How to get Citizenship in Australia?
There are many official Immigration paths you can take if you want to live, work or study in Australia. The Government offers over 120 different types of visas that give their holders a chance to start a new life Down Under. Overall, these may be divided into four categories: Professional (includes skilled, business and work visas), Family, Study and Refugee. The Family category consists of Partner, Child and Parent visas.
Most visa subclasses come as both permanent and temporary. Despite their diversity, however, one thing all of these immigration paths have in common is that none of them are exceptionally difficult. The Department of Immigration strives to ensure that all procedures are simple, clear and time-efficient.
Depending on their visa type, an immigrant can eventually become an Australian Citizen. In order to apply for citizenship, you must have been living in Australia for at least four years, with a total of no more than 12 months of absence in the last four years (of which only three months are allowed in the final year). You also must have been a Permanent Resident for at least the last year (in the previous three years, any type of Australian visa is acceptable, including tourist and bridging visas). You also must be of a good charachter (i.e. haven’t been sentenced to more than a year in prison).
The Australian Citizenship application must be accompanied by documents such as Proof of identity (for example, a passport) and Identity Declaration. After the application is processed, the applicant will sit a Citizenship test, which assesses their knowledge of Australia, its customs, public holidays, etc. This test has a pass mark of 75% (15/20). In the three months following successful completion of the Citizenship test, the applicant will be invited to attend the Citizenship Ceremony, the final step in becoming an Australian citizen, which also serves to officially welcome new citizens.
New citizens have many new rights and responsibilities, including both the right and the responsibility to vote in federal, State or Territory elections, and in a referendum; the responsibility to serve on a jury should you be called to do so; the right to receive help from Australian officials overseas; the right to apply for work in the Public Service and the Defence Force; and many more.As a young and quickly developing country, Australia relies on immigration as a means of increasing its population. Rapid economic growth results in many industries experiencing difficulties filling jobs, especially in rural areas. Australia is world-renowned as a country that eagerly welcomes anyone willing to work for its benefit, contribute to its society and positively affect its future.
How to get Permanent Residency in Australia? What are the benefits?
In Australia, Permanent Residency is the legal status of a non-citizen who holds a permanent visa and is therefore allowed to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely. A permanent visa is the visa most potential immigrants endeavour to receive.
Before you begin the immigration process, it is important to understand the benefits and limitations of Permanent Residency. A Permanent Resident has mostly the same rights as a citizen; however there are some notable differences:
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to vote in federal or State/Territory elections.
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to Government Student Loans (HECS/Fee-Help).
- Permanent Residents do not have the right to serve in the Australian Defence Force and work for the Government (exceptions may be made for positions that cannot be filled by an applicant who meets citizenship requirements).
- Permanent Residency is not unconditional and requires a permanent visa holder to live in Australia for it to be valid.
What are the main mistakes of Do-it-yourself immigration?
HOW DO YOU ESTIMATE YOUR SERVICE FEES? DO YOU GIVE A DISCOUNT? CAN I PAY BY INSTALLMENTS?
The short answer is: similar to a doctor or a lawyer, we charge for the amount of work and for time.
Indeed, there are many agencies outside of Australia that promise visas for immigration, studies or even work in Australia. These agencies tend to make claims, such as ‘100% result’ or “immigration via English courses” or “guaranteed job offer”. Who are these agents? What is their qualification? What responsibility do they have? Usually, there are no answers to these questions. Sometimes, the websites display absurd documents that are not related in any way to the work of legal immigration agents, such as a copy of a permanent residency.
What guarantees can a customer realistically get from an agent? Does an agent issue Australian visas? No. It is the work of the Department of Immigration. Does an agent make decisions about hiring a job-seeker? No, it is of course the decision of an individual employer. What employer will ever select a low quality candidate over a strong one? And if the final choice of hiring rests with an employer, what guarantees can an agent give?
Do agents pass laws in regards to immigration? The answer is obvious: of course, not! Similarly, the lists of required qualifications are not compiled by the agents either.
The only thing that can be guaranteed by an agent is professionalism and due diligence. In Australia the work of migration agents is strictly regulated. Only those, registered at MARA – Migration Agents Registration Authority, are allowed to provide immigration services.
This registration requires passing a 6-month university course, an English exam and providing a police clearance. This means that a criminal or some ignorant person won’t be able to be a migration officer in Australia.
Moreover, the registration needs to be confirmed every year, which requires further professional training.
The registration fee for a migration agent is quite considerable. One of the reasons for it is to protect the customer. This fee is certainly more than a con-artist will be able to steal from an individual customer. And one complaint to the registering committee and an agent loses a licence, so stealing is possible only once.
Australian migration agents comply with the set of rules, published here: https://www.mara.gov.au/becoming-an-agent/professional-standards-and-obligations/code-of-conduct/
Australian agents are not allowed to attract customers with ‘visa guarantees’, since such promises are lies. Be aware: if anybody offers you guarantees, you are being cheated.
Does it mean that when you start working with an Australian migration agency and pay money, you don’t get any guarantees of the result? Of course, not! As mentioned earlier, there are no guarantees, but there is a likelihood of success, which is based on the agent’s qualification and their good knowledge of the criteria used by Department of Immigration officers in assessing visa applications. Australian immigration agents are familiar with immigration officers’ approach in assessing documents and they can assist the customer to prepare the most competitive applications.
The customers’ rights are protected by Australian Consumer Law. Even when there is no contract between an agent and a customer in Australia, this customer is still protected. The responsibilities of migration agents in Australia are governed by the above mentioned set of rules for migration officers, email correspondence, or even working practices of other agents. Hardly any overseas agency can match this level of responsibility.
So the choice is an obvious one: guaranteed professional conduct, strictly regulated services OR empty promises of ‘guarantees of results’ that can’t be achieved.
- In our fees estimation we apply the most individual approach to our customers.
Standard prices for standard services are described in detail here. However, if we evaluate the case as maximally transparent, with a minimum number of documents and legal "problems", then we apply a reduction index to the standard price.
It happens, however, that in rare cases, we use an incremental index, usually by professional visas for a number of specialties, where the requirements of the evaluating organizations are higher than the standard ones, for example, an architect, a doctor, a lawyer.
At the stage of signing the contract, the cost of services is discussed with the client.
- Payment for our legal services is usually divided into several instalments, following the logic of the stages of preparing documents for a visa application. For example, for a professional visa 190 the total cost of the contract is 6,500 Australian dollars. This amount is paid in two instalments: 3000 AUD, which covers documents preparation service and skills assessment application, and the next instalment, 3500 AUD, covers services associated with expressing of interest, preparing and applying for the state nomination, preparing and applying for a visa, all correspondence, providing additional information and documents to DHA and obtaining a visa.
For other visas, like business visas, family visas, where stages are applicable, we adhere to the same policy.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN STEPS OF VISA APPLICATION PROCESS WITH YOUR COMPANY?
The standard process of visa application with our company consists of the following steps:
- Free visa Assessment or Consultation;
- Signing a service agreement;
- Preparation of accompanying documentation;
- Applying for a visa;
- Provision of additional documents;
- Reception of the visa.
MORE ABOUT THE PROCESS:
1.1 FREE CONSULTATION - EVALUATION OF CHANCES FOR VISA OBTAINING
Is free. 1-3 working days. You receive a detailed letter.
Our specialists examine your initial situation for free and choose the most likely option for you to receive your visa. This process takes from 1 to 3 days from the date of receiving your assessment form. In the process, we can ask clarifying questions or give recommendations on the steps that need to be taken so that the chances of a visa appear. Sometimes our specialists can spend from an hour to several hours of working time to prepare a letter with an assessment of the odds. In the letter we describe in detail the type of visa, the requirements for obtaining a visa, we provide links to resources and our recommendations.
1.2. EXTENDED CONSULTATION - BY THE CLIENT'S REQUEST, BEFORE THE AGREEMENT
380 AUD. 1-3 working days. You receive a detailed letter, which includes answers to your questions about the intricacies and features of your case. You can ask a few questions. Upon request, consultation is conducted by phone or Skype. The money for the extended consultation goes to offset the amount of the subsequent contract with our company.
2. SIGNING THE AGREEMENT WITH OUR COMPANY
After you provided us with a copy of the passport and chose the type of service, we will draft a contract for you, calculate the cost of services and issue the invoice for the first installment. Calculation of the cost of services is determined based on the complexity of the case and the approximate number of hours required to service each of the stages of preparing documents for a visa application. Payment is usually divided into several tranches, following the logic of the stages of preparing documents for a visa application.
Our services are divided into two main types:
- The first type is legal. Our company acts as your representative lawyer, our company represents your interests in all organizations, including government ones, we prepare all accompanying documents with you, provide examples of documents, carefully examine each document, fill out applications and send them, accept all correspondence from your face.
- The second type is Consulting. You prepare your application for a visa yourself, speak on your own behalf, communicate with all organizations yourself, our company provides only the service of checking the application and all accompanying documentation, we provide recommendations on the results of the audit.
3. PREPARATION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DOCUMENTATION FOR THE VISA APPLICATION
It can take from 3 to 12 months. A list of necessary documents is issued to the client, each type of the document is supported with examples and explanations, then every client’s document is checked, corrections are made.
For each type of visa, different accompanying documentation is required.
For example, for professional visas this stage is divided into three additional stages:
- Obtaining a qualification assessment - 3-4 months;
- Expression of interest in Skill Select - 2 days;
- Obtaining a state award (for 190 and 489 visas) is 3-4 months.
4. SUBMISSION OF VISA APPLICATION
Upon the readiness of all accompanying documentation we can apply for a visa. The timing of the visa application is indicated on the website of the Immigration Department, but sometimes it takes longer. At this stage, you need to have patience, however, as at other stages. At this stage, in most cases, our dialogue with DHA takes place, they request additional documents, ask questions, we answer questions and provide documents accordingly.
5. SUBMISSION OF SUPPLEMENTARY DOCUMENTS ON HEALTH AND CHARACTER
6. RECEIVING A VISAList of our services and prices here
WHAT ARE THE GUARANTEES OF SUCCESS OF OBTAINING THE VISA YOU CAN GIVE?
According to the Code of Conduct we do not have a legal right to provide you with any guarantees of success.
The decision as whether to grant visa or not is made by the Department of Immigration and not us.
Every case is individual and probability of success is predictable only throughout the process of application preparation. The closer we move to the application submission date the more chances are there to predict the result.
For example, skilled visa success in most cases is quite predictable taking the documents were correctly prepared. There is almost a 100 percent chance to predict it right as there is no broad interpretation of the legal criteria. While for example partner visa has a requirement of a genuine relationship, which includes a number of aspects which do not have a straight forward interpretation.
That is why there is a great difficulty in any predictions especially at the stage when an agent has not seen any documents yet.
What we can guarantee is honesty in assessment of your chances to immigrate; we can guarantee our competence in dealing with migration matters of our clients; our dedication to you and our diligent work.Be careful with those who give you so called guarantees and refer to their personal connections with the Department of Immigration. They dissemble.
HOW DO I START THE PROCESS OF MIGRATION?
Before you start the process, you need to clearly picture the sequence of yours and your family’s steps of the program as well as your capabilities to complete those steps.
Read general information about immigration to Australia.
First of all, it is necessary to understand under what program you want to immigrate to Australia, ie, what type of immigration visa suits you. If your immigration can be built under General Skilled migration, then you have to decide what profession you will confirm. This profession must be included in the List of Professions in Demand, published by the Australian Government Immigration Department. You can find in following this link https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/combined-stsol-mltssl
Further it is important to understand whether you meet the other requirements, which include having work experience in the specialty and a certain level of English proficiency. Your next step in any way of immigration to Australia is the preparation and passing of the IELTS exam.
The basis of the General Skilled migration program is a point system, in which the applicant for immigration to Australia must score a certain number of points in the assessment test.
To calculate your points and clarify compliance with the requirements for immigration to Australia, you can pass a free assessment of the chances of immigration to Australia online.
Please fill in the appropriate form on our website here (https://sydneyvisa.ru/estimate) and we will provide you with a full legal advice on your immigration prospects.
WHAT ARE THE PATHWAYS TO IMMIGRATE TO AUSTRALIA?
Australia is one of the few first world countries still having a well developed immigration program. Rapidly growing Australian economy demands workforce, and this demand can only be satisfied through skilled migration. Experts also say Australia will soon face mass retirement of professionals who were born after World War II, which gives another reason for using temporary and permanent migrants to fill these new vacancies.
There are several different ways to immigrate to Australia:
- skilled migration (including educational);
- business migration;
- family migration and some others.
General Skilled Migration (GSM) is the most common way of obtaining temporary or permanent residency status for those who have skills currently in demand in Australia.
The applicants ned to satisfy certain requirements such as qualification, work experience, English language ability, age, character etc.
Immigration visas can be independent or sponsored (including regional nominated).
Independent (subclass 189) visa holders become Australian permanent residents since their first entry to the country. There are no restrictions as to work and place of residency, they also have access to Medicare health insurance program and Family Tax Benefit. After 2 year waiting period all kinds of social help become available to them. After having lived in Australia for 4 years, a migrant can apply for Australian citizenship.
Independent visas are only available to applicants whose qualifications are included in Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Consolidated Skilled Occupation list (CSOL) contains occupations are suitable for sponsored immigration. There are 3 main kinds of sponsorship:
- employer sponsorship (working visa subclass 457);
- state government nomination (permanent visa subclass 190);
- regional sponsorship (state government/eligible relative, subclass 489).
Subclass 190 visa is very similar to the independent visa. The only difference is the holder's obligation to live and work in the sponsor state/territory for 2 years.
Regional sponsored provisional visa subclass 489 does not automaticaly provide permanent residency status, but can lead to it if its holder has been employed full time during at least 12 month of the first 2 years in Australia.
Those who wish to apply for a GSM visa should take the following steps:
- To sit an IELTS test with a result of minimum 6 in each module (listening, reading, writing, speaking). A higher band (7777 or 8888) brings additional points in the visa point test.
- To obtain skills assessment from the appropriate assessing authority (such as VETASSESS, Australian Computer Society, Engineers Australia etc.)
- To lodge an Expression of Interest to SkillSelect system and apply for state sponsorship (if applicable).
- After having received an invitation from DIBP, apply for a visa.
Educational immigration to Australia is a long and costly way, which nevertheless gives maximum opportunities of adaptation and employment. Australian immigration law provides several options for those who wish to study in Australia.
The general outline of educational immigration would be as follows:
- Studying in an Australian university or other educational institution for at least 2 years and obtaining a qualification listed in SOL or CSOL.
- Applying for Temporary Graduate visa subclass 485, which allows to live and work in Australia for 18-48 month (depending on the qualification obtained). It is supposed that during that period prospective applicants would improve their language skills and get Australian work experience.
- As soon as an applicant meets a GSM visa criteria, he/she can lodge an application with DIBP. There is no need to wait until graduate visa has expired. Applicants might be entitled to additional points for Australian stuidy, study in regional Australia (if applicable) and Australian work experience (if there is any).
Business immigration program is for those who wish to start a business in Australia or invest into Australian economy. Unlike GSM, business immigration is always a two-stage process: a successful applicant gets a 3-year provisional visa which can lead to a permanent one if certain criteria are met (buying an existing business can help).
Right planning is essential for successful completion of an immigration process.
Sydney Visa migration agency is happy to help you assess your situation, estimate your chances and provide any other services on your way to immigration to Australia.