the obligation to maintain the training benchmark throughout the time that the employer employs someone under visa subclass 457.

It is easy to meet the training benchmark, the employer needs to keep all records & receipts of the expenditures that relates to staff training. There is a great quantity of training that can be done online as well. So, it is more flexible and has various topics and fields that the employees can choose to be trained on.

So, before anyone plans to apply or sponsor someone for visa subclass 457 and ENS, please ensure that your organization meets the training benchmark requirement.

Having children with your Australian partner does not guarantee a permanent residence visa

Relationships are always a tricky trade for anyone. Sometimes things happen unexpectedly. In many occasions the relationship can break down, which is unfortunate.

Last Saturday I was listening to the ABC radio which contained a quite interesting discussion about a situation surrounding a Partner Visa. The visa applicant had a child with her Australian partner, but the relationship had broke down before she became a permanent residence. That lead to the unsuccessful acquisition of her permanent visa application, Partner Visa.

It is important for all visa applicants to know that under the Partner Visa category, in order for the visa applicants to successfully get his/her visa approved, the relationship needs to be long-term, genuine and continuing.

If the relationship has broke down, it will always result in a problem. Having kids with your partner, does not promise that you will get a permanent residence visa as the relationship is no longer continuing.

It will always be hard on the child, because if the child was born here in Australia, he/she is an Australian citizen and the government needs to look after and provide a social welfare for that child. 

At the moment, there is no visa category that lets an Australian citizen child sponsor his/her parent to get a permanent residence in Australia.

Things can get more complicated, if the visa applicant needs to return home and if that parent has the sole custody of the child, that means that the Australian citizen child will have to live in the foreign land, away from Australian grandparents...etc. It can be heart breaking for the family as well.

I'm not saying that people need to bear with unhappy relationships. However, it is important to know this information so that you can plan and deal with a situation and hopefully have less impact to your life and the child's future.

Partner Visa, relationship needs to be stable

For those people who want to apply for a Partner Visa, either by marriage or de facto ground (both same sex and opposite sex). It is important that the relationship is long-term, genuine and continuing.

If a relationship has just started, although it is genuine and continuing, if its not a long term one I personally suggest that both parties get to know each other and ensure that the relationship is going to be stable and long-term.

If the sponsor still has doubts about the visa applicant, for example:

  • afraid that the visa applicant will have half of the property or half of the money if the relationship breaks down....etc..

If any of that type of thought comes to sponsor's mind, it is better that both parties sit down and talk things out.

If things didn't work out, it is better that both parties just walk away and do not proceed with a Partner Visa application. It will save lots of unnecessary headaches and each others time.

Check your visa conditions to see if you are eligible to apply visa onshore

Understand that many people come to Australia with different types and categories of visas. Eventually lots of people want to renew and extend their stay. In order for people to apply for another visa or renew their visa while they are in Australia (apply onshore), they need to ensure that their existing visa does not have any conditions that prohibit them to apply onshore.

Visa conditions 8503 is a "No further stay" condition. That means the visa applicants are not allowed to apply for another visa while they are in Australia. There are only a few exemptions!!

So, before you even think about applying for another visa, please check your visa grant notice whether or not you have that visa condition; 8503. It is easy to check.

If you don't know how to do that, please feel free to contact "J Migration Team", we love to help.

Visa Application Charge dues to increase this 1 July

As expected, this coming 1 July 2015 there will be about 2.3%-5% increase in most of the visa application fees. It is recommended that people lodge your application a few weeks before as there will some computer maintenance due to this fee changes.

Whatever you do, please plan a few weeks or months ahead as some document take time to gather and prepare.

Changes to the Temporary Skilled; Subclass 457

Government has made changes to the Temporary Skilled (Subclass 457) visas.  These changes action the recommendations in the 457 Integrity Review.  Assistant Minister Cash announced the Government Response to the 457 Integrity Review on 18 March 2015.

The Government:

·   has expanded the list of English language providers, to include test of English as a Foreign Language internet – based test (TOEFL IBT), Pearson Test of English (PTE); and Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) test (conducted on or after 1 January 2015);
·   will accept an overall test score with minimum scores of each test component (reading, writing, speaking and listening); and
·   will grant an exemption when an applicant can provide evidence of five cumulative years of study in English at the secondary or tertiary level, rather than proof of five years consecutive secondary or tertiary study in English.
·   has extended the term of standard business sponsorship to 5 years commencing from the date of approval.
·   has extended the sponsorship period for start-up businesses from twelve (12) months to eighteen (18) months.
·   has reduced the market salary exemption threshold from $250,000 to $180,000, this is now in line with the marginal tax rate.
·   has extended the notifiable period for sponsors from 10 working days to 28 calendar days.

Minimum English language test scores for subclass 476 & 485

Minimum English language test scores for the Skilled – Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) and Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visas have changed. 

From 18 April 2015, new applicants for these visas must provide evidence that they have achieved an overall score of International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6, or the equivalent, and nothing below IELTS 5, or the equivalent, for each of the test components of speaking, reading, listening and writing, from one of the following tests:
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson test of English Academic  (PTE Academic)
  • Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test (must have been taken on or after 1 January 2015)

Prior to the changes which commenced on 18 April 2015, these applicants could not provide an overall test score and had to provide evidence that they had achieved a minimum test score of IELTS 6, or equivalent, in each of the test components. 

Skilled Migrant

Skill Migrant is one of the good way to migrate, live and work in Australia. If you can migrate here independently, that even better. You don't need anyone to sponsor you. You don't have to tie down with some employer. It gives you the liberty of look for job by yourself. For those high skilled professional, I am recommended this path. If you are highly skilled professional and confident that you can find a job quite easily, then you don't really need someone to sponsor you. You can migrate here with your own merit.

To migrate here, first you need to check if your occupation is in the SOL (Skilled Occupation List). To check, please click here to find out:

In order for you to migrate here independently under Skilled Migration program, you need to have 60 points on Australian migration point system. To find out how many points you have, please see the link:

It is also important to get your skill assessment done. Please see the list of authority that come with SOL above.

Get your English language skill tested. Check to see where are the test centre in particular countries.

If you can get organize with the procedures listed above, then you are on the right path.

Please feel free to contact us if more information is needed.

Information is correct as of 10 Jan 2015.

Partner Visa fees increase that can lead to the increase of visa refusal as well

As the Partner Visa fees increase from 1 Jan 2015, there are chances that many visa applicants will lodge the visa applications by themselves. That is to cut the cost of total spending on the visa application. Without a proper guidance from professional like migration layer or registered migration agent, there are high chances that the application is incomplete. That can lead to a high percentage of visa refusal. Not sure if that is a good move by the department. It will just counter-productive I suppose. Particularly, by increase the visa fee by 50%. 50% that was just way to high. Guess that we all have to bear with this cost....sadly...