Australia has always been a great destination for immigrants and there are many reasons why. The residents are friendly, the country’s weather is warm, has wild outback, there are many miles of great beaches and many more.
The country has been very welcoming and open to immigrants but, within the past year, so much of its immigration policies have been revised, especially as regards skilled migrants’ visas. The 457 visa has been replaced with two other stricter work visas and there are only very few professional skills that can now qualify one. Even the retirement visa program no longer accepts new applicants.
And although changes are being made you shouldn’t give up on your dreams of living in Australia just yet. There are still some ways migrants can still get visas and begin their journey to becoming permanent citizens. Some of them include:
Spouse or Prospective Spouse
Marrying a permanent resident or citizen is one of the surest ways to becoming a permanent resident in Australia. You get a provisional visa that will last 2 years if your application is granted. Processing time for this application takes between 6 and 15 months. You will have to prove that you and your spouse are still together when the time elapses. If so, you are qualified for permanent residency. The government cracks down on fake relationship statuses so it will not help you. They closely examine relationships, find out if friends and relatives know about it, and even look into how often you both communicate while not together.
A good thing to note here is that you can apply under the Prospective Spouse category to gain entrance into Australia. You don’t already have to be married but must register your marriage within nine months after which you get a provisional 2 years Spouse Visa. You will only be eligible for permanent residency after the two years and can then apply. If you can prove you and your spouse have been living together for a minimum of 12 months, you can also get a visa as a common law or de-facto spouse under this category.
The student visa is great for anyone ready to get in first by undertaking a course. As an applicant, you must be 6 years and above. Also, you must have already been accepted into any one of the educational programs Commonwealth Register of Institutions list. This visa lasts for the duration of the program or a maximum of 5 years.
Guardians of an overseas student can apply for Student Guardian Visas. This allows them to stay in the country with their wards until they turn 18. The Guardian cannot be less than 21 years old and is not typically allowed to work. The student, on the other hand, can work per time with the student visa while studying.
This is the most secure way of getting a visa and beginning your journey to permanent residency – getting employed by a resident employer/business. You would have to work for two years without any legal issues before qualifying for permanent residency. For this pathway to work, your skill must be one of the approved ones, but it gets a bit tricky as your employer is required to prove to the Australian Government that he couldn’t get any Australian for that position. In any case, those in career fields that are highly skilled, such as medical professionals, and for which there is also a dearth in Australia can go straight to a permanent residence visa.
Professionals and Skilled Migrants
This program (General Skilled Migration) is for migrants between 18 and 45 years and must have one professional skill needed in the country. The migrant must also be proficient in English. They are constantly changing the skills lists so it is essential you get to the source to determine if your skills qualify for the program. The current lists are the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills Lists (MLTSSL) and Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
Business Innovation and Investment
If you have any plans of investing in any existing Australian company or plan on starting a business in Australia, this is the visa you should go for. It has steep requirements though: you must be sponsored by an eligible government organization and must invest a minimum of AUD 1.5 million while you are in the country. You have a total of four years and three months to stay with this visa and this is more than enough time to make the jump to a permanent visa track if you’re interested in that.
Working Holiday Visa (WHV)
The working Holiday Visa allows young people between 18 and 31 to come into Australia temporarily (up to one year). You are permitted to work the entire time you are here you can only work for a single employer for a maximum of 6 months. This route is a great first step in your journey to becoming a permanent resident. This is because while here you can demonstrate your skills and usefulness to employers. From here you can switch to an Employer-Sponsored Visa and, after 2 years, you can further apply for permanent residency.
The WHV is not available to all people or countries. It can only be accessed by passport holders of the following qualifying countries as of May 2018: the United Kingdom, Taiwan, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Malta, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, Germany, France, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Cyrus, Canada, and Belgium.
Use Australia’s Visa Finder Service
The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs runs a service called Visa Finder. You can use this service to get all the details you need regarding visas, eligibility programs, work, students, investor visas, visitors and more to know which is best suited to your situation. Everything you need if you are a spouse or partner to a permanent resident or plan to migrate to the country as a family member or dependent on a visa holder can also be gotten there too.
Consider Professional Assistance
Engaging a Migration Agent is a very wise thing to do fundamentally because the laws on migrating to Australia are constantly changing besides being very complex. You will need someone who always keeps abreast of the laws and knows how to navigate whatever situation you find yourself in. as a professional, the Migration Agent will help you decide on the visa that best suits your situation and also ensure you have the best chance of having your visa approved by ensuring your application is properly completed.
It is important you are certain the Migration Agent you choose is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority. You do not want to hamper your chances of getting approved. But that’s exactly what undertrained professionals and fraudsters will do.
It may seem like the road to becoming a permanent Australian resident is a long one but you can still get to your destination if you are persistent and understand that it may take some time to accomplish. Start going through the skills lists and networking with several employers and businesses in Australia and those beautiful beaches and friendly faces may just be a reality.