Are you dreaming of personally watching a symphony orchestra concert at the Sydney Opera House? Do you want to see kangaroos in the wild? Perhaps you want to gaze at the magnificent Uluru rock during sunset? You can always visit Australia as a tourist, but why not permanently settle in the Land Down Under as a skilled worker?
If you love everything about Australia, you can try fulfilling your dream of permanently settling in the country if you are a skilled worker. You may opt for Australia skilled worker migration and eventually qualify for citizenship.
Australia is among the most progressive and rich countries in the world with a per capita income of US$ 55,300 in 2017. It also offers great opportunities for skilled workers who want to migrate.
Australian citizens also have high life expectancy of 82.45 years, higher than that of Americans and Britons. This is largely due to their excellent healthcare system, which is a mix of government universal healthcare and private healthcare.
Before you apply for a permanent residency visa in Australia as a skilled worker, here are some of the most important details that you should know about.
- Know the basic requirements
To avoid wasting your time, money and effort attempting to apply for a skilled visa, you should know the basic requirements first. If you think or already know that you do not have the minimum qualifications needed, do not proceed with the application.
- Age Limit – You should be under 45 years of age upon application. Different age categories have corresponding points.
- Language Proficiency – You must be competent in the English language, both in speaking and in writing.
- Specific Occupation – Upon applying, you will be asked to choose a skilled occupation you want to pursue. However, this must be included in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List.
- Skills Tests – You should pass the skills test administered by an Australian immigration authority. The test will be based on your nominated skills.
- Health Examination – You will be required to undergo a medical examination and you should pass the basic health requirements as well.
- Character Check – Your background will be assessed if you have any pending criminal cases or serious administrative offenses.
However, the visa approval is based on a point system. So, it is possible that your visa application will still be approved even if you get low points in one of the basic requirements as long as you have a high overall score.
- Check the list of qualified occupations
The Australian list of qualified skilled occupations may vary each year depending on demand in the labor market and on government regulations. You may visit the HomeAffairs.gov.au website for details. You should nominate an occupation from the official lists like the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).
Many of the qualified occupations or skills included in the lists are in the general categories of construction, ship building, medical profession, accounting, engineering and teaching. You should check the lists to know the specific occupations.
- Differentiate the various types of skilled visas
The first step is to submit a formal expression of interest or EOI on the Department of Home Affairs website, and wait to be invited to apply for a visa. The EOI has a validity of two years.
You should know the different types of skilled visas to determine which one will best suit your purpose and qualifications. Here are the four types of skilled visas granted by the Australian government:
- Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) – This is for workers who have undergone skills tests but are not sponsored by employers or family members. You can have permanent residency status if you qualify for this visa.
- Skilled – Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) – You must nominate an occupation from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). You also need to be nominated by a state or a territory. This is a permanent residency visa.
- Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored Provisional Visa (Subclass 489) – This visa is for those who are willing to temporarily work in areas with a low population. You need to nominate an occupation from the MLTSSL or from the STSOL. The visa validity is for two years.
- Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 887) – This is for highly skilled individuals who want to live permanently in Australia as Australian citizens. You need to spend two years as a worker with a provisional (Subclass 489) visa before applying for this visa.
- Compute your points
Before applying for a skilled visa, you should compute your points. You should at least have a total of 60 points to qualify. The different basic requirements have corresponding points in a specific range. For example, you can earn 20 points if you have a doctorate degree from an Australian university or other institutions with similar standards.
You can add all the points based on your qualifications to come up with a total. Another aspect from where you can get high points is from work experience. If you have at least eight years of relevant experience, you can have a score of another 20 points. The complete guide to the point system can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs.
Now that you already know the basics, you can start the process by first submitting your EOI online. You may need to wait a couple of months before you will get invited, and only then can you start your visa application.
If you do qualify, the next thing you need to take care of is to prepare for your move to Australia. You will, then, need to get a moving checklist ready before you migrate to avoid the stress that goes with a move, especially an overseas one.
Bevan Berning is an Immigration professional and owner of Pathway Visas, an Immigration Agency dealing mostly with skilled immigration to Canada and Australia. Bevan’s enthusiasm for the industry has kept in the Immigration field for the past seven years. Bevan is South African by birth and has been residing in Dubai for the past eight years.