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*This content is brought to you by Sable International. With teams of visa and citizenship experts based in Melbourne and Cape Town they are ideally placed to help you explore your immigration options Down Under.
By Sam Hopwood*
Anyone who holds tertiary education just needs to put in a single extra year of study to qualify for a Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189). This visa is one of the most desirable for those wishing to emigrate Down Under.
This visa allows applicants who have qualifications on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and who obtain the required number of points on the immigration points test, to live and work anywhere in Australia as a permanent resident from the moment they touch down. A Skilled Independent visa holder is also allowed to bring their dependants, partners and partner’s children to live with them in their new home.
Not only does this visa provide a direct route to permanent residency, which can lead to full citizenship, it also allows the holder to work in any profession they desire, regardless of the qualification they applied for the visa with.
Studying your way to Australia
Australia is desperate for secondary school teachers (what we would call high school in South Africa). A Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is relatively simple to obtain and takes a single year of study. What’s more, experience in teaching is not a prerequisite for the visa, so you can apply fresh out of your PGCE.
Here’s the best part: Once you’ve received your visa and you move to Australia you’re under no obligation to work as a teacher. The Skilled Independent visa clearly states that you can work in whatever profession you want to once you’re in Australia. So if you’re not too keen on molding young minds you can pursue any job you wish once you’re Down Under.
It’s worth noting that many of the occupations on the skilled occupations list require years of study and experience; making this route one of the fastest ways of getting a qualification on the list.
Point the way
Even though you are not required to spend any time teaching in order to qualify for the visa, it’s important to be aware that the Australian visa system is points-based. This means you obtain points across a range of categories, including work experience, age, and English language ability (to name but a few).
In addition to passing the points test, you will need to:
- Submit an expression of interest to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection
- Have obtained a skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority
- Have had your English language ability assessed
- Have proof that you are under 45 years old
- Meet the health requirement
- Be of good character
Most Australian visa applications fail not because applicants are ineligible, but rather because documents are submitted incorrectly. I strongly advise anyone taking an unusual route like the one explained in this piece to seek help from a qualified and trusted registered migration agent in Australia. An agent will ensure that you have a valid claim to a visa and they will also help submit your application correctly so that you have the best chances of success.
- Sam Hopwood is the Managing Director of Sable International’s Australian office.
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