So a member of the SandO community just relocated to Australia and trust me to stay on his neck to bring some sort of applying for Australian permanent residency 101 to us. With relevant links of course. Oh he has chosen to remain anon!
Let me start by saying that applying for Australian PR is straightforward, even though it can be somewhat time consuming. It is something that you can do on your own without the help of any agency or agent. You just have to be ready to do your research VERY well, ask questions when in doubt and make Google your best friend. All the information required is online waiting for you, all you have to do is click. A good place to start would be to visit the Australian Home Affairs website here
The steps involved are as follows:
- STEP 1 – Eligibility Check
You need to determine whether your occupation is among the list of in-demand occupations and whether you can garner enough points to apply. You can find the Skilled Occupations List here
Find the points calculator
- STEP 2 – English Proficiency Test
You would need to show that you have a firm grasp of English Language. The Australian Immigration System accepts a number of internationally accepted English testing systems such as IELTS, PTEA and TOEFL. Take the one you are most comfortable with and make sure you get as high a score as you possibly can because this would have an impact on your overall points garnered which would in turn have an impact on how soon you would be shortlisted. Click for more information on English Language proficiency
- STEP 3 – Skills Assessment
You have picked a particular profession and the Australian Immigration System would want to ensure that you possess the necessary skills to work at the particular profession you are laying claim to. The skills assessment authority would be determined by the occupation which you select. Your education, skills and work experience would be taken into consideration during this process. Click for more information on skills assessment
- STEP 4 – Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
An EOI is a means of showing your interest in applying for a skilled visa to migrate to Australia. You would be required to fill a series of online forms depending on the type of visa that you would be applying for. You would answer questions relating to education, family, work experience, skills assessment, test of English, etc. For more information on submitting an EOI, visit EOI
- STEP 5 – Submit an Application
If you receive a positive response from your EOI, you would be issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA). After receiving this ITA you have 2 months to submit all the relevant documents (education, passport, personal documents, etc.). After you have submitted all the relevant documents and you have applied for the visa, it is now the waiting starts. Do not panic if it seems to be taking a long time. Sometimes it goes fast, at other times it goes pretty slowly. It all depends on the type of visa you are applying for. For more information on visa processing times.
Once a case officer has been assigned to you, you might be asked to provide some more documents in situations where further clarification is required. You would also be informed to have a medical examination. For more information on visa application
- Step 6 – Granted
If you follow all the rules and your documents are correctly verified, all things being equal, you should be granted your visa.
As I said in the beginning, the whole application process is something that you can do on your own if you are ready to do your homework. Do not be allergic to the internet as that is where you would readily get information especially from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website. Constantly check the website so that you can be readily aware of any changes in the application process. There are also a number of online forums that you could join that could help in your PR application journey. You could meet a number of users in the same boat as you, experiencing the same thing or users who have gone through the same thing you are going through and could give suggestions or advice on how they solved their issues which could be a great help to you. I found that the most useful and reliable was Quora. There might be others but Quora came the most highly recommended.