We came to Australia because my hubby got offered a job, we didn’t even realise how lucky we were to have all the visa nightmares organised for us by his company. It was only after we arrived and met people who had been trying to get to this amazing country for years through organising their own visa applications that we knew we had experienced the easy road.
We arrived in Australia on a SubClass 457 working visa, which was tied to hubby’s job. This is a temporary visa for four years that has to be renewed. I think most businesses in Australia will bring migrants over on this type, just because it means the employee is tied to the job unless they apply for a different visa when they are over here.
If Miss M was born whilst we were on this visa she would have been a British citizen, which means we would have had to apply overseas to get her the British passport and relevant paperwork.
After being in Australia a few years we realised that we couldn’t rely on the security of jobs to ensure we could stay in the country. If something happened to hubby’s job we would literally have 30 days to leave the country. So we decided to apply for permanent residency.
This was not an easy process and there are a few options of what you can apply for:
- Points based skilled visa – this is based on the skills shortage that we have here in Australia. The more Australia requires your skill the more points you get. You can however supplement your points with investments if you don’t reach the criteria. This can be applied for on-shore or off-shore and is a very lengthy process.
- Employee sponsored skilled visa – this is where the company you work for can sponsor you for permanent residency and this is the option we took with my employer.
There are also other options around working in regional areas and military. The whole system is extremely complicated and you can decide whether you want to utilise an agent to help you with your application. This person can also help you work out what visa is right for you and provides all the help and support you need along the way.
We decided to just because we wanted to ensure there were no hold ups and it was all project managed by someone who is experienced in the area. Generally, using an agent will keep things streamlined as they will check everything for you before sending it off to the office. Apparently it is a lot less likely to be sent back as they know what the immigration officers are looking for.
We secured this visa in 2009 and were so relieved to know that we were secure and could stay in the country. Now it just so happened that we didn’t have Miss M until we were on this visa and that meant that she was an Australian citizen. It seems odd as at the time we were not Australian citizens just permanent residents, however that is the way it works.
The most interesting experience was heading back to the UK when she was seven months old and we all had different passports However, this year we also secured our Australian citizenship and so we are all bonafide Aussies now…. Oi oi oi! Which is really nice as it didn’t seem quite right before.
For more information about how the Australian immigration system works visit the website http://www.immi.gov.au
Have you had an experience moving to another country?
Mrs B x