Australian visa enquiries surg

Sydney Opera House

Australian visa enquiries surge by 300% following Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle

The current political climate is driving a sharp increase in visa enquiries from South Africans looking to emigrate.

Australian visa enquiries surg

Sydney Opera House

Since the removal of Pravin Ghordan, as Minister of Finance, enquiries for Australian visas and citizenship have gone through the roof.

According to Sam Hopwood, Managing Director of Sable International’s Australian office, headlines drive applications for visas.  In the two weeks following his removal, I received 50 enquiries a day, over 300% more than my daily enquiries.

Read: Gov to limit emigration by tracking those leaving SA for more than three months

While most foreign visas require a significant cash outlay, Australia is one of the few countries that offer a visa and citizenship based on career and qualification.

The Australian government made a strategic decision on the manpower that was required to develop the country’s economy and visas and citizenship are granted in correlation to this strategy.

“130,000permanent skilled visas are granted every year. The Skilled Independent Visa, subclass 189 is aimed at careers such as accountants, engineers and teachers and is points based”, said Hopwood.

“About 1,000 South Africans and their families qualify for this visa annually and roughly 3,500 in the entire permanent skilled category.  It’s hands down one of the best routes to residency available to emigrants looking to move themselves and their families overseas”, he added.

Hopwood outlined the process for the Skilled Independent Visa, subclass189.  Once awarded, this visa is independent of any conditions.

“As a holder of this visa, there are no restrictions on where you can live and work in Australia.”

This visa application is a staged process:

  1. English language competency test
  2. Skills assessment – this is conducted by an independent industry regulator and not by the Australian government. In some cases the assessors travel to South Africa regularly for the skills assessment
  3. Points test which is based on qualification, age and money available
  4. Expression of interest (skills selection)
  5. Pool of applications – applicants that score the most points, which are occupations in the highest demand are selected
  6. Invitation to apply – the applicant has 60 days to submit a visa application

Hopwood added there are no interviews, or opportunities for the applicant to sell themselves.

“The process is automated and on-line, there is no opportunity for influence”.

“It usually takes between 3 – 6 months for the process and I can safely say we usually achieve a 99% application acceptance rate.  If I don’t believe a person will not qualify, I won’t take their application.  No one over 50 is accepted.”

There are alternative types of visas available for Australia, the subclass 457, an employer sponsored visa and the subclass 820, a partner visa being two of the more popular.

“One of the biggest obstacles to South African applications, unless of course, they don’t qualify, is misunderstanding the qualification process and get it wrong.”

Hopwood advised that a support network for a migrant was the most critical in successfully moving to a new country.

“Your connections are very important and determine success in migrating”, he concluded.