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Emigrating to Australia? Beat the Skilled Migrant Visa Backlog

Anyone interested in emigrating to Australia and starting a new life ‘down under’ will be concerned to learn that there is a severe backlog of applications from skilled migrants for residency visas.  Those with their applications in the system will be acutely aware that it’s a time consuming process, but it’s just been announced that there is over a 2-year backlog of applications waiting to be processed.

Australia’s economy has weathered the global economic storm well – so far.  In part this is because of its natural resources, mining activity and exports to China.  According to many sources, Australia now has a skills shortage as a result – however, you wouldn’t necessarily know that if you heard that there are over 140,000 applications from skilled individuals sitting on the shelf of the immigration department.

The fact of the matter is, Australia is not out of the woods yet economically speaking, there is talk that it has yet to face its day of fiscal reckoning.  Therefore it’s no surprise that the government is being cautious about who it lets in, and how many migrants in total it allows to have a residency visa each year.  If you’re dead set on moving to live and work in Australia though, don’t panic because we have some top tips to help you beat the skilled migrant visa backlog.

When it comes to the processing of visas you might think that it’s a case of first come, first served – but you’d be wrong.  And herein lies a lesser-known secret about how you can ensure your visa application is as close to the top of the pile as possible…

Visas are reviewed, considered and processed according to how eligible the candidate actually is on a case by case basis – in other words, the more you can give to Australia, the more Australia wants you.

So, the secret to getting a skilled migrant visa is to really understand both a) the skilled migrant application process, and b) what the point of attracting certain people to live and work ‘down under’ in the first place is.

The process is all about getting the most ‘useful’ people to move to live and work in Australia – and the point of the entire exercise is ultimately to give visas to those people who will contribute the most to Australia in terms of productivity, personal output, financial investment and tax revenue.

So, to be ‘most eligible’ you need to be young enough, well-educated enough, skilled and talented enough to stand out – what’s more, you need to have skills, talents and experience in the most in-demand sectors as possible.

Therefore, if you’re considering applying for a visa, the sooner you can apply the better, (to ensure you’re the ‘right’ age to be a prime candidate for consideration).  What’s more, you need to take time to review the skilled occupation list most relevant to your situation as a potential migrant.  These lists can be found on the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

An alternative method of expediting your application is by securing a job first.  If you have a job, the visa application is slightly different.  Instead your employer will effectively sponsor you – see the section of the above mentioned website relating to employer sponsored workers.

The jobs you can apply for and the sectors where you can seek employment to be eligible under this subclass of skilled worker visa are the same as those listed and detailed on the skilled occupation lists.  Therefore, the only basic difference is that someone applying for entry as a skilled worker is intending to find work once they have been accepted for a visa and have moved to live in Australia.  Whereas a sponsored skilled worker finds a job in advance of their move.

With the advancement of the Internet we have seen the ‘invention’ of global recruitment companies, email, teleconferencing and the likes of VOIP which allow anyone to theoretically apply for a job anywhere in the world and be interviewed for it remotely: so there is nothing standing in your way of finding a job in Australia and getting an employer to sponsor you.

However, we come right back to the start of this article – and we need once again to touch upon the fact that visas are looked at according to the eligibility of a given candidate, rather than on a first come first served basis.  So, if you already have a job and an employer willing to sponsor you, your application will be looked at sooner rather than later.

If you are a young, talented, skilled and experienced individual within the fields and sectors most in demand in Australia, you too will have your application viewed more quickly.

You can help yourself to ensure your application is looked at sooner rather than later, and you can help yourself to ensure you are viewed favourably and granted a visa.  Skill up, work hard to find a job in advance of your application, and don’t let any negative thoughts or words hold you back.  If you are determined enough to make the move to live and work in Australia, you will find a way to be a visa candidate that stands out from the crowd.

Tomorrow we will give you ten practical and detailed tips to help you find a job in advance of your move to Australia, and to enable you to find an employer to sponsor your move ‘down under.’

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