What is a Bridging Visa?
A bridging visa is a temporary visa. It allows you to live in Australia while you wait for your visa application outcome, or while a decision about your visa is reviewed by the Court. In cases where a visa application is denied, a bridging visa also allows the applicant time to make arrangements to leave Australia. There are several types of bridging visa, depending on the circumstances of the applicant.
What is Temporary Residence?
A temporary residency visa allows you to stay in Australia for a limited time. Many people in the temporary residence program are in Australia for work, education or research and temporary residents pay taxes on income earned in Australia. Most temporary residents do not have access to social services, but citizens of some countries have access to emergency medical treatment.
What is Permanent Residence?
Permanent residency means that you can live in Australia for as long as you like, with the same rights and responsibilities as someone who was born in Australian, except for voting rights. You do not have an Australian passport, but you can work, study at school or university, access social services (like Medicare and social security) and sponsor other people for permanent residency.
What is Citizenship?
In essence, citizenship means that you can call Australia ‘home’. You have all the same rights and responsibilities as someone who was born in Australia and can work, travel, vote and access social services. From a migration point of view, there are a few key paths to citizenship. You can apply when you:
- are a migrant with permanent residence;
- are a spouse or partner of an Australian citizen;
- are a child of a former Australian citizen;
- were born overseas to an Australian parent;
- were adopted by an Australian citizen;
- have lost or gave up your citizenship;
- arrived under the Commonwealth Child Migration Scheme;
- entered the country as a refugee or humanitarian entrant;
- were born in Papua New Guinea before independence in 1975.
Will I need to sit an English test?
Citizens from most countries need to sit an English test (IELTS). The minimum score for most visas is 5.0, but can be higher for skilled visas. We will clearly outline the language requirements when discussing which visa you are applying for. In general, people from the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the USA do not need to sit an English test.
How much will it cost to lodge a visa application?
The cost of a visa includes many components, many of which are external to the migration lawyer's fees.
At Albatross Lawyers, we offer you a competitive set price for our fees, based on a fair “per visa” fee structure which takes into consideration your particular circumstances.
Be mindful that in addition to our own fees, there are also costs and expenses to be paid to the various governmental bodies and third parties linked to your visa application (e.g. visa application charge, medical examinations, police clearance, English test, certifications & translations, courier, etc). We will estimate the total cost of your visa and explain it to you in detail at the beginning of the process. This estimated cost may vary depending on your case’s circumstances and can evolve during the process.
Lastly, you should also consider the costs linked to your move itself (e.g. moving and settling costs).
How long does the process take?
The length of time it takes to process your visa application
varies a lot. Some employer-sponsored visas are processed in a few weeks, while dependent relative visas may take a significant number of months. In general, temporary visas are processed more quickly than permanent visas, and skills assessments can take up to 3 months, so skill-based visas take longer. We can give you a better idea of your expected waiting time once we know a bit more about your situation.
Couldn’t I lodge my migration application myself?
Yes. In Australia, you don’t need to be a lawyer or a migration agent to lodge your own application, and most visa and migration applications can be lodged online. But because migration is such a major life event, many people feel more comfortable going through the process with an experienced professional, especially if their case is complex. Think of us as a guide—we can help you navigate the difficulties of the application process and give you the best chance of success.
I’ve seen migration agents offering cheap visa deals online. Do they do the same thing as you?
While migration agents are registered, they do not require legal qualifications. In some cases an agent without a law degree is perfectly sufficient—but for something as important as this, many people prefer the confidence that comes with a legal professional. If you are choosing an online migration agency, be sure to check their qualifications are current, and carefully clarify what they do and don’t offer before signing a contract. Many migration agencies approach the process like a factory would, and some even outsource the paperwork to overseas branches – so your case doesn’t always get the individual concern and attention it deserves. A boutique firm, where you have someone who knows your individual case and circumstances, may be a better fit for you.
Will engaging your services result in a faster outcome?
We cannot fast-track your application. But we can offer you the confidence that your application has been filed correctly, and that we have considered all the best options for you and your personal situation.
Can you guarantee the success of my application?
We cannot influence the government’s decision on your case. But we can offer you the confidence that your application has been filed correctly, and that we have considered all the best options for you and your personal situation.
How do you manage my personal information?
page for more details.
What should I be aware of when using this website?