A growing number of Britons, and indeed people in the world, are choosing to up sticks and move away from their native homelands.For British expatriates, Australia and New Zealand make for popular destinations. And it’s easy to see why doing so might prove an attractive move.With its varied landscape, generally sunny climate, and excellent food, Britons have more reason than ever to emigrate to Australia.
Both countries in Australasia are in many respects strange and unusual. Just look at the weird and wonderful animals which live there. But in other respects, they’re familiar – thanks largely to the impact of colonialism. Though both Australia and New Zealand might be on the other side of the planet, they’re our near-neighbours in terms of culture and language. They’re said to belong to an ‘anglosphere’ of English-speaking countries which are easy to settle into.You might spend a long time on the plane than you might when moving to, say, France, but once you’ve gotten off you’ll be able to adapt to the local customs a great deal more easily.
Though there’s no shortage of reasons to make the switch to Australia or New Zealand, the two countries both employ immigration systems which require nous to navigate.Both systems employ a points-based approach.Let’s take a look at Australia’s.
Making the move
Over the last decade, Australia’s approach to immigration has hardened somewhat.That isn’t to say that getting into the country is especially challenging – provided that you’re able to bring the right skills to the table.
The 1970s saw a radical overhaul of Australia’s approach to immigration.An explicitly racist set of discriminatory policies were swept aside in favour of one which payed no heed to things like skin colour and parentage, and instead focussed on the applicant’s ability and inclination to contribute to the wealth of the country.
Over the intervening years, Australia’s immigration policy has undergone several refinements.The most recent set of new laws came into effect in 2011, when the system as it now stands was officially implemented.This system saw visas categorised in two ways:there were employee-sponsored ones, and skilled worker ones.
Employee-sponsored visas are distinct in that you don’t need to amass points to obtain one.It’s instead down to your Australian employer to sort it out on your behalf.If you’ve already got a job in Australia, then this is probably the best way to go.Fortunately, there exist a large variety of jobs in demand in Australia, and so securing yourself a position before you make your application is entirely possible.To avoid the hassle and expense of the points-based system, getting your employer to handle it is almost always preferable.
By the same token, a ‘distinguished talent’ visa isn’t points-based either.If you’ve got a special skill which sets you apart from the competition, then this might be the way to go.The standards for such a visa are typically especially high – you’ll need to be an international footballer, a brain surgeon or a concert violinist to stand the best possible chance of success, here.Such cases are usually there for where an application via the points system would so obviously be successful that it’s scarcely worth bothering with.It’s something of a shortcut, therefore.
Skilled-worker visas, on the other hand, are points tested.You’ll need to obtain sixty-five points in order to be eligible, which you can earn based on the attributes you possess.
Your occupation will be the biggest influence on your points total.Some professions can command sixty points, securing the applicant almost all of the required points for a position.The points for each profession are awarded according to the demand in the nation – so, if the Australian government decide that there’s a shortage of skilled medical practitioners (which there almost always is), then they’ll make it easier for doctors to get citizenship rights.
Naturally, when you’re making your application, then you’ll need to present evidence you possess the skills.For some applicants, you’ll need to be assessed by an independent body.The body in question will depend on the field you’re applying for.The Medical Board of Australia performs medical examinations; Engineers Australia conducts engineering ones.And so on.
In order to submit to one of these examinations, you’ll need to pay a fee.This fee covers the cost of the exam itself, and prevents the system from being overwhelmed with junk applications.Before applying, be sure that you stand a reasonable chance of success – since repeated failure can quickly become expensive.