Visa refusals and the drop in Australia's permanent migration intake

migration agent meeting with client outdoors

Australia’s permanent migrant intake in 2017-18 recorded its lowest figure in over 10 years. Some sources suggest that this is due to tougher screening processes resulting in a higher number of permanent visa refusals. We explain how this is a sure sign that you should engage the services of a Registered Migration Agent.

The lowest number of permanent visas granted in 10 years

In figures recently released to media outlets, Australia’s intake of permanent migrants fell to 163,000 in the 2017-18 financial year, the lowest annual amount in 10 years. This is despite the annual permanent migration intake being capped at 190,000. The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton points to stricter visa assessments as the reason for the reduction in permanent visas granted. The number of skilled visas granted fell by 12,468, but it was family visas (which includes sponsored partner visas) that experienced the greatest decrease, falling by 15%.

The pitfalls of preparing and lodging your visa application on your own

Many applicants for both skilled and family visas choose to prepare and lodge their applications on their own. Although this can be a cost-effective way to apply for permanent visas, there are several downsides to this:

  • Constant changes to immigration law and policy can make it challenging to stay on top of things and how they affect your visa application

  • Complex legal requirements can be difficult and confusing to interpret

  • It is common to be unaware of the weaknesses in your visa application

  • It is stressful trying to work out which supporting documents to include and what other evidence would be help

  • You can find yourself not knowing whether any other pre-application actions need to be undertaken such as applying for skills assessments or police checks

  • Visa application forms are often long, confusing and difficult to fill in.

The benefits of using a Registered Migration Agent (RMA)

Registered Migration Agents (RMA) are fully qualified, skilled and well versed in current immigration legislation and policy. Engaging the services of an RMA can improve the chances of success for your visa application in the following ways:

  • Ensuring that your visa application meets the legal requirements

  • RMAs can advise and assist in collating the necessary documents in support of your application

  • Advocating on your behalf by preparing a strong submission to accompany your application

  • RMAs keeps up to date with changes to immigration law through training, professional development and education and can respond quickly to any legislative changes that will affect your visa application

  • Ability to pick up on any inconsistencies or errors in your visa application and supporting documents

  • RMAs are familiar with various visa types and can identify any red flags or concerns associated with your application

  • Advise and assist you in applying for skills assessments, police checks, obtaining translated documents, sitting English tests where necessary

  • RMAs also have knowledge of immigration case law which is particularly useful if they represent you at the AAT when appealing refused visa applications.

How a Registered Migration Agent can help in an environment of declining permanent visa grants

The current immigration landscape is characterised by stricter government policies, higher bars set for eligibility and an increase in visa refusals. To overcome these hurdles, a Registered Migration Agent can and is required by law to give you honest and frank advice about your chances of success. Due to their specialised skills, knowledge and experience in immigration legislation, RMAs have the necessary tools of the trade to guide you in the right direction, explain the requirements to you in simple terms, and ensure that you lodge a strong visa application.

Lodging a visa application on your own in the current environment can be a big and expensive gamble. Visa refusals can potentially have serious consequences for visa applicants and their families. Is your visa application worth the risk?

If you want to minimise your risk of a visa refusal, contact Titan Migration on +61 404 010 815 or email us at

Titan Migration is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 1688944) with OMARA (Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority).