How to emigrate to Australia
To emigrate to Australia and obtain your visa will depend on many factors, including your age, occupation and country of origin, although all visa applications are considered and processed using the same method and are assessed on similar criteria.
Although Australia is fast gaining a reputation for its strict stance on immigration it still has one of the highest immigrant populations of any country in the world.
Many migrants each year emigrate to the country for its fantastic year-round weather, consistently growing economy and laid-back way of life.
The following are some of the most common visa categories:
- Australian Skilled Visas
- Australian Working Holiday Visas
- Australian Business Visas
- Australian Family and Spouse Visas
- Australian Employer-Sponsored Visas
- Australian Partner Visas
- Australian Student Visas
- Australian Investor Visas
If you’re looking to study in or move to Australia then our partner company, James Freeman Emigration, can help you with the necessary Australian visas and paperwork.
Overview of Australian emigrant visas
As with many countries, some of the primary routes to emigrating to Australia are based on work visas, family visas, investment/ business development visas, and refugee and humanitarian protection immigration routes.
Family and Partner Visas
Some of the most popular visas under this category include the following:
Child Visa: The purpose of this visa is to allow children who are not Australian nationals to stay in Australia indefinitely, work, study, and apply for citizenship if eligible
Dependent Child Visa: This visa allows the child to move to or reside in Australia until their parent’s Partner Visa application is approved
Parent Visa: This visa category is designed to allow eligible parents to stay in Australia indefinitely, work, study, and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible
Partner Visa: There is a temporary and permanent visa that partners may apply for
Prospective Marriage Visa: The visa allows individuals to come to Australia to join their Australian-based fiancé or prospective spouse
Working and Skilled Visas
Business Innovation and Investment Visa: The purpose of this visa is to allow eligible businesspeople to come to Australia to continue their investment activities on a permanent basis
Business Talent Visa: Individuals willing to invest at least AUD 1.5 million into a new or existing business may apply for this visa to permanently stay in Australia
Global Talent Visa: This visa is for eligible individuals who have an internationally recognised record of achievement in the area of a profession, sport, the arts, academia or research
Employer Nomination Scheme: The visa allows eligible individuals who are nominated by an employer to come to Australia for permanent residency and work purposes. The subcategories include the Direct Entry stream, the Labour agreement stream, and the temporary residence transition stream
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa: This visa has been designed for individuals who have lived, worked, or studied in a designated region in Australia on an appropriate visa in the past
Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa: This visa allows graduates under the age of 31 years old to stay in Australia for up to 18 months if they have completed an engineering degree at an eligible educational institution in the two years prior to application
Temporary Activity Visa: This temporary visa allows eligible individuals to come to Australia for the purpose of short-term, temporary work and to participate in events endorsed by the Australian government
How to become a permanent Australian resident
It may be possible to become a permanent resident of Australia if you meet the eligibility criteria.
Some of the most common ways to obtain permanent residency include the skilled work visas and family visas.
There are strict eligibility requirements for each visa, meaning that you must demonstrate to the Australian border authorities the reasons why you qualify for the visa.
You may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after you hold permanent residence for a qualifying period of time.
What are the benefits of permanent residence in Australia?
Some of the most common reasons people apply for permanent residence include the following:
- You are entitled to live and work in any area of the country
- Your family members are eligible to move in with you
- Your children are entitled to free education (up to a certain level)
- You can apply for permanent residence on behalf of your family members
- You may be eligible to apply for citizenship following a number of years of holding permanent residence
- You can travel freely to and from Australia in the first five years
There is no single route to apply for Australian residence because there are a number of potential options available.
Below is a table outlining the numbers of visas allocated to each migration program in 2019-2020:
|Skilled Visa||Number of places available|
|Skilled Regional Employer Sponsored||10,000|
|Skilled Work Regional||15,000|
|Skilled visas (total)||108,682|
|Family visas and others||51,318|
Guide to Australian work visas
There are Australian work visas available for the following categories of workers:
- Skilled workers
- Individuals who undertake specific activities
- Highly specialised workers
- Trainees on short-term visas
- Experienced businesspeople
- Individuals who are investors
Some of the most popular employment visas include the following:
Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Direct Entry Stream) requirements
- Individuals must have the necessary skills to undertake the job
- Individuals should be on the list of eligible skilled occupations
- Applicants must be nominated by an Australian employer
- They must meet the health and character requirements
- They must have a competent standard of English
- They must be under the age of 45
- They must read or understand the Life in Australia booklet and agree to sign the Australian Values Statement
Skilled Independent Visa requirements
- Applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency and to apply
- Aged under 45 years old
- The role is on the list of eligible skilled occupations
- Individuals have the relevant skills to undertake the role
- You have obtained at least 65 points on the immigrations points system
- Have a competent level of English
- Meet health and character requirements
- Read or understand the Life in Australia booklet and agree to the Australian Values Statement
Temporary Skill Shortage Visa requirements
- Hold a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa (A, B, or C) and have a history of complying with previous conditions of visas
- Nominated by an approved sponsor to fill a role on the eligible short-term skilled occupation list or the medium and long-term strategic skills list
- Have worked in your field of expertise for at least two years
- Other health, skill, character, language, and value requirements
Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa requirements
- Nominated by an Australian state, government agency, or eligible relative. Asked to apply by submitting an expression of interest
- Aged under 45 years old
- Other skills, language, occupational, health, and value requirements
Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist Visa) requirements
- Must have highly specialized skills, knowledge, or experience to undertake work in an Australian business
- Hold adequate funds to maintain yourself
- Other health and character requirements
Distinguished Talent Visa requirements
- Applicants must be nominated
- Must contribute to Australian society economically, socially, culturally, artistically, or in the areas of academia or sports
- Are internationally recognised with a demonstrable record of achievement in their area of expertise
- Other language, health, character, and value requirements
Do you need a visa to visit Australia?
Depending on where you are from, you may be required to apply for a visa to visit Australia.
If you are a UK citizen, you do not need to apply for a visa. You will have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) in advance of travel.
This allows you to come to Australia for short periods of time for tourist or business visitor reasons.
The ETA is electronically linked to your passport and is available to citizens of the following countries:
- Hong Kong
- Republic of San Marino
- South Korea
- The Netherlands
- United Kingdom
- United States of America
- Vatican City
UK citizens are entitled to stay for 90 days on the ETA without a visa. Once issued, the ETA is typically valid for 12 months following date of issue.
What do I need to visit Australia?
As a UK citizen, you need to use a valid passport in order to enter the country.
It is recommended that your passport is in date for at least six months when you travel, owing to restrictions by some airlines and countries.
You will also need a credit or debit card (or valid online Paypal account) as well as a valid email address.
How long does it take to process the Australian ETA?
In most cases, the standard processing time will be within 24 hours, at a cost of $20. To receive a faster decision in four hours, there is a fee of $50.
The super rush processing time can be completed within one hour at a cost of $70.
Completing the online ETA form takes approximately 10 minutes.
What information is needed for the ETA form?
The ETA will ask you for the following information:
- Complete the personal detail and general information section
- Choose how fast you want your application to be processed
- Complete the questionnaire based on your individual circumstances
Who can apply for an Australian family visa?
Depending on the visa and immigration status you hold, you may be eligible to apply for an Australian family visa.
The following categories of individuals may be eligible to apply for Australian family visas:
Australian citizens or permanent residents
There are a number of visa options that are available for eligible individuals.
- Partner Visa
- Prospective Marriage Visa
- Tourist Stream
- New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa
- Sponsored Family Stream
- Frequent Traveller Stream
- Aged Dependent Relative Visa
- Carer Visa
- Parent Visa
- Aged Parent Visa
- Dependent Child Visa
- Child Visa
- Adoption Visa
Visa holders inviting family members
In order to apply to bring a family member to Australia, it is important to first identify if the visa will be issued on a temporary or permanent basis.
It is also advisable to check whether the individual wants to enter the country once or multiple times, and this will influence the type of visa that can be applied for.
Returning Australian with overseas-born family
If citizens living abroad wish to bring their non-Australian national family, it may be necessary to apply for citizenship by descent.
You may then be able to apply for a passport on their behalf if the citizenship application is approved.
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In order to move to Australia on a permanent basis, you should find an appropriate visa category that matches your skill level and personal circumstances.
One of the most popular routes is the General Skilled Migration Visa. To qualify for this visa, you should ensure that you meet the age, educational, career experience, language, and sponsorship requirements.
You should submit your visa application and wait for it to be approved for planning your move. You will be required to submit extensive supporting documents to demonstrate your eligibility for your chosen visa.
The ongoing coronavirus situation has meant that entry to Australia is now being strictly controlled more than ever before.
It is possible to apply for an Australian visitor visa, however, there is currently an entry ban in place due to the pandemic. The visitor visa is valid for up to 12 months, so it may be possible to use it when the entry ban is lifted.
Because of the entry ban, currently the only people allowed to travel to Australia are:
- Australian citizens
- Permanent residents
- Immediate family members
- Individuals who were in New Zealand for at least 14 days before the date of departure
This situation is likely to change, so it is advised to check the latest Australian government travel advice.
The requirements for moving to Australia vary considerably depending on your chosen route.
Some of the most common requirements include the following:
- Chosen occupation and whether it is on the list of eligible occupations
- Level of English language skills
- Whether employment is classed as skilled
- Educational qualifications
- Qualifications gained in Australia
- Nominations or sponsorship from relevant bodies
There will be additional criteria depending on your chosen visa category. If you need assistance with your application to emigrate to Australia, contact IAS for immediate support and advice.
The Australian Skilled Workers Visa is a catch-all term for a variety of visas which individuals can apply for if they hold hold necessary qualifications and experience in certain skilled professions.
IT professionals, accountants and healthcare professionals are just some of those who could be eligible for one of these visas.
This is entirely dependent on the applicant’s particular circumstances.
Generally speaking, you can expect the emigration process to take between 9 and 18 months, including preparation time for the visa application.
The Australian public healthcare system is known as Medicare. This system generally covers free or subsidised treatments by healthcare professionals.
Medicare is available to Australian visa holders. You will need to register and complete some paperwork when you arrive in Australia to confirm your eligibility for the scheme. You should do this 7 to 10 days after you arrive in Australia.