Common visa questions answered

Whether you are applying for your visa application yourself or you have appointed a Registered Migration Agent or Immigration Lawyer to act on your behalf, you will always have questions at any point of your application.   I have listed below the five most common questions I get regarding visa applications.  I have provided answers to these questions based on the Migration legislation as of the time of writing this article (30th of October 2018).

  1. 1.       My brother is here in Australia on a tourist visa, can we apply for a student visa while he is here?

Your brother may be eligible to apply for a student visa while in Australia.  This would depend on the following factors:

  • The visitor visa stream that your brother is currently holding.  If it is a Sponsored Family stream, he won’t be eligible to apply as it comes with a mandatory no further stay condition (8503).  People with visas that come with an 8503 condition are not allowed to lodge another visa application while they are in Australia.
  • Visitor visas under Tourist stream and Business stream may also be issued with an 8503 condition.  If you cannot find this condition on your brother’s visitor visa, then he can be eligible to lodge another visa while in Australia.
  • If your brother can satisfy all the criteria for applying a student visa in Australia including the Genuine Temporary entrant requirement.


  1. 2.       I am a Call Centre Agent in the Philippines, can I come to Australia and work there?

To legally work in Australia, you should hold a visa with work rights.  There are different kinds of visas that come with work rights and each of these visas has different sets of criteria that should be satisfied by the visa applicant.

The most applicable visa for your objective is the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482).  However, one of the criteria for this visa is that the nominated occupation should be in the 482 eligible skilled occupations (IMMI 18/048: Specification of Occupations—Subclass 482 Visa) Unfortunately, your role as Call Centre Agent is not on this list.  Please see the link to the list below:

If your role is on this list (as this list changes regularly), you should also have an employer who is willing to sponsor you on this visa and you should satisfy the rest of the 482 visa criteria.  See the link below for more information about this visa:


  1. 3.       I plan to apply for a Permanent Residency (PR) visa in Australia. Can my sister in Australia who holds a PR visa sponsor me?

Your sister can sponsor you on a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – Family nominated if:

  • your nominated occupation (your job role based on your qualification and/or work experience) can be found on the list of eligible occupations for this visa. See below the link for the eligible occupations list (IMMI 18/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities). Your role should be on the Medium and Long‑term Strategic Skills List(MLTSSL) on the section 8 of this list.

  • you pass the total migration points of at least 65 points.

If you satisfy the above listed criteria and the rest of the criteria in applying for Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – Family nominated, you can claim additional 10 migration points if your sister sponsors you on this visa.  You can find more details about the 489 visa on the link below:


  1. 4.       My spouse has a 5 year-old child from her previous relationship,  can I include my spouse and her child on my 190 visa application?

Your spouse and your step-child are considered members of your family unit and therefore, you can include them on your 190 visa application. Member of the family unit is defined under the Regulation 1.12 of the Migration Regulations 1994 as the spouse or de facto partner or child or step child of the family head (usually the primary applicant).  The child can be of any age below 23 years old. Certain requirements apply for child/ren over 18 years old.  A child who has turned 23 years of age if he/ she is wholly or substantially reliant on the primary applicant or spouse/de-facto partner of the primary applicant for financial support because this child is incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of the first person’s bodily or mental functions, can also be included in the combined application for a 190 visa.

  1. 5.       I am applying for a student visa and I find the Overseas Health Student Cover (OSHC) very expensive.  Can I just buy an OSHC coverage just for a few months and not for my whole intended stay in Australia?

You are required to buy OSHC for the full duration of your stay in Australia while on a student visa.  Buying just a portion of your OSHC can lead to visa refusal.

The Australian Migration law changes all the time.  Make sure you keep up with these changes and understand how the changes affect your visa application.   It is highly recommended that you  get a sound and professional advice from Registered Migration Agents or Immigration Lawyers to help you tread through the ever-changing Australian migration maze.