Australia's Immigration Regime
Australian citizens have the right to travel to and from Australia without restriction. Everyone else who wishes to enter Australia on a temporary or permanent basis must obtain a visa, regardless of the length or purpose of stay. If you are considering applying for a visa for Australia, either electronically or in paper format, it is important to be aware of the rules that must be met and conditions of stay.
All Australian immigration applications are assessed against the requirements stipulated in the Migration Act and Migration Regulations. The Australian government sets the legislative criteria for each visa category, supported by policy and procedural instructions that are taken into consideration by immigration officials when deciding applications.
There are approximately 95 different visa subclasses each with their own criteria, and in some cases subclasses have multiple pathways and/or streams. As Australia's immigration rules are constantly changing, timely advice should be sought on a case-by-case basis. While a person can seek guidance from family, friends or colleagues obtaining professional, tailored advice is the best option. Applications can be refused simply because a person applies for the wrong type of visa subclass or stream, or they do not provide enough information to enable immigration to positively assess an application.
Substantial information explaining Australia's visa options and application requirements is freely available on the Department of Home Affairs' website, http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/. Before consulting with a Migration Agent we recommend people visit the department's website.