10 August 2006
Calling the 40 percent of Brits who want to emigrate to Australia
A recent poll has named Australia tops by those considering a move aboard. British nurses, bricklayers, carpenters, cooks, chefs, mechanics, engineers, and hairdressers currently stand the best chance of realising the dream lifestyle offered Down Under; they score the most points for their occupation, a key component in Australia’s immigration system.
In a poll released by BBC Online and ICM, a stunning 13 percent of Britons have revealed they want to emigrate in the near future; and 40 percent named Australia as their destination of choice. Survey respondents cited warmer weather and cost of living as their primary reasons for considering a move abroad.
"The Australian immigration system is points based. If your occupation is on the country’s Migration Occupation in Demands List, you get bonus points and your application is fast-tracked," said Oonagh Baerveldt, spokesperson, Australian Visa Bureau.
"There are 80 occupations on the list at the moment. The list changes depending on where the labour shortages are in the Australian economy," said Baerveldt. "Boom areas in the Australian economy include mining, housing and medical services and support, so you see those reflected on the current list."
The points threshold for an Australian visa vary anywhere from 70 points to 120 points and for some sponsored visas, no points at all. The Australian Government is currently awarding 10 ‘extra’ points to applicants who are willing to live in a regional area, effectively lowering the points level to 100 for the skilled regional visa.
"Most people aim to score the maximum number of points so they are eligible for the Skilled Independent subclass 136 visa. That visa allows holders to live and work anywhere in Australia, in any occupation. You need 120 points to be eligible for the 136," said Baerveldt.
The Australian visa application process is done in two parts; a skills assessment and application lodgement. At present, the process is taking anywhere from 12 to 18 months depending on the complexity of the application.
"There are several different visa streams available to British nationals. But, the fist step is finding out if you have the points to qualify. If you’re among the 40 percent of Brits looking to go to Australia, visit www.visabureau.com and take our online points test for Australia. The assessment is free and you can try with your details or your partner’s to see who has the most points."
The Australian Government is looking for an upper threshold number of 144,000 migrants in 2006-2007. Of the 97,500 of those who will be deemed ‘skilled’ it’s likely almost 20,000 will be British nationals. In 2004-2005 Britain provided the largest percent of skilled migrants to Australia, with 18,200 making the one way trip.