The potential to move to Australia can be exciting, but the actual process of immigration can be confusing and sometimes even discouraging. There is a range of Australian visa options for which a variety of forms and supporting documents are required in order to make a valid visa application.

To obtain an Australian visa, it is essential that you are guided through the eligibility criteria by a professional migration agent.

Are you looking for a visa associated with your work, your family or study? Our clients have successfully obtained student visas, work visas, family visas and other temporary visas. For those who wish to migrate to Australia, we can assist you with permanent residency and Australian citizenship, depending on your needs and your eligibility pursuant to the Migration Act.

Snedden Hall & Gallop’s Migration team is one of the most experienced in Australia. 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? There are a variety of temporary and permanent visas within the skilled migration program. 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 Compliance with the Migration Act.
  • This area of migration is constantly evolving as the government changes its priorities.

To learn how the current changes affect your migration options, contact us today.

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.

  • Partner visas
  • Fiancé (Prospective Marriage) visas
  • Parent visas (including contributory parent visas)
  • As well as 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 is imperative that 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.

If there is a family visa option available for you, we will help you navigate the application process.

Student visas

Are you considering studying in Australia? 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 exorbitant international course fees.

Other temporary visas

The majority of people come to Australia as temporary residents. 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.

In most cases, temporary visas are subject to limitations and conditions which may include:

  • Time restrictions on entering and remaining in Australia
  • Work restrictions
  • Study restrictions
  • Health insurance requirements
  • No further visa applications made from within Australia
  • No access to social security

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. (Eligibility requirements are the subject of current Australian parliamentary review. Changes are expected to be made by 1 July 2018.)

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. It is important to note that not all applicants are entitled to review under the Migration Act. In addition, there are very strict timeframes for review. It is therefore essential that you seek our legal advice as soon as possible if a situation arises that requires review.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal is the body charged with the responsibility for reviewing migration decisions by the Department of Home Affairs.

In carrying out a review of a decision, the tribunal will consider the merits of the case and make its own decision on the application without having regard to the earlier decision. The tribunal remains bound by the regulations. Once the tribunal has considered all of the supporting material, it can decide to confirm the original decision or to overturn it.

Applications for review are complex. We have the expertise to assist you to provide the required information, submissions and evidence, including any evidence required from supporting witnesses.

Registered migration agents

The Snedden Hall & Gallop Migration law team has experienced lawyers who are also registered migration agents:

Gerald Santucci – Gerald is one of Australia’s longest-registered migration agents (MARN 9256528)
Dominic Cookman
Gillian Hunter

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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