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Visas for Australia – Visitor, Student and Working Holiday Visas

Australia’s immigration laws are tough on prospective immigrants.  They are designed to fill the labour shortages in various job sectors and to bring highly qualified people into the country to boost its economy.

Australia works on a points system for immigration, awarding points for age, education, work experience, English language ability and occupation.

At the moment, there are 121 different visas to apply for in Australia and the rules and regulations are constantly changing.

Visitor’s Visa
Obviously, Visitor Visas are much easier to apply for than work and student visas.  There are three Visitor Visas that you can apply for online, which entitle you to visit and travel within Australia and conduct business, such as attend conferences, negotiations or go on exploratory business trips.  Note that you must be outside Australia to apply for these visas. Which visa you apply for, depends on the nationality of your passport.

Student Visa
Student visas are available for students who have been accepted by an approved educational establishment in Australia.  Prospective students must pass a health check, have good English language skills, prove that they have health insurance and that they can support themselves while in the country.

If you hold a student visa, you are allowed to work a maximum of 20 hours a week during term time and full time during holidays.

Training Visa
This visa is for people who have been nominated or invited to do a workplace training course to improve their skills.  The visa is valid for 2 years and is for people 18 and over.

Temporary Graduate Visa
This visa is for international students who have graduated from an approved tertiary educational institution in Australia.  For those who have completed a degree, the visa is valid for 18 months.  For those who have completed a masters or PhD, the visa is valid for 2 to 4 years, depending on their qualification.  Temporary Graduate Visa holders are entitled to live and work in Australia for the duration of their visa.

Working Holiday Visa
You can apply for a 12 month Working Holiday Visa if you are between the age of 18 and 30 (up until your 31st birthday).  This visa entitles holders to work for 12 months but you can only work for a maximum of six months with one employer. You also have the right study for four months.  Applicants must be outside Australia when they apply and when the visa is granted.

If you decide you would like to spend another year working and holidaying in Australia, you can apply for a second Working Holiday Visa, as long as you are still within the right age bracket.  For this application, you need to do 3 months farm work during the time your first Working Holiday Visa is valid.  This will entitle you to apply for another 12 month stay in Australia.

It’s important to remember that if you apply for the visa while in Australia, you must be in the country when it’s granted.  If you apply for the visa while outside Australia, you need to be out of the country when it’s granted. 

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