How to Get Australian Immigration On A Skilled Visa

With a declining economy, shortage of good jobs and deteriorating law and order situation, migrating to the West seems to be the best option for most Pakistanis but how to go about it? In a country rampant with money making fraud consultants, choosing the right one is a hassle and if doing on your own, is it easy? Is it doable? A thousand questions start whirling in your mind once you decide to emigrate. That is why I have prepared a handy guide for all the questions that may plague a person willing to move down under:
Note: All these handy tips are guided towards the skilled migration visa subclass 189. For all other queries, it is better to take guidance from a professional consultant or an advisor:

1. The Points Test

It is not an actual test per se but it is an eligibility criterion. In order to be eligible to apply for a skilled immigrant visa, the Australian government obviously wants to know whether you are skilled enough or not. The points test is an initial assessment that gives you an idea whether you are even eligible to apply for immigration for not. There are 100 points based on different characteristics such as age, education, work experience and you get marks according to your status. For example lets say your age is 25 then for age you will get 30 points based on this chart
Points for Age
Age at time of application Points
18-24 (inclusive) 25
25-32 (inclusive) 30
33-39 (inclusive) 25
40-44 (inclusive) 15
45-49 (inclusive) 0

This link provides more information about the points test:
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/189-

You can take a basic points test from here to see even if you are eligible to apply http://www.immiaustralia.com.au/visas/skilled-migration-point-test/

You can also find the minimum pass scores for each visa category in the below link:
http://www.visabureau.com/australia/immigration-points-test.aspx

For Skilled Visa Subclass 189, if you have 60 or more marks then you are eligible to apply for immigration to Australia. Remember that I use the word “eligible to apply”. Passing the points test does not GUARANTEE that you will get immigration. People who score less marks than required for a visa category cannot apply for visa in that particular category.

2. Occupation

For a list of occupations that are eligible to apply for Australia check out this link:
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/SOL

This list is updated regularly depending upon Australian labour needs.

3. Language

For language, you will have to take an IELTS to prove your merit. Again the points required for IELTS depends upon the VISA category you are applying for, occupational category age and a lot of other factors. As a baseline, mostly you have to get either a band 6 or band 7 not only overall but also in each category of IELTS. For most Pakistanis, this is the toughest part. Despite a country where English is the official language, it is strange to see so many people unable to achieve the required scores on an exam that is not too difficult.

4. Education

You need to have education in the field in which you are applying and you will only get points for your degree and work experience once your degree and skill is verified from the relevant verifying authority mentioned in link below under the heading of assessing authority:
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/SOL

For example, a construction project manager’s degree would be verified by VETASSES. For engineers, the assessing organization is Engineers Australia and so on and so forth.

I have no idea about the procedure for this as a consultant did this procedure of mine. However if anyone is interested to update me who got their assessment done themselves please provide your suggestions and I will put it up as a guest post along with your name. Also this procedure basically requires uploading the required documents and submitting the assessment fees so I guess it is not that difficult to do on your own if you do not wish to involve a consultant.

However, I will give a basic idea about requirements of Engineers Australia since I undertook and passed the assessment of that organization. You will have to prepare CDRs (Competency Demonstration Report). These reports are basically documentation about three projects that you have undertaken throughout your professional life . Here are some links that will help you with this process:

https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/migration-skills-assessment

https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/sites/default/files/shado/About%20Us/Migration%20Skills%20Assessment/msa_booklet-final-march-2016.pdf

5. Marital Status

If you are married and your husband/wife is educated and are working, they can also get points for their work experience or education to supplement your application.

6. Children

If you have children , you will get no points for this except that your visa fees will increase per child so its better to apply as soon as possible because the bigger the family the bigger the expense.

7. Sponsorship

If you or your spouse have a blood relation who is willing to sponsor you, you can get points for that as well.

8. Work History

You will be required to prove your experience through detailed experience letters, pay slips etc. The immigration department calls up your employers as well to verify so if you are making an experience letter make sure you tell your employer that they may have to verify it too.

9. Personal

There is going to be lots of documentation. From your NIC, to all your educational certificates, degrees, trainings attended etc. Better to get everything scanned as they go up on the online portal. You will need to go to NADRA too for your family certificate etc. You will be required to fill two visa forms requiring each detail about your life. This is the worst part of immigration, documenting your life on paper.

10. Health And Character

Once your professional degree is verified and you have applied for the visa, after 2-3 months you will receive a letter for your medical test. The medical test is conducted at IOU in Muhamamd Ali Society of Karachi. It takes up to two to three hours. All the instructions are provided on the form you receive for your medical test. The tests are basic eye, blood, height, weight etc and the results will be directly sent to the Australian Immigration office and you will not be informed. People say that getting a medical request is half proof that your visa is in the final stages of being granted.

11. Visa Fees

I get asked this question the most. How much did it cost? Well I will give a break down of the costs involved in migration with and without consultant:

Without Consultant

a) IELTS Test:
It costs Rs. 20,000-25000 (this does not include the cost if you wish to enroll in an IELTS prep class)

b) Skill Assessment Fees (in case you are applying for engineers category):

You can get an estimate from this link.
https://www.engineersaustralia.org.au/migration-skills-assessment/assessment-fees
For all other categories, check the fees of your relevant skill assessing authority. At the time I got my degree assessed (2013) it costed Rs. 30,000-40,000.

c)Visa Fees

You can get an estimate from this link.
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa/Fees
At the time we applied (2014) it cost us Rs.250,000/= per person

d)Medical Fees

At our time of application (2014) it was Rs.5000 per person

With Consultant

Add Rs.250,000/= to Rs. 300,000/= consultancy fee to the above fees.
Our consultant was AINIT consultants and we paid the fees in installments. I would highly recommend going for a consultant if you wish to reduce your chances of being rejected. The entire procedure is online and yes you can do it yourself but a consultant ensures that your visa does not get rejected by looking at loopholes in your application and providing advice on how to go around that.

12. How to Choose a Migration Consultant

Before deciding on a migration consultant, make sure your chosen conultant is registered by Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)

You can also find whether the agent you are hiring is authentic or not  from MARA’s site. Here is what I got on entering Karachi on this site:
https://www.mara.gov.au/map-search/?location=pakistan&keyword=
You can also find the authenticity of an agent through their MARA number or name using this link e.g. AINIT MARA no is 0957817 (found through this link )
Entering this number on the website reveals this information
mig

I hope this post was helpful for all you aspiring immigrants. Any other questions can be directed to my social media profiles mentioned below.

Disclaimer: I am not a registered migration agent. All the information that follows on the Skilled Migration Independent Visa (subclass 189) I have summarized from  either the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or  through my own experience

If you have specific questions about the 189 visa, I highly recommend contacting a registered migration agent as application policies change frequently and a migration agent is up-to-date on these changes whereas I am not.

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