Moving abroad is no easy feat. Without sufficient and correct knowledge, you’ll just end up wandering around without any clear destination. This rings true for people who wish to move to Australia.
The Land Down Under has become quite appealing for many aspiring immigrants for a number of reasons. Of course, it isn’t surprising, considering that the place is now home to more than 7 million permanent residents born outside overseas, according to 2018 statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Planning to be part of that 7 million? Here are six questions and answers you must learn about first before finalizing your decision to live and work in Australia.
Question #1: Why migrate to Australia?
There are plenty of reasons why people wish to move to Australia. This includes career opportunities, quality of life, and its booming economy.
In terms of career opportunities, Australia boasts a significantly low unemployment rate of 6 percent from the past couple of years. Plus, the shortage of skilled personnel in many sectors paved the way for more overseas workers to be able to stay long term in Australia. Once they settle, most of these workers acquire sponsored visas with the help of their permanent employers.
As for the quality of life, Australia was named “the best place to live in” in the 2016 OECD Better Life Index. This is probably due to its ever-growing economy which, according to the World Bank, is continuously growing at a rate of 3 percent year-on-year.
Of course, those numbers won’t mean anything unless the country’s occupants actually feel its effects. Fortunately, they do. In fact, Australians enjoy plenty of benefits ranging from top-rated quality of education to free health care services for all permanent residents.
Question #2: What do I need to be able to work in Australia?
Before you finalize your decision to head to Australia, you must first choose the right visa that could help you achieve your goals. If you’re planning to go there to work, you have to make sure that the visa you get matches the kind of job you intend to do.
There are more than 30 visa options for migrant workers who wish to go to Australia. However, each visa is different, with some permitting residency for:
- Skilled workers
- Working holidaymakers
- Specialized laborers
- Successful entrepreneurs
- Short term trainees
- People partaking in specific activities
- Workers in the offshore gas and oil industry
Question #3: How soon can I get in?
The answer lies in how quickly you can find a job. After all, finding work is not guaranteed and may take a while. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Australian visa applicants who are also eligible jobseekers to take several months before they can land a job.
Also, the length of time before you can enter the country as a worker will depend on the type of visa you will apply for. Keep in mind that no one can get a visa overnight. You need to be patient as only a consultant can help you get an estimated processing time for the visa you’re applying for after conducting a personal assessment.
Of course, it is worth noting that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has set service standards for the processing of applications. The agency tries to adhere to these standards as much as possible, but the actual processing time may still vary depending on different factors, including:
- The number of applicants
- DIBP staffing levels
- Public holidays
- Legislative changes
- Accuracy and completeness of application documents
Although you can’t do anything about the other four, you should be able to hasten your application by submitting complete and accurate requirements from the get-go. Hiring agents and consultants offering immigration services is a good way to ensure this, but remember to check their credentials first.
Question #4: What kind of visa do I need to be able to work in Australia?
You can work in Australia so long as you have a visa and understand any working restrictions it may come with. This means you must learn about the special conditions of such documents before deciding on one to make sure it offers flexibility for your job-seeking journey.
To start, you can visit the Australian Department of Immigration and utilize their “visa finder” program to see what visa options match your specific situation. Remember that the visa you would need will depend on the length of your intended stay and the type of work you plan to perform.
That said, you might be required to meet some criteria that may include:
- Having a specific amount of money
- Proving your skills according to a specific set of qualifications
- Being proficient in English
Question #5: Are there any restrictions attached to my visa?
Visa options in Australia also have varying restrictions. These are essentially made to regulate the kind of work you can do and the number of hours you have to do them.
For example, you can’t get employed at all with a tourist visa, but a student visa will allow you to work up to 20 hours per week so long as you have a work permit. A working holiday visa, on the other hand, will only allow you to get a job from a single employer for a maximum of six months. Moreover, permanent residents and New Zealand nationals who hold Special Category visas under subclass 444 have unrestricted rights to work in Australia.
To learn more about the rules for the visa you have, you can check the country’s Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO). There you’ll find an approved visa’s expiry date, the length of time you’re allowed to stay, and the things you can and cannot do in Australia.
Question #6: Can I bring my family with me?
The majority of Australian visas allow dependents to migrate with the main applicant after they have met specific requirements. Additionally, you must remember that the conditions of your visa also dictate a dependent’s capacity to work legally.
Those coming to Australia with a work visa can bring their family members on dependent visas. Among the dependents you can bring to Australia on a worker visa are:
- Your partner or spouse
- Any children 24 years old and below
- Aged dependent family members like parents or grandparents
If you’re on a temporary work visa, only your partner or spouse and any unmarried children below 18 years old will be given dependent visas.
Your Top Questions Answered
In any endeavor, asking the right questions is necessary for success. This rings true for Australian immigration. Remember the answers to these six most asked questions and do further research to get more details about them.
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.