FAQs: Immigration to Australia

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immigration to australiaDo you have questions about immigration to Australia? We bet you do! That’s why we’ve decided to compile a list of the questions we get most often and answer them for you.

Go ahead – bookmark this page immediately! Then start reading…

1. Can anyone immigrate to Australia?

No, it is not anyone who can move to Australia. You have to be eligible for an Australian visa in order to be able to immigrate to Down Under.

2. What are the different types of visas for Australia?

Australia offers visas that enable migrants to do all of the following:

3. Can a 50/60/70-year old immigrate to Australia?

This question is usually asked by people who think they are too old to immigrate to Australia. There are various answers:

  • You are unfortunately too old at 50 or above for a skilled migrant visa. Skilled migrant visas are only open to applicants 45 years or younger.
  • You are still eligible for an Employer Sponsored visa if you’re under the age of 50.
  • If you’re over the age of 50, there are visa options open to you. You can read more about these visas on our blog.

4. What do I do if I want to work in Australia?

In order to work in Australia, you must qualify for a visa that allows you to do this. Therefore you must meet the requirements to apply for one of the visas under the general skilled migration category or an employer sponsored visa.

5. What are the skills Australia need?

Australia needs a great number of skills in areas ranging from education to the automotive industry. The specific skills are related to occupations and are captured on skill shortage lists.

There is an in-depth discussion about Australia’s skill shortage lists on our website.

6. Can I move to Australia as a tiler/nurse/architect/etc?

You should do an immigration assessment to see if you can move to Australia in your occupation.

As explained above, Australia actively seeks applicants in some occupations. However, qualifying for a work visa requires more than just your occupation appearing on a skill shortage list. You’ll also have to meet the other requirements of the visa and the specific criteria attached to your occupation.

You can find a list of occupations needed in Australia on our website. This list is constantly updated, so continue coming back to it if you don’t see your occupation at the moment.

7. How do I start a business in Australia?

As a foreigner hoping to immigrate to Australia as an entrepreneur, you must qualify for a business visa. Australia has two such visas that allow you to either start your own business or to buy into an existing company:

The subclass 188 visa is a pathway to permanent residence. If you meet the requirements, you could go on to apply for permanent residence under the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

Everything else you need to know, from how to choose a business structure to the taxes you have to register for, can be found in this blog post.

8. What’s the first step if I want to immigrate to Australia?

The first step is always an eligibility assessment to see if you qualify to live in Australia. Not only will the assessment show if you qualify for a visa, it will also detail the next steps to take.

While there are free online assessments available, it’s wise to get a licensed advisor to do your assessment. A licensed advisor is up to date on all regulations and knows which questions to ask.

9. What are the costs to consider when moving to Australia?

There are various costs to consider if you want to immigrate to Australia. These include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Immigration Australia fees.
  • Immigration advisor fees, if you work with an advisor.
  • Flights to Australia.
  • Relocation costs, including your household goods and pets.
  • Living costs. Check that your salary will be enough to cover all your needs and wants.

If you like to plan ahead, also consider these costs:

  • Housing – compare renting vs buying a home.
  • School fees, if you have children.
  • Banking costs.
  • Healthcare.
  • Buying a car, if you’re not shipping yours.

10. How long will it take to process my application?

This depends on the visa class and subclass you apply for. Your application might also be affected by external factors such as the number of applications in the system. Our advisers will be able to give you time estimates once it’s clear which visa you qualify for.

11. Can my parents immigrate to Australia?

Yes, your parents are allowed to join you in Australia. This is provided your parents meet the requirements to do so. The parent visa options are:

  • Parent visa (subclass 103): For retirees.
  • Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa: The applicant must have a Parent Sponsor.
  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804): Applicants must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
  • Contributory Aged Parent visas (subclasses 864 and 884): Applicants must be old enough to receive the age pension in Australia.
  • Contributory Parent visas (subclasses 143 and 173): For retirees.

12. Can I bring my pets?

You’ll be glad to know that you are allowed to take your furry friends to Australia. With this being said, there is a short list of cats and dogs that are unfortunately not allowed into Australia.

If you do take your dog or cat with you, you’ll have to get a permit to do so. Further to this, your pet must have a microchip. It is also required that your pet must’ve have a had a rabies vaccination within one year of entry into Australia. Other common vaccinations may be necessary too.

The final requirement is a list of compulsory treatments and blood tests before your pet’s departure to Australia.

You can read more about taking your pets to Australia on our blog.

13. Can a medical condition stop you from immigrating to Australia?

Yes, medical conditions could stop you from immigrating to Australia. If you’re concerned about a medical condition you have, it’s best to get advice from our licensed advisors.

14. Can I immigrate to Australia with a criminal record?

All visa applicants to Australia must be of good character. This means you must pass Australia’s character test and remain of good character.

You may not pass the character requirements in some circumstances. These include but are not limited to cases where:

  • You have a substantial criminal record.
  • Your past and present criminal or general conduct shows that you are not of good character.
  • There is a risk that while you are in Australia you would:
    • engage in criminal conduct;
    • harass, molest, intimidate or stalk another person;
    • vilify a segment of the Australian community;
    • incite discord in the Australian community or in a part of it; or
    • be a danger to the Australian community or a part of it.
  • You have been convicted, found guilty or had a charge proven for, one or more sexually based offences involving a child.

You can get all the visa character requirements on Immigration Australia’s website.

15. After how many years can you get Australian citizenship?

Permanent residents are eligible for Australian citizenship after living in the country for four years. The main requirements are that you have been:

  • Living in Australia on a valid visa for the past 4 years (at the time of your application).
  • A permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen for the past 12 months.
  • Away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the past 4 years, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.

You can read more about gaining Australian citizenship on Immigration Australia’s website.

Didn’t see your burning questions about immigration to Australia?

Then head on over to our blog where we cover a multitude of topics across several categories. You can also email us or give us a call on either +27 (0) 21 202 8200 or +27 (0) 11 234 4275.

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