Okay, so it turns out I’ve recently been advising a lot of friends, relatives and even random acquaintances about requirements and their chances for Australian immigration. Since we have, so far, been one of the extremely lucky ones, having two people both with chances at applying for a Permanent Residency, and getting it, and landing a job that not only pays quite well, but has the exact annual pay that meets the requirements for company sponsorship.
So, for starters, for anyone interested in Australian immigration, let me advise you that it’s tough. The first thing you need to know about is PR. PR stands for Permanent Residency and it basically means that you are now authorized to permanently reside within Australia without having any sponsored job or a study visa. This is the golden ticket which you will be aspiring to reach if you should stat this arduous process.
The next keyword is the SOL (Skilled Occupations List). This list can be your best friend and your worst enemy. The occupations on this list mean that if you should be one of them, you get an automatic number of points in the Aussie point system for PR. You can imagine that if you are, say a Taxation Accountant (60 points), it’s great news for you, because you only need forty more points to qualify. If you’re not on the list, long term there’s not going to be much in it for you to come here and work or study, you won’t be able to quality very easily for PR.
Apart from this, let’s talk options for getting you onshore. Say your profession is actually on the list, which is great, but it may not be for long, so you’ll have to take action fast. The quicker you can apply for PR, the better your chances of your occupation still being on the SOL.
The first route to getting onshore is obviously the job route. Ideal situation would indicate that one could, sitting in their own country, apply for a job and get someone interested and get a work sponsorship visa based on this interest. The reality is that jobs are not easy to come by, not even the really low paying ones, and if you’re a well educated person, (bachelors or above) you’re probably overqualified for lower paying jobs anyway. What you need is essentially:
- A job offer
- The company should be willing to sponsor you for a work visa
- The company should be offering you a package of AU$ 47,000 a year minimum.
The chances of getting that offshore is not good at all, so you need to be onshore. Now one, risky, way is to get a vacation, collect your savings and get a visit visa and go camp out in Australia and apply as hard as you can for a good job before the time limit is up. However, you need some stability and some time to find a good job. The chances that you can find a job in a month or so are not too great. In addition, the chances that this employer will pay you enough to make you eligible for sponsorship work visas is limited. Additionally, further decreasing your chances, employers will rarely bother to get into your case if they know you are here on a limited visa (as they would have to file sponsorship proceedings and wait a few months for them to get through to actually start using you). Unless you’re someone in a technical position and some specialist skills or 10 years of higher management experience, the chances that a company will risk it all for you and wait for you is pretty low.
The second option, the one I used, was studies. If you have a decent four year bachelors, you can apply for a one to two year masters program that will assist you in getting PR. It’s the more costly route as your visa depends on your payment of your fees and enrollment so you need to continue paying a good 15,000 dollars a year (or more) just in buying your reason to be in Australia. Pricey, yes, and on a student visa, an additional caveat is that you can only legally work 20 hours a week, no more. The best way to do it is to get a well qualified spouse on board. One spouse can get the study visa, while the other spouse (on a spouse visa) can work unrestrictedly and earn a full time income. This offsets the costs of tuition and living expenses by a steady income. However, initially to find a job, you may need to use up a large part of your savings, so this is still a bit of a risk and very pricey as an option but if you’re on the SOL, it may be your best shot.
So anyway, that’s the basics thus far. For detailed checking into the situation and what you can make for yourselves out of it, I would recommend visiting a good consultant. We used Auspak for our educational needs. For professional based services, you’ll have to find your own as I don’t know any to recommend. Also, check out and keep an eye on the Australian Immigration site for changes and updates on the PR policies and requirements.
Good luck and G’day!