You’re in Australia on a Working Holiday Visa and already you’re wondering, how am I going to stay on here in this fabulous place? You’ve set your heart on a 457 visa or on something that might give you PR.
Plan ahead even if you’re having fun and the visa expiry seems so distant. Believe me, time flies when you’re having fun, but if you plan ahead to stay, your fun can go on and on in Australia.
Don’t be like the average Jo, Seamus or whatever who decides two weeks before his or her WHV expires that they’ve found an employer and want to lodge a visa in the next 5 minutes. It doesn’t work like that.
Here are ten tips to get you ahead and give you the best chance for another visa if you just don’t want to go home yet (and yes we know it’s winter but summer is just around the corner!)
If you would like a printable copy of this or to have a PDF version for later click here and I will send it to your inbox.
10 tips on getting another visa after your working holiday visa.
Find what your occupation is and whether it is on an Australian occupation list. Have a look at the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List and the Skilled Occupation List or find out whether your occupation is on one of the State Nomination lists.
Get certified copies of your qualifications and transcripts. Make sure your qualifications are related to your nominated occupation.
*Remember what you called yourself on your working holiday visa application! (You’d be surprised how many of you try to morph from plumber to chippy and all sorts of other occupations).
If you are relying on work experience for any reason – e.g. to get points for a SkillsSelect visa, or in lieu of qualifications, make sure you have letters from all your past employers showing dates of employment and duties.
Make sure the letters are signed and dated, on letterhead, and include a phone number so that Immigration can check if necessary (and be aware that they do, more often than not).
Also make sure you have copies of payslips or tax returns to show you’ve been paid for this work.
Where practical get work in your chosen occupation while you’re in Australia.
The more experience you have in your occupation the better, but remember not to breach the WHV six month rule, which means that you can’t work with any employer whilst you are on your working holiday visa for more than six months.
If you breach this condition it may have serious repercussions for future visa applications.
If you’re thinking of a 457 visa, ask your employer if they would be willing to do this from the moment they employ you – not at the last-minute – which can cause them to panic.
If you lodge an employer sponsored visa application whilst working for your nominating employer, Immigration will generally waive the six month rule.
It’s possible set up your own company to use as a platform to sponsor you, but allow at least 4-6 months to lawfully set up the business and gather decent trading evidence (and get someone who knows what they’re doing to set it up correctly).
If you work in a licensed trade or occupation, e.g. electrician, plumber, air-conditioning technician, nurse etc, get your Australian licence or registration organised.
Immigration doesn’t recognize Australian work experience if you don’t have a licence,(which can be critical for points and skills assessments), and if you don’t have a licence you won’t be granted an Employer Nominated Visa (Subclass 186) or a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa in most cases.
Not sure if your skill is recognized? Take this 3 minute skills assessment.
If you’re thinking of permanent residence, you’ll need to have a positive skills assessment in your occupation unless you have an Australian Partner and are looking to lodge a partner visa.
Skills assessments can take up to 12 weeks.
If you need an English test such as IELTS, for the extra points a good English score can provide, prepare early and take the test with lots of time to spare in case you don’t get the result you want, first time around.
Where you need to do the 88 days regional work to lodge your second Working Holiday Visa – don’t cheat as cheaters are caught left, right and center, and your visa chances may go down the tubes for three years after that because you’ll be banned.
Also don’t attempt to forge any documents as the penalties in terms of being banned form future applications are harsh – and they will extend to other family members who haven’t even applied for an Australian visa yet.
Finally don’t lie about criminal convictions – if unsure discuss your situation with an Immigration Lawyer. Good Luck! If you need a hand with a new visa or some preparation, contact the folks at Australia Here We Come Migration and book a consultation.