Coming Up Sat 5:00 PM  AEDT
Coming Up Live in 
Hindi radio

The most common reasons for Australian permanent residency rejection

Source: Supplied

Every three minutes someone gains permanent residency in Australia but every year more than 40,000 are rejected. What are the top reasons for rejection? SBS Hindi finds out.

Mr Singh* arrived in Australia in 2007 on a student visa and in 2012 was granted a 487 visa which provides a pathway to permanent residency after living in a Specified Regional Area in Australia for at least two years and working full time for one year.

In July 2015, Mr Singh applied for an 887 permanent residency visa but it was rejected as the department was not satisfied Mr Singh had lived at the said residences in regional Australia during the period.


  • Failure to meet character requirements or minimum health requirements can lead to rejection
  • More than 40,000 applications for permanent residency are rejected every year
  • Rejected applicants can appeal their visa decision before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal

Mr Singh had provided immigration authorities with documentary evidence which included utility bills, mobile phone bills, taxation records, employment and superannuation records, rent agreement and bank statements spanning two years but an anonymous informant told the department that Mr Singh was living and working illegally in Melbourne.

The department also learnt through the anonymous informant that Mr Singh was not working for the nominating employer in the regional area and had in fact paid money to the employer in exchange for not notifying the immigration officials.

Mr Singh was found to have violated conditions of his previously held visa and giving inconsistent or wrong information and was, therefore, denied Australia’s permanent residency.

Here are the most common reasons for refusal of Australian permanent residency

Violating visa conditions:

“Violating conditions of previously held visa is one of the most common reasons for being refused permanent residency,” says Mark Glazbrook, an Adelaide-based registered migration agent.

“It may include a student who has worked too many hours, a student who does not attend college/university, a student who fails academic performance requirements, a visitor visa who works (visitor visas have no work rights) or a 457/482 visa holder who has worked a second job (which is not allowed) or the holder has ceased their employment. Any violation of visa condition is not allowed,” Mr Glazbrook says.

Giving inconsistent or wrong information:

“Giving inconsistent or wrong information can result in public interest criteria (PIC) 4020 being applied to the applicant which means once their visa is refused, Australia may not grant you another visa ranging from three to 10 years,” Mr Glazbrook says.

Giving false information includes fraudulent bank details, claiming to live and work in a regional area, contrived or false relationships to meet spouse visa requirements or giving false information about being in a relationship.

“People who give false information for skill assessment or to claim points for work experience for a skilled migration visa could also be rejected,” Mr Glazbrook says.

Failure to meet health requirements:

To control expenditure on services like social security benefits, allowances and pensions, Australia requires most visa applicants to meet minimum health standards before granting them a visa.

“Health is a crucial part of the visa application process. Failure to meet health requirements, where someone has a health condition which is deemed to be a significant cost to the Australian community, can be the reason for rejection,” Mr Glazbrook explains.

Department of Home Affairs states applicant’s family members might also have to meet the health requirement even if they are not migrating to Australia. 

Failure to meet character requirement:

Mr Sandhu* arrived as a student in Australia in April 2008. After his student visa expired in February 2011, he overstayed his visa and remained unlawfully in the country before applying for a partner visa in November 2011.

He was granted a bridging visa in December 2011 whilst his application for the visa was being processed.

Almost five and half years later, on 15th May 2017, a delegate of the Minister refused Mr Sandhu’s application for a Partner visa.

The delegate considered that the applicant was not of good character and did not pass the character test.

Mr Sandhu’s criminal history included sexual assaults on women, assault on his roommate’s partner and assaulting his partner.

“Failure to meet character requirement is a common reason for PR rejection. If the applicant has been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, or there has been an allegation against him/her or the applicant has been arrested or charged with Domestic Violence or an offence against a minor, or if it drug-related or an indecent assault, it can be a reason for rejection,” Mr Glazbrook says.

The other common reasons for rejection of Australian permanent residency include lack of funds for your visa application, applying for a wrong visa and failure to meet visa requirements.

Lack of funds:

Australia requires migrants to provide detailed information about their finances like the bank statements to prove financial stability.

Any discrepancy in regard to it like insufficient funds, identity mismatch may invite rejection of the Australian PR visa application. 

“Lack of funds where the applicant is unable to demonstrate sufficient funds, or where an applicant is asked for an Assurance of Support and is unable to provide this or where the applicant has a debt to the Commonwealth, can be a reason for rejection,” Mr Glazbrook says.

Getty Images

Applying for a wrong visa:

Another common reason for rejection is applying for a wrong visa.

With constant changes in immigration policies and eligibility criteria and with multiple layers of options and variables available, it can often be confusing for many visa applicants.

“Without sound advice, or misguidance from a representative, or misunderstanding of migration regulations and requirements, and sometimes people lodging applications on their own without understanding the process or what visas they are or are not eligible for [can lead to rejection],” says Mr Glazbrook.

Failure to meet visa requirements:

Permanent Residency visa options come with a different set of requirements. Failure to meet any of the visa requirements can result in rejection.

“This would include unable to meet the English language requirement, sometimes employer-sponsored visas are refused as an employer has not paid a correct salary, super or tax. Or where permanent partner visa is refused because the relationship has broken down before visa grant. It is important to meet all the visa requirements,” Mr Glazbrook says.

What can you do when your application is rejected?

court order
Public Domain

If your application is rejected, you can make an appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) but in the prescribed time.

The tribunal reviews the Department’s decision where applicants and their lawyers can make their case directly to a single judge.

The AAT has the power to overturn decisions and to substitute another decision, or return a case to the department for reconsideration with directions. 

For more details, visit AAT.


Who Gets to Stay in Australia? follows the lives of 13 migrants and their families who want to settle in Australia.

They’ve come here for love, family, work or for safety. The road to permanent residency is long, complex and challenging.

This series follows people whose applications have previously been rejected and are in their final appeal to stay in the country.

In an Australian television first, SBS cameras were granted privileged access inside the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

The series captures the key moments as applicants prepare their cases, subject themselves to the scrutiny of the system and ultimately receive the news that will change their lives forever.

Who Gets To Stay in Australia? airs over four weeks from 8.30 pm Wednesday 1 July on SBS and you can watch it free, online on SBS On Demand.

Tune into SBS Hindi at 5 pm every day and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

This story is also available in other languages.
Show languages