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Australia

AUSTRALIA: WORK & BUSINESS VISAS

You haven’t truly experienced life in another country until you’ve lived and worked like a local.
With Australia’s Work Visa program, or General Skilled Migration Program, individuals with specific skills and capabilities are encouraged to migrate to Australia, not only to improve the economy and the work force, but to give individuals from all over the world a chance to live the fun, yet hardworking lifestyle that Australia is renowned for.

Australia is the land of opportunity, with over 128,550 - visa places available for skilled migrants including employer sponsored, skilled independent and business migrants. Applicants who are able to obtain sponsorship through an employer, or who are able to secure nomination under one of the participating State Migration Plans, are given priority processing.

Skilled Independent Visa:

The Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent work visa for individuals who have the qualifications and skills required to fill Australia's skill shortages.
Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a point assessment. The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able demonstrate that they have a qualification and/or skills in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Applicants for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) do not require sponsorship.

Australian Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) Basic Requirements:
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has set specific basic requirements that all applicants must meet in order to apply for a visa in the General Skilled Migration program.

To qualify for a Skilled visa, applicants (or their partner) must be able to satisfy the basic visa requirements related to age, English language ability, occupation, skills, qualification, health and character.

In addition, applicants for a Skilled visa must also pass a points test. Points can be claimed in areas related to age, English language ability, specific work experience, spouse skills and other bonus categories.

The current pass mark for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is 60 points.

On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called "SkillSelect" which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.

There is no guarantee that submitting an EOI will result in an invitation to apply for a visa. If an invitation is received, there will be a prescribed timeframe within which the visa application must then be formally lodged with DIBP.

Australian Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) Entitlements:
Successful applicants and holders of an Australian Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.

Skilled Nominated Visa:
Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a points assessment and must obtain nomination from a participating State or Territory government. The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able to demonstrate that they have a qualification or the skills of an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
The Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) is a permanent work visa for individuals who have the qualifications or skills that are needed by the Australian economy, but cannot meet the pass mark required to obtain a Skilled Nominated Visa. This category is also open to applicants who are able to satisfy the pass mark but wish to access priority processing which applies once state/territory sponsorship is offered by a participating state/territory government agency.

Australian Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) Basic Requirements:
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has set specific basic requirements that all applicants must meet in order to apply for a visa in the General Skilled Migration program.
To qualify for a Skilled visa, applicants (or their partner) must be able to satisfy the basic visa requirements related to age, English language ability, occupation, skills, qualification, health and character.
In addition, applicants must also pass a points test. Points can be claimed in areas related to age, English language ability, specific work experience, spouse skills and other bonus categories.

The current pass mark for the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) is 60 points.

To be nominated by a State or Territory government, applicants must satisfy specific criteria, as set by the particular State or Territory. These may include:

  • having an occupation on the skills shortage list in that State or Territory; or
  • demonstrating specialised skills in a particular region of that State or Territory.

On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called "SkillSelect" which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.
There is no guarantee that submitting an EOI will result in an invitation to apply for a visa. If an invitation is received, there will be a prescribed timeframe within which the visa application must then be formally lodged with DIBP.

Australian Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) Entitlements:
Successful applicants and holders of an Australian Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa:
The Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) is a provisional work visa for individuals who have the qualifications and skills required to address Australia's skill shortage, but cannot meet the pass mark required to obtain a Skilled Independent visa.
Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a points assessment and must either obtain sponsorship from an eligible relative living in a Specified Regional Area of Australia or nomination from a participating State or Territory government.
The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able to demonstrate that they possess a qualification or the skills of an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).

Applicants for an Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) must be prepared to live for two years and work for at least twelve months in a Specified Regional Area of Australia. A Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) is valid for up to four years and provides a pathway to permanent residence.

Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (Subclass 489) Basic Requirements:
In order to satisfy labour market shortages, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has set specific basic requirements for people who are interested in applying under the Skilled Migration Stream.
To qualify for skilled migration, applicants (or their partner) must be able to satisfy the basic visa requirements related to age, English language ability, occupation, skills, qualification, health and character. In addition, applicants for a Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) must obtain sponsorship from a participating State or Territory government and pass a points test. Points can be claimed in areas related to age, English language ability, specific work experience, spouse skills and other bonus categories.
The current pass mark for the Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (Subclass 489) is 60 points.

To be sponsored by a relative, an applicant's relative must live in a Specified Regional Area of Australia* and be either:

  • an Australian citizen
  • an Australian permanent resident; or
  • an eligible New Zealand citizen.

The applicant (or their spouse) must be related to their sponsor as either:

  • a non-dependent child - including a natural, adoptive or step-child;
  • a parent - including adoptive or step-parent;
  • a brother or sister - including adoptive or step-siblings;
  • a niece or nephew - including adoptive or step-niece or nephew; or
  • an aunt or uncle - including adoptive or step-aunt or uncle.

*The definition of Specified Regional Area of Australia depends on whether the applicant is sponsored by a relative or nominated by a State or Territory government. As a general indication, the following areas are considered regional:

  • New South Wales - everywhere except Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong;
  • Northern Territory - everywhere;
  • Queensland - everywhere except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast;
  • South Australia - everywhere;
  • Tasmania - everywhere;
  • Victoria - everywhere except the Melbourne metropolitan area; and
  • Western Australia - everywhere.

To be nominated by a State or Territory government, applicants must satisfy specific criteria, as set by the particular State or Territory. These may include:

  • having an occupation on the skills shortage list in that State or Territory; or
  • demonstrating specialised skills in an area of need.

On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called "SkillSelect" which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.

There is no guarantee that submitting an EOI will result in an invitation to apply for a visa. If an invitation is received, there will be a prescribed timeframe within which the visa application must then be formally lodged with DIBP.

Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (Subclass 489) Entitlements:
The Australian Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa (Subclass 489) is a temporary (provisional) visa which entitles the holder and their accompanying family to live and work or study in a Specified Regional Area of Australia for up to three years. This visa also provides a pathway to permanent residence.

Employer Nomination Scheme:
The Australian Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) grants permanent residence to overseas workers who are sponsored by their Australian employer. The Employer Nomination Scheme is specifically designed to enhance Australia's ability to compete globally while satisfying genuine shortages in the Australian skilled labour market.

Australian Employer Nomination Scheme Visa Basic Requirements:
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows overseas workers or temporary workers in Australia to be sponsored for permanent positions that the employer has been unable to fill from within the Australian labour market or through their own training efforts.
The Employer Nomination Scheme visa application process is made up of two important stages:

1. Nomination by the employer
The Australian employer must obtain sponsorship status. To obtain sponsorship, the employer must:

  • demonstrate that they are actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • have a commitment to training existing employees

Once the employer has demonstrated they satisfy the sponsorship criteria, the position to be filled (or nominated) must also meet certain requirements. For example, the position must be full time for at least 3 years and be on the gazetted list of approved occupations for this category

2. Visa application
Once the nomination has been approved, the visa application must be lodged within six (6) months. The visa application must be lodged at the same Business Centre of Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as the corresponding nomination, even if the nominee is outside Australia. To qualify, prospective applicants must be less than 49 years of age, meet the prescribed English language criteria and hold the necessary skills and qualifications for the nominated position. In some cases, applicants may access exemptions for the age, skills and English language criteria depending on the occupation, salary and past work experience for their particular case. All applicants are required to satisfy certain health and character requirements in order to meet the visa criteria. In cases where an applicant does not have a sponsor, there is the ability to lodge an Expression of Interest through the DIBP SkillSelect database. This step allows prospective employers and also the state/territory governments to view applicant details and offer sponsorship.

Australian Employer Nomination Scheme Visa Entitlements:
Successful visa applicants under the Employer Nomination Scheme become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.

Other Work Visas:

  • 457 (Temporary Business) Visa- A Temporary Business 457 Work visa entitles approved skilled workers to work temporarily in Australia if an employer sponsors them.
  • Working Holiday Visa- A Working Holiday visa provides young adults between 18 to 30 years of age with the opportunity of a lifetime to work whilst enjoying an extended holiday in Australia.
  • Work and Holiday Visa- A Work and Holiday visa is only available to 18 – 30 years old from certain countries. This provides individuals with an exciting chance to holiday in Australia and earn some money for their travel adventures.

 BUSINESS VISAS:
An Australian Business visa provides business people the opportunity of investing or establishing and managing a business in Australia with their family.
Alternatively, to travel to Australia for any business purposes for up to three (3) months at a time and as many times as you require in one (1) year, you may be eligible for a travel visa, such as an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA). You can apply online for a Business ETA if you have a passport from an ETA eligible country.

ETA Business Visitor Visa:
A Business visitor ETA visa allows eligible business people to attend business related meetings or conferences in Australia for up to three months at a time.

Business Innovation Stream Visa:
The Business Innovation Stream is a temporary visa for successful business owners who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia. It can be the first step towards a permanent business migration visa.

Business Investor Stream Visa:
The Business Investor Stream is a temporary visa for people with a successful business or investment career, who are able to make a designated investment Australian state or territory and who want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia once their designated investment matures.

Business Talent Visa:
The Business Talent visa is designed to attract business people of the highest calibre to participate in the management of a new or existing business and live in Australia permanently.

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