A visa is permission to enter and remain in a country. Australia's migration program comprises four streams of visas: family migration, business skills migration, skilled worker mirgration and the humanitarian program. Within each of these streams there are both temporary and permanent visa options.
Migration legislation is constantly changing
There is a lot of information out there about migrating to Australia. But it is your own unique set of circumstances that will inevitably determine whether you fit the criteria and qualify for a visa. It is important to note that migration legislation is constantly changing. This means the information you find can be correct one month and incorrect the next. So if you want your application to be successful you need to be aware of the current requirements.
Using an experienced immigration consultant can take the stress from the visa process and prevent you from making time consuming and costly mistakes. It means you receive an objective expert analysis of which visa is the most likely to be approved, based on your very own circumstances.
But how to find an experienced immigration consultant? First of all, the migration advice profession is regulated by the Migration Agents Registration Authority (www.themara.com.au), which provides a Code of Conduct to be adhered to by agents. Registered migration agents are fully trained in the Migration Act and Regulations, are certifed to practise and undergo continual professional development.
Registration is a must
So look out for them and be aware that anyone providing advice or in any way giving the impression that he or she has a special knowledge of immigration law without being registered is punishable under law.
Good migration agents listen thoroughly to your needs and offer detailed advice about which visa is right for you. They will navigate you easily through the burocratic paper jungle and prepare your visa application for you, ready to lodge. This involves completing application forms, advising and checking the necessary supporting documentation and preparing a written submission to go with your application which can sometimes be tricky.
A good agent stays in touch
After lodging a completed application at the relevant office of the Department of Immigration, a good agent will monitor the progress of the application and advise you frequently how it is going at each stage of the process.
When you engage a migration consultant, it is important to obtain a written statement of the service they will provide to you and the fees to be charged. Shop around for an agent and ask questions until you are happy with their professionalism, confident in their abilities and satisfied with their fees.
After all, moving to Australia should be fun and as stressfree as possible.
Dr. Vicki Clayton is the principal immigration consultant of AusArrivals Immigration Agency (www.ausarrivals.com.au) and writes for Deutsche in Melbourne about migration topics. She is a fully qualified and registered migration agent with a certificate in legal process and procedure.
Vicki has many years experience working with individuals with a skilled occupation, companies both Australian and overseas who wish to sponsor an employee, and families for both temporary and permanent family reunion.