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Through our website, we are committed to making it easier for you to access quality Australia immigration advice and visa assistance from these independent migration agents.
Australian off-shore General Skilled Migration (GSM) comprises different subclasses that may offer visa options for different potential immigrants:
Unsponsored and sponsored
National (federal) and “local” (state/regional)
Permanent and temporary
For most GSM subclasses, the Australian (Federal) Government – through its Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) – uses a points test to select “visa applicants with characteristics needed in the Australian labour market”. It also provides set lists of those occupations it wishes selected applicants to have, both for national and local immigration.
Points are granted for qualifications, work experience, age, English language ability, occupation targeting and spouse’s skills. Additional points may be available if you have studied or worked in a skilled occupation in Australia previously or are fluent and qualified in one of the languages of the country’s major trading partners or ethnic groups. You or your partner’s occupation is often the make or break of an application; if it features on the Government’s main occupations list. Qualifications relevant to your occupation are also important with most degrees and higher trade certifications from recognised tertiary institutes meeting the requirements provided they involve at least 3 years post-secondary school study. An exception is made for certain tradespersons, IT professionals and Senior Managers, who do not possess formal qualifications, but who have relevant work experience to obtain industry certification in Australia. Applicants in occupations requiring professional registration (for example Dentists, Nurses and Physiotherapists) may need to apply for registration or meet specific requirements prior to submitting a residence application.
- The “Skilled Occupation List (SOL)” – the principal one. The current version (published by DIAC on 1st July 2011) has 192 occupations.
“State and Territory SOL” – also published by DIAC to outline the list of occupations from which Australian States & Territories can produce their own State Migration Plans.
“Employer-Nominated SOL” – which outlines those occupations under which an Australian employer can sponsor a potential immigrant to fill a position in their company.
This category is for persons who can be “sponsored” by a relative or partner who is an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen aged over 18 (resident in Australia before 2001 with Australian tax rights etc). If your partner is an Australian, you must be married OR in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months to qualify for residence. You can be sponsored if you are a spouse, fiancée, child/adopted child, parent, orphan relative, special need relative, aged dependent relative or last remaining relative of a qualifying sponsor who is resident in Australia. Contributory Parent options are available for those parents with sufficient capital to contribute to their future health costs in Australia. These visas subclasses are designed to overcome the otherwise lengthy waiting period currently facing parents wishing to migrate to Australia, subject to places being available.
There are three main categories for business people who wish to move to Australia by establishing a business in Australia, manage a new or existing business, or invest in Australia:
Each of these have subclasses and normally all business migrants must obtain one of these temporary (or provisional) visas, before later applying for a permanent visa.
Also – under each of the 3 categories – there is normally the choice between applying under for a State-Sponsored visa, or one without State Sponsorship. State-sponsored visa subclasses usually have lower eligibility criteria (especially regarding financial matters) than non-State-sponsored ones.
To qualify for a provisional visa, applicants must show that they have “a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner in a new or existing business in Australia”.
To do this, they must possess net business & personal assets worth AU$800,000 (non-State-sponsored), or AU$500,000 (State-sponsored) in a qualifying business with a turnover of at least AU$500 000 in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you apply.
Business Owner applicants must also own a substantial or controlling interest in a business, in other words the minimum business ownership percentage must be:
51% where business turnover is less than AU$400,000; 30% where business turnover is AU$400,000 or more; or 10 % where the business is a publicly-listed company.
Applicants must be under 45 years of age, prepare a viable Australian business plan, have relevant management experience and an overall successful career.
Applicants must show that they “have significant net assets and a genuine and realistic commitment to participate in the management of a new or existing business in Australia”. Such a visa will allow business migrants to establish a new or existing business in Australia, travel in and out of Australia any number of times as long as the visa is valid, and have their family accompany them to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights.
Again, there is a choice between State-sponsorship, or not – and all migrants usually apply for a provisional visa, as the first stage towards a permanent visa. There are various eligibility criteria, the main financial ones being that applicants must have total assets of at least AU$800 000 (AU$500,000 for State-sponsored), which are legally acquired and capable of being transferred to Australia within two years of being granted this visa, and applicants must have sufficient assets (additional to those above) of at least AU$100 000 to settle in Australia.
This visa class is for investors/business people from overseas who are willing to invest funds in a designated investment in Australia for 4 years, and are less than 45 years of age. Applicants must possess personal assets with a net value of at least AU$2,250,000 for the 2 fiscal years immediately before applying.
Applicants must also have made a government-approved Designated Investment of AUD1,500,000 in Australia, which must be available for transfer to Australia within a reasonable period when requested.
The Investor Class enables the granting of a 4-year provisional visa, followed by a permanent visa once investment criteria have been met. Applicants aged 45 to 55 years or those not meeting the above financial thresholds can apply under the Investor Class (State Sponsored), but they must have sponsorship from a participating state or territory. Most notably, the financial requirements are reduced under this class. If you are proposing to establish a business in Australia that your sponsoring State or Territory Government has determined is of exceptional economic benefit, then you can consider an application under the Business Talent class, providing the set financial criteria are met. All applicants are required to satisfy health, character, police and credibility checks, and a range of other criteria.
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Permanent protection visas are available under the humanitarian stream for eligible applicants. For details, please contact your Registered Migration Agent at Migration Bureau.
A number of temporary visas are also available:
Investor Retirement visa
If you are aged 55 plus, of good health and meet the necessary financial thresholds, you can consider an application under the Regional Investor class. Applicants apply for sponsorship to the State or territory in which they intend to settle and need to have sufficient resources to provide for their settlement, an annual income accessible in Australia, and must be prepared to make a designated investment. The financial requirements are lessened for applicants who intend to settle in regional Australia. The initial visa and subsequent visas are issued for 4 years.
Business (Long Stay) Visa: If you are offered a job that cannot be filled by an Australian and the Australian employer is willing to provide “sponsorship”, you may be able to apply for a work visa. This visa is issued for the duration of the employment contract or 4 years, whichever comes first.
Working Holiday Visa
Citizens of certain countries who are under the age of 30 years may consider obtaining a Young Persons Working Holiday Visa. This visa enables you to work and travel for 1 year, and allows the holder to work for 6 months with each employer or study a course of no more than 4 months duration.
If you are enrolled into a qualifying course at an Australian tertiary institution, you can apply for a student visa. This visa allows you to study and to work 20 hours per week.
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Which occupations are in demand? The occupations in demand include:
All Trades, Engineering, Technical, IT & Communications, Medical, R&D, Oil and Gas, Construction, Education, Teaching, Accounting, Finance, Banking, Management, Hairdressing, Chefs, Hospitality, Tourism, Administration, Sales & Marketing, Legal Services, P.R., Business Managers/Owners, Agriculture, and most other skilled occupations and qualified skill-sets.