For many Brits, Australia is seen as the land of opportunity. A place where the living is good, the sun always shines and there are plenty of jobs. Indeed three of its major cities – Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide – made it into The Global Liveability Index 2019 of most liveable cities in the world, scoring highly for things like stability, culture and environment, education, infrastructure and health care.
Because of this, there’s a high number of people wanting to come into the country, and with such competition, securing a visa can prove challenging.
If you want to emigrate to Australia, it’s important to know how the immigration system works. Navigating visas is complicated, so it’s a good idea to consult the expertise of immigration lawyers to help you through the process.
Here we break down everything you need to know about moving to Australia.
A brief history of immigration
The UK has a long and chequered immigration history with Australia, starting in 1788 when more than 1,300 convicts and military personnel arrived from Britain. By 1868, around 160,000 in total had been transported to Australia.
In this time, Australia had also seen around 200,000 free settlers from the UK and Ireland arrive to start a new life. The next big wave of immigration happened between 1945 and the early 70s when one million Brits took advantage of the Australian government’s ’Ten Pound Pom’ initiative, which aimed to replenish the population lost after the Second World War.
These days, travel to Australia is almost a right of passage for many graduates or those on a gap year, with lots consequently applying for more permanent status. At the end of June 2018, there were almost 1.2 UK-born residents in Australia, making the UK the largest source of migrants in the country.
The land of opportunity
So, just what makes Australia such an attractive destination for skilled immigrants? Down Under certainly has a lot to offer. Its abundance of natural resources, including petroleum, natural gas, timber and gold help make its economy the 14th largest in the world, with a GDP of around 1392.7 billion US dollars.
On top of that, the hot and sunny climate, relaxed lifestyle, good job prospects, better pay and relatively cheap housing make Australia a mecca for many UK professionals.
The types of visa available
The Working Holiday visa (subclass 417) allows individuals aged between 18 and 30 to work and travel in the country for up to a year. You must have this visa before you travel and you’ll need to prove you have enough funds to support yourself. You can apply online and 75% of applications are processed in 35 days.
A Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) allows you to stay for up to four years. To be eligible for this, you have to be nominated by an employer for a skilled position, one that can’t be filled by an Australian.
A Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a points-tested system that enables you to live and work permanently in Australia. To be eligible for this, you must be qualified to work in a skilled occupation. Visit the Skilled Occupations List to see which workers are most in demand. You’ll then need to complete an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect. From there, you will be ranked against other applicants and may be invited to apply.
There are many other different types of visa, so do your research before you apply to help you decide which one is right for you.