Applications

How to apply for an Australian visa

It’s important to obtain and complete the correct form, pay the correct fee and satisfy other requirements such as being inside or outside Australia, as required.

Applications

For most visas where an application is made overseas, you must be outside Australia when a decision is made and for visa applications in Australia, you must be in Australia when the decision is made. If you make a visa application in Australia, you must ensure that you have a visa to return before leaving the country; otherwise, if your application is refused, you may have no right of review. If you apply for a visa in Australia, you’re usually granted a bridging visa to remain within the law if your current visa expires while a decision is being made regarding your application.

You must be careful to indicate the visa class under which you wish to be considered, as your application cannot be considered under any class other than the one noted on your application form. An Application for Migration to Australia form (47) must be completed by all applicants wishing to travel to Australia to live permanently and applications must be sent or delivered to a DIMIA office or an Australian mission overseas with all relevant documentation and the fee.

Family members who apply at the same time can usually apply on the same form and pay just one fee (a child born after an application is made, but before it’s decided, is included in the parents’ application). In certain circumstances, a spouse or dependent child can be added to an application.

Applications for some visas, such as visitors’ visas, may be decided while you wait. In this case, if you’re granted a visa you’re usually given a visa label in your passport. If your application for a visitors’ visa is refused, you're given a notice of refusal. For all other visas, you’re notified of the decision by letter. If you’re refused a visa, you're notified why and, if applicable, where you can apply for a review of the decision and the time limit for doing so.

If you plan to travel to or from Australia while your visa application is being considered (assuming this is possible), you should inform the DIMIA, as a visa will be refused if you’re in the ‘wrong place’ when a decision is made.

Extensions & Restrictions

If you wish to stay longer than your visa allows, you should apply for another visa. If your visa expires while you’re in Australia and you haven’t applied for an extension, you’re committing a criminal offence and can be fined, given a suspended prison sentence of up to six months or even deported. If you’re deported, you're usually barred from entering Australia for one to three years. People deported for criminal or security reasons are permanently excluded.

If a visa is granted subject to certain conditions, e.g. restrictions on work or study, you must abide by those conditions or your visa may be cancelled. If you wish to change your visa status, e.g. from a visitor to a student, you must leave the country and make a new application while overseas.

For most visas where an application is made overseas, you must be outside Australia when a decision is made and for visa applications in Australia, you must be in Australia when the decision is made. If you make a visa application in Australia, you must ensure that you have a visa to return before leaving the country; otherwise, if your application is refused, you may have no right of review. If you apply for a visa in Australia, you’re usually granted a bridging visa to remain within the law if your current visa expires while a decision is being made regarding your application.

You must be careful to indicate the visa class under which you wish to be considered, as your application cannot be considered under any class other than the one noted on your application form. An Application for Migration to Australia form (47) must be completed by all applicants wishing to travel to Australia to live permanently and applications must be sent or delivered to a DIMIA office or an Australian mission overseas with all relevant documentation and the fee.

Family members who apply at the same time can usually apply on the same form and pay just one fee (a child born after an application is made, but before it’s decided, is included in the parents’ application). In certain circumstances, a spouse or dependent child can be added to an application.

Applications for some visas, such as visitors’ visas, may be decided while you wait. In this case, if you’re granted a visa you’re usually given a visa label in your passport. If your application for a visitors’ visa is refused, you're given a notice of refusal. For all other visas, you’re notified of the decision by letter. If you’re refused a visa, you're notified why and, if applicable, where you can apply for a review of the decision and the time limit for doing so.

If you plan to travel to or from Australia while your visa application is being considered (assuming this is possible), you should inform the DIMIA, as a visa will be refused if you’re in the ‘wrong place’ when a decision is made.

Extensions & Restrictions

If you wish to stay longer than your visa allows, you should apply for another visa. If your visa expires while you’re in Australia and you haven’t applied for an extension, you’re committing a criminal offence and can be fined, given a suspended prison sentence of up to six months or even deported. If you’re deported, you're usually barred from entering Australia for one to three years. People deported for criminal or security reasons are permanently excluded.

If a visa is granted subject to certain conditions, e.g. restrictions on work or study, you must abide by those conditions or your visa may be cancelled. If you wish to change your visa status, e.g. from a visitor to a student, you must leave the country and make a new application while overseas.

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