Applying for a visa
It must be remembered by visa applicants that every aspect of the application is as important as the next. Fulfilling the criteria of a particular visa application will be just as important as lodging the application at the correct address, or using the correct application form. The Migration Regulations consist of seven volumes; they are lengthy and complicated. It is best to seek legal advice on visa applications before proceeding.
There is a Reader’s Guide to the Migration Regulations included in earlier versions of the Migration Regulations. It is still a useful beginner’s introduction to visa and other information.
Common Visa Requirements
There are several requirements that are common to all visas – these are the requirements of health and good character. Health requirements may differ where an applicant is applying for a medical visa to seek treatment in Australia. See Medical Visa below. There is a website that provides information on all visa charges associated with the application process for each visa type,
The health requirement is part of protecting the high standards of health and health care available to Australian citizens and permanent residents. The process involved in meeting the health standard will vary according to the applicant’s personal circumstances and the visa applied for. For example, tourist visa applicants no longer a re required to pass a chest x-ray examination. A more rigorous health examination may be attached to permanent rather than temporary visas, depending on the country of origin of the applicant, and other factors – such as whether they already have been residing in Australia for a period of time.
A major focus of the health requirement is to prevent tuberculosis spreading into Australia. The tuberculosis risk rating will bear on the health examinations required of an applicant. The requirements for temporary entry are available on the DIBP website. The requirements for permanent entry include a medical examination, a chest x-ray (for signs of tuberculosis) and an HIV test.
Good character requirements are usually in the form of providing police certificates for each country you have lived in for 12 months or more over the last ten years since turning 16. Applicants outside Australia do not have to provide this information when applying, but will be advised if they are required to provide it at a later date. People applying from within Australia will have to provide this information with their application.
There are several information pamphlets on establishing good character: See the general information about character and police checks, as well as Fact Sheet 79 – The Character Requirement on the Department of Immigration website.
Exclusion periods and re-entry bans
Exclusion periods and re-entry bans are sometimes attached to visas. For example, an exclusion period can mean that a person can not apply for an extension to a visa, such as a tourist visa, and will have to depart the country. If a person has overstayed their visa they will often be subject to an exclusion period for return, or a total ban: a re-entry ban. Sometimes, an exclusion period is a regular condition of a visa, such as a tourist visa with a ‘No further stay’ condition attached. This will mean that a tourist visa holder will have to depart Australia.
Each visa has its own conditions. A tourist visa is just this: a tourist visa. The conditions attached are that you cannot work while in Australia, and must not study for more than three months. A student visa allows the student to work 20 hours a week whilst their course is in session – they cannot exceed this, or they will be breaching the conditions of their visa.