Studying abroad is an overwhelming experience that opens doors to new opportunities and challenges. For a number of international students in Australia, the journey doesn’t end with graduation. In fact, it states the start of a brand new chapter – Changing from post-study work to permanent residence in Australia. This blog will serve as a comprehensive guide to help students understand the steps and strategies involved in making this transition smoothly.
1. Understanding the Post-Study Work Visa
International students frequently have the choice to apply for the Temporary Graduate visa (Subclass 485), sometimes known as the post-study work visa, after completing their education. With this visa, graduates can stay in Australia for a while to work in a subject linked to their studies. This experience acts as a stepping stone towards Permanent Residence in Australia.
This visa has two streams: the Graduate Work stream and the Post-Study Work stream. The Graduate Work stream is for those with skills relevant to specific occupations listed on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). The Post-Study Work in Australia stream is for those who have completed a higher education degree in Australia, regardless of their field of study.
2. Gaining Relevant Work Experience:
Being on the post-study work visa, it’s necessary to focus on gaining relevant work experience. Many students consider this period as an opportunity to showcase their skills to potential employers, laying the groundwork for future permanent residency applications.
Gaining work experience not only enhances your employability but also contributes to a positive outcome in the points-based system for permanent residency. As you accumulate more work experience in your field, you can claim additional points, making you a more competitive candidate for various skilled migration programs.
3. Skill Assessment and Points Calculation:
One of the routes to permanent residence in Australia is going by the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. It’s necessary to note that the points-based system is used to determine eligibility for GSM visas. Points are granted based on parameters such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, and more.
Achieving a superior score on language proficiency tests like the IELTS or PTE can significantly boost your points tally. Similarly, your age plays a role in the points calculation, with younger applicants being awarded more points.
4. State Nomination and Employer Sponsorship:
Some Australian states and territories offer nomination programs that can boost an applicant’s chances of obtaining permanent residency. These programs allow states to sponsor skilled migrants who can contribute to their local economies. Additionally, employer sponsorship through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) can lead to permanent residency.
State nomination programs, often part of the GSM pathway, require applicants to commit to living and working in a specific state for a designated period. This pathway not only aligns with the candidate’s skills but also helps address skill shortages in certain regions.
5. Expression of Interest (EOI) and Invitation to Apply (ITA):
Applicants under the GSM program need to submit an Expression of Interest through the SkillSelect system. If they meet the required points threshold, they may receive an Invitation to Apply for a permanent residency visa.
Submitting an Expression of Interest is a crucial step as it highlights your interest in obtaining permanent residence in Australia. It’s important to accurately detail your skills, qualifications, and experience in your EOI, as this information will be used to determine your eligibility and ranking among other applicants.
6. Health and Character Requirements:
All applicants for residence in Australia are required to meet health and character requirements. This involves undergoing medical examinations and providing police clearances to ensure the safety and security of Australia’s population.
The health examination ensures that applicants do not have any medical conditions that could burden the Australian healthcare system. Likewise, character assessments aim to admit individuals who have a positive influence on Australian society.
7. Preparing a Strong Application:
The application process for permanent residency can be complex. It’s crucial to prepare a thorough and accurate application with all necessary documents. Seek assistance from migration agents or consultants if needed to ensure your application stands the best chance of success.
A well-prepared application not only meets the necessary documentation requirements but also presents your skills and experience in a way that aligns with the criteria for permanent residency. Having professionals review your application can offer valuable insights and increase your chances of approval.
8. Waiting Period and Bridging Visas:
There is a set amount of time that passes after a request for a permanent residency application before a decision is made. By then, applicants might have received a student visa for Australia, enabling them to remain while their application is being reviewed.
Bridging Visas serve as a temporary solution to bridge the gap between your current visa’s expiry and the decision on your permanent residency application. It’s essential to be aware of the conditions and limitations of your Bridging Visa while awaiting your application outcome.
9. Remaining Updated on Immigration Policies:
Australia’s immigration policies can transform with time. It’s important to stay informed about any updates or changes that might affect your application process. Government websites and reliable migration agencies are good sources of information.
Regularly checking for updates ensures that you are aware of changes that could impact your eligibility or application process. Staying informed empowers you to make informed decisions and adjustments to your strategy if needed.
10. Considering Other Pathways:
If the pathway to permanent residency via the GSM program doesn’t align with your situation, explore other options such as partner visas, family sponsorship, or employer-sponsored visas.
Each individual’s circumstances are unique, and it’s important to explore all available pathways to permanent residency. For example, partner visas allow individuals in genuine relationships with Australian citizens or permanent residents to apply for residency based on their relationship.
Transitioning from post-study work to permanent residence in Australia is an exciting yet intricate process. By understanding the various pathways, meeting requirements, and staying proactive, international students can increase their chances of securing permanent residency in this beautiful country. Remember that patience and determination are key throughout this journey, as the rewards of achieving permanent residency are well worth the effort. From gaining relevant work experience to navigating the points-based system, state nominations, and employer sponsorships, the path to permanent residency requires careful planning and a commitment to meeting the criteria set by Australia’s immigration authorities. Whether you pursue the General Skilled Migration program, explore other pathways, or seek professional guidance, the journey towards becoming a permanent resident of Australia is a significant step towards building a brighter future.