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Category Archives: Australia

July 8, 2024

Australia is a popular destination for self-employed individuals seeking new opportunities and a better quality of life. The country offers a range of visa options tailored to entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors.

If you’re a self-employed individual from Africa looking to immigrate to Australia, here are the top eight pathways you can explore.

 

  1. Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)

 

Overview

 

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (subclass 188) is designed for successful business owners and investors who want to establish a new or existing business in Australia.

This visa is the first step towards obtaining permanent residency.

 

Streams

 

– Business Innovation Stream: For individuals with a successful business career who intend to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.

– Investor Stream: For those willing to invest at least AUD 1.5 million in an Australian state or territory.

– Significant Investor Stream: For those willing to invest at least AUD 5 million in complying investments in Australia.

– Entrepreneur Stream: For those who have secured funding from an approved entity to develop a high-value business idea in Australia.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Score at least 65 points based on factors like age, business experience, and investment history.

– Net Assets: Demonstrate net business and personal assets of at least AUD 800,000 for the Business Innovation stream.

– Investment: Make the required investment for the Investor or Significant Investor streams.

– Business Turnover: Show annual business turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for the Business Innovation stream.

 

 Application Process

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. State or Territory Nomination: Obtain a nomination from an Australian state or territory.
  3. Submit Application: Apply for the visa once invited.

 

  1. Business Talent (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 132)

 

Overview

 

The Business Talent (Permanent) Visa (subclass 132) is for high-caliber business owners who wish to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia. This visa grants immediate permanent residency.

 

Streams

 

– Significant Business History Stream: For experienced business owners with a net business and personal assets of at least AUD 1.5 million and an annual business turnover of at least AUD 3 million.

– Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream: For those who have secured at least AUD 1 million in venture capital funding from an Australian firm for a promising high-value business idea.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Net Assets: Demonstrate substantial net business and personal assets.

– Business Turnover: Show significant business turnover.

– Venture Capital: Secure venture capital funding for the Entrepreneur stream.

 

 Application Process

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. State or Territory Nomination: Obtain a nomination from an Australian state or territory.
  3. Submit Application: Apply for the visa once invited.

 

  1. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

 

Overview

 

The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) is a points-tested visa for skilled workers who do not require sponsorship by an employer, state, or family member. Self-employed individuals with skills in demand in Australia can qualify.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Score at least 65 points based on factors like age, education, work experience, and English proficiency.

– Occupation List: Your occupation must be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

– Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment for your occupation.

– Age: Be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate proficiency in English.

 

 Application Process

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  3. Submit Application: Complete the application and provide required documents.

 

4.Global Talent Visa (Subclass 858)

 

Overview

The Global Talent Visa (subclass 858) targets highly skilled individuals in specific sectors who are recognized as leaders or have the potential to be leaders in their field.

 

Target Sectors

 

– AgTech

– FinTech

– MedTech

– Cyber Security

– Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science, and ICT

– Space and Advanced Manufacturing

– Energy and Mining Technology

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Distinguished Talent: Must demonstrate exceptional and outstanding achievements in your field.

– International Recognition: Must be internationally recognized and have evidence of sustained achievement.

– Endorsement: Obtain a nomination from an eligible nominator in Australia (e.g., a nationally recognized organization or individual in your field).

 

 Application Process

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI for the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program.
  2. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  3. Submit Application: Complete the application and provide required documents.

 

  1. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

 

Overview

 

The Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) is a points-tested visa that requires nomination by an Australian state or territory.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Score at least 65 points based on factors like age, education, work experience, and English proficiency.

– State Nomination: Obtain a nomination from an Australian state or territory.

– Occupation List: Your occupation must be on the relevant state or territory occupation list.

– Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment for your occupation.

– Age: Be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate proficiency in English.

 

Application Process

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. State Nomination: Apply for nomination from a state or territory.
  3. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  4. Submit Application: Complete the application and provide required documents.

 

  1. Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa (Subclass 482)

 

Overview

 

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa (subclass 482) allows Australian employers to sponsor skilled workers to fill positions where there is a labor shortage. Self-employed individuals with skills in demand can find an employer willing to sponsor them.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Job Offer: Obtain a job offer from an Australian employer.

– Skills Assessment: Demonstrate that you have the necessary skills for the position.

– English Proficiency: Show proficiency in English.

– Occupation List: The occupation must be on the relevant occupation list.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Employer Nomination: The employer submits a nomination application.
  2. Visa Application: The applicant submits a visa application.
  3. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

Pathway to Permanent Residency

 

– ENS Visa (Subclass 186): After working in Australia for a few years, you can transition to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (subclass 186) for permanent residency.

 

  1. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (Subclass 187)

 

Overview

 

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (subclass 187) is for skilled workers nominated by an employer in regional Australia. This visa provides a pathway to permanent residency.

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

Employer Nomination: Secure a nomination from an approved Australian employer in regional Australia.

– Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment for your occupation.

– Work Experience: Have relevant work experience.

– Age: Be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate proficiency in English.

 

 Application Process

 

  1. Employer Nomination: The employer submits a nomination application.
  2. Visa Application: The applicant submits a visa application.
  3. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

  1. Investor Retirement Visa (Subclass 405)

 

Overview

 

The Investor Retirement Visa (subclass 405) is for self-funded retirees who have no dependents and want to live in Australia during their retirement years. Although this visa does not lead to permanent residency, it is an option for affluent self-employed individuals considering long-term stays.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Age: Be at least 55 years old.

– No Dependents: Have no dependents other than a partner.

– Financial Capacity: Demonstrate significant financial capacity to support yourself in Australia.

– Investment: Make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory.

 

 Application Process

 

  1. Submit Application: Apply for the visa with the required financial and health documentation.
  2. Investment: Make the required investment in Australia.
  3. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

Conclusion

Australia offers a variety of pathways for self-employed individuals from Africa to immigrate, ranging from business and investment visas to skilled worker visas.

Each pathway has specific requirements and processes, so it is essential to carefully consider your qualifications, business goals, and long-term aspirations.

Consulting with a registered migration agent can help you navigate the complexities of the Australian immigration system and increase your chances of a successful application.

With the right preparation and guidance, achieving your goal of immigrating to Australia as a self-employed individual is within reach.

July 1, 2024

Australia offers several pathways for skilled workers to achieve permanent residency (PR). The country values skilled migrants who can contribute to the economy and society, and as such, has designed various visa categories to facilitate this process. As an experienced immigration consultant, I will detail the five essential pathways to permanent residency for skilled workers, addressing common questions and misconceptions along the way.

 

  1. Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

 

Overview

 

The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) is a points-tested visa that does not require sponsorship by an employer, state, or family member. It is one of the most sought-after pathways to permanent residency for skilled workers.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Applicants must score at least 65 points on the points test, which considers factors such as age, education, work experience, English language proficiency, and other qualifications.

– Occupation List: The applicant’s occupation must be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

– Skills Assessment: A positive skills assessment from a relevant assessing authority is required.

– Age: Applicants must be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Proficiency in English must be demonstrated through tests like IELTS or PTE.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  3. Submit Application: Complete the online application and upload required documents.
  4. Medical and Character Checks: Undergo health examinations and police checks.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

– Misconception: You need a job offer to apply for a subclass 189 visa.

– Clarification: No job offer is required, but your occupation must be on the MLTSSL.

 

  1. Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190)

 

Overview

 

The Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) is similar to the 189 visa but requires nomination by a state or territory government.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Score at least 65 points on the points test.

– State Nomination: Secure a nomination from an Australian state or territory.

– Occupation List: Your occupation must be on the relevant state or territory occupation list.

– Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment.

– Age: Be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate English proficiency.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI and select the states or territories where you want to live.
  2. State Nomination: Apply for state nomination; each state has its own requirements and processes.
  3. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa.
  4. Submit Application: Complete the application process and provide necessary documentation.
  5. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

– Misconception: State nomination guarantees visa approval.

– Clarification: While state nomination is crucial, you must still meet all other visa requirements.

 

  1. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

 

Overview

 

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491) is a points-tested visa for skilled workers who want to live and work in regional Australia. It provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (subclass 191).

 

Eligibility Criteria

 

– Points Test: Score at least 65 points.

– State or Family Sponsorship: Obtain nomination from a state or territory or sponsorship from an eligible family member living in regional Australia.

– Occupation List: Occupation must be on the MLTSSL or Regional Occupation List (ROL).

– Skills Assessment: Positive skills assessment is required.

– Age: Be under 45 years old.

– English Proficiency: Show English language proficiency.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI through SkillSelect.
  2. State Nomination or Family Sponsorship: Apply for state nomination or secure family sponsorship.
  3. Invitation to Apply: Receive an invitation to apply.
  4. Submit Application: Complete the online application and provide required documents.
  5. Medical and Character Checks: Undergo health and police checks.

 

Pathway to Permanent Residency

 

– Subclass 191 Visa: After holding the 491 visa and living/working in regional Australia for three years, you can apply for the subclass 191 visa, which grants permanent residency.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

– Misconception: The 491 visa does not lead to permanent residency.

– Clarification: The 491 visa is a pathway to permanent residency through the subclass 191 visa after meeting certain requirements.

 

  1. Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (Subclass 186)

 

Overview

 

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers nominated by their employer. This visa grants permanent residency directly.

 

Streams

 

– Direct Entry Stream: For applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia.

– Temporary Residence Transition Stream: For those who hold a subclass 457, TSS (subclass 482), or related bridging visa and have worked for their nominating employer for at least three years.

– Labour Agreement Stream: For workers nominated under a labour agreement.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Employer Nomination: Secure a nomination from an approved Australian employer.

– Skills Assessment: Positive skills assessment for the Direct Entry stream.

– Work Experience: Relevant work experience, generally at least three years.

– Age: Be under 45 years old, with some exemptions.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate English proficiency.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Employer Nomination: The employer submits a nomination application.
  2. Submit Visa Application: The applicant submits a visa application after the nomination is approved.
  3. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

– Misconception: You need to be in Australia to apply for the subclass 186 visa.

– Clarification: You can apply for the subclass 186 visa from inside or outside Australia.

 

  1. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (Subclass 187)

 

Overview

 

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visa (subclass 187) is similar to the ENS visa but is specifically for skilled workers nominated to work in regional Australia.

 

Streams

 

– Direct Entry Stream: For applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia.

– Temporary Residence Transition Stream: For those who hold a subclass 457, TSS (subclass 482), or related bridging visa and have worked for their nominating employer for at least three years.

– Labour Agreement Stream: For workers nominated under a labour agreement.

 

 Eligibility Criteria

 

– Employer Nomination: Secure a nomination from an approved Australian employer in regional Australia.

– Skills Assessment: Positive skills assessment for the Direct Entry stream.

– Work Experience: Relevant work experience, generally at least three years.

– Age: Be under 45 years old, with some exemptions.

– English Proficiency: Demonstrate English proficiency.

 

Application Process

 

  1. Employer Nomination: The employer submits a nomination application.
  2. Submit Visa Application: The applicant submits a visa application after the nomination is approved.
  3. Medical and Character Checks: Complete health and police checks.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

– Misconception: The subclass 187 visa does not lead to permanent residency.

– Clarification: The subclass 187 visa is a permanent residency visa.

 

Conclusion

Australia offers multiple pathways for skilled workers to achieve permanent residency, each with its own set of requirements and processes.

The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190), Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491), Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186), and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) provide various options depending on your qualifications, experience, and long-term goals.

Understanding these pathways and meeting the necessary criteria is crucial for a successful application.

Always consider consulting with a registered migration agent to navigate the complexities of the Australian immigration system and enhance your chances of securing permanent residency.

June 23, 2024

Transitioning from a visitor visa to a work or study permit in Australia is a multifaceted process that requires careful planning and understanding of the immigration laws. As an experienced immigration consultant, I’ve helped numerous individuals navigate this journey successfully. In this comprehensive guide, I’ll walk you through the seven key steps involved in making this transition, addressing common questions and misconceptions along the way.

 

  1. Understanding Visa Conditions and Eligibility

 

Visitor Visa Conditions

 

Visitor visas (subclass 600, 601, 651) are designed for short-term stays in Australia for tourism or business activities. These visas typically do not allow the holder to work or study for more than three months. Understanding these restrictions is crucial because breaching visa conditions can lead to visa cancellation and affect future visa applications.

 

Eligibility for Work or Study Permits

 

To transition from a visitor visa to a work or study permit, you must meet specific eligibility criteria for the new visa type. The most common visas for work or study are:

 

– Student Visa (subclass 500): Requires enrollment in a registered course and proof of financial capacity.

– Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482): Requires a job offer from an approved employer and relevant skills and qualifications.

– Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 or 462): For individuals aged 18-30 (or 35 for some countries) from eligible countries, allowing them to work and study for up to a year.

 

  1. Choosing the Right Visa

 

Factors to Consider

 

Selecting the appropriate visa depends on your individual circumstances, including your age, nationality, skills, and long-term goals. Here’s a brief overview of common visas:

 

– Student Visa (subclass 500): Ideal if you aim to pursue higher education or vocational training in Australia. It allows part-time work (up to 40 hours per fortnight) during study periods and full-time work during breaks.

– Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482): Suitable if you have a job offer in a field experiencing skill shortages in Australia. This visa can lead to permanent residency.

– Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417 or 462): Best for young travelers wanting to experience life in Australia while working temporarily.

 

Common Misconceptions

 

One common misconception is that holding a visitor visa allows you to work in Australia. This is false and can lead to severe penalties if violated. Another misconception is that transitioning to a work or study visa is straightforward; however, it often requires meeting stringent criteria and extensive documentation.

 

  1. Enrolling in a Course or Securing a Job Offer

 

Enrolling in a Course

 

For a student visa, you must enroll in a full-time course at an Australian educational institution. This process involves:

 

  1. Choosing a Course and Institution: Ensure the course and institution are registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  2. Applying for the Course: Submit your application along with required documents (academic transcripts, English proficiency test scores, etc.).
  3. Receiving a Confirmation of Enrollment (CoE): Upon acceptance, the institution will issue a CoE, which is necessary for your visa application.

 

Securing a Job Offer

 

For a work visa, particularly the subclass 482, you need a job offer from an Australian employer. Steps include:

 

  1. Finding an Employer: Use job portals, recruitment agencies, and networking to find potential employers.
  2. Employer Sponsorship: The employer must be an approved sponsor and nominate you for a position on the Skilled Occupation List.
  3. Skills Assessment: Depending on the occupation, you may need a skills assessment to prove your qualifications and experience.

 

  1. Preparing Financial and Health Documentation

 

Financial Documentation

 

You must demonstrate sufficient financial capacity to support yourself (and any dependents) in Australia. This may include:

 

– Bank Statements: Showing enough funds to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and travel costs.

– Sponsorship Letters: If someone else is funding your stay, provide their financial documents and a letter of support.

 

Health Documentation

 

All visa applicants must meet health requirements, which may involve:

 

– Medical Examinations: Conducted by a panel doctor approved by the Department of Home Affairs.

– Health Insurance: Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) for student visas or health insurance for work visas.

 

  1. Submitting Your Visa Application

 

Online Application Process

 

Most visa applications are submitted online through the ImmiAccount portal. Steps include:

 

  1. Creating an ImmiAccount: Register on the Department of Home Affairs website.
  2. Completing the Application Form: Provide accurate information and upload required documents (CoE, job offer, financial and health documents).
  3. Paying the Visa Fee: Fees vary depending on the visa type and your location at the time of application.

 

Timing and Processing

 

Timing is crucial when transitioning from a visitor visa. It’s recommended to apply well before your visitor visa expires to avoid unlawful status. Processing times vary, with student visas typically taking 4-6 weeks and work visas 1-3 months.

 

  1. Attending Visa Interviews and Providing Additional Information

 

Visa Interviews

 

While not all applicants are required to attend interviews, the Department of Home Affairs may request one to verify your application details. Be prepared to discuss your background, intentions in Australia, and future plans.

 

Responding to Requests for Further Information

 

If the Department needs more information, they will contact you through your ImmiAccount. Promptly provide the requested documents to avoid delays.

 

  1. Receiving Your Visa and Understanding Your Obligations

 

Visa Grant Notification

 

Once your visa is approved, you will receive a visa grant notification detailing your visa conditions, validity period, and entry requirements. Keep this document safe and follow the outlined conditions.

 

Understanding Your Obligations

 

It’s essential to adhere to your visa conditions to maintain lawful status in Australia. For example:

 

– Student Visa: Maintain enrollment, attend classes, achieve satisfactory course progress, and comply with work limitations.

– Work Visa: Work only for your sponsoring employer and in the nominated occupation.

 

Commonly Asked Questions and Misconceptions

 

Can I Switch Directly from a Visitor Visa to a Permanent Resident Visa?

 

While it’s possible, it’s generally more complex and requires meeting higher eligibility criteria. Most individuals transition through temporary visas (like the subclass 482) before applying for permanent residency.

 

 Do I Need an Agent to Apply for a Visa?

 

You can apply for visas yourself, but using a registered migration agent can simplify the process and increase your chances of success by ensuring all requirements are met and documents are correctly submitted.

 

What If My Visitor Visa Expires During the Application Process?

 

If your visitor visa expires before your new visa is granted, you must apply for a bridging visa to maintain lawful status in Australia. Bridging Visa A (BVA) allows you to stay in Australia while your new visa is processed.

 

 Can I Study on a Visitor Visa?

 

You can study for up to three months on a visitor visa. For longer studies, you must apply for a student visa.

 

 Conclusion

Transitioning from a visitor visa to a work or study permit in Australia involves several detailed steps and careful compliance with immigration regulations.

By understanding the visa conditions, choosing the right visa, securing necessary enrollments or job offers, preparing financial and health documentation, and submitting a thorough application, you can successfully navigate this process.

Always consider consulting with a registered migration agent to ensure a smooth transition and avoid common pitfalls. With the right preparation and knowledge, achieving your goals in Australia is within reach.