Moving to Australia: Expat guide 2021 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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Australia is a continental country with a population just twice the number of Muscovites, it ranks 12th in terms of GDP and second in terms of the human development index (which takes into account education, living standards and longevity).
Australia was little affected by the economic crisis: in the early 2010s, the economy continued to grow. In 2013, it was recognized as the second wealthiest country after Switzerland. Despite the availability of coal, gas, and diamonds, service companies account for the bulk of the country’s GDP. The IT industry is actively developing here, and a lot of attention is paid to education.
Perhaps one of the few disadvantages of this country is its remoteness from the rest of the world.
From year to year, Australia confidently occupies one of the leading positions among the countries most attractive for immigration. At the same time, in terms of living standards Australia, despite its geographical isolation, even bypasses many EU member states.
High quality of life, developed economy, magnificent nature, and quality medicine. In addition, Australia is a country that is friendly to immigrants and their diversity of cultures. Here, conditions are purposefully created that make the country attractive for moving. Anyways don’t rush with making a serious decision.
The procedure for moving to Australia has its own characteristics and pitfalls, which it will be useful for you to know about in advance in order to simplify your life. For example, not everyone knows that you can get bank details in Australian currency online, without much fuss, immediately upon arrival in Australia.
Before we start reviewing all the possible ways to move to Australia let’s first see what are the main pros and cons of this country and why you should consider this country as a good place to live.
The main pros of moving to Australia
- The happiest people live in Australia. Australia is one of the ten happiest countries on the planet according to the UN happiness rating. The ranking assesses such indicators as the level of social support, GDP per capita, corruption score, life expectancy and freedom of choice.
- Australia welcomes immigrants. About a third of the population in Australia are immigrants, which is not surprising. People of different cultures come here from all over the world, so it is easy to become “your own” here.
- Tolerant society. Thanks to the amazing cultural diversity of Australian society, the risk of discrimination or abuse is equal to zero. In addition, same-sex marriage is legal in Australia and the country provides safe havens for people who have suffered human rights abuses.
- Australia has a great ecology. The people are especially satisfied with the quality of water and air in their country than anyone else in the world.
- An opportunity to enjoy the unique nature. The flora and fauna of Australia has been forming for millions of years far from other continents: from 6,000 species of animals live in Australia, many of which do not live anywhere else on the planet. Due to higher number of population and the careful behavior of Australians towards nature, many unspoiled places have been preserved in Australia.
- Free and high-quality medical care for citizens and residents. Australia has a good health care system, both public and private insurance available for people. At the same time, the services of free medicine can be used not only by citizens, but also by immigrants with a permanent visa. At the same time, medicine in Australia is one of the best in the world on a par with the countries of Western Europe and North America.
- Feeling safe. Australia is one of the safest countries in the world. This means that the level of violent crime, as well as deaths in car accidents in Australia tends to the world minimum.
- The whole world will be open to you. The European Union, the United States, Canada and many other countries do not require visas from Australian citizens – a compelling argument in favor of obtaining Australian citizenship.
- Comfortable climate. Australia has a mild climate, and the number of hours of sunshine per year in some regions reaches 3000.
- The opportunity to take your family with you. Australian immigration policy allows immigrants to take their loved ones with them, including a life partner – even before they are officially married.
The main cons of moving to Australia
- Expensive air tickets. Due to Australia’s remoteness from other continents and countries, travel and home trips will be expensive.
- Dangerous animals. Australia is home to many species of poisonous animals and insects. For example, the Sydney funnel spider is one of the most venomous in the world.
- Dear kindergartens. The price per month can reach 1,336 USD and higher.
- Expensive housing. Especially in large cities – in Sydney, the minimum price for renting a one-room apartment outside the city center is from 1,073 USD per month.
- Paid higher education.
How to move to Australia: Ways to immigrate
To immigrate to Australia, you need to obtain an immigrant visa – a visa that automatically gives you the right to permanently reside in Australia. A special feature of the immigration process is that you can apply for a visa online.
Submission of biometric data is the only stage at which you will need to visit the Australian mission because even a candidate receives a visa by e-mail.
Anyways, this does not mean at all that immigrating to Australia is fast and easy. The applicant has to prepare different documents, and the preparation may take more time than applying for the visa itself: this is a certificate of proficiency in English, and confirmation of professional qualifications by the Australian side, and an invitation from an employer. For this reason, you should start preparing for immigration in advance, but hurry up with buying tickets is not worth it.
So, the first and main step after making a decision is obtaining an immigrant visa. This document will give you the right to permanently reside in the country. The cost of a visa depends on its type, starting from 0 AUD and reaching 7.715 AUD in some cases. You can choose the type of your visa here. And with the help of a converter, you can quickly calculate how much a visa will cost in your currency.
The most popular are the following types of immigration: professional and family. It is also possible to immigrate to Australia for business, student study programs and refugee status. Let’s consider all the options.
A number of visas are available for those wishing to relocate to Australia under the Skilled Worker Program. The main requirement for candidates in the professional stream is the availability of a specialty in demand in the country. An up-to-date list of the most popular professions can be found on the website of the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs.
An impressive part of the list is occupied by professions from the field of IT, medicine, agriculture, engineering, as well as social workers. The category for professionals assumes the possibility of both immigration at the invitation of an employer and independent immigration.
Other requirements include age, health requirements, knowledge of the English language at a sufficient level, as well as confirmation of the level of qualifications. Do not forget to familiarize yourself with the minimum points system in order to predict your chances of getting a visa. These points are awarded based on age, language proficiency test, work experience and education.
However, it should be emphasized that the requirements may vary greatly depending on the type of visa. Therefore, it is important to clearly define the visa that you need in order not to face unnecessary costs and wasted time.
In order to attract qualified professionals from all over the world, Australia has thought of a separate way of immigration for professionals using the Skilled Independent Visa (189). Professional (independent) immigration differs from ordinary labor in that the candidate is not required to have an invitation from the employer in the country of immigration.
The Immigration Service evaluates the applicant’s Expression of Interest on the SkillSellect portal, where he explains himself and his qualifications. A professional can also request state or state or territory support. If chosen, he will be able to apply for a Skilled Nominated Visa (190). The applicant’s application must score at least 65 points in a special point test (189, 190) to be invited to apply for a visa. For professional immigration to Australia, you must have at least a B2 level of English and proof of higher education and work experience.
Requirements for obtaining professional visas
- 18–45 years old (there are some exceptions for researchers, professors and other categories);
- Higher or secondary vocational education;
- Owner of a sought-after profession;
- Work experience;
- Australian State or Territory nomination for visa 190;
- Confirmed professional qualifications;
- No previous convictions;
- Lack of infectious diseases;
- Not less than 65 points in the point test 189 or 190;
- Certificate of English Proficiency IELTS 6.0+ or another exam;
- Bank statement (on request).
Immigration process for professionals
- Make sure that the specified requirements are met;
- Confirm professional qualifications;
- Submit an Expression of Interest on the SkillSelect Portal. For a 190 state / territory sponsored visa, indicate the need for support;
- Wait for an invitation to submit documents for a visa;
- Collect and apply for a visa online within 60 days after receiving the invitation;
- Submit biometric data by invitation;
- Wait for the results (5-10 months);
- Receive and print an e-visa with data;
- Move to Australia.
Business and investment visa
This category is suitable for entrepreneurs willing to develop or support a business in Australia. Depending on the subclass of the visa in this category, a number of requirements will be presented to the candidate. For example, by age, health, by the amount of funds available (or funds in the form of investments in Australia), by the level of knowledge of English.
It will be necessary to provide documents confirming that the candidate has a successful business management experience, and for the intended business activity in Australia, be prepared to provide a business plan and other documents confirming the validity of the plans.
Australia needs immigration of businessmen and investors, like many other countries: foreign entrepreneurs and investors provide an inflow of capital, create jobs, and make up for the shortage of goods and services on the market. Before immigration, a businessman must analyze the local market, negotiate with potential partners, states and territories, and, if necessary, draw up a business plan.
When everything is ready, you need to submit an Expression of Interest and wait for an invitation to apply for a visa. A visa can also be obtained for investments in the Australian economy. For both categories of candidates – businessmen and investors – there are visas of the same subclass.
Requirements for obtaining visas for businessmen and investors
- Be under the age of 55. The Migration Agency allows exceptions if the state / territory needs the prospective business;
- Have proven professional and business experience;
- For visa 188, collect at least 65 points in the Points Test;
- Own or operate a business in Australia for 4 years, or
- Intend to open a business in Australia, have at least USD 740,300 in accounts and provide a detailed business plan, or
- Keep investments from 1,110,450 USD in Australia.
Immigration process for businessmen and investors
- Submitting an Expression of Interest to obtain state or territory support (sponsorship) to start a business. Support will also be needed for those who have already done business in the country;
- Proof of professional qualifications and experience;
- Obtaining an invitation for a visa;
- Medical examination;
- Collecting documents and applying for a visa;
- Submission of biometric data by invitation;
- Pending decision – the processing time varies in each individual case;
- Receiving the result by e-mail;
- Printing visa data and leaving for Australia;
- Registration of a permanent visa 888 after a few years (the period varies depending on individual conditions).
This type of visa can be obtained if you are officially married or are going to marry an Australian citizen, if your child or parent is a citizen of the country, or if you are in a long-term close relationship (live together) with one of the citizens countries. In this case, you do not need to confirm your knowledge of English or professional experience.
In addition, Australia recognizes both heterosexual and same-sex relationships. Please note, however, that your spouse, partner or close relative may be required to provide financial support after moving to the country, and the visa application itself must be submitted prior to arriving in Australia.
This is the easiest way to immigrate to Australia and does not require knowledge of the language, education or professional experience. For marriage immigration, you will need to obtain a special bride / groom visa – such a visa is needed to enter the country and marry a citizen or resident of the country. After that, you can easily obtain a visa for permanent residence in Australia. Australians also recognize same-sex marriage.
Requirements for obtaining marriage visas
- 18+ years old;
- The willingness of the spouse / partner to sponsor the applicant;
- Health certificate that meets Australian standards;
- No previous visa refusals in Australia;
- No debt to Australia.
To immigrate to Australia, you can go there to study with a student visa and, after graduation, find a job and stay there. The student visa is given to pupils of schools and students of professional educational institutions and universities.
After graduation, a foreign graduate can obtain a graduate visa for employment. To obtain an Australian student visa, you must first enroll in an educational institution and receive confirmation of enrollment.
After obtaining a visa, the student can enter the country and start studying. The cost of a student visa starts from 426 USD and depends on the level of study and other factors – you can calculate the cost for yourself using a special price calculator.
Australia is the most expensive country to study in, according to an HSBC study. A year at a local university will cost about 24 thousand US dollars, another 18 thousand will have to be spent on living. The government website Study in Australia gives a slightly more optimistic range of prices.
A year for a bachelor’s degree, according to him, will cost 12-26 thousand dollars, a master’s program – 16-29 thousand, a post-graduate course – 11-29 thousand, English courses – 300 dollars a week. At the same time, 16 Australian universities are included in the top hundreds of the best universities in the world.
Among them are the University of Newcastle, Queensland University of Technology, University of South Australia and Deakin University. The world appreciates Australian degrees in the humanities, the exact and natural sciences, as well as medicine and technology.
Briefly about education in Australia
- Living in Australia: 1,523 USD / month;
- Cost of language courses: 400 USD / month;
- Tuition fees at the university: 10,500 USD – 28,000 USD / year;
- Knowledge of the language for admission to the university: Upper Intermediate – IELTS 5.5+;
- Number of universities: more than 200;
- Universities in the top 100 world universities: 7.
Immigration process through education
- Search for an educational institution and preparation of documents;
- Admission and receipt of an invitation from a university;
- Submission of documents for a student visa (subclass 500);
- Education at a university with the ability to work up to 20 hours a week;
- Choosing a specialty from the list of in-demand professions (SOL);
- Submission of documents for an immigrant visa.
Documents for admission to the university
- Certified translation of the certificate of previous education;
- Certificate of passing the international exam in English;
- Motivation letter and recommendations;
- SAT / ACT or GRE / GMAT exams (not for all universities).
A refugee visa can be applied for by those who reasonably need protection or asylum, and who, for objective reasons, cannot stay in their home country. The subclass of the visa must be chosen according to the current situation of the candidate.
For example, there is a visa for those who have already arrived in Australia on some other visa but want to apply for asylum. There is a visa for those who are outside the country, but want to obtain asylum. Also, a separate subclass of visas is provided for those who arrived in the country illegally.
People who have left their home country and are unable or unwilling to return to it due to the fact or risk of persecution can apply for asylum in Australia. In doing so, the applicant must provide physical evidence that will convince Australia to provide him with protection. A refugee can apply for a visa from another country or from Australia.
Documents for obtaining asylum or protection:
- A copy of the page with passport data (photo, personal data, passport validity period);
- 2 photographs 35×45 mm on a white background and with the name printed on the back;
- Copies of visas and residence permits;
- Relationship documents (marriage, divorce certificates);
- Details of dependent children and family members;
- Medical examination results, including FLH and HIV test Medical examination results;
- Letter describing the history of the persecution;
- Evidence of harassment and violation of rights;
- Military ID.
Stages of obtaining a refugee visa
- Collection of documents;
- Submitting an application online or by mail;
- Submission of biometric data;
- Obtaining a visa by email;
- Printout of a letter with visa details.
Here were presented all the possible options for becoming a resident of Australia, business/investment, work purpose, education or marriage, and the final one refugee status. Australia is a powerful country and it will be a good step to changing your life to the best.