The Skilled Migration Program allows people who have no previous relationship with Australia to migrate to Australia directly from overseas. After living in Australia for four years you can apply for Australian Citizenship without renouncing your previous citizenship.
The alternative to direct migration is to come to Australia to study for a period of time and then apply for a Skilled visa.
The purpose of the Skilled Migration Program is to unite individuals with skills in demand in Australia with real job opportunities in Australia, and to meet the demographic challenges of an aging Australian population.
The benefits of the Skilled Migration Program are mutual, with Australian employers benefiting from a steady stream of highly qualified and experienced people moving to Australia to fill positions that cannot otherwise be filled. The personal outcomes for individual migrants are also fantastic in terms of finding well paid and interesting jobs in a country that welcomes new migrants.
With a permanent visa you and your family are entitled to work in any occupation, study at Australian schools and universities, access public hospitals and free health services, buy a house, travel between Australia and your country, sponsor family members to move to Australia, and access the social security system including Child support payments and the new home buyer’s scheme.
After living in Australia for four years you can apply for Australian citizenship and a passport. You will not have to give up your original citizenship but can become a dual citizen of Australia and your country. The entitlements reflect the genuine desire on the part of the Australian Government to open the full benefits of citizenship to those who choose to migrate to Australia.
To be eligible for a visa you need to be over 18 and under 45 years old, have reasonable English, be accredited in an occupation in demand in Australia, be nominated by a state government in some cases, and pass the visa points test. Certain occupations are in demand all over Australia, and other occupations are in demand in specific states.
Under the Migration Act 1958 and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth), visas are arranged in groups called subclasses. There are different types of skilled migrant visas under a number of visa subclasses. The most widely known skilled migrant visas include the following: