The potential to move to Australia can be exciting, but the process of immigration can be confusing and discouraging.

To obtain an Australian visa, it is essential that you’re guided through the eligibility criteria by a professional migration agent. Your chances of success in obtaining a visa can often hinge on small but important details.

As migration agents and immigration lawyers in Canberra, you can trust in our highly specialised and reputable migration advice. We can help you navigate the ever-changing legislation, obligations and policy framework applied by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

Skilled migration

Are you interested in working in Australia? The following visas are available to individuals who are qualified to work or train in an eligible skilled occupation in Australia and can meet all other requirements:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa
  • Business skills visa
  • Business talent visa
  • Business innovation visa.

You can read about the different types of skilled visas, and how they may lead to permanent residency, here.

An application for a working visa may require consideration of a combination of issues, including:

  • work experience
  • skills assessment
  • passing a points test
  • sponsorship by a state/territory government or an employer
  • English language capabilities
  • health and character checks
  • the proposed length of employment/visa duration
  • age restrictions
  • licensing and/or registration requirements
  • regional options.

These requirements are always changing and close attention is needed to ensure compliance with the Migration Act.

Family migration

If you are an Australian citizen (or a settled permanent resident), there may be scope for bringing your family members to Australia. There are a variety of visas by which families can migrate, including:

  • Partner visas
  • Fiancé (Prospective Marriage) visas
  • Parent visas (including contributory parent visas)
  • visas for remaining relatives, carers and children.

Generally speaking, these visa applications allow you, as the Australian citizen or permanent resident, to sponsor the family member’s prospective migration.

The evidence that needs to be provided will vary between applications; however, it’s imperative that, for partner and fiance visas, you prove the relationship between yourself and the applicant. The application will be heavily scrutinised by the Australian Department of Home Affairs so that they are confident that the relationship is genuine.

Establishing that you meet general health and character requirements (also known as ‘public interest criteria’) is part and parcel of every visa application.

Student visas

Australia is a popular destination for study and is internationally recognised as providing high-quality education at all levels. We can help you evaluate the best visa category for your situation. We will consider:

  • the length of your studies
  • how many courses/degrees you undertake
  • your age
  • whether you are considering structured workplace training
  • if you completed your degree and wish to work in Australia temporarily
  • whether you are a guardian to a student
  • whether you are financially capable of sustaining yourself (and your dependents) during your visa validity period.

You need to establish that you have access to the requisite finances to fund your travel expenses, general living and healthcare expenses, as well as international course fees.

Student visas are granted subject to strict conditions, including working restrictions. There is also an expectation that students will successfully complete their studies.

You can read more about student visas here and here.

Other temporary visas

Temporary residency is granted to people who come to Australia for a particular purpose, for example, to study, do an internship, to work for a particular company, or to visit as a tourist.

Temporary visas can be subject to limitations and conditions, which may include:

  • time restrictions on entering and remaining in Australia
  • work restrictions
  • study restrictions
  • health insurance requirements
  • restrictions on further visa applications while onshore.

Australian Citizenship

Obtaining Australian citizenship is the ultimate step in the migration process. Permanent residents who have lived in Australia for a required period of time are eligible to apply for citizenship.

If you have lived in Australia for the last four years (including the last 12 months as a permanent resident and met the residence requirement), are of good character, have a basic knowledge of the English language and intend to reside in (or maintain a continuing association) with Australia, then you may be eligible for citizenship.

Once you meet the requirements of citizenship you may lodge your application. We can assist you in the citizenship application process and review any decisions that have been made regarding your citizenship.

Review of migration decisions

Where a visa application is refused or a visa is cancelled, the applicant may be entitled to apply for review. Not all applicants are entitled to review under the Migration Act and there are strict timeframes for review. Therefore, if you receive an unfavourable decision, you must act quickly.

Registered migration agents

Our Migration team are experienced lawyers and  registered migration agents:

Gerald Santucci
Dominic Cookman

You can see the code of conduct which the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MIRA) uses to govern all registered migration agents in Australia here.

Meet your Migration Law team

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I had a very complex permanent residency application and after researching for hours, I felt completely stumped.

I asked around some colleagues and was referred to Gerald Santucci at SHG. I made contact with him and from the outset, he put me at ease, was very receptive and happy to assist. I sent through all the paperwork and he made an initial recommendation and gave advice on which avenues we could take.

Although the outcome was very uncertain due to the very rare situation, the team took the case and Dominic Cookman was my point of contact. Dominic was a delight to deal with, very patient and responsive. He put together the full submission and walked me through the process. He was upfront about what would happen next and kept in regular contact.

Ultimately, he made the good news call that permanent residency had been granted and it was like a huge weight was lifted in an instant.

I could not have been happier with the advice, service and outcome and I have no hesitation in recommending Gerald, Dominic and the team at SHG as Canberra’s immigration specialists.

Alex Ah Key (Migration)

22 May 2018

Dear Gerald and the migration team

Thank you for your efforts in obtaining a Resident Return Visa (RRV). I appreciate that this visa is for a one year period.

Thank you for a great job well done!

We will contact you next October to renew the visa.

Jane (Migration)

4 December 2017

After unsuccessfully trying to renew my resident return visa on my own, I turned to SHG. I knew it was a long shot and it took a couple more tries, but the firm shared my persistence and we prevailed.

Two things impressed me the most about the firm’s approach. Firstly, Nicholas and Gerald took me through the policy advice manual that the Department analyst would use as guidance – essentially exactly how to satisfy the general points available online. This enabled us to come up with a plan on how to “tick all of the boxes,” leaving no stone unturned.

Secondly, they welcomed my first draft for the submission, which was an amateur attempt to put forth my case. Then they recrafted it into a much more polished document with professional arguments and many points I would never have thought of.

Although I could have turned everything over to the firm, since they recognized I knew my case best and was able to craft at least some of the arguments, they respectfully treated me as a partner in the project and accepted my input. They even sent me drafts of the application for my review.

SHG helped make our dreams come true.

Anon (Migration 1)

17 March 2016

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