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Moving to Australia? Your Visa Options

Posted by on December 9th, 2015.

Sydney Opera House

Australia is a highly diverse country, with the places to visit and activities to enjoy being extremely varied and unique. It is fitting, then, that a large and diverse pool of visas are available for the prospective worker, businessperson, visitor or retiree from the UK. Whether you’re thinking of doing a stint down under which will last for months, years or perhaps even longer, this guide covers some of the most common visa options available.

Visas for Visitors

For those looking to dip their toes into the Aussie waters, either on a trial basis before committing to a big move or just to spend some time in the country, the Visitor Visa (subclass 600) is likely to suit you well. This visa allows the holder to stay in the country as a (business) visitor for 3, 6 or 12 months. Although this visa can cover a long period of time, there is also a fee attached for applicants, therefore the eVisitor Visa (subclass 651) could be more your speed. With this version of the Visitor Visa, the holder of a citizen passport from a range of countries (including the UK) can enter and stay in Australia for up to three months over a 12 month period and best of all, there are no fees for this particular passage into the country!

Permanent Residence Visas

If you happen to be at the other end of the scale and are looking to move to Australia permanently (to retire, let’s say), there are a number of options available.

The first of these is the Parent Visa (subclass 103), which is geared towards the parents of children who are Australian citizens, permanent residents of Australia or eligible New Zealand citizens who now live in Australia. The application process for this visa can be quite lengthy however and obviously only applies in a minority of cases.

The Investor Retirement Visa (subclass 405) also fall into the category of permanent residence visas. It enables the holder to stay in Australia for four years (after which the visa can be renewed), although they have to be over 55, have no dependents (excluding partners) and be able to provide AUD$750,000 for investment in the region they are moving to for the four years that the visa lasts. Additionally, you have to be able to prove that you are receiving at least AUD$65,000 per year as income. A few caveats exist for this visa – if you choose to live in a less populated ‘regional’ area of Australia, the investment amount only needs to be AUD$500,000 and in either case, this required amount drops to AUD$250,000 after the visa is renewed for the first time.

Work Visas

For those willing to put the effort in, Australia can offer a great deal of opportunity for the skilled and enthusiastic employee or individual.

If you are looking to join one of the country’s myriad companies and businesses, the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (subclass 457) could be for you. This visa allows an applicant who has a specialised set of skills that meet the country’s in-demand Skilled Occupation List and has been nominated by a business in Australia to work in the country for up to four years. Travel in and out of the country is not restricted and the visa holder is even allowed to bring their family over as well.

More niche is the Distinguished Talent Visa (subclass 124), which allows a uniquely gifted applicant to live permanently in Australia if they have an internationally recognised record of exceptional achievement in either a job, a sport, the arts or academia. Through virtue of their achievements, the applicant will be considered an asset to the Australian community for their contributions and although few and far between, those who meet the requirements for this type of visa can be assured of a rapid and pain-free passage into Australia.

There are many other visa options available, covering just about every conceivable reason for travelling to Australia, but hopefully this article has given you some information to get started with.

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