In order to visit or move to the “Land Down Under”, you need to obtain official permission in the form of a visa. There any many options for immigrants who need or desire to enter Australia. There are more than 80,000 placements every year, out of which half these spots go to skilled migrants. About 32,000 go to family migrants. Students also flock to Australia to pursue their higher studies. According to your needs or purpose, you may apply for a visa under 8 different categories.
Australian VISA Categories
- Work visa
- Temporary entry visas
- Visitor visa
- Business visa
- Student visa
- Permanent entry visa
There are two options available under Work Visas that are granted under certain circumstances.
- Temporary Residence with work rights - This visa grants applicants permission to stay and work in Australia for up to 4 years. The main requirement is employer sponsorship. Once the employer arranges this from Australia, and the sponsorship is approved, then you can apply for this visa.
- Working holiday maker - If your trip is intended for recreational purposes, but you wish to work part-time or temporarily to supplement your income, you can apply for his visa. Applicants between the age of 18 and 26 are eligible to apply. This visa is available to citizens of Canada, Korea, Japan, Ireland, the Netherlands, Malta, and the United Kingdom. Citizens of South Africa are not eligible.
Temporary Entry Visa
This visa is available to potential migrants who seek to come to Australia on specific purposes that are beneficial to Australia. This visa focuses and gives preference to skilled employment, social relations, cultural relations and international relations. For many cases, the visa stipulates that you cannot change your employer, place or time in Australia without prior permission. This permission can be obtained in writing from the nearest State, Regional or Territory office of the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Australia.
|Visa Sub-Class||Purpose||Requirements for the VISA|
|442||Occupational Trainee||Temporary stay of people engaging in training compatible with their history of employment||A nomination is required regardless of the duration of stay except if the training is provided by the Commonwealth. You cannot work in Australia other than in relation to the training course.|
|428||Religious Worker||Temporary stay of religious workers, which includes priests, ministers, and spiritual leaders to cater to the spiritual needs of people belonging to their faith in Australia.||A written undertaking and sponsorship is required regardless of the duration of stay. In case you need to change employer or occupation, you will need prior permission.|
|427||Domestic Worker (Overseas Executive)||Temporary stay for domestic staff of certain visa holders in class 457 business temporary (long-stay) entry. This visa is granted only in certain cases where it can be proved or shown that the domestic staff is needed for the proper discharge of representational duties.||If the employer is sponsored, sponsorship of the staff is also needed. If there is no sponsorship for the employer, an acceptable employment contract must be supplied. You cannot change your employer or extend your stay in Australia after your employer has permanently departed from Australia.|
|426||Domestic Worker (Diplomatic/Consular)||Temporary stay of domestic staff for consular staff and diplomats who have been posted to Australia on the advice of DFAT (the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade).||A letter of support is needed from DFAT. You may not change employer or remain in Australia after the permanent departure of your employer.|
|424||Public Lecturer||Temporary stay of subject experts or professional lecturers who have been invited to make public presentations.||For stays of up to 3 months or if entering under a bilateral agreement, a letter of invitation is required. For stays of more than 3 months, sponsorship is required in all other cases. To change your employer you will need prior permission.|
|423||Media & Film Staff||Temporary stay of correspondents or staff members of professional media in Australia who have been posted by overseas news organisations, photographers and television and film crews for the purpose of making documentaries or commercials for exclusive overseas consumption.||For stays of up to 3 months, or if the organisation is not represented in Australia, or if entering under a bilateral agreement, a letter of support is required. In all other cases for stays of more than 3 months, sponsorship is required. To change your employer you will need prior permission.|
|421||Sport||Temporary stay of professional and amateur sports people to participate in competitions with Australian residents and to improve general sporting standards in Australia through high calibre training and competition.||You may need a sponsorship and a letter of invitation depending on the sporting activity and the duration of stay in Australia. You may not change employer, competition or training program without prior permission.|
|420||Entertainment||Temporary stay of people involved in a range of cultural and social activities and events (that includes mannequins and models) taking into consideration the need to protect the employment of Australians in the industry.||Unless you are coming in under a bilateral agreement, sponsorship is required regardless of the duration of stay. You may not change place or times of engagements, or change your employer in Australia without prior permission.|
|419||Visiting Academic||Temporary stay of any person whose presence in Australia will involve the sharing of research knowledge.||The institution involved needs to provide a letter of invitation. The host institution in Australia will not be permitted to pay you a salary.|
|418||Educational||Temporary stay of staff for research institutions, educational institutions or organisations to fill teaching, academic and research positions that has not been able to be filled from within the Australian labour market.||For stays of up to 3 months, a letter of appointment is required. For stays of more than 3 months, sponsorship is required. In case you need to change employer or occupation, you will need prior permission.|
|417||Working Holiday||Temporary stay of young people who wish broaden their experience of other countries by holidaying in Australia, along with the opportunity to work to supplement their income||This is valid for 12 months from the date of issue to travel to Australia. This means from the day you enter Australia, you may stay for up to 12 months. Casual, part-time and even full-time work is allowed for 3 months at a time with any one employer. You cannot extend your employment with the same employer beyond 3 months by ways of business subcontractors, subsidiaries and employment agencies.|
|416||Special Program||Temporary stay of people under approved programs to broaden their skills and work experience. Usually applies to youth exchanges.||The supporting organisation has to provide a letter of support. In case you need to change employer or occupation, you will need prior permission.|
|415||Foreign Government Agency||Temporary stay of foreign government officials. Facilitates the conduct of official business on their government’s behalf where the officials diplomatic or official stays in Australia.||For up to 3 months stay, or cases involving directors of the British Council, Goethe Institute, Alliance Francaise, or Italian Cultural Institute, a statement of support is needed from the Foreign Ministry. In any other case, unless entering under the provisions of a bilateral agreement, a sponsorship is necessary. In case you need to change employer or occupation, you will need prior permission.|
|411||Exchange||Temporary stay of skilled people (not including managers, specialists or executives) who desire to come to Australia in order to widen their skills and work experience under reciprocal arrangements which allow Australian residents similar opportunities abroad. It also applies to people entering Australia under certain bilateral exchange agreements.||An invitation letter is required from the Organisation offering the position. In case you need to change employer or occupation, you will need prior permission.|
To simply visit Australia, as a citizen of another country other than New Zealand, you will need a visa or an Electronic Travel Authority. Under the Standard Visitor’s visa, you can stay for up to 3 months from when you enter Australia. The visa is valid for 1 year from the date of issue and can be used for multiple travels. You cannot work in Australia with this visa. If you wish to stay longer, you can apply for a long stay visa which is valid for up to 6 months. The applications for visitor visas are usually processed within 24 hours.
In the event that you need to enter Australia to conduct business, this visa option is available. Business can include conducting a conference, negotiations, site inspection, or exploratory visits. This is a Business (Short Stay) visa which allows a business person to travel without limits in Australia. Each visit can be up to 3 months long. The validity of the visa is your choice and can be extended up to the life of your passport or 5 years, whichever is longer.
For students who wish to study in Australia in full-time registered courses, they may apply for a visa under this category. Students also have work rights in order to supplement their income instead of it being their only source of finance. During their course, while the institution is in session, students are permitted to work 20 hours per week. While the institution is not in session, there are no limits on the work hours.
Permanent Entry Visa
For permanent settlement in Australia, you can apply under two main migration categories:
The Migration Program - This program caters to anyone who wishes to move to Australia permanently.
The Humanitarian Program - This program caters to refugees and anyone who is in a refugee-like situation.
The Migration Program
Australia selects potential migrants based on certain factors that include:
- Financial Resources
- English Language ability
The migration program does not take into account race, culture and gender. Australia mainly approves of migrants with qualifications and skills that will contribute to the improvement of their economy and society.
Under this programme, you can get a VISA under the following categories:
- 1. Skilled Migrants
Under this scheme, there are five sub categories through which potential migrants can apply.
- Skilled Migrants - Australian Linked - This is for people who have family members who can sponsor them in Australia. Potential migrants will be assessed based on their English, qualifications, age and any other language abilities.
- Independent Skilled Migrants - You must be under 45 years to apply. This is valid for qualified people who are working in an approved occupation in Australia.
- Employer Nominated Migrants - Sometimes employers may select skilled people from overseas to fill in a job vacancy in Australia. This can be done when there is no local Australian who is suitable for the position. Potential migrants will be assessed based on English abilities, qualifications and age.
- Distinguished Talent Migrants - For exceptionally talented people who excel in sports or arts, or any other category, this scheme will apply.
- Regional Sponsored Migrants - For applications whose Australian employer wishes to nominate them but is located in a remote area outside of the metropolitan districts, the sponsorship must be done through this sub category.
- Business Migrants
The business migrants falls under the Skilled Migrants category, but it has its own category because of the many special provisions under this scheme. This Visa class falls under Business Skills and is intended for business people. It encourages successful people to permanently settle down in Australia to develop existing as well as new businesses. Investors and business owners can apply through this category. There are three categories under this scheme:
- Investment - For business people or investors who want to invest in Australia.
- Business Owner - For those who own or part-own any business.
- Business Talent - For the high-calibre business person who is sponsored by a state or territory government.
The process of the Business Migrants is as follows:
- For high-calibre business migrants, there will be a direct permanent residence Visa category. This is called Business Talent Visa. These migrants are usually sponsored by the state government or territory government.
- For other migrants, they will have to apply for a Business Skills (Provisional) visa. If the applicant is approved, the visa is valid for 4 years.
- After establishing the required level of business, or if they have been able to maintain their eligible investment, then they will become eligible to apply for a Business Skills (Residence) Visa.
- At both provisional and permanent residence stages, the sponsorship of the state or territory will be available. With sponsorship, requirements will be significantly lower.
- Through these state or territory sponsorships, business migrants can benefit as the new system will improve links between state and territory government business services.
- Family Migrants
For family members of migrants, they can apply under this category. Australia accepts 32,000 migrants under this section. In order to apply successfully for this visa, you should have a responsible relative settled in Australia to sponsor you. If your family member who is looking to migrate is not able to support themselves, such as an aged person or a dependent child, then they can apply through this category. There are no tests for skill level or English Language ability required. There will be health and character assessment as required by all migrants. The following categories are available under the family scheme:
- A dependent child who is financially dependent on you. Even if they above the age of 18, if they are dependent on you, this category will apply.
- Adopted child
- Orphaned relative
- Spouse or established partner.
- A prospective marriage partner such as a fiance, or someone intending to get married.
- Parent visas are not available easily and are given low priority. Very few spots are approved for parent visas and contributory parent visas.
- Remaining Relative - last remaining family relative
- Aged Dependent Relative - single aged relatives
- Carer - a person required to travel to Australia to provide care for a special need relative.
- Family of New Zealand citizens - for dependents of New Zealand citizens who intend to settle or have settled permanently in Australia.
- Former citizens or residents of Australia