Australia is an attractive destination for migrants. There are miles and miles of beautiful beaches, a wild hinterland, warm weather and friendly people. And historically, Australia has always been very open and welcoming to immigrants.
However, over the past year, Australia has begun to review its immigration policies, particularly with regard to visas for skilled migrants. There are fewer professional skills that can qualify you, and the popular 457 visa has been abolished and replaced by two stricter types of work visas. New applicant are currently not being accepted in the Australia’s retirement visa program. But although things are changing, don’t give up on your dream of living in Australia yet. We will analyse the most popular ways in which migrants still receive the visas they need to obtain permanent citizenship.
The safest way to start on the path to permanent residence is to find an employer who is willing to offer you a job. Once employed, you must work for the same company for two consecutive years and remain free from any legal problems. If you meet these requirements, you will be able to apply for permanent residence.
Note that this step by step procedure only works for approved skills and your employer need to show that you’re very valuable to their organisation. this is a must during the Australian visa process. This is the part that gets tricky. However, if you are in a highly skilled career and there is a shortage in Australia, such as health professionals, you may be able to obtain a permanent resident visa directly.
Skilled professionals and migrants
The General Skilled Worker Migration Program is designed for people aged 18 to 45 with the necessary professional skills and abilities to speak and read English. The lists of competencies, now called the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and the Medium- and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), are evolving. It is very important to go directly to the source to determine if your skills are eligible for this program.
Innovation and investment in companies
This is the visa to obtain if you intend to start a business in Australia or invest in an existing Australian company. The requirements are high – you need at least A$1.5 million to invest during your stay AND you will need to be sponsored by an eligible government agency. If approved, the duration of this visa is four years and three months, which should be enough to switch to a permanent visa if you end up enjoying life there.
Spouse or future spouse
One of the most secure ways to obtain permanent residence in Australia is to marry a citizen or permanent resident. Processing of the application can take from six to 15 months and grants you a two-year temporary permanent resident visa. After two years, you will have to demonstrate that you and your spouse are still together. If so, you have the right to become a permanent resident. Do not try to simulate a relationship, as the government is looking very closely at you and your partner, including whether your friends and family are aware of the partnership and how often you communicate with your spouse during your separation.
It is interesting to note that it is not necessary to be married to enter Australia. If you are applying in the future spouses class, you have nine months to register the marriage and receive a two-year temporary spouse visa. After two years, you can apply for permanent residence if you are still with your spouse. It is also possible to obtain a visa in this category as a common-law partner, if you can prove that you have lived with your partner for at least 12 months.
Working Holiday Visa (WHV)
If you are a young person who is willing to go to Australia on a temporary basis first, the working holiday visa may be a good option. Open to people aged 18 to 31, it allows visitors to stay up to one year. During your stay, you can work for the entire period, but you can only work for one employer for six months.
Working holidays can be a first step towards permanent residence, as you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your skills to various employers. If you are able to make yourself indispensable to a particular business, you can switch to an employer-sponsored visa and apply for permanent residence after two years.
The WHV visa is only available for passport holders from an eligible country. Since May 2018, they have been: Germany, Finland, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Canada, France,Belgium, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of Japan, Ireland, Italy, China,Sweden, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, Taiwan and United Kingdom.
If you want to set foot in the door by studying in Australia, a student visa is an excellent option. Applicants must be at least six years old and already accepted into a program of study registered in the Commonwealth Institutions Register. If granted, the student visa is valid for the duration of your program, or up to five years.
As a tutor of an international student, you can apply for a tutor student visa, which allows you to live in Australia with your student until they turn 18. Tutors must be at least 21 years old. Students on student visas are allowed to study and work part-time, but tutors are generally not allowed to work.
Use Australia’s visa search service
For more information on available visas and to determine your eligibility for various programs, consult the visa search engine managed by the Australian Government Department of the Interior. It provides detailed information on work, student, visitor and investor visas. If you are the partner or spouse of a permanent resident or if you wish to move to Australia as a family member or dependant of a visa holder, you can also inquire about these requirements.
Consider the help of a professional
Because the laws surrounding migration to Australia are constantly changing, and are extremely complex anyway, it may be useful to hire the services of a migration agent. A professional can help you determine the visa that is best suited to your situation and ensure that the application is completed accurately, saving you time and ensuring the best chance of approval.
Make sure that the migration agent you choose is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority. A fraudulent or under-trained professional is likely to do more harm than help your case.
Although it is a long road, permanent residence in Australia may still be within reach. Check out these skill lists, start networking with Australian companies and make peace with the fact that it may take some time to realize your dream. These beautiful beaches and friendly faces will be waiting for you.