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How to get a visa to stay in Australia

It all begins with the idea of moving to Australia. Then comes research.... How? -- is the first question. Ever since I've gotten my Australian permanent residence visa in 2005, I've been asked several times about how I did it. Mine was through a student visa and I'd say, it was not as straight forward as emigrating through a skilled visa. Apart from the living and studying costs you have to consider, there is the possibility of the skills that you're studying might not be in the list of skills Australia needs by the time you've fully acquired it. Immigration rules change or gets updated frequently. Back then, it was easier and luck was also by my side since by the time I finished my studies, Australia needed my skill set. Was it worth taking the chance? For me, it was! It didn't take long until I claimed my citizenship and soon could travel the world as free as a bird knowing that I could always call Australia home.

As part of your research, you’ll discover which visa may be applicable to you. There are various visas available; some of which could provide you with temporary and some with permanent stay.

If it is migration you’re after, one of the most common pathways is through the Skilled Migration Program. Through this program, a skilled worker becomes eligible to apply for a visa once the basic requirements are satisfied.

So what are the requirements? Listed below are the things you need to look into:

  1. You need to be under 50 years of age when you apply.

  2. You must meet the required English language ability.

  3. Your occupation must be in the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) or Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL).

  4. Your skills must be assessed by an Australian assessing authority.

  5. You’ve got no criminal record and of good health

  6. Lastly, you must pass the points test.

The first thing you need to check is if your occupation is in the SOL or CSOL list. Next is to calculate your points. You are awarded points under different categories like age, work experience, qualification and English language ability. If you score at least 60, you pass the points test. This is your cue to start the application process.

Now, what you need to do from here is to get your skills assessed by an Australia assessing authority. A positive assessment is what you need for you to be able to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) so you can get invited to migrate. Upon receipt of the invitation, you are then given 60 days to respond by lodging your visa application and then you wait until your visa is granted.

Sounds simple, isn’t it? Be warned though that there are a lot of things to know and understand along the way. One valuable source to use is the Visa Finder which can be accessed through the DIBP website. It provides a comprehensive information on almost everything you need to know to apply for your visa. Or better yet, consult an immigration specialist to make sure you’re in the right track (make sure to choose someone registered by the MARA!) .

One thing to take note of is that whilst your nominated occupation is still listed in the SOL or CSOL and you still have the points to qualify for a visa, do yourself a favour by not procastinating with commencing the application process. Truth of the matter is, your circumstances change, rules change and the occupation list gets updated which means there is no guarantee that you may still be eligible by the time you want to get the ball rolling. So act fast and get started now! Complete our free assessment to find out your visa eligibility.

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