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How to get Australian Work Visa for Architects


Guide to Australian Working Visas for Architects

Australia needs qualified Architects. This geographically diverse continent with constantly evolving fusion of cultures is a perfect challenge for creative professionals. If you’re one of them, then your skills are currently in demand.

If you haven’t turned 31 years old yet you may apply for Work and Holiday visa which allows you to work and travel around the country for up to a year. Otherwise, getting an Australian working visa is not easy. The vast majority of architecture firms will not hire you unless you have Permanent Residency status. However, it’s not impossible that a company would be willing to sponsor your working visa.

Whichever way of getting an Australian working visa you choose, it’s worth to consider this destination as it is one of the top countries for architect to work in (http://jobs.archi/2016/08/01/5-best-countries-for-architects-to-work-in/).

Read below to find out more about the most common types of visa for foreign architects to live and work in Australia.

Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462)

Probably the easiest way for young architects to work legally in Australia. Work and Holiday visa is a temporary visa that encourages cultural exchange and closer ties between Australia and eligible countries (see the list below). It allows you to stay in Australia for up to one year, however, under this visa you can generally only work six months with one employer.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
  • don’t have a dependent child with you at any time during your stay in Australia
  • have a passport from:

        Argentina

        Bangladesh

        Chile

        China, People’s Republic of

        Indonesia

        Israel

        Malaysia

        Poland

        Portugal

        Slovak Republic

        Slovenia

        Spain

        Thailand

        Turkey

        USA

        Uruguay

This visa allows you to:

  • stay in Australia for up to 12 months
  • work in Australia, generally for up to six months with each employer
  • study for up to four months
  • leave and re-enter Australia any number of times while the visa is valid

There is an annual limit on the number of first Work and Holiday visas granted to each country. The visa programme year starts on 1 July each year.

Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

If you’re looking for employer to sort out all the issues with your visa status the subclass 457 is for you. This is the most commonly used programme for employers to sponsor overseas architects to work in Australia on a temporary basis.

Under subclass 457 visa you can:

  • work in Australia for a period of between one day and 4 years
  • bring any eligible dependants with you (your spouse, partner, child etc.)
  • travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid.

There are 3 processing stages of the subclass 457 visa application:

  • Sponsorship: The employer applies for approval as a sponsor.
  • Nomination: The employer nominates an occupation for you
  • Visa application: After being nominated you can apply for the subclass 457 visa

As a primary holder of a subclass 457 visa you must:

  • work in the occupation for which you were nominated
  • commence that work within 90 days of arrival in Australia or within 90 days after the visa was granted
  • not cease employment for a period of more than 90 consecutive days
  • not engage in work that is inconsistent with the licence, registration or membership

The Skilled-Independent visa (subclass 189) 

The subclass 189 is a permanent residence visa for points-tested skilled architects who want to work and live in Australia. To be able to apply for this visa you need to submit an expression of interest and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply (to find out more on the SkillSelect service click here: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Skil).

The subclass 189 is a permanent residence visa that lets you:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

To be eligible to apply for this visa you must have:

  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • not yet turned 50 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • at least competent English.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

Another visa is for points-tested skilled architects is the subclass 190 visa. The main difference with the 189 independent visa is that you have to be nominated by a state or territory government agency. It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

To be eligible to apply for this visa if you must have:

  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • not yet turned 50 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation
  • at least competent English
  • been nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

This is a permanent residence visa that lets you:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

Alternative option is to migrated to Australia under the regional sponsored migration scheme.

Skilled Regional visa is a sponsorship visa solution specifically for people who want to settle in remote areas of Australia. The requirements are nowhere near as difficult to meet as for other sponsorship visas, because the Australian government wants to encourage skilled people to settle outside the big cities.

The subclass 489 visa allows skilled architects and their families to live, work and study in specified regional areas in Australia for four years.

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited and you are either:

  • nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency, or
  • sponsored by an eligible relative living in a Designated area of Australia.

To be eligible to apply for this visa you must have:

  • been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area
  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • a suitable skills assessment for that occupation,
  • not yet turned 50 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • at least competent English.

This visa allows you and your family to:

  • stay in Australia for up to four years
  • live, work and study in a specified regional area of Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia while the visa is valid.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled architect. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled architects who want to work in regional Australia. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

    the Temporary Residence Transition stream

    the Direct Entry stream

    the Agreement stream.

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia (regional Australia does not include the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or Melbourne)
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa program.

Disclaimer

Now, if you are serious about emigrating to Australia you should be aware of the visa application procedure. No matter which type of visa there is a huge amount of paperwork to complete, a lot of details to check and tons of documents to provide. Basically, you have two options for sorting out Australian working visa application procedure:

  • You can dig through the government website yourself, find a visa that fits your circumstances and go through the process yourself. The government website has all the info you need, the visa finder, the instructions, the application forms, dedicated tools… It is complicated but it’s all there. If only you are patient enough and determined to get it you can make it.
  • The other option is to get professional help from approved visa agent. You do not need to use a migration agent to lodge a visa application. However, if you do not feel confident lodging an application, or if your case is complex it might be better to get professional help. If you choose to use a migration agent, you should use a registered migration agent to protect yourself from scammers.

You can find a registered migration agent here: www.mara.gov.au

To learn more on how to apply for work visas in Australia click here : http://www.border.gov.au

If this article inspired you to seek for job opportunities in Australia, you can explore the latest Aussie architecture job offers at jobs.archi | Australia jobs


I hope this post gives you a clearer sense of the Australian work visa procedure, and a better look at best visa options for architects. If you have any experience or stories about application process, please share them in the comments below. G’luck, mates!



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