Visas for Australia

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Expats looking to live and work in Australia will need a visa. The good news is that the Australian government makes it easy to understand the visa application process. Visa Wizard, the immigration department’s digital aid, walks travellers and expats through a step-by-step system that evaluates an individual's reasons for coming to Australia, the duration of the intended stay, nationality and age, to effectively advise which visas they are eligible for. Furthermore, it provides information about how to apply for a specific class of visa, the associated costs, where to apply and more. 
Expats will need a visa to work in Australia
That said, though the application process may be streamlined and easy to navigate, it certainly doesn’t guarantee entrance into the country. 
 
Australia claims an intimidating number of visa categories, and requirements vary immensely. Some merely demand a passport from a certain nation, some evaluate a person's skill level and education level based on a point system and some are based on familial connection. 
 
Regardless though, it’s always best to do as much research as possible prior to applying for a visa for Australia to simplify the process and to avoid complication.
 

Tourist visas for Australia


There are a number of primary categories of a tourist visa for Australia, each suitable for a specific time period and for individuals of a specific nationality. It is advised that those applying for tourist visas do so at least two weeks prior to their intended date of travel. 
 

Visitor visa

This visa allows a person to visit Australia for business or visiting purposes. It is valid for up to three, six or 12 months. 

This visa is not extendable. Travellers who wish to extend their stay in Australia will need to apply for a different visa at least two weeks prior to its expiration. 
 

eVisitor visa 

This visa is for European passport holders or UK passport holders who wish to visit Australia for three months or less. This visa allows a person to visit Australia for business visitor purposes. It is valid for three months at a time, over a 12 month period. It can only be applied for online, and the application must be made outside of Australia. No charge is associated with application.
 
Visa approval is granted via email notification, and it is merely necessary to show this notification to passport control upon arrival in Australia.
 
As with the visitor visa, this visa is not extendable, and travellers who wish to extend their stay in Australia will need to apply for a different visa at least two weeks prior to its expiration. 
 

Working visas for Australia


If expats have a dream to live and work in Australia, there are many different temporary working visas that one might be eligible for. 
 

Working holiday visas

Australia has a partnership with several countries which allows young people to visit Australia and work temporarily to fund their travels. This type of visa is not intended for those interested in permanent relocation, but it is for those who want the experience of living abroad in Australia for several months to a year, so that they can supplement their travel funds with short term work. It must be proved that travel is the primary reason for the visit, with working as a secondary intention to support the travel. 
 
The duration of the visa is for 12 months, but visa holders are not allowed to work for more than 6 months with one employer. Applicants must be between the ages of 18-30 and can be from a number of accepted countries including the UK, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Taiwan, Estonia, Belgium, Italy and more. 
 
Applicants must have a passport which has at least a year of validity left on it as well as showing proof that they have enough funds to support themselves upon first arriving in Australia. This proof is usually in the form of a stamped and dated bank statement. Applicants must also not have any prior criminal convictions or any serious medical issues. 
 
If working holiday visa holders complete at least three months of seasonal work, such as harvesting or picking crops in regional Australia, they will be eligible to apply for an extension to their original visa. Make sure to keep evidence of employment as this will be needed for those trying to extend the permit.
 

Work and holiday visa 

Expats from the USA, Thailand, Chile or Turkey will not be able to apply for the Working Holiday Visa. If one is enrolled in or have graduated from a post-secondary institution then it is possible to apply. Other than this requirement, it is very similar to the Working Holiday Visa, allowing those between the ages of 18 and 30 to take an extended holiday while picking up temporary or casual employment during their visit. 
 

Employer-sponsored work visa


If an expat's primary purpose for coming to Australia is work and they can find an employer who would sponsor a visa, they could apply for a professional visa to live and work in Australia for up to four years. There are many visas available for this situation over a number of professions and occupations. 
 
There are several different categories of employer-sponsored work visas, including:
Temporary business visa – Standard Business Sponsorship: This is the most common type of visa for employers who want to bring in a working from overseas. The business must be able to prove that they cannot meet their recruitment needs by hiring an Australian employee and that by employing the temporary resident they are benefiting Australia. 
Educational visa: Teachers and education workers from overseas can obtain an Educational Work Visa in order to be employed at Australian schools for up to four years. One must be sponsored by the institution and have a position as a teacher, librarian, researcher, or academic. 
Medical practitioner visa: Trained doctors who want to work in Australia can be sponsored under this visa, by the hospital or by a small rural community or local council. One must be registered to practice in Australia via the correct state or territory Medical Board. 
 
All of these temporary working visas require expats to find an employer who is interested in sponsoring them. The employer must first submit their nomination and sponsorship forms before they can apply for the visa. 
 

Sponsored training visas for Australia


Occupational trainee visa

Expats who are at least 18 years of age and have been working in their current occupation for at least 12 months are eligible to take an occupational trainee program in Australia with a recognized Australian organization which nominates them. This visa will allow them to stay for two years, plus an extra two months after the training finishes to give the individual time to leave Australia or apply for a different visa. 
 
In order to apply expats must find an Australian organisation that is willing to train them and have them apply for a visa on the expats behalf. 
 

Trade skills training visa

This visa allows employers in regional Australia, who have not been able to find Australian workers to fill their positions, to hire foreign employees on an apprenticeship basis. These visas apply to trade occupations where there is a skill shortage and where no Australian can be found to fill the position. 
 
Under this visa one will receive an apprentice wage while they are working, but applicants must also be able to prove that they can cover all living expenses while in Australia. 
 

Permanent residence in Australia


So what if someone enjoys working in Australia so much that they want to stay in this beautiful country on a permanent basis? They might be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Australia. This would make them a permanent resident but not a citizen of the commonwealth of Australia. Permanent residents are allowed to remain within the country indefinitely as well as work and study if they desire. Expats will also qualify for Medicare as soon as they become a permanent resident and qualify for social security benefits two years later. Permanent residents also have unrestricted rights to travel, live, work and study in New Zealand. 
 
The initial migration visa is valid for 5 years from the date of application for immigration to Australia. During this time expats are allowed to travel freely to and from Australia. However, after this if expats wish to leave and re-enter Australia they must do so on a Resident Return Visa or apply for Australian citizenship. 
 
In order to qualify for Australian citizenship one must prove that they have been living in Australia on a valid visa for four years immediately before applying, which must include the previous 12 months as a permanent resident. Applicants must not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total and no more than 90 days in the year before applying. 
 
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.

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