Australian Offshore Visa - Migration Place

Australian Offshore Visa Overview

An Australian offshore visa is one that is applied for from outside of Australia.  The name comes from the fact that the visa is literally applied for by someone who is not standing on the shores of the country.  The opposite is an Australian onshore visa, and this is one which is applied for from inside of Australia.  The application location isn’t relevant to all visas, but certain types require them for reasons specific to their situations.

At The Migration Place, we can assist you with all of your visa needs, whether you are in Australia or not.  We are able to examine your current situation to advise you on the best course of action for reaching your goals.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us, no matter where you are in the application process.

Not Related to Banking

When talking about an Australian offshore visa, many people assume this has to do with creative banking practices.  However, as this article makes clear, this is not the case with visas.  This terminology is simply related to the location where the visa application needs to be made.

Australian Offshore Visa Reasons

There are many reasons that an Australian offshore visa is designed the way it is, but they are usually to act as one step in a larger process.  For example, many skilled worker visas are to bring foreign talent to Australia, and there is a much easier way to hire someone who is already in the country.  Therefore, the offshore visa is temporary, but successfully being employed will allow the holder to apply for another visa that is permanent.

Australian Onshore Visa Reasons

As is expected, onshore visas tend to be easier to obtain, but this is not always the case.  Since the applicant already has to be in Australia, the government already has some level of knowledge about them.  Because of this, less proof and documentation is needed, so the process can be less complex.

Visa Processing Timelines

In some cases, there are two versions of the exact same visa, and the application location is the only difference.  While this sounds like it doesn’t matter which one the potential applicant should go after, one can sometimes be much worse than the other.  The most common reason is processing times or fees.  It’s possible that one subclass will take a lot longer than the other, or result in the whole application process becoming significantly more expensive.  These situations are another reason that the knowledge of an immigration professional can be extremely useful.

Prospective Marriage Visa vs. Partner Visa

One perfect example of an Australian offshore visa vs. an Australian onshore visa is for those wishing to get married.  If a couple is already living in Australia, but only one of them is a citizen or permanent resident, they can usually apply for a partner visa to allow for the other to stay.  However, this requires proof that’s difficult if the couple lives in two different countries, such as verification that they actually live together.  So, a prospective marriage visa allows a foreign citizen and resident to come to Australia to live with their partner with the intention of marrying.  It’s only a short-term visa, but it allows the holder to meet the requirements to be able to apply for a permanent visa.

Bridging Visas

When needing to apply for an Australian onshore visa, it’s often the case that one visa will expire before the next one can be approved.  A bridging visa, as the name implies, acts as a bridge.  It is a temporary visa that will allow the holder to remain in Australia while paperwork is processing, and it will prevent them from getting into trouble for illegally residing without a proper immigration status.  There are many different kinds of bridging visas, and they all have different benefits and restrictions.  For example, some allow working and some don’t, while others dictate whether or not the holder can travel internationally.

In some cases a bridging visa can also help with an Australian offshore visa because they allow the applicant to come and go from the country.  However, we recommend speaking to an immigration expert before international travel to make sure you won’t come into any legal trouble while attempting to cross the border.

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  • Finance Monthly – Law Awards 2017: Migration Law Firm of the Year – Australia
  • Lawyer Monthly Legal Awards 2016: Migration Lawyer of the Year
  • AI M&A Award 2015: Most Innovative Migration Firm Australia


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