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How to migrate from South Africa to Australia in 2021?

Posted on December 23, 2020
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migrate to australia

Residents of South Africa place Australia at the top of the list of places they would like to migrate to in 2021. Australia reportedly has the second largest number of South Africans after the U.K.

The reasons for favoring Australia include similarity in climate, culture and way of life. In fact, South Africans are among the top ten in country of origin in Australia’s migration lost.

If you are from South Africa and wish to migrate to Australia in 2021, what are the options available to you?

Migration options to Australia

Australia offers many visa sub-categories to applicants with specific eligibility requirements.  In order to streamline the immigration process, filter the immigrants and ensure that qualified people are granted visas, the Australian government has devised many immigration programs for the PR visa.

Each immigration program has its own unique eligibility requirements, conditions, and the criteria for selection.

Eligibility for PR visa applications

PR visa applications are usually done through the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. Australia uses a points-based system to assess PR visa applications.

To be eligible for a PR visa, the minimum score required is 65 points and comprises of age, qualification, work experience, adaptability etc.

Immigration streams

Immigrants wishing to move to Australia usually opt for one of the following two migration streams:

  1. Skilled stream
  2. Family stream

Skilled stream

Australia needs skilled migrants who will contribute to the economy. Skilled migrants bring with them high educational qualifications and higher employment potential. This holds the promise of better contribution to the economy. Migrants who are sponsored by employees have more potential to bring the desired results.

The Skilled Migration stream is a points-based system and is the most popular immigration program that aspiring migrants choose. Here is a brief description of the eligibility requirements for the three main visa categories under the Skilled Migration Program.

Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189): Before submitting your application under this category, you must give an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. This can be done within or outside of Australia.

 The applications are by invitation only, for this you should:

  • Have Experience in a nominated occupation on Australia’s Skilled Occupations List
  • Get a skill assessment report by a designated authority for that occupation
  • Submit an Expression of Interest
  • Be under 45 years
  • Meet general Skilled Migration basic requirements
  • Score at least 65 on the points test
  • Meet health and character requirements

Once you receive an invitation to apply for this visa, you must do so within 60 days.

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190): You qualify for this visa if you are nominated by an Australian state or territory. The privileges in this visa are the same as the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)

The application requirements are similar except that you should have experience in a nominated occupation on the Skilled Occupations List.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 Visa: This visa has replaced the Subclass 489 Visa as a pathway to a PR visa. Under this visa skilled workers and their families must live, work and study in designated regional areas for 5 years. They will be eligible for a PR visa after three years. The eligibility requirements are the same as for other Skilled nomination programs.

Global Talent Program

The government has also introduced a Global Talent Independent Visa program (GTS) to help fill the tech talent shortage in Australia. The GTS aims to attract tech workers and encourage innovation in the future-focused industries in the country. There are plans to expand the GTS visa to provide permanent residence option.

Employer Sponsored Migration

The program aims at filling skill shortages in the Australian Labor Market by matching the vacancies to those migrants who have the requisite skills and experience.

Business Innovation and Investment Program

The Australian business visa program helps foreign business owners, senior executives and investors to come here for business purposes and develop new or existing businesses in Australia. This can also be a pathway to permanent residency.

Distinguished talent visa

The Distinguished Talent visa is designed for individuals who have achieved something exceptional in a profession, in arts or sports or in research or academic fields. The visa has two subclasses- Subclass 858 for onshore and Subclass 124 for offshore.

Family stream

Under the family stream you can migrate to Australia if your close family member is a citizen or permanent resident in Australia. The family stream gives preference to the spouse/partner, dependent children, parents of citizens and permanent residents in Australia. It also provides an opportunity for other family members such as relatives who are old and dependent, caretakers etc. to move to Australia to be with their families.

Which stream has more chances of success?

Every year, the Australian government sets the migration planning levels and fixes a certain number of places under each migration program. Here is a table with details of places allotted to each migration program in 2020-2021:

Skilled Stream category 2020-21 Planning Levels
Employer Sponsored (Employer Nomination Scheme) 22,000
Skilled Independent 6,500
State/Territory (Skilled Nominated permanent) 11,200
Regional (Skilled employer sponsored/skilled work regional) 11,200
Business Innovation and Investment Program 13,500
Global Talent Program 15,000
Distinguished Talent 200
Total 79,600
Family Stream Category 2020-21 Planning Levels
Partner 72,300
Parent 4,500
Other Family 500
Total 77,300
Child & Special Eligibility 3,100

As you can see in the table the highest number of places is allocated to the Skilled Stream category which has a total of 79,600 immigration places for 2020-21.

With the Skilled Migration stream having the greatest number of places, this should be your option when applying for a PR visa. You have better chances under this stream, provided you meet the eligibility requirements and score the required points. The government has made changes to the age and English language requirements under this program to ensure only highly skilled migrants are eligible.

The Family stream has also seen an increase in the number of places by about 61 percent (an increase from 47,732 to 77,300) out of which 72,300 are partner visas.

There are various streams and visa categories under which you can apply to migrate to Australia. If you are qualified to apply for more than one, you may be confused about which one to choose. In such cases, it is best to consult an immigration consultant who can help you with the right option and help you migrate to Australia from South Africa in 2021.

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