Can you extend Working Holiday visas?
Options available include applying for a second Working Holiday visa, permanent residency, temporary or permanent sponsorship, a student visa or partner migration.

Is the easiest option to get sponsored?
Not necessarily, but if you have an Australian business willing to sponsor you to fill a position for which you are either skilled or experienced to perform then it is certainly a good option. The advantage of being sponsored on to a Work Permit (subclass 457) visa is that the entire process can happen onshore without any need to leave Australia. So long as the business can qualify to become a Standard Business Sponsor and the position that you are going to fill appears on the subclass 457 occupation list and you qualify for the position and the visa then your application may only take a couple of days to process.

How should someone go about it?
Once you have a business willing to sponsor you, you should speak to a registered migration agent. The process is relatively easy if you have someone to guide you. There are three stages, but so long as the employer and applicant know what to provide and which forms to complete it need not be too painful.

What are the limitations?
Your subclass 457 visa will come with a Condition 8107 that means you can only work for the business that sponsored you. You must also only work in the position that has been nominated. The visa can be valid from three months up to four years.

Can partners stay too?
Yes, a spouse (including defacto-spouse) can be included. However, the employer must agree to extend its sponsorship obligations. The spouse will have full work rights and may work for whom ever they please, or not at all.

What about relationships with an Australian?
Yes, if you happen to be in a serious relationship with an Australian citizen, permanent resident or ‘eligible’ New Zealand citizen, then there are options for the Australian to sponsor you for temporary and permanent migration through partner migration. You will need to be lawfully married or a defacto-spouse relationship. You will need to show evidence you have been living with them for at least 12 months.

What about staying after sponsorship has expired?
They may apply for another sponsorship visa or there are options for an Australian employer to nominate someone for permanent residency.

How do the skill shortages work?
The Department of Immigration consult with various industry bodies to create a skill shortage list and it details the occupations that Australia is in need of. This is called the SOL (Skilled Occupation List). Occupations in high demand attract more points and priority processing.

Why hire an immigration agent?
They will give you an honest opinion of your chances of success and assist you with the preparation, presentation and submission of your application so that it stands the very best chance of success. A registered migration agent will take the pain and guess work out of the entire process and give you peace of mind. It is important to appoint an agent that is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).

October 6th, 2009