Doing the Work before Doing the Work – the importance of lodging quality Skilled Visa Applications

Key Points 
  • Visa applications for skilled employees can cost over $3,600 just for the lodgement fee.
  • Poor applications can result in a visa refusal and / or much longer processing time.
  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is receiving increased numbers of poor applications – meaning longer processing times and increased costs.


Australia’s skilled visa migration programme plays a crucial role in assisting Australian businesses to fill identified skills shortages and maintain their business productivity, while allowing overseas visitors and intending migrants to utilise their skills to contribute to Australian workplaces.

The Australian Immigration Department has recently alerted businesses and migration agents to a noticeable increase in the number of poor quality applications being received for visas to cover these vital Australian skills shortages.

Poor quality applications can lead to refusal, even when the applicant may be of high quality and essential to the future of an Australian business. With non-refundable visa application fees currently running at up to $3,600, a refusal can be costly. For example, in the case of 457 visas, processing times differ greatly dependent upon quality of application – averaging three months for complete (“decision ready”) applications to 10 months for incomplete applications.

Skilled visa applications can be complex – generally requiring evidence of business need; proof of attempts to fill the role locally; verification of local employee training undertaken, ratification of an employee’s qualification and, often, skills testing for the applicant. Recent reporting from the Department of Immigration confirms that the majority of applications for workers, for both temporary and permanent skilled visas are lodged by specialists on behalf of the applicant and / or employing business.

The Government caps the number of skilled visas issued each year, so Australian businesses are in competition to ensure that their selected candidates have the best chance of getting a working visa.

Remembering this is a competitive endeavour where only the best applications (not always necessarily the best applicants) are going to be successful, lodging a quality application which addresses all of the Departments requirements is vital to not only secure a visa grant, but also to minimise time and money lost on unsuccessful, poor quality applications.

Post by Najeh Marhaba

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