The process of obtaining a visa for Australia and New Zealand can be a complex process. The complexity of the process depends largely on the type of visa being applied for and the evidence you have in support of your application.

For instance, short term tourists who are passport holders from certain countries (if there is no adverse record against their name) have free entry to New Zealand and are granted a visa when they arrive at the New Zealand airport.

The current list of countries is located at http://www.immigration.govt.nz/ Best check this passport status well in advance of ticket purchase and making travel plans.

Australia has a different system. If a potential tourist holds an acceptable passport and has no adverse immigration alert against their name, they may apply over the internet at the Australian government site http://www.immi.gov.au for an Electronic Tourist visa. They can only do this whilst they are outside Australia. Again, check the passport status and your status will in advance of ticket purchase and making travel plans.

Alternatively, speak to an immigration professional. These professionals can research your status and eligibility if you have any concerns. If you do not meet the criteria of these stream line passport holder processes, you may still be eligible for a tourist visa but have to submit documentation in support of your application.

If you have health issues, have a background that New Zealand or Australian authorities may consider unacceptable (you will not know this until you try to enter the country and your name is picked up on the immigration computer systems) or been previously excluded from entry to any country, you may need help. Get this help well in advance of your travel. You will also be denied entry to Australia or New Zealand once you arrive if immigration authorities suspect that you are not a legitimate tourist who will depart the country within 3 months of arrival.

Student visas are maybe a means by which an applicant can eventually obtain permanent residency. But take particular care here. Both Australian and New Zealand guidelines for student visas and their possible conversion at the end of the study to permanent visas do change on a regular basis. For instance, you may start a course of studies with the intention of, at the completion of those studies, applying for permanent residency based upon your academic qualifications. Only to find the government at the end of the study no longer needs those qualifications.

Applicants for the spouse visa, partner visa, skill visas and business visas have to go through a rather long and at times complex process of collecting appropriate evidence and submitting documents in support of their application. Some people feel confident in doing the process themselves, others reply n the expertise of trained and experienced migration professionals.

General Requirements for Australia and New Zealand:

In general business visa applicants must have an employment background, be that background of success at a senior executive level in a company, or have prior successful business ownership in order to be eligible for a business visa. They then have to submit business proposals and get approval from both the government immigration authorities and the local area they wish to set up their business.

The skill visa requires an academic background and experience in the chosen occupation. The governments of New Zealand and Australia are discerning about which occupations they want and require the academic training and employment history to meet their standards. For New Zealand, but not as important for Australia, the candidate must have an employment offer (there are exceptions here).

The spouse visa and the partner visa both rely on a sponsor being a permanent resident or citizen of the country they intend to move to. Evidence of co habitation and possibly witness statements are also required to back up the application.

For both Australia and New Zealand, candidates must meet health requirements and character clearances prior to any visa being granted. In every case, visa applicants must have sufficient funds to support themselves.

Author: Noel Hewitt