Clients often require employees to work in Australia and New Zealand urgently to work on projects with critical deadlines, so any delay can be detrimental to the business. It is best to identify any issues that can lead to delay at the start of the process to ensure these can be managed appropriately.
It is our aim to assist clients with preparing decision ready applications to ensure processing time is kept to a minimum. If documentation is not available when the application is up for assessment, the Department will issue a request for further information and this will create a delay of at least 28 days. It is best to avoid this delay by lodging a complete application unless the circumstances justify, such as an imminent visa expiry.
- Character test
Visa applicants must demonstrate that they meet the character test to visit Australia. If a visa applicant is assessed as having a substantial criminal record, the applicant will not meet the character test. We can assist applicants by assessing their previous criminal history and determining whether this will satisfy the character requirement for the visa.
- Police clearances
Depending on the visa subclass, visa applicants may be required to provide police clearances for every country they have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years. Processing time for police clearances can vary between countries, so this process can take months dependent on the travel and residential history of the applicant.In some cases, applicants may experience difficulties or delays with obtaining police clearances for certain countries. For example, a visa applicant cannot obtain a police clearance for the United Arab Emirates if they have an unpaid loan or debt. Alternative evidence in lieu of the police clearance may be provided in certain circumstances in consultation with the case officer, but this can lead to additional processing time to review the additional evidence.
- False or misleading information
Another common issue we see is when clients do not declare previous convictions in a previous visa application. Visa applicants should ensure they provide details of all previous convictions in their visa application.
If a case officer assesses that an applicant has given a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in a material particular in relation to a visa application (or a visa that the applicant held in the period of 12 months before the application was made), the visa application may be refused on this basis.
Dependent on the visa applicant’s nationality, period of stay and travel history, visa applicants may be required to complete medical examinations to demonstrate they meet the health requirement of the visa.
If a visa applicant has an ongoing medical condition, an assessment will be made regarding whether this condition will be a significant cost to the Australian community. The Medical Officer will consider the applicant’s proposed period of stay in Australia and the severity of the condition. Currently, costs of $49,000 or more are considered significant.
If the Medical Officer assesses the health condition as significant, the visa applicant may be invited to provide a health waiver submission if this is available for the relevant visa subclass. A health waiver may be granted if it is assessed as unlikely to result in significant cost to the Australian community or prejudice the access of Australian citizens or permanent residents to health care or community services in short supply. It is possible for health waivers to add months to the standard processing time of a visa, so this will need to be considered by the business when estimating a likely start date of a visa applicant.
It is important to note that if a permanent visa applicant fails to meet the health requirement, all included family members will also have their visa application refused. This highlights the importance of obtaining immigration advice regarding health conditions as it can have a significant impact on the success of a visa application.
If you are seeking advice on health or character issues, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.