I am a Ph.D. student at a University in Berlin and am invited to join an Australian university for a three-month visiting research stay from 1st November 2023 to 31st January 2024. The university's international student office already contacted me concerning my visa application and provided me with the necessary documents to start the application process on my end. They also strongly recommended engaging a migration agent for any questions. After reading through some discussion it appears that many people don't think much of hiring a migration agent. Therefore (and also given my limited budget as a student) I was hoping you might be able to give me some advice with my application.
The university issued the invitation letter for my research stay from 1st November 2023 to 31st January 2024. However, I would like to arrive two weeks early (mid-October) in order to have some time to settle. Also, I am planning to travel for some time after finishing my stay at the University. That is, in total I would stay in Australia from mid-October to Mid-March (i.e., 5 months).
When it comes to providing the data for the period of stay in the application process, the university told me to select the time period that is outlined in my invitation letter (i.e., 1st November 2023 to 31st January 2024).
As to my understanding, if I would follow these instructions, I won't be able to arrive early or leave at a later date. Does this mean it is required to apply for an extra visa for the time in Australia but outside the research stay?
Any help is greatly appreciated.
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