Australian Employer Compliance Series : Visas 101

01 Oct



We are publishing a series for employers who employ workers on visas – whether by sponsoring employees under the various sponsorship schemes or simply by having employees with an Australian visa. In this article, we briefly explore what we mean by an Australian Visa.


Anyone not Australian requires an Australian visa to enter and remain in Australia as a lawful non-citizen.


There is only one (non-Australian) person in the world who doesn’t need a visa to enter Australia, and that’s King Charles. As the official head of state, he is privileged to enter his own country without any restrictions.


What is a Visa?


A visa is “permission for a non-citizen to travel to, enter or remain in Australia” [ S. 29 Migration Act].


A child born in Australia to a non-citizen parent who entered lawfully is automatically granted the same visa as their parents.


Unlawful non-citizens

A person who enters Australia without a visa or stays after their visa has expired is considered an “unlawful non-citizen” and may face detention, deportation, and future immigration bans.


Primary and secondary visa holders
  • A primary visa holder is a person who meets the primary requirements for the visa held.
  • Secondary visa holders may be the primary visa holder’s spouse, partner or children.


Where the visa is held is a temporary Visa. Work or other conditions may be attached to the Visa. Most secondary temporary visa holders are not subject to work restrictions, except for secondary Student Visa holders, who generally have the same work conditions as primary student visa holders.


Need help navigating the maze that is Australian Immigration Law? We’re here to help.



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