The visas can be classified into the following broader groups:
General Skilled Migration - This group of visas is for immigration through a profession that is in demand in Australia. This visa is points-tested, which means that you will need to accrue a specific number of points according to criteria specified by legislation, based on, for example, your age, English language skills, professional experience, and education. A large number of permanent residency visas is available within this group of visas, but there are also temporary visas that can eventually lead to permanent residency. There have been major changes in this visa stream as of 01 July 2012 and you will now have to lodge an "Expression of Interest" (EoI) first and if you are among the most skilled workers within your profession, you will be invited by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to apply for the visa (= Skill Select Model).
Employer Sponsored Visas - This group of visas is for immigration through sponsorship by an employer in Australia who is not able to fill their available positions from the Australian workforce. Again, there are both permanent visas (for example, the ENS=Employer Nomination Scheme or the RSMS=Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) and temporary visas within this group. The most common temporary visa within this group is the new "TSS-visa" (meaning Temporary Skill Shortage Visa), which entitles you to a temporary residence (up to 4 years) and which obliges you to work for a specific employer. The TSS-visa has replaced the previous and well-known "457-visa" as of 18 March 2018.
Family Visas - This includes immigration as a (spousal) partner of an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident (partner visa). The Australian partner must sponsor his or her partner wishing to migrate. It also includes immigration as a fiancé(e), parent or other relative of an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident.
Student Visas - There are 7 different visas for students who wish to attend (primary or high) school or university in Australia, or students who wish to pursue postgraduate studies to the level of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).
Business Visas - Business people can choose between several possible visas, for example visas can be obtained to open a business in Australia or to invest in an Australian business.
Working Holiday Visas - These visas are for people who are between 18 and 30 years of age and who are citizens of specific countries (including Germany for instance). The visa allows the person to earn some money during their travels by working every now and then.
Tourist Visas - for holidays in Australia (generally up to 3 months).
In all cases, the person applying for the visa needs to strictly meet all legal criteria in order for the visa to be granted. However, it can be difficult and time-consuming to become familiar with all the details related to the various visa classes and associated criteria. This is why we are more than happy to assist you in that regard and show you a way through all the complicated legal prerequisites.