Australia attracts many tourists around the globe for its amazing climate, sandy beaches, culture and people. It also attracts many individuals for study and work opportunities. The immigration landscape has been changing over the years making it harder for individuals to immigrate and settle in the land of Down Under. Registered migration agent Yulia Moiseeva tells us about the challenges Russian speakers face when immigrating to Australia as a single individual, and how to overcome them.
Yulia Moiseeva is a young, lovely and charismatic immigration agent that came to Australia as a skilled migrant and started her own company, Yulia Moiseeva & Associates, five years ago to assist people (predominately from Russian speaking countries) to come and stay in Australia permanently. She has a double Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and Translating/Interpreting and now resides on the Gold Coast and runs her own company. We asked Yulia a series of questions regarding visas for people in our community and overseas.
Yulia, what kind of visas do you specialise in?
I don’t focus on any particular visas. My vision is to offer my clients strategic advice in view of constantly changing immigration legislation and policies.
Please tell us more about what is constantly changing? Are visas becoming harder to obtain?
Visa prices are constantly going up. Every year after the 1st of July, the prices are reviewed. So is the occupations list. The proposed model of assessing a candidate through skilled stream changed dramatically in recent years, which makes it almost impossible to apply for permanent residency (under Skilled Migration stream 189, 190, 489) straight after completion a course of study in Australia. When it comes to student visas, only certain relatives can sponsor (if they provide evidence of funds). Previously, any could qualify. The nowadays immigration policies are more focused on a skilled immigrant either with Australian or overseas qualifications that are in skilled occupation list and in most cases relevant work experience. In simple words, government would like to see professionals who will be contributing as a future workers and tax payers, rather than people who just completed the required degree from Australian educational institution but do not wish to build a career in this field.
Yulia, what do you think is the biggest challenge that your clients face when applying for a permanent visa?
Throughout the years, I have noticed that the biggest challenge is the appropriate level of English language to start a new life and settle down successfully. Usually for people, who are coming here on student visas, they lock themselves within the Russian speaking community that does not contribute to improving level of English or secondary applicants on skilled visas whose level of English was poor and they spend a lot of time studying in Australia to catch up with professional development and employment in new country.
Tell us more about common paths to permanent residency.
My clients are usually ongoing until we reach the favourable outcome for the case – permanent residency. There are various scenarios in which clients can obtain permanent residency rights here in Australia. Here are the most common paths:
- Skilled Professionals Program
This is the most popular pathway. According to the Department of Immigration website, there are 190,000 places available under Australian immigration program each year, and the skilled component is as high as 34%. Currently, a successful candidate has to have a high level of English, be within the 25 – 32 age bracket (below 25 or above 32 candidates lose 5 points in the point test, which may dramatically affect the application) and have at least three years of work experience in the nominated occupation and a completed Bachelor Degree. The turnaround for this process is approximately 10-12 months from start to finish, with extended occupation lists available under State / Territory sponsorships. The applicant can either apply from overseas or from Australia, subject to conditions on the visa application, if applicant is in Australia at time of lodgement. Eligible relatives who live in Australia can also help and sponsor a candidate for a temporary visa that may lead to permanent residency within two years.
- Student Program
The student visa program underwent major changes lately easing visa application requirements under streamlined visa processing when a candidate enrols into accredited universities or colleges. The universities themselves now request extensive evidence from a prospective applicant to make sure they have enough money to support themselves during their stay in Australia. They also check that the proposed pathway of study is in line with the applicant’s previous skills and qualifications. If the student is successful in this enrolment process, then the visa process is easier. Applicants are still assessed under genuine student provisions.
However, it’s worth mentioning that there is no guaranteed success when applying for permanent residency straight after a candidate finishes a particular course of study without relevant work experience. It is a myth nowadays, except for accountants – they are still on the list of occupations in demand, but every year the authorities are questioning the need of the occupation. Another favourable occupation is IT. Here is the entire skilled occupations list: http://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/sol.aspx
- Business Program
I work with all types of business visas. Besides standard business visas for those that would like to contribute to the Australian economy, we can offer professionals the opportunity to come and establish/buy a business or enter into a partnership with local professionals to provide work opportunities for Australians. This contributes to the Australian economy and also allows migrants to sponsor themselves through their own business. The monetary requirements of visas like this are cheaper, the process is quicker and it often reaps positive results. My company supports clients through every step of this journey – from designing the strategy, to discussing the particulars of the business (licensing, location, etc.) to providing accounting and training services through our business partners.
To go after a visa like this, applicants typically have some budget to start with, as they originally arrive on student visas (from Russia or Ukraine, for example) or on Working Holiday visas (from European countries). It is highly unlikely to successfully manage it all without any safety net money, as the applicant needs to dedicate enough time running the business.
The government is currently shifting towards temporary visas to allow people to contribute to the Australian economy and be a valuable member of society first before a permanent visa is available.
I believe that each and every person has a chance to migrate to this beautiful country. Sometimes it’s straightforward, sometimes it takes longer, but we fight for results for every case, to make successful relocation happen and make dreams come true Down Under. Feel free to contact me directly for more information.
Principal & Senior Registered migration agent
at Yulia Moiseeva & Associates
Gold Coast, QLD, Australia