Australia is the magical down-under-land positioned perfectly at the edge of the world. Its remoteness allows it to be a unique place, with its own, unable to be copied lifestyle, and nature far too different from everything that rest of the world has seen. Is this the reason why so many people want to visit or live in Australia? I don’t know.
But what I know certainly, is that if you have a chance to make your Australian dream come true, you definitely should try to make it happen. This post is to introduce you to the complex Australian visas system and provides a generalized information. You might need more detailed information or a professional help to decide what Australian visa options best suits your case.
The Australian visa system is very complex to navigate, it contains over 120 different visas and visa streams. This complexity has its benefits and drawbacks. The most obvious drawback is the difficulty applicants face in determining their eligibility for a visa.
The most staking benefit is the ability to choose from a number of visa options in order to maximise the chances of success.
A NOTE FOR THE AUSTRALIAN READERS >> These are the visa-free countries for Australian passport holders and citizens.
You need a tourist visa to come to Australia regardless of how long you plan to stay, or even why you want to visit – for tourism purposes or visiting friends/ relatives.
Australia had 8.7 million visitor arrivals for year ending October 2017.
Depending on the country of passport an applicant holds, they may be eligible to apply for one or more of the five Visitor visas that exist. The visa a person can apply for is determined by the statistical risk of the passport they hold, so for example, an applicant from Germany or Japan, can apply for an Electronic Travel Visa, a straightforward process.
You should be cautious when applying and preparing the necessary documents for a visa because once your application is refused, the next time you apply will be more difficult to get an approval.
For the Electronic Travel Authority, Subclass 601 visa, can apply passport holders of the following countries:
Hong Kong (SAR of China)
Republic of San Marino
Taiwan – must not purport to be an official or diplomatic passport
United Kingdom—British Citizen
United Kingdom—British National (Overseas)
It is free of charge visa but you have to pay 20 AUSD for online application.
eVisitor, Subclass 651 visa is for the citizens of European countries. Here is the full list:
Republic of San Marino
United Kingdom – British Citizen
It is free of charge visa and application is entirely online.
For Visitor visa, Subclass 600 are eligible the citizens of all other countries and depends on different conditions and it is decided individually.
The charge for this visa varies from AUD140 to AUD1020.
The other two visitor visas are Medical Treatment (Subclass 602) and Investor Retirement (Subclass 405).
Passport holders from the Eastern parts of the EU have a more limited choice of visas that they can apply for, usually, these visas require more evidence/documents.
Passport holders from countries outside of the Western / Economically Developed World are only able to apply for two visa types, need to provide a lot of supporting evidence with their applications and have a higher rate of refusals.
More information on tourist visas you can find on the Australian Home Affairs site.
Working Holiday Visas
There are two different types of visas within this category, the Working Holiday and the Work and Holiday visas. Depending on the passport you hold you may be eligible for one or the other visa. These visas usually allow you to stay in Australia for 12 months and to work for any one employer for up to 6 months at a time.
For Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) are eligible passport holders of the following countries:
China, People’s Republic of
This visa costs AUSD440 but additional costs can occur such as for health assessments or police certificates.
You can apply for Working Holiday visa (Subclass 462) if you have a passport from one of the following countries:
Republic of Cyprus
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (including British National Overseas passport holders)
Republic of Ireland
Republic of Korea
This visa costs AUSD440.
There is no Internship visa as such, however, there are a number of visa options that can be used to gather experience in a set field in Australia. Depending on the visa type, the requirements vary quite a lot.
The most common visas are granted to people who have completed a certain amount of study in Australia and who wish to gain professional experience in order to apply for another visa or to increase their chances of employment once they depart from Australia.
The other visa type is usually reserved for specialized professions to foster international knowledge exchange. These can be in the academic sphere, sports or a specialised area approved by a government organization.
Temporary Activity (subclass 408)
Training Visa (subclass 407)
Temporary Graduate (subclass 485)
In 2017 there were 554,179 international students in Australia (these excludes their families and students on scholarships).
Student visas usually allow the visa holder to work in Australia while they study. This is done to allow them to gather local working experience and also gives them the opportunity to cover some of their expenses.
Following the completion of their studies, a student may be eligible to apply for a Temporary visa that will allow them to work in Australia for a set period of time. This will depend on the course they have studied and the length of study.
There is a very wide range of courses a potential student can choose from, most students use the services of an Educational Agent and or Migration Agent to find a course that will be suitable for their situation. Some of the things that they need to consider:
- Area of interest
- Courses that allow the applicant to apply for a Permanent Visa following their studies (this is a complicated area due to the constant changes in the professions that are in demand).
- The risk level of the school, college or University
- The risk level of the country of passport. (The risk levels of the educational institution and the country of passport of the applicant will determine what documents are required from them and the chances of the visa to be granted or refused.)
At present the most popular profession are:
- English studies.
- Business / Marketing and Hospitality (due to the low costs).
- Childcare, Nursing, professions in the construction field or computing subjects.
The requirements for each course and educational institution will vary. The country of passport the applicant holds, the country they are in when applying and their personal circumstances will all have an impact on the requirements they need to meet.
Types of Visa:
Student Visa (subclass 500)
Student Guardian (subclass 590)
Work and Permanent visas
There are a number of Work and Permanent visas students can apply for after
They successfully complete their studies. Their eligibility to apply for a visa is determined by:
- The course they studied
- The length of study
- Where they studied
- The work experience they have
- The applicant’s English level scores in one of the recognised English tests
- Their age (different visas may have different age requirements)
- The number of points they collect for a skilled visa
- Other visa specific requirements exist
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Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) visa (subclass 888)
Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188)
Business Owner (subclass 890)
Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)
Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 124)
Distinguished Talent visa (subclass 858)
Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
Investor Retirement (subclass 405)
Investor visa (subclass 891)
Regional Sponsor Migration Scheme (subclass 187)
Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
Skilled Recognition Graduate visa (subclass 476)
Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489)
Skilled Regional visa (subclass 887)
State or Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)
State or Territory Sponsored Investor visa (subclass 893)
Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408)
Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)
Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (subclass 403)
Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa (subclass 400)
Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
Training visa (subclass 407)
The Skilled Visa program is made up of temporary and permanent visas. The Temporary visas allow you to stay in Australia for a certain amount of time for gaining international experience, develop your career and to prepare you to apply for a permanent visa.
In addition to Skilled visas, there are a number of temporary and permanent Employer sponsored visas. Although it is possible to apply for these visas from in or outside of Australia, most employees are sponsored by companies for which they are already working for. A person on a student visa, working holiday visa, graduate visa and some other work visas are the most common visas from which an applicant is sponsored.
There are enough visa options that will allow visiting Australia. The periods they cover are sufficiently long to let you know the country well and explore different parts of it. Because Australia is a country but it is a continent too. A piece of the world with its own three time zones, six climatic zones and many ethnic groups.
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