Australian Visa Reality Check

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So you want to stay in Australia huh? Good on yer. As Christmas approaches it is not a particularly difficult decision. While the land down under sneaks into summer, the UK is sloping into the cold, wilderness of winter which makes those Skype sessions feel all the more smug. Then there is a list of all-year round benefits; from the easy-going lifestyle to the comparatively fruitful economy. Sounds marvellous doesn’t it – hence why so many decide they would rather remain than return home.

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However, despite the vast open spaces, not everyone can be accommodated in Australia. Like any economy, there are only so many jobs to go around and only so many skilled people to do them. It is a classic case of supply and demand that means you have to prove your worth to the locals. Put bluntly, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship can effectively choose who they want to remain. For you to stay means knuckling down and perhaps putting yourself in positions you would not necessarily choose to be.

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If you have already spent over a year here you may know the sacrifices to secure a second year Working Holiday visa; namely the 88 days regional work. Whether paid or unpaid the commitment will put you in good stead for trying to secure that residency. As Cheryl Cole tries to sing, “if it’s worth having, it’s worth fighting for” and residency in Australia is certainly worth fighting for.


For starters, to gain residency you are going to need a job. This sounds simple enough yet with the picky Department of Immigration and Citizenship at work the decision to remain could rest on considering roles that you would not necessarily apply for. Alas, however impressive you may think you are at your chosen profession, if the demand is already satisfied then other avenues will have to be sought. Consider it as a long-term adventure and be prepared to allow yourself a couple of years to get there.


Now here comes the useful information so pay attention. There are jobs that will be looked upon favourably, jobs that are already brimming with British talent. Jobs that come with a Temporary Business (Long Stay) – Standard Business Sponsorship (Subclass 457) visa. With this visa you can work in Australia for up to four years and apply for permanent residency after only two. One such position is Recruitment Consultant which seems kinda ironic, but they you go.


Another position that achieves brownie points is that of Sales Representative. Perhaps us Poms have the gift of the gab or that certain je ne sais quoi to guarantee goods exchanged for hard earned cash. Similarly, if you can claim the title of Marketing Specialist then you are in luck as that is on the list too.

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Of course, the job itself is of prime importance; yet consider the location, location, location! Like moths to a flame, few can be blamed for heading to the bright lights of Sydney and Melbourne. Yet the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (yes, them again) would much prefer you fill a few other, less popular spaces. For anyone that has seen Wolf Creek, do not fear, it will not be that empty.


If you do decide to apply for a Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa the single thing you need to consider is if the area you could work in is classed as a specified regional area. Thankfully that definition can be snapped into two parts. Firstly, if you are nominated to perform a job by a participating state or territory government, you must agree to live in Regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area. This basically excludes all major cities and surrounding areas so you can forget Melbourne and Perth. For the state of Queensland both Brisbane and the Gold Coast are excluded while Sydney, Newcastle, the Central Coast and Woollongong are all excluded in New South Wales.


However, if you are lucky enough to have a family member who is an Australian citizen then things become a little easier. They can sponsor you too, so long as they reside in a Designated area of Australia at the time of the sponsorship. Contrary to the specified regional areas, only certain areas in Queensland and New South Wales are excluded including, predictably, the good spots such as Brisbane, Sydney, Newcastle and Woollongong.


Heading to destinations unknown can seem daunting yet to the locals your arrival could prove to be a godsend. In several cases, the friendliness of the local community and the blissful solitude can make life a whole lot easier. For the town that needs an electrician or the office that could do with a sales genius, if you are filling a void that could be key to gaining residency.


If that job is featured on the Skilled Occupation List then you could get yourself the Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 475) which is a three year provisional points based visa for skilled workers. For instance, points are awarded on such criteria as age (being between 18 and 40 gains the most), English language ability and skills.


Failing that then there is another option. In a similar vein there is the Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 487), which is another three year provisional visa for overseas students, those on a Working Holiday visa (subclass 417), a Skilled – Graduate visa (subclass 485) or a Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476), a Trade Skills Training visa (subclass 471) or an Occupational Trainee visa (subclass 442).


Then there is the points-based Skilled – Nominated or Sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa which is for skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia. Unlike the two previous visas, this one is valid for four years but applications are by invite only. That includes having a job on the Skilled Occupation List and a suitable skills assessment. To apply you need to submit an Expression of Interest outlining your skills and experience through SkillSelect which can even be done overseas.



Once you have secured one of those provisional visas and behaved for the duration then you are ready to apply to reside here my friend. To give it its full title, the Skilled – Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887) is your ticket to permanent residency. To qualify you need to have resided in a Specified Regional Area for two years and worked for one year in these same areas, which includes being self-employed. But of course you knew that already.


If you have been sponsored on a subclass 457 visa there is the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) to consider, specifically The Temporary Residence Transition stream. Should your employer be suitably impressed by your graft over the past two years then they may be ready to offer you a permanent position. Huzzah.


Gaining permanent residency in Australia is not just complicated but a commitment. You may not get to do your dream job and you may have to live in a regional area of Australia away from all the trappings you have grown to adore. Having said that, after the hard work you can claim to live in a country that may well be the best in the world. Good on yer.


By Omar Soliman

Travel – Australia Work & Travel Magazine – What’s On Aus, Cheap Tours & Accommodation (

Read more- things to do in Broome Archives – Go West Handbook
Also Read- Guide on Partner visa for Australia (Subclasses 820 and 801) (


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