Australia Immigration Visas
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship has a detailed website with information on all visa options and how to make an application.
Those wishing to visit Australia for a short period of time can do so on a visitor visa providing they have no intention of working while they are in the country and are only there as a tourist or to visit relatives. Visa options for short stays are the business visit visa covering those attending work related events like conferences, training, or seminars. There is an exception for those involved in film or television work.
Today's youth travelling and wishing to spend up to one year working in the country can apply for a working holiday maker visa. There are also student visas for those wishing to study at an Australian university. There are also temporary work visas for those wanting to spend a specific period of time working in Australia.
A working holiday maker visa can be applied for online and the application form can be mailed to immigration along with a valid passport with one free visa page and the processing fee and a stamped addressed envelope for return of the passport and supporting documents.
Several temporary visas are available for those wishing to live and work in Australia for a short period of time. A domestic worker such as a nanny or au pair, a religious worker like a priest or minister, an academic on a short contract at a university can also apply under this visa. Everyone applying for this visa must be sponsored by an employer, who must file the sponsorship application for approval before the individual can apply for the visa. Included with the completed application form must be the fee and a passport for each person.
The Skilled Migration Visa is available for those planning on living and working in Australia for a longer period of time. The Australian Immigration department issues these on their sole discretion. To be eligible for one of this visa the expat needs to be assessed on their points system. Points are given for abilities in different categories which include language skills, expat's age, occupational skills and prior work experience. The internet has websites for agents with online point assessments which tells expats if they are eligible before having to spend time and money relocating to Australia.
The basic criteria for this visa is to be between the ages of 18 and 44, have been recently employed in your chosen field, being in good health and having a good character. The foreigner's skills will be assessed by the immigration authorities.
After assessment is approved the foreigner can submit the application for the visa. The foreigner must then submit supporting documents such as a passport, birth certificate, qualifications and references. The number of people accepted for this visa each year is limited. Agents can be hired to help with the application but there is no guarantee that the applicant will be accepted. Agent's fees are paid regardless of the applicant's success.
A partner or spouse of an Australian citizen or permanent resident can apply for a visa. This visa will allow an individual to live and work in the country while a decision is being made on their application for permanent residency. Foreigners need to provide evidence of the relation including information on each other's personal circumstances, evidence of joint accounts, references from people who know them well enough to confirm that they are in a serious relationship, detailing the relationship's history, domestic arrangements description and future plans, a copy of the marriage certificate (if applicable) and for those engaged, information on the wedding plans. The Australian citizen partner or a legal resident must sponsor the applicant; once the sponsorship is approved the application for a visa can be submitted.
There is a specific business visa for people working for a company which has a branch in Australia allowing the worker to live and work for up to four years. It also allows the worker to leave Australia and return during that time. To qualify, there must be a specific job vacancy and be sponsored by the company doing the hiring. You must have the skills and qualifications for the position and speak English and apply for any necessary licenses or permits needed for the position. Dependant family members or your partner can also be included.
To apply you must first wait for the sponsorship approval. Your future boss must detail the job vacancy needing to be filled by a foreign worker. They must describe the skills and qualifications necessary for the job. The last step is the visa application. The applicant must prove that he or she meets the requirements described in the job posting and needs to provide supporting documents proving his or her qualifications, work experience and give references.
The visa duration depends upon the length of the contract specified for the vacancy. These are only fixed term contracts. If the position extends beyond the length of the visa a new visa will have to be applied for. Expats can now switch employment while still in the country without having to reapply for a new visa.
A medical exam is required for long term visas. If this is required it will be described in the information guide on how to complete your application. The applicant must present his or her passport to the physician listed on the immigration department's panel of approved physicians. After the examination, the panel doctor submits the results to the Migration branch processing your application. Applicants cannot use their own physician. They, must use one on the visa office approved physicians list.
Visa applicants must also provide evidence of good character. Those staying in for more than one year must provide a police clearance letter proving the expat does not have a criminal record. Every applicant over the age of 16 must supply this. Sometimes applicants intending to stay for less than one year may be required to obtain for a police clearance letter. This occurs for every country that the applicant has lived in for more than one year. Instructions are given with the visa application guide on how to obtain a police clearance. This may take a lot of time depending upon each country's police. The United Kingdom takes up to 2 months.
Every visa application must contain the relevant fee. Visit the immigration department or the local embassy or consulate website to find out what the present fees are. Fees are subject to change at any time. Most visa offices accept payments by credit cards and bank drafts. Most offices will not accept payments by personal or business checks, payments in foreign currencies or credit cards issued in another country. If you fail to submit the correct payment or submit a payment in an unacceptable form then you will be contacted and your application will be put on hold. An officer will telephone or email you so that you are informed immediately to minimize the delay to your application, but this will only progress when the correct payment has been made.