To enter Australia you need an Australian visa. There is no free visa access for anyone. However, for most of the more than 8 million people who enter Australia each year it is easy to obtain a visa. For others it is a long and tedious road. The fact that the Australian visa system is full of acronyms, numbers and long words such as the Regional Scheme of Sponsored Migrations (RSMS), the Investment and Business Innovation Program (BIIP) or the List of Consolidated Sponsored Occupations (CSOL) it does not help Let’s try to give you an idea of what’s out there.
Australia has more than 70 different visas, covering six different groups: Visitor, Student, Work, Family, Refugee and Others. Here is a simple description.
International tourism accounts for 11% of Australia’s export earnings and depends on international visitors obtaining the visa they need. Therefore, the best thing for Australia is that this is as easy as possible, and usually it is. More than 46 countries can apply for and obtain an Australian visitor visa online, either an e-Visitor Visa (subclass 651) or an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA – Subclass 601) or a Visitor Visa (subclass 600). A work holiday visa (subclass 417) and a work and vacation visa (subclass 462) even allows you to work full time while in Australia.
Student visas have become very simple since July 1, 2016 with a one-size-fits-all student visa (subclass 500) and a student tutor visa (subclass 590). International education is the fourth largest export sector in Australia with more than 600,000 international students enrolled in Australia each year, so allowing students easy access to the correct visa is essential for this industry to survive. Many students do not even organize their own visa, but they have education agents who organize this as part of their service. All student visas allow you to work part time while studying in Australia.
Therefore, visas for visitors and students are generally easy to obtain. The problem begins when you want to stay long-term or forever. Then barricades and potholes line their path. Many applicants commit to a migration agent to help them through this jungle.
Australia currently has almost 30 different work visas. All of these are skill-based, so you must have a specific ability to qualify (listed on the Qualified Occupations List (SOL)) or the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) or sufficient experience or funds in terms of business. You can apply for sponsorship from an employer or the government or you can apply for it alone. Finding a sponsor is difficult, but once you have one, the application is simple if you meet the requirements. If you do not have the support of a sponsor, you can not simply apply but you need to request an invitation to apply. Your skills are reviewed and, if there is a high enough chance you qualify, you are invited to apply.
The route you choose depends on the list you select. If your occupation is only in the CSOL but not in the much smaller SOL, then you can only apply for sponsorship from an employer. If your occupation is in the SOL, you can apply alone. And if your occupation is in both (most of the occupations in SOL are also in CSOL), then you can do either: apply alone or sponsored by an employer.
Australia has more than 20 different family visas. All family visas require that you be sponsored by a member of the family who is a resident or Australian citizen, if you are an adult, or an eligible parent if you are a child. Sponsoring means providing financial assistance for the first two to ten years in Australia. The details depend on the specific visa. Family visa applications have a successful result for 79% of applications.
There are different refugee and humanitarian visas for applicants who are still abroad and for applicants who are already in Australia. Refugee visas are hot political territory. The Resource Center for asylum seekers and Roads to Refuge have useful resources.
And then there is the big bucket of other visas, mainly bridge visas. You will receive a transition visa when your previous visa has expired before your application for a new visa has been decided.
This is Australia’s visa system. the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and then request more information or help from a migration agent. Have a good start in Australia Visa.