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Rightly or wrongly, Australia has a reputation of being very difficult to gain entry into, even for a short stay tourist. And while Thailand has been considered a high risk country, this does not mean getting a visa should be hard.

While there are many rumours and stories, the simple truth is that getting a visa to Australia is not difficult if you are a bona fide traveler who meets the eligibility criteria and purpose of the visa you apply for.

Put simply, if you are a genuine applicant with a genuine reason for travel and can meet the basic standards required then your visa application will be approved.

The good news is that Australian immigration law is easy to navigate if you know what you are doing, and while changes happen regularly, the principles and rules stay constant so putting together a successful application is relatively straightforward.

Examples of recent positive changes are the working holiday visas for Thai citizens. Thai’s under 31 can now travel to Australia for one year, being able to work while holidaying to support themselves. A word of advice though, get in early as there is a 500 person quota each year, so first in best dressed! The good news is the Australian Government has just announced there will be a 20% increase in numbers in the second half of the year.

The Partner/Spouse visas are also available to Thai’s who have an Australian partner, or an eligible NZ partner. One word of warning though, planning ahead is essential with these visa’s as there is currently a 12 month waiting period.

The best advice for getting a visa – choose your visa carefully, tell the truth, and provide the correct information to cover the required information and the right supporting documents.

Even if the visa if for a friend you have met on holidays, planning and preparing the correct application can be the difference between getting a visa approved or wasting time, effort and money that ends in disappointment.

One thing many people do not realise is that the person needing the visa must apply. The application MUST be completed by you or your agent. If someone else completes an application in your name and they provide any incorrect or false and misleading there may be serious consequences. So if, for example, your travel agent applies on your behalf with incorrect or insufficient information then you visa might be delayed or declined, or worst you could face a ban from applying for 3 years.

The good news is you can now get sound advice right here in Phuket from an Australian qualified lawyer, and your initial consultation is free.

Simon Wetherell is an Australian, Cayman Islands and England & Wales qualified Lawyer as well as an Australian Registered Migration Agent (MARN# 1464995) who has been practicing law since 1999. He offers a Free Initial Consultation to anyone looking for visa advice. To contact Simon call 095 085 3355 or visit his website www.AustralianVisaPhuket.com

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