Deciding on the visa type and applying for it is often a confusing pathway… below are the top 5 migration questions our agents get asked…
(1) How do I know what skills are in demand for Australian migration?
The Australian Department of Home Affairs releases an occupations list that addresses the areas of skills shortage in Australia. The list is extensive and covers a range of industries, including Health Science, Trades, Engineering, Resources, Information Technology and professional services. The occupation list will be reviewed every six months by the Department of Employment to ensure the government responds to genuine skill needs and regional variations across Australia. You can check your occupation eligibility either on the Medium and Long-term Skilled Occupation List (MLTSOL) or the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
(2) What are the main visa categories for employment opportunities for Australia?
The most popular temporary employment visa is the ‘Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa’ which enables Australian businesses to sponsor skilled employees for up to two years on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and up to four years on the Medium and Long-term Skilled Occupation List (MLTSOL). The maximum duration of the visa will depend on the proposed occupation being nominated and what list your occupation falls into at the time of lodgement.
If the candidate is only needed in Australia for less than 6 months, employers can consider the ‘Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) – Subclass 400 visa’ which has less onerous eligibility requirements such as fewer sponsorship obligations and restrictions on salary and the fact you can be paid onshore or offshore.
There is also Permanent Residency (PR) options. Candidates can apply for company nominated PR under the Direct Entry Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), PR on an independent basis subclass 189 and PR on an independent basis sponsored by the state, i.e., visa subclass 190.
(3) Is there an age limit for these visas?
There is no age limit for the subclass 400 or 482 visa categories. However, when applying for PR under ENS or direct independent entry, the age limit is set at 45 from March 2018. (There are some ‘Grandfathering arrangements‘ that have been put in place for anyone who has been granted or lodged an old 457 visa prior to April 2017 that allows you to be 50 years or younger at the time of applying for ENS).
Applicants over these age limits may consider Business and Investor visa categories, which is aimed at high net worth individuals and successful business owners. These are looked at on a case by case basis and are put together by the individual states who recommend to the Department of Home Affairs what Business or Investor categories they require; some of these have no age limit, so please check the relevant state information.
(4) What are the processing timeframes for these visa categories?
Processing timeframes has slowed down significantly over the last 18 months due to the unprecedented times and are subject to change without notice. Subclass 400 visas are taking approximately two to four weeks; subclass 482 visas are taking 3 to 11 months (dependent on a number of factors). Lastly, PR applications are taking anywhere between 13 to 25 months (depending on the occupation and visa subclass you have applied for) at the moment.
If you are in Australia while lodging your visa application, it is possible for you to hold a bridging visa while you wait for the outcome of the application.
(5) If I am interested in transferring my visa whilst in Australia, what steps should I undertake?
The migration profession is governed by the Migration Agent Registration Authority (also known as MARA). We would recommend contacting a qualified registered agent to undertake an assessment of your circumstances.
If you are a temporary visa holder and your visa is expiring soon… send us your updated resume and we’ll assess it for FREE and get back to you with the best possible visa advice. Similarly, if you already hold a TSS 482 visa and want to change employers/sponsor, we can help! Reach us at [email protected] or talk to us on 02 9407 8700 and we’ll provide you with visa advice based on your current situation…