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Moving From UK To Australia: All About Visas

Updated on December 12, 2014

The British ex-pat population in Australia (at 250,000 according to latest figures) are twice as large as any other migrant group in the country, and there are many immigrants to Australia every year and rising. Australia is attractive to people from all over the world, such as India, China, Pakistan and Bangladesh, who are increasingly moving there to settle. Once it was the most popular destination for Brit migrants, and though the numbers have fallen by about 20 percent over the past five years, there are still a significant number of migrants.


Profiles of people moving from UK to Australia

According to 2012 figures, there were a total of 25,274 people moving from the UK to Australia. This is a lower figure than the migrants five years ago – there were a total of 31,401 UK migrants to Australia in 2006-2007. Sydney is the most popular destination among UK migrants, along with Perth and Melbourne. In 2011, there were a total of 155,000 UK-born immigrants living in Sydney, 150,000 in Melbourne (4.5% of the city's population), 184,000 in Perth (12% of the city's population).

According to the latest trends, 68% of migrants to Australia come through the Skill streams while 32% come through the Family streams. Their purpose is mostly to build the economy, support the labour market or reunite with family. Skill stream migrants typically come through employer sponsored (38%) or skilled independent (34%) categories, while 22% are state-sponsored and 6% are there on business. In the family stream, 79% come because of their partners, 14% are parents of Australian sponsors and 6% are children.


Types of UK Visa to Australia

All British citizens need a visa to travel to Australia. There are a several visa options for people who want to migrate. Those who are allowed to migrate are chosen based on skills, financial resource, health, age, family existing in Australia, English language ability etc. The following classes of visas are available to UK citizens:

· Work Visa

· Visitor Visa

· Temporary Entry Visa

· Business Visas

· Permanent Entry Visa


If you are trying to move to Australia, you will need to apply for a Permanent Entry Visa. This type of visa is offered under two main categories of migration: the Humanitarian Program and the Migration Program.


Migration visas

There are essentially two types of Migrant Visas available to UK citizens. Around 190,000 places for migrants each year goes to people who have certain skills and qualifications to improve the economy and society of Australia. These categories include Business Migrants and Skilled Migrants, under the Migration Programme.


Under skilled Migrants, there are further sub-categories:

· Independent Skilled Migrants, younger than 45 years, who have the qualifications to be employed in an approved occupation when in the country

· Distinguished Talent, a small category reserved for people who have excellent in sports or the arts

· Australia-linked Skilled Migrant, for people who have close family in the country who will be able to sponsor them

· Employer Nominated Migrants, for skilled UK citizens nominated by Australian employers to fill job vacancies in the country

· Regional Sponsored Migration, in which an Australian employers located in a remote region of the country outside of the metropolitan areas can sponsor you


Business Migrants

This category of skilled migration visas is offered to people migrating to the country for the purposes of business. Under this category, a provisional Business Skills visa will be granted for the first four years, after which the applicant may be able to extend their visa for permanent residence if they have been able to maintain their investment or establish a certain level of business activity. Investors, senior executives and business owners, as well as business talents (highly talented business migrants sponsored by a Territory or State government) can also apply for a Business Skills visa.

If you are applying for a visa in the capacity of a business migrant or other skilled migrant visas, your qualifications and English language skills will be tested, your health will be assessed and the Immigration Department will also assess your character to meet Australia's requirements in the area.


Family Migrants

Besides skilled migrants, the other half of migrants accepted under the Family stream to Australia are required to have partners, children, parents and other families in the country who can sponsor them. These visas can be applied for if you apply as a spouse, prospective marriage partner, interdependent same sex partner or established partner, dependent child (through adoption or an orphan relative), parent, aged dependent relatives, carer, remaining relative etc. You may also apply for this type of visa if you are a former resident of Australia.

In the case of family-sponsored migration, you will not be tested on your qualifications or English language skills. But your health will be assessed and you should meet Australia's character requirements for migrants.

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