Sydney Harbour Bridge


In the last month or so I’ve received a number of emails from people who have been living and working in Australia and who have recently returned to Australia after their first or most times second working holiday visas have come to an end.

The emails tend to carry the same message, I loved living in Australia, I tried to get sponsored to stay or I came home because of family illness’ and now I want to go back.  Please help!

Sydney, Perth and Melbourne tend to be the cities where most people spent their time living and working with a bit of travelling chucked in as well and the main question is am I eligible to migrate back.

I would love to say “yes” to everyone that asks me that question but sometimes its not straight forward.  I love it when I have a client who is meets all the criteria for a skilled independent visa subclass 189.  They have an occupation on the SOL, they are between the age of 25 – 39, and can get a superior IELTS test score.  This is a brilliant situation because there’s no need for state sponsorship.

Recently on 14 July, NSW reopened its state sponsorship application system.  It had updated to an online system and I guess no matter how many millions they through into their IT system, it was carnage.  Read this little excerpt from Migration Alliance a representative body for migration agents to the NSW trade and investment migration policy section (RMA is abbreviation for “Registered Migration Agents”:

RMAs are not satisfied with the response provided by NSW Government.

Is the NSW Government  (Skilled) going to fix the botched application process that cost so many applicants the opportunity to apply?  By this I refer to the unannounced application window, huge technical problems resulting in many people getting half way through applications and then being blown out of the system by crashing servers, etc and then having no opportunity to start their failed application again, etc etc.

Anyone wanting to stay on or return to Sydney and needing NSW state sponsorship for their skilled migration visa application (namely the State sponsored skilled migration visa subclass 190) its looking like it will be a bit of a lottery to get through the NSW online application system successfully.

So some key points about getting back to Australia

    • There’s no turning back the clock – if you are currently in Australia, trying to sort out a visa for yourself to keep you there.  I have helped clients who were already in Australia on working holiday visas or sometimes the subclass 457 work visa, lodge a skilled migration visa application.  Most then went on to a bridging visa which kept them working in Australia while they waited for a decision on their permanent residency.  Once you get back to Ireland, things become more challenging.  Emotionally, it takes a toll, so many are desperate to return the long distance between Ireland to Australia starts making it feel impossible.  One thing I know is immigration is stressful on a good day so if you start feeling negative that your goal to get back is never going to pan out then it may just become a reality.

    • If you have to return to Ireland, like I mentioned earlier sometimes family illness or sometimes a death of a parent or sibling bring people back.  Of course its important to be with family in sad times.  When you are ready to return to Australia, get yourself a proper visa assessment of eligibility.  Don’t wonder about your visa options.  This will not only help you but also give your family peace of mind.  From my own point of view being an Australian citizen and passport holder, my Irish extended family do wonder if one day my husband and I are going to return to Australia after 8 years in Ireland.  We both have Australian passports so we could leave tomorrow if we wanted but thank goodness I don’t have to tell them we are working on getting visas to go and it may or may not work out depending on the Australian government.  This is the opposite for many of clients who have to and sometimes this can be an emotional roller coaster ride for their extended families.  If you can confidently tell family and friends that you’ve got a good chance of successfully obtaining the visa you’ve applied for and give them a general time line to your intended departure this can lessen general stress and anxiety that relatives feel when loved ones tell them to they are moving half way across the world to Australia.

    • Know your nomination occupation well – Look at the SOL and CSOL and find your occupation and then explore the ins and outs of getting a positive skill assessment from the relevant assessing body.  For example accountants, I would normally put a skill assessment application through the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia.  You have to have a degree in accounting or be a professional member of an accounting body like the ACCA.

    • Consider taking the IELTS test as the first thing you do.  A superior IELTS test score could be the difference between applying for a skilled independent visa subclass 189 or a state sponsored skilled migration visa subclass 190.  The former being the best option as there is no need for sponsorship of any kind and you get to live and work anywhere in Australia you like.  I’ve had one client take the test 6 times, yes 6! She is an Irish nurse currently in Sydney.  She wants to apply for the skilled independent visa but she’s been unlucky with near perfect superior result just dropping half a mark for reading.  For others its been a smoother ride, with superior results obtained in the first attempt which of course is ideal.

    • Learn about the Expression of Interest (EOI)- the Skillselect system is creation of the Australian government from 2012/2013.  The EOI which is submitted to the Skillselect system made way for an invitation based system of migration applications.  Gone are the days when you discovered you were eligible to apply, got your pre-application stages done and then simply lodged a visa application.  Now you have to complete the pre-application stages, submit and EOI then wait to be invited to apply.  Each calendar month there are 2 rounds of invitations on the second and fourth Monday of the month.  This is for applicants who have submitted an EOI selecting the skilled independent visa category.  For state sponsored migration visa, after you have submitted and EOI, applied for your state sponsorship and been approved, the state government will inform the Australian government and an invitation will be generated immediately.

Hope this information helps anyone thinking of returning to Australia.  If there is something specific you want to know, pop a message through via the contact form.

All the best!