Unlike other countries, before coming to Australia as tourist, student or worker you must ask for a visa. There are many different visa types. Depending on your age, on your goals, country of origin, and reason of your trip, you might be or not be eligible for one or another visa. It is therefore recommended to plan properly before buying the plane ticket.
Australian visa: online application
Because Australia is a really modern country, now you can apply for every visa online on the border protection website, through a procedure called eVisa. Specifically, from the 1st of July 2016 it is mandatory to apply for your visa strictly online.
This procedure was created with the idea to simplify the application process and accelerate the request.
First step is to create your IMMIAccount. You can create it here: www.border.gov.au. You will just have to insert your details, email address and passport number.
After this, you might want to use the Visa Finder tool. An interesting software designed to let you understand what’s the best visa for you. Once you find the correct visa you need, it will be time to start your application following the instruction. The last step is the not-refundable payment of the visa fee (it varies depending on the subclass).
Australian visa: cost
You can pay your visa online, with credit card, paypal or rechargeable card. The price, as said before, depends based on the subclass of the visa you are applying for. There are three different ranges of prices: the tourist visa for example is free, while instead other temporary visa as the Student Visa or Working Holiday Visa have different prices around 500 dollars respectively 550 and 440. Last but not least, the visas that can give you access to the Permanent Residence cost several thousand dollars.
The Tourist Visa, a.k.a. eVisitor Visa (subclass 651) is a completely free visa that lasts for one year and allows you to enter Australia up to three months per stay.
It’s a visa created to allow you to ‘visit’ Australia, therefore it is forbidden to work on it. On the other hand you are allowed to study for a period up to 12 weeks, and this makes it a good choice in case you are looking to organise a trip to enforce your English knowledge.
Working holiday visa
The Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) is by far the most well-known Australian visa. The requirements for this visa application are: being between 18 and 31 years of age, and hold a passport from one of the following countries: Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan and UK. Not to be confused with the Work and Holiday (subclass 426).
It costs 440 dollars, and allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months. It also allows you to work full time for up to 6 months for the same employer. Another feature of this visa is that you can extend it for 12 further months if you complete minimum 88 days of farm work in a regional area. You can also study for up to 17 weeks. For longer courses you will have to request a Student Visa.
Australian student visa
The Student Visa (subclass 500) is a 550 dollars visa, and can be requested from people from all over the world.
First step in order to request a student visa is to enrol to a course of your choice. In Australia you will be able to find a lot of different courses (certificates, diplomas etc). You can study vocational courses, or more academic as well.
Once you choose the course you can start the application process. Once you are on a Student Visa you are allowed to work up to 40 hours per fortnight (part time). At Just Australia, we are specialized in advising and supporting you along the whole process, from the choice of the course till the visa application.
Unfortunately there is not only one working visa in Australia, but many different types, that depend on the age, the profession, your qualification and skills etc. In order to have a temporary working visa you can refer to the Working Holiday Visa (you can work full time, but not more than 6 months for the same employer), or to the Sponsor Visa (the employer offers you a contract if you can demonstrate you have the right skills and curriculum required from immigration) which allows you to have a visa for up to 4 years to work. Otherwise you can consider the General Skilled Migration Scheme, a points-based program to migrate to Australia. It sounds easy, but it is quite hard to get.
Skilled visa for Australia
The Skilled Visa, also know as Skilled Independent Visa, is a permanent visa, and for this reason is one of the most yearned yet hard to obtain. The most known is the subclass 189, but there are many different types that vary depending on their requirements.
The main requirement is that your profession must be listed on the SOL (Skilled Occupation List). This is a list of the most wanted professionals in Australia. Second step is to go through a Skills Assessment, where you will be assessed on your skills, qualifications and experiences. You will also have to prove your English level (if it’s not your native language). As previously said this is a point-based visa, therefore you need to get up to at least 60 points in order to be eligible. These points are granted based on age, skills, english level, qualifications etc.
Generally this is the ideal visa for people who: have a great level of English, less than 35 years old of age, at least three years of experience and a qualification in your profession, that must be listed on the SOL.
The Sponsor Visa (subclass 457) is a temporary visa that allows a qualified professional to work and live in Australia for up to 4 years for a determinate employer.
The requirements of this visa are: your profession must be listed on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL). You will need to have a good level of English (if it’s not your native language) and the right profile that suits the immigration requirement. At the same time the employer needs to demonstrate that he is not able to find an Australian citizen who can cover the same position.
It’s a 4 years long visa, and after the first 2, if your employer agrees, you can ask for the Permanent Residence. The cost for this visa is higher that the other ones we talked about, and as the application process can be tricky, it’s advisable to use a migration Agent.
Permanent residence Australia
This is the Sacred Graal of Visa. A chimera, hard to get your hands on. This will let you live here, no matter what and forever. There are different ways you can obtain it:
- After a Skilled Visa is approved, you will automatically become an Australian Permanent Resident.
- After a minimum of 2 years working under Sponsor Visa.
- After 2 years on a Partner Visa (subclass 820 and 801).
To better understand how all this visas work, the best way is to have a consultation with a migration Agent, or come and have a chat with us at Just Australia, if you are looking for more generic information, regarding the Student Visa or where to find migration agents.
It’s also important to read carefully the Border and Immigration website, where you will be able to find all the information you need: www.border.gov.au This is a sort of summary of the main visas you will encounter, but it doesn’t mean to be a complete guide nor a suggestion on what you should do.