Australia’s immigration levels have become more prominent now than ever. Baby birth has ceased to be Australia’s main way of populating the continent, and now it has become immigrants. It used to be that there were 40% immigrants and 60% baby births, but now the percentages have switched. The most number of migrants they received were from the UK, and now India and China have taken over migration rates by storm.
As a part of the planned migration program, the federal government of Australia designates places each year for immigrants. The 2010-11 migration program announced that it can designate about 168,700 places for skill stream, family stream and special eligibility. The aim of this program has changed since 1945, when the first federal immigration portfolio had been created. Australia’s immigration policies have been constantly changing over 65 years, where it used to want to attract migrants, now it wants to attract workers and temporary migrants in order to meet the skilled labour requirements of the Australian economy.
Under the direction of the Minister of Immigration, the immigration department manages, administers and advises on humanitarian and migration policy, Australian citizenship, border security and protection, settlement services and multicultural affairs. The department manages the temporary and permanent entry into Australia. It is responsible for enforcing migration law and policy, which includes, preventing unlawful entry, regulating entry and departure, and revoking people who have settled in Australia illegally.
Managing in a streamlined way
Now the focus has shifted from allowing people to enrich Australia by managing the entry and settlement of people in an appropriate way, to maintaining Australia’s borders and natural security. On July 1st, 2015, the Immigration Department chose to merge with Australian Customs and Border Protection Service and formed the Australian Border Force.
So you want to relocate to Australia?
That’s a great idea, because Australian cities are known to have a high quality of life. If you want to apply for a visa, you need to meet English proficiency needs, health requirements, proper skill qualifications, character requirements and signing onto the Australian value statement.
As a traditional choice for immigration, Australia offers many different types of visas.
A brief overview of the major three categories that are relevant to expats and people who wish to pursue careers in Australia will be given. To start off, here is a list of basic requirements that all applicants, regardless of category, should meet.
- English language proficiency: Anyone whose native language is not English needs to reach a certain score specified for their visa category, or sign up for English classes in Australia before arrival.
- Qualification, work experience, and/or skills: These need to be relevant to the employer who sponsors. It should also comply with the job nominations posted on ‘Australia’s Skilled Occupations list”.
- Health: Anyone who wants a permanent visa or certain temporary visas need to meet certain health requirements, which will be specified in your visa application form. If you need to attend a health examination before going to Australia, then consult the nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate to get a list of government approved doctors.
- Character: Visa applicants are assessed according to certain character requirements and in certain cases may have to provide a penal clearance certificate.
- Australian values statement: By signing the Australian Values Statement, you are accepting to live the Australian way of life and obey local laws.
Visas for those with Job offers
If you have a job offer from Australia, you have to fill an application for ‘Employer Sponsored Migration’ visa that your prospective employer can apply for on your behalf. There are two types: temporary and permanent visas. The most common temporary visa is the Temporary Work (skilled) visa; which employers use to sponsor overseas skilled worker for a maximum period of four years. This visa is tied to the employer who acts as your sponsor and the sponsor of the occupation, but not to any particular position within the company.
You can apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme Visa, through which employers can sponsor qualified expats to fill vacancies in their respective companies.
Visas for those without job offers
With this visa, you need to prove that you have the skills and qualifications necessary to work in an occupation which is mentioned on the Australian Skilled Occupations List. If you have the skills that are in demand on the Australian labour market, you will need to pass a test by scoring a minimum number of points. The points are awarded based on the level of English skills, work experience in specific areas, or other special skills that you can offer the country.
Initially, if you had a good point score, you could automatically qualify for a permanent immigrant visa on a national or regional level. However, now there are more requirements. Here is the new application scheme.
The new skilled migration program
If you want to apply for a Skilled Migration Visa, you need to know how the Australian Government has changed the General Skilled Migration program to the Skill Select scheme. As of July 2012, all potential immigrants need to follow the following procedures:
- Their professional qualifications need to be recognised
- Need to pass and English test
- Data needs to be entered into the SkillSelect immigration database.
According to the immigration quota for different occupations, the Australian government invites the candidates with the highest number of points to lodge a visa application. If you do not get selected immediately, your entry will remain in the database for about 2 years, and you are liable to receive an invitation at a later point. Individual employers and state government can also access the ‘SkillSelect Database’ to support you as a visa candidate.
Moving to Australia
If you find you are unjustly being disallowed from entering the country even after meeting all the qualifications, you can contact Immigration lawyer Perth. The best immigration lawyers perth can help you find out where your application falls short, or if your employer is trying to pull a fast one on you and trying to get you removed from the country.