Australian Visas: Three Most Common Misconceptions


Over the years of giving migration advice, I have gathered many mistaken beliefs regarding Australian visas.   Below are the top three.

The intent of this article is to educate visa applicants and their relatives so as not to fall into traps that can lead to unnecessary spending and lessened chance of success in gaining the correct pathway for their goal of coming to Australia.

1.     Studying in Australia is the fastest way to get a Permanent Residency visa.

Studying in Australia is not a sure ticket to a Permanent Residency visa.  Eligibility for a PR visa will depend on your qualification, work experience, age, English language capability, or if you have a sponsor (employer or state).  If you have been advised otherwise, ask your adviser to give you a clear pathway to PR and look for evidences.

I have met many students here in Australia who were led astray by their education agents or their migration agents.  These students have spent an awful lot of money only to find out that they were enrolled in the wrong program of study and that they do not have a pathway to PR.  Sayang ang pera! (It’s such a waste of money!)

2.     It is acceptable to pay an employer in exchange of a job sponsorship.

I have a client who asked if it was okay to be charged $50,000 by an employer who promised to offer him a job and sponsor him on a 457 visa.  This is way beyond unacceptable, this is against the law!

Effective 14th of December 2015, this conduct (charging potential employees in exchange for a visa sponsorship) has been considered as a criminal act and will attract penalties ranging from paying a fine of $43,200 or two years’ imprisonment for individuals or paying a fine of $324,000 for body corporates. Visa cancellation can be considered for persons who have been involved in ‘paying for visa sponsorship’ conduct.  More details are available at

3.     The qualification and work experience I gained in my home country and overseas will definitely be recognised in Australia.

Not all the skills, work experience, and education for all job roles will be recognised in Australia.  For example, a Registered Nurse from the Philippines cannot come to Australia and work as an RN without getting an RN registration issued in Australia (in which RN nurses should first complete a Nurse Bridging Program).

For your qualification and work experience to be recognised in a PR visa application, a positive skills assessment issued by the approved skills assessment body for your role is required.

DISCLAMER: The article above is meant to provide general information on common misconceptions about Australian visas.   Specific advice based on your unique situation should be coursed through a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.

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