Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT ARE MY AUSTRALIAN MIGRATION OPTIONS?

Australian permanent residence is given to a non-Australian citizen who is the holder of an Australian permanent visa. A permanent resident can live, work and study without restriction in Australia on a permanent basis but does not hold an Australian passport. Australian temporary residence visas allow non-Australians to live and work in Australia for a limited time and mostly require sponsorship by an Australian business or State/Territory Government which then needs the visa holder to work in Australia. There is an ever-changing number of Australian visas & visa rules – sometimes 100 or more. See our website www.australianimmigrationlawyers for more information

CAN YOU TELL ME IF I AM ELIGIBLE FOR MIGRATION?

Yes we can in a paid consultation. Migration is complex and ever changing and above all very political. This means you need up to date, professional and accurate advice. There are around 100 different Australian visas and a visa that exists today could be changed or even gone tomorrow!

Have a look at what is happening in Australian politics right now on just one small aspect of the migration program; refugees

www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/tampa-moment-looms-as-latest-poll-tightens/news-story/9b3c8f5cacbfb6fe482c936d7865c56f

https://www.news.com.au/national/politics/you-will-not-succeed-scott-morrisons-secret-video-to-deter-people-smugglers/news-story/a235abe244d6e6a3c196d8917463f808

CAN I GET A TOURIST OR ETA VISA EXPEDITED (SPED UP) BECAUSE I HAVE BOOKED AND PAID FOR TRAVEL LIKE FLIGHTS TO AUSTRALIA, TOURS & ACCOMMODATION?

No. Generally these would not be convincing enough reasons for immigration dept. to speed up your application. If there is a proven genuine emergency such as a medical matter, or unique work reasons we may be able to convince immigration dept. to look at your case as requiring special attention. It worked in this case below and we got our client her urgent tourist visa in almost twice as fast as even the quickest approval time.

1ST CASE STUDY

An American attorney client works for a large investment bank and approves billions of $ worth of deals every day. She applied for an ETA to visit Australia for her annual holiday in Australia from 15/2 – 2/3/19. However her ETA was denied simply because of a minor honest admin error by her on her application. So she applied for a different tourist visa on 5/2/19. We argued her simple ETA error by, just being honest and transparent with the dept. was a compassionate reason for grant of visa.

We also argued there were compelling reasons for granting her visa urgently as she was coming to Australia with another American friend and committed to spending money on tours in the Whitsundays, Harbour Bridge climb etc. Further as our client works in the multi-billion dollar New York finance sector, a happy trip to Australia will see her promote the country to her cashed up friends and colleagues there who can all easily afford top class big spending, even last minute overpriced, holidays in Australia. Thus we argued her trip would reap many flow on benefits for Australia from increased tourism to even high level business deals.

She was granted her visa in 9 days, 40% less than the minimum average 15 and where there were not legal grounds for it to happen! It was our skills and strategies that made it happen as her testimonial states:

From: “Fox, Lindsay” <Lindsay.Fox@tdsecurities.com>
Date: February 14, 2019 at 7:57:25 AM EST
To: Lindsay Fox <fox.lindsayh@gmail.com>
Subject: RE: IMMI Grant Notification – BCC2019/345956 – 2010622818 – FOX, LINDSAY HILLARY

“Hi Justin-

A million times thank you to Noel and yourself this made my life a whole lot better.

I am a New York attorney, Lindsay Fox, Employed by TD Securities covering the Institutional Fixed Income Business. I organized an annual leave to Australia with a friend and had an urgent seemingly impossible problem with my Australian visa. I engaged Justin Rickard, Australian immigration lawyer & registered migration agent to do the seemingly impossible – get me a different Aussie visa with less than a week to go and he did it.   He also took the risk of taking half his very reasonable fee as a success fee.

From my early phone meetings with Justin, I could tell he knew his stuff and was a true professional. Justin overcame a number of significant challenges in my case which could have led to it being refused without his professional help. These included my previous visa application problems, the fact I did not meet established Australian government policy criteria for the grant of a rushed visa and some other visa issues caused by legal complications.

Justin carefully edited my support statements from my work supervisor and for me, always answered our questions, stresses and concerns with great sensitivity and finesse. He managed my whole visa application with his professional team, so that my visa was granted right on cue, literally within days of when I was leaving New York, and so that it exactly fitted in with my international travel plans to Australia.

Without hesitation, I would recommend Justin Rickard, Australian immigration lawyer & registered migration agent to anyone.

Lindsay Fox, Director, TD Securities, U.S. Markets Compliance “

DO WE HANDLE HIGH NETT WORTH & BUSINESS VISA CASES?

Yes we most certainly do and with great success. We have assisted clients in this area from Asia, Africa, the UK and the USA. Here is a sample real estate investment project we had available for our clients in late 2018. These projects not only help our clients gain visas but are also stand-alone profitable investments.

DO WE HAVE SPECIAL CONTACTS INSIDE IMMIGRATION DEPT?

Rarely, very rarely, does the Australian immigration dept. work on a contacts and favours basis and certainly we can not purchase favours. However, we do know how their ever changing internal system works, how to get cases “escalated” to a supervisor, how to access a “floor-walker” decision maker (and what that means) and how to access their internal rule, policies and even your file and migration government records. They are very process and evidence based as a bureaucracy. Hence we advise in that context.

At no stage can we promise to get a visa or that we know someone “inside their tent” who can do so (in fact, that is illegal under our license). We do however offer excellent advice, options and brilliant strategies educate clients and minimize client risk.

We also know how to get the migration dept. to answer the phone and deal with questions we have for our clients and we have email addresses in some sections of their department for immediate responses on complex matters. This information is not always publicly available.

DO WE UPDATE OUR CLIENT’S CASES AFTER LODGING THEIR APPLICATIONS?

Yes we most certainly do and we advise all clients to engage us in this process!

2nd CASE STUDY

A new client from India used a normally very, very highly regarded immigration Sydney specialist lawyer (his name is withheld for obvious reasons, however this lawyer has been a  personal colleague and friend of Mr. Rickards’ since university days over 35 years ago) to do their quite complex migration spouse partner application. The client and his wife had both been divorced and remarried, which is still unusual in India. For financial and other reasons they lived apart in both Australia and India. Their actual wedding was not attended by many people in India as their families very much disapproved of their second marriages (the husband’s family does not even talk to him anymore).

Their application was lodged in Sydney and took 2 long years for immigration dept. to process. The decision was brutally negative and an unfortunate refusal. The couple are understandably devastated; all that time and money for nothing.

The refusal makes it very clear that our new clients’ supposedly top migration lawyer did a very poor job. The evidence submitted was not sufficient in any way at all and was not updated for 2 years of waiting on the government decision. The immigration dept. does not legally have to ask for more evidence and can make a decision just on what is in front of them when they sit down to decide a case. It is said that you should not judge a book by its cover, but that is exactly what they do. They decide if, in their unilateral opinion, a marriage or de-facto relationship is genuine just based in the evidence before them.

Now this Indian couple has to wait on an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) which normally take a year and or lodge a new partner visa application which could take another year and cost almost $7000 just in application fee.

So…be warned! Even if your case is 100% genuine and you have made massive sacrifices for your relationship (as  many people have) and waited years for a decision on your visa application, it can still be refused if the evidence of your genuine and continuing relationship is not up to date and sufficient to prove all that is required to the satisfaction of the Australian government.

FEES & ADVICE QUESTIONS

HOW DO I GET LEGAL ADVICE AND GUIDANCE ABOUT IMPROVING OUR CHANCES AT A SPEEDY AND SUCCESSFUL RESULT WITH PARTICULAR FOCUS ON THE NATURE, QUALITY AND QUANTITY OF EVIDENCE AND WHAT EVIDENCE WE SHOULD INCLUDE IN OUR APPLICATION?

Australian immigration lawyers understand that most of our clients are either outside or living all over Australia so most can not travel to meet us. We can organize face to face meetings, phone, WeChat, WhatsApp or Skype consultations or advice via email.

There are plenty of methods we can use to provide you with the best migration options and strategies and ensure you start your Australian visa application successfully.

For no risk (no charge if we can’t help) for Migration Advice Plans (MAP) Mini for $A269 (plus GST for Australian located clients) for up to 60 minutes or up to 20 minutes for $95 (mini MAP) with one of the world’s most experienced Australian migration lawyers, Justin Rickard advising on your best visa strategy & process, fees & costs.

Fees are discussed during your initial call and are dependent on the type of visa strategy most applicable to each client’s unique background, goals, timing and personal needs

Please book here (note prices are subject to change so please always choose the Facebook rate): https://australianimmigrationlawyers.com/fees-costs/australian-immigration-migration-advice/

Migration profession government fee information: https://www.mara.gov.au/using-an-agent/working-with-your-agent/agent-fees/

HOW CAN YOU CLARIFY MY DOUBTS AND HELP PUT ME AT EASE?

Your best way to start is with your initial migration advice. After that you can decide if you need further help or not. We don’t charge for your initial migration advice if we can not help you in the initial consultation. Also ask for a copy of our very popular article 9 Wise Ways to Overcome The Reality Of Migration Stress

DO I REALLY NEED THIS SERVICE?  CAN I FIX THIS MYSELF? ARE YOU THE RIGHT ATTORNEY FOR THE JOB? HOW DO I KNOW YOU CAN HANDLE THIS? I JUST WANTED TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY TO ASK A FEW QUESTIONS.

Would you operate on yourself if you had a brain tumour? Fix your own brand new car or build your own house? Probably not!

Please ask for an emailed copy of our very popular article 11 Case Studies From Our Real Client Files Proving All Migrants Benefit From Professional Help. There are many advantages to using an immigration lawyer/Registered Migration Agent:

— an understanding of Australia’s migration laws and processes;
— up to date knowledge on all migration legislation in Australia;
— over 26 years success in migration law and over 31 years in law including migration, litigation and criminal law as well as environmental     planning and assessment
— explaining which visa options are available to you and recommend a suitable strategy of options based on your personal circumstances;
— someone for you to talk to and ask questions about your case and your concerns and stresses providing honest and frank advice and opinion on whether or not your visa application will be successful;
— advising you on all costs and fees for the visa application, as well as approximate visa processing times;
— guide you through everything from different visa alternatives to IELTS and skills assessments in all occupations sought by the Australian     government;
— obtaining your State/Territory sponsorship where required;
— assist you with any migration law queries or complexities or changes that arise with your application as it proceeds;
— preparing your visa application and supporting documents so they comply with Dept. of Home Affairs requirements — this makes it make      it easier, more likely to succeed and faster to get a decision from the Department
— lodging your visa application, monitoring your visa status and communicating with the government and other departments and officials         on your behalf; and
— contact the government or other organisations to discuss or ask any questions regarding your application

If your visa application is not successful, we can re-apply or can apply for immigration Ministerial Intervention (if appropriate), submit complaints, appeals and represent you at relevant hearings

DO YOU HAVE A LOWER-PRICED SERVICE? DO YOU ACCEPT INSTALMENTS

Yes. We offer a range of fees options and instalments to suit all our clients – please see www.australianimmigrationlawyers.com. We do not currently:

— do refugee cases or
— act for impecunious clients who cannot afford market rate fees or
— charge our fees after visas are approved

DO I NEED TO PAY ANYTHING UPFRONT/RETAINER?

After your Migration Advice Plan initial advice (see # 2 above) if you become a client we will ask for a retainer deposit of 25 – 33% of professional fees

ARE THERE ANY ADDITIONAL CHARGES? HIDDEN EXPENSES?  DO YOU CHARGE BY THE HOUR OR HAVE A FLAT FEE?

We work on a flat, fixed professional fee for an estimated number of hours which we calculate up front will be enough to complete your case.

WHAT IF MY VISA IS REFUSED? WILL I HAVE TO COME BACK AND PAY MORE?

No more to pay if you have initially taken up our Optional unique guarantee – 2nd visa application free of professional fees “guarantee” (as long as you comply with our normal terms and conditions on 1st application this is available if 1st application fails).

WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL ENGLISH LANGUAGE TESTING SYSTEM (IELTS)?

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (https://www.ielts.org/) is apparently the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for individuals that wish to study, work and migrate abroad with more than two million tests taken in the past year – the tests assess all of your English skills including reading, writing, listening and speaking, and reflect how you will use English for study, working and in everyday life.

IELTS results are:

— recognised by more than 9,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments,     in 135 countries around the world
— developed by an international team of experts and undergoes extensive research to ensure the test remains fair and unbiased for any          candidate regardless of nationality, background, gender, lifestyle or location.

HOW DOES AUSTRALIA’S SKILLED POINTS TEST WORK?

Most Skilled visas for immigration to Australia require applicants to score a minimum number of points on Australia’s Points Test. Skilled migration is one of the most complex visas to apply for, so we recommend that you contact us to check your likely eligibility for skilled migration before you proceed with an application, as the eligibility is a combination of many factors including qualifications, work experience and age.

WHAT ARE THE LIKELY REASONS THAT MY APPLICATION MIGHT BE REFUSED?

Probably, the main reason that visa applications are refused is due to applicants submitting the application with incomplete information. We can save you time and money by ensuring all your information lodged with your application are fully  correct.

Other reasons why Australian visa applications get refused include:

— providing false and incorrect information;
— missing proof of financial, health or character information;
— nominating the wrong occupation from the Skilled Occupations List (SOL);
— using a tourist visa;
— not meeting the strict health requirements that Australia upholds; and
— not providing proof that you are competent in the English language
— failing the character test
— applying for the wrong visa
— not convincing the Australian government you will return to your home country in some cases

IS THE INFORMATION I GIVE YOU CONFIDENTIAL? WHAT IF YOU DO A BAD JOB? DO I HAVE ANY RECOURSE?

Yes of course, we are licensed professionals – please read here https://www.mara.gov.au/media/152338/consumer_guide_english.pdf

I HAVE A CRIMINAL AND OR DEPORTATION RECORD FROM AUSTRALIA OR ANOTHER COUNTRY. I AM CONTACTING YOU FOR ADVICE AS I DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR THE COST OF A CONSULTATION OR VISA APPLICATION AND GET REJECTED FOR THIS.

For anyone who wishes to enter into Australia they must be of good character and will be assessed against the legal character requirements of Australia’s immigration department. When applying for your visa, you may be required to provide a police clearance certificate or other evidence to satisfy the character requirements for the visa. We deal with all types of people with all types of criminal records and have been successful in some very difficult cases including drugs, manslaughter, rape, drink driving, intoxication, assault and many other criminal and misdemeanor matters.

There is rarely a black and white simple answer to this question as it depends on the:

— actual criminal record which we prefer to sight from the relevant police
— reasons or extenuating circumstances for the crime
— person’s background pre crime
— current migration law and policy
— time since offence committed
— sentencing report
— time served in jail, on parole or on a bond
— the combination of all these factors

WHAT SUPPORT CAN YOU PROVIDE US AFTER ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA?

We can provide paid support services to all migrant clients including one-on-one meetings in Sydney with our migration team to help with your successful settlement.  These services include:

— Meeting upon your arrival
— migrant settlement planning appointments
— Business, employment and economy (tailored to your local area) updates
— Resources to help start your business or finding a job
— Settlement information
— Networking and keeping in contact
— Help with English including training

IF WE APPLY FOR A TOURIST VISA ON TOP OF THE PARTNER VISA, WILL IT TAKE A SHORTER TIME TO GET ME BACK TO AUSTRALIA?

This depends on the embassy you are dealing with overseas, the current policy on his, your passport country, the state of world affairs i.e. any global terrorism events or similar events and other factors.

Subject to all of these factors in many cases the answer could be yes.

OVER 45 AND INTERESTED IN IMMIGRATING TO AUSTRALIA, HERE ARE YOUR OPTIONS:

If you are older than 45 you still have options when it comes to immigrating to Australia.  Australia is still interested in family members, investors, successful entrepreneurs and business people who will contribute to economic growth regardless of their age.

Business Innovation / Significant Investor Visa

The Business Innovation visa allows you to move to Australia with the intention to own and manage a new business or take an established business to Australia. The main goal of this visa is to attract experienced businesspeople with skills, knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit to Australia.  The outcome of which is to stimulate their economy in a positive way. This is always an option providing you are actually an Investor with a track record in business or investments (simply selling your home won’t class you as an investor). The investment required is high, and your funds must remain committed for a long period of time.

This visa allows you to bring your family with you and it could lead to residency.

Temporary Employer Nominated Visas (Subclass 482)

These do not have an age requirement

Employer Sponsored Visa Over 45

There is still an age limit to emigrate to Australia in this visa category and it isn’t possible except in some very exclusive niche education and research occupations.

Business skills visas

The business skilled program has several streams, generally has an age limit of 55 years old, but concessions exists for over 55

For the Subclass 188 Significant Investor stream there is no upper age limit. This visa does require an applicants to make an investment of at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment”.

Family visas

Partner visas do not have an upper age restriction. Parent visas do not have an upper age restriction. If one of your children has emigrated to Australia and holds either Permanent Residency (2 years) or Australian Citizenship you can apply for a Parent Visa as long as you pass the all-important balance of family test.

Australia Balance of Family Test

This test is designed to show that the ‘balance’ of your children live in Australia, so for example:

One child, immigrated to Australia over two years ago: Pass the balance of family test
Two children, one emigrated the other didn’t: Pass the balance of family test
Three children, one emigrated two didn’t: Fail the balance of family test

If your family are estranged the balance of family test still applies.

If you have remarried and your new partner has children you would be unlikely to pass the balance of family test because all children (even from previous relationships) are counted.

Contributory Parent Visa

Provided you pass the balance of family test you may be able to apply for the Contributory Parent Visa Class, although note here the associated costs which are significant. The visa is completed relatively quickly although you will require around $40,000 AUD each. For further details on Contributory Parent Visas take our free visa assessment or head over the Department of Home Affairs.

The non-Contributory parent visa is significantly cheaper although not a recommended route as it can take over a decade or more to receive your visas.

More options for Parent Visas to Australia in 2019

A new class of parent visas, lasting either three or five years and prices at $5,000 AUD and $10,000 AUD respectively. These parent visas will be renewable once, for a further five years at $5,000, giving a total stay in Australia of fifteen years for a fee of $15,000.

2019 sees the launch of a new and innovative visa from South Australia designed to attract bright entrepreneurs to set up their new businesses in the State. occupations and industries you must be in are very tightly listed.

WHAT TYPE OF VISA ARE AVAILABLE IF I WANT TO COME TO AUSTRALIA FOR A VISIT OR TEMPORARY STAY?

If you wish to visit Australia temporarily or be granted entry for a very specific period of time, you will need visa. Some of the most common types of non-immigrant visas are student visas (should you be looking to further your education and skills), short term business visas (if you are planning on coming to do business), or a visitor visa (if you wish to visit friends, family or have a holiday).