With sweeping changes to Australia’s visa and migration policies already discussed in Jack’s blog last September about visa reform, and with an increasing amount of SAP professionals nominating for state sponsorship as their chosen visa option, we thought it was time to explore the new visa and its process further below.
When reviewing these changes, it’s important to note that you are unique and your experience may differ slightly based on skills, experience and country of origin.
SECURING STATE SPONSORSHIP
Sometimes it can be challenging to find someone willing to sponsor you, even if you have years of international experience under your belt.
If this is the case for you and you’re struggling to find an employer/sponsor, State Sponsorship may be an option for you.
Known in full as an Australian State Sponsored Visa (Skilled – Nominated Visa subclass 190), this Australian state-sponsored visa is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory rather than an employer.
A visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia, and certain family members can be included in the application.
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE SKILLED VISA
You must first lodge an Expression of Interest through the Department of Home Affairs online tool SkillSelect, an online service the Government uses to manage its skilled migration program.
If you are nominated by a state or territory and meet the basic requirements for this visa, you will receive an Invitation to Apply.
Do note however that each participating State or Territory maintains a list of occupations presently in demand as part of their State Migration Plan, whereby nomination may be a possibility.
The criteria for the SkillSelect program are that:
- You are invited to apply
- You are younger than 45 years of age when invited to apply
- Your professional field is listed on the MLTSSL or the STSOL
- You agree to your skills being assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for you nominated occupation
- That your English is competent
- That you score at least 60 on the Points Test, AND meet the health and character requirements.
You will then be required to complete an assessment by the industry body relates to your nominated skills, and to provide evidence of your work experience, noting a required minimum of two years in your nominated profession.
IF YOUR APPLICATION IS APPROVED
If you’re successful and the Skilled Visa is granted to you, you’ll be able to move to the nominated state with the ability to obtain full time work.
Conditions include that you continue to live in the nominating State/Territory for at least two years, and that you keep immigration authorities advised of any changes to your address.
A successful applicant is given a five-year multiple entry visa to live and work in Australia. You only need to live in Australia for two of the five years to have the visa re-issued for a further five years.
Alternatively, you can spend four consecutive years in Australia, and become eligible for citizenship.
If you choose NOT to gain citizenship however, you must apply for a Resident Return Visa before the original one expires in order to travel to and from Australia, so long has you’ve spend two years lawfully living in Australia or that you can prove significant personal, cultural or business ties to Australia.
KNOW THE CHALLENGES
As you may already know, building on your career in a different country can be very rewarding. It can also be very challenging to get a look in.
The best course of action available to you is to make sure you’re across all the present requirements, especially since the changes to the visa situation are still so new.
There are opportunities out there, but finding the one that’s right for you may require perseverance!
This article is for information purposes only. If you are investigating a visa to work in Australia, or you’re a business that wants to recruit offshore, please consult with an accredited migration professional to get the most current advice available.