VISAS

Everyone who comes to Australia, whether for a holiday, to work or to study, must have a visa.  It doesn’t matter which country you are from.

There are many visas available but here we describe the main categories for you in general terms.  To obtain advice on the best visa for your particular situation CONTACT us now. We will then email you a detailed questionnaire which will allow us to make an assessment of your chances for a visa.  This is a free service we provide.

MIGRANT VISAS

These are the main types of visas we can advise you on which allow you to migrate to Australia.

  • Skilled
  • Employer Sponsored
  • Family
  • Business

Skilled Visas

There are a number of skilled visas and some give permanent residency immediately whilst others give a provisional visa which can later lead to permanent residency.

The main requirements are:

  • under 45 years of age;
  • have a skill that is recognised in Australia (this requires a skills assessment);
  • have 12 months recent experience in a skill recognised in Australia;
  • have a good standard of English (this requires an English test for some people); and
  • successfully comply health and police checks for all members of the family.

Having your skills assessed, whether you have a formal qualification or have just learned on the job, is a big part of a skilled visa application.  Even if you do not have a formal qualification you can in many cases still have your skills approved and pass the skills assessment.

If you hold a passport from the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the United States or Canada then you do not need to sit an English test.  If you come from any other country you generally must take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) English test.

  • Permanent Visas

Most skilled visas use a points system (which is currently being reviewed by the Department of Immigration & Citizenship and so may change).  Currently, if you get 120 points you get permanent residency immediately and can live and work anywhere in Australia.

The other kind of common skills based visa requires 100 points and sponsorship either from one of the State or Territory governments or sponsorship from a family member in Australia.  Even though the Federal Government’s Department of Immigration & Citizenship issues visas, the State and Territory governments play a role in that they can decide to sponsor a visa applicant if they want someone with your skills in their State or Territory.

  • Provisional Visas

You can obtain a provisional visa which may lead to permanent residency after two years.  This requires you to live and work in a regional area and you need sponsorship from a family living in a regional area or nomination from the State or Territory government.  You can do any kind of job you like but must live in a regional area of Australia for two years and work in a job in a regional area for one year.  After that time, you can apply for permanent residency and then live anywhere you want.

Employer Sponsored Visas

These visas can give you either permanent or temporary residency.  Both require an employer to sponsor you by offering you a job.  The permanent residency sponsorship is currently the highest priority in processing times.  There are two kinds of employer sponsorship giving permanent residency: one is for jobs in the cities; and the other is for jobs in regional (country) areas.

Generally, you must be under 45 years of age (although you can apply for an exception to this), have three years’ relevant experience and have a skill that is included in a list published by the Federal Government.

The temporary employer sponsored visa is quite popular with some employers.  Many employers are well organised and can can bring in workers quickly.  This visa limits you in working only for the employer who sponsored you and if you leave your job you have to find another sponsor or leave Australia very quickly.  After two years on this visa you can apply for permanent residency.

Family

If you are intending to marry or are already married to an Australian citizen or permanent resident or if you have been in a relationship, heterosexual or same sex, for 12 months with an Australian citizen or permanent resident, then you can migrate to Australia.

You can also move to Australia if you have family living there and they sponsor you.  The rules about this can get complicated so it’s best to talk to us about your particular circumstances.

Business Visas

There are a number of temporary/provisional visas available for businesses, with the opportunity to become permanent after four years if they have established a certain level of business or maintained their investment.  The main categories of visas for businesses are:

  • business owners or part owners who want to move their business to Australia;
  • senior executives of large companies;
  • senior executives who come to Australia independently; and
  • investor visas for those who want to invest in Australian government bonds for four years.
You need to be under 45 years unless you have State or Territory sponsorship in which case you can be under 55 years.

STUDENT VISAS

Student visas are temporary and are issued for the length of your course of study.  You must choose a course that is recognised by the government.  You are allowed to work up to 20 hours a week on this visa during the study terms and full-time in the holidays.  Student visas from high risk countries can require some detailed documents to support the application.

WORKING HOLIDAY VISAS

If you are between 18 and 30 years and come from certain countries then you can get a visa to work whilst on holiday in Australia.  The visa is for 12 months but can be extended to two years if you go and work for three months in a regional area doing certain work, such as fruit picking on a farm.

VISITOR VISAS

If you want to go to Australia for a holiday or for business, then you need a visitor visa, no matter what country you come from.  These can be done online very quickly for people from certain countries.  They are valid for between 3 and 12 months.  You are not permitted to work on them.  We can process these for you for a very low fee.