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24-03-2011, 15:37   #1
Confused_73
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Skilled Independent 175 Visa and immigration agents

Hi,

Just have a few questions in relation to the 175 Skilled Independent visa.

Our own personal situation is that we are currently a family of 3 – myself, my wife and 3 yr old daughter. We lived in Sydney previously from 1999-2002. We both work in IT and have occupations on the Skilled Occupation List. We’re just not happy with life in Ireland anymore and want to make the move while we are still relatively young enough. My wife has a couple of sisters currently living in Sydney as well

Anyway, after studying our options, we feel that the 175 Skilled Migrant Independent visa is the one to go for. It gives us flexibility, which is something very important for us …So we have done our research and everything is adding up for us. We’re happy with our decision so the next step is to get our application in

Now we have talked to a couple of immigration agents but were a bit shocked at the money they are charging. So we’re thinking that we’ll just apply ourselves – we’re pretty organised people, so how hard can it be?

Anyway would like to get people’s feedback in relation to a few things, before we go any further:

Immigration agents – have you used them? Did you find them helpful? Were they worth the money you paid?

Visa processing times – we understand the visa will take between 12-18 months to process. Is this a fair estimate? What are people’s experience of the processing times?

One immigration agent suggested waiting until July 1st to make the application as the points requirement is changing. But seeing as processing times are lengthy would we not be better off starting immediately and applying as soon as possible, especially if we were happy that we satisfied the current points requirement. Is there any advantage to waiting until July?

My wife’s sister is a permanent resident. So therefore I presume we could apply for a 176 visa using her as a sponsor. This would mean that we would require less points to satisfy the criteria. However while this is an advantage, are there any disadvantages with this visa application – is it trickier to apply for? Would my sister in law have to do much in relation to the application? Are there any more restrictions on this visa in comparison to the 175?

The visa process itself. From what I have found out myself, if we are going to apply for a 175 Skilled Independent visa, we will need to do the following:
• Undertake a Skills Assessment test and English Test prior to submitting the application
• Fill out the application form and pay the fee
• If successful, then we would need to get medical checks as well

Is that it or am I leaving anything out?

Would appreciate any feedback, experience or advice that people might have. Especially in relation to using an immigration agent to help with the application

Cheers
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24-03-2011, 16:24   #2
Ozeire
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Haven't done a skilled visa app but a family one. Even after being married to an Aussie for 5 years with a 3 year old it still isn't as easy and fast as some seem to think it is .

Quote:
Immigration agents – have you used them? Did you find them helpful? Were they worth the money you paid?
Didn't use them as in my case they really couldn't do any thing that I couldn't and they would have charged me a few 1000's more.

Quote:
Visa processing times – we understand the visa will take between 12-18 months to process. Is this a fair estimate? What is people’s experience of the processing times?
Yeah I’d say that's pretty much on the money. Could even be longer with the amount of people migrating right now. Been about 5 months for me so far and still haven't got it yet.

Quote:
My wife’s sister is a permanent resident. So therefore I presume we could apply for a 176 visa using her as a sponsor.
Everyone thinks sponsorship is easy but the person who is sponsoring you could have to put up what they call Assurance of Support this is

Quote:
Financial Bonds
For permanent Contributory Parent (including Contributory Aged Parent) visa applicants, an AoS bond in the sum of AUD10 000 is required for the main applicant. This bond will be held for 10 years. The AoS bond sum for any adult secondary applicant is AUD4000.
For permanent Parent (including Aged Parent), Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining Relative visa applicants, an AoS bond in the amount of AUD5000 is required for the main applicant. This bond will be held for two years. The AoS bond amount for any adult secondary applicant is AUD2000.

Note: An AUD10 000 financial bond is required for each application if the assurer is an organisation.
For all Parent visas, the following requirements apply:
• an AoS must be provided before the visa can be granted
• the AoS requirement cannot be waived.

Quote:
The visa process itself. From what I have found out myself, if we are going to apply for a 175 Skilled Independent visa, we will need to do the following:
• Undertake a Skills Assessment test and English Test prior to submitting the application
• Fill out the application form and pay the fee
• If successful, then we would need to get medical checks as well
Yeah the visa process would be pretty much that except

You also need a police Clarence check

The medical checks are done only in 2 places in Ireland Dublin and Cork and cost €300 per person migrating and are part of the process before you know if you’re successful or not

Any thing you don’t include in the application that you case worker thinks he needs and requests will delay the process. So make sure that you send more information than is needed.

All permanent visas to Australia are as easy and quick as some people think but I think it’s worth it. That’s just my opinion of course. But be prepared for a long wait.
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24-03-2011, 20:32   #3
Confused_73
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Thanks for the reply

I think I'd be confident that I could get everything organised myself but as you said, we'd want to be certain that we have everything in place

Do the police clearance checks and the medical examinations need to take place before you submit the application or would they be requested once your application is looked at by a case worker? I mean if the process could take 18 months, surely an clearance and health checks would be out of date by then?

Does the Skills Assessment involve an online examination, over the phone or would you meet someone face to face?
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24-03-2011, 21:56   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused_73 View Post
Immigration agents – have you used them? Did you find them helpful? Were they worth the money you paid?
Yes, Yes & No

Quote:
Visa processing times – we understand the visa will take between 12-18 months to process. Is this a fair estimate? What are people’s experience of the processing times?
Yes about right

Quote:
One immigration agent suggested waiting until July 1st to make the application as the points requirement is changing. But seeing as processing times are lengthy would we not be better off starting immediately and applying as soon as possible, especially if we were happy that we satisfied the current points requirement. Is there any advantage to waiting until July?
They want to introduce faster waiting times for skilled people etc, i.e. a doctor should be faster than a <other job> etc etc

Quote:
My wife’s sister is a permanent resident. So therefore I presume we could apply for a 176 visa using her as a sponsor. This would mean that we would require less points to satisfy the criteria. However while this is an advantage, are there any disadvantages with this visa application – is it trickier to apply for? Would my sister in law have to do much in relation to the application? Are there any more restrictions on this visa in comparison to the 175?
Yes correct visa, disadvantages is that it is slower, 175 has a faster processing rather than 176 (As far as I know!! There was a list a while ago about who gets priority etc) Visa would not be tricker, but your sister must be the main applicant

Quote:
The visa process itself. From what I have found out myself, if we are going to apply for a 175 Skilled Independent visa, we will need to do the following:
• Undertake a Skills Assessment test and English Test prior to submitting the application
• Fill out the application form and pay the fee
• If successful, then we would need to get medical checks as well

Is that it or am I leaving anything out?
Garda clearance - this isn't difficult though

Quote:
Would appreciate any feedback, experience or advice that people might have. Especially in relation to using an immigration agent to help with the application

Cheers
I used an immigration agent, mainly due to time restraints, I needed a PR fast as my 457 was running out and the company said they wouldn't renew it, they sent me a step by step guide and helped me out, it might take me a few days to figure out what to do in certain cases (I had a job in ireland company went under so no letter of employment etc) it took them a few hours to send me the procedure for stat declarations.

They also sent my visa to adalaide they, and I got it approved in 6 weeks (excluding the gap between medical)

I don't regret using an agent, but I would tell my friends I'd help them out rather than recommend one
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25-03-2011, 01:08   #5
d.pop
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Confused,
We, (me, wife and son) applied for a 175 visa in April 2009, at the time there was a critical skills list and my occupation was on it so we had visa within months.
I also have siblings in Oz and considered sponsorship but as we had enough points decided to go for 175, what i did do was include a letter in the application pointing out that my family were prepared to offer emotional and financial suuport etc if and when required.
We didn't use an agent as i couldn't see what they could possibly do for us that we couldn't do ourselves with patience and the internet.
For our application we lodged via email as the online service wasn't working too well.
First up we filled in the online form then attached the following certified copies (solicitor) of...passport biopages,photographs, birthcerts, marriage certs, college diplomas, results transcripts, cv, letter from employers stating salary, duties, employment dates etc, letter of skills assesment/recognition (for me it was engineers australia), random selection of pay slips.
Now you understand why i though an agent was of no use? You'd have to get all these yourself anyway, then send to them plus a fee..! No thanks.
We got a reference nbr from DIAC where we could check progress of application. Nothing happened for 3 months then got email from our case officer requesting, clarification of some minor work related things (typo on reference letter, dates were wrong).
After submitting that we were asked for police clearance check and medical within x amount of time. Got check, submitted it, did medical and x-ray (doctor sends these off, be sure and fill in forms before you go to doctor)
In the middle of all this we had another baby, so filled in a few more forms, passport, pictures, birthcert etc and emailed off.
Got nice letter from DIAC saying we got residence it in September.
I'd recommend doing it yourself if you have the time and if its a straightforward application, that couple of grand the agency charges will go a long way in Oz. I spend about 3 months of lunchtimes researching, reading and printing forms before starting actual application process, you need everything ready to go once you start process as they can sometimes hit you with a deadline eg 14 days for something or other.
I guess things have changed a bit since we did it, but i'm sure you'll be fine, i found it time consuming but very straightforward, the DIAC website has everything you need, just need to dig it out.
Good luck.
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25-03-2011, 10:02   #6
Ozeire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused_73 View Post
Do the police clearance checks and the medical examinations need to take place before you submit the application or would they be requested once your application is looked at by a case worker? I mean if the process could take 18 months, surely an clearance and health checks would be out of date by then?
No the case worker will tell you when you need to have police clearance check and the medical examinations done .

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Originally Posted by hussey View Post
Garda clearance - this isn't difficult though
Hussey is toally right my Garda clearance consisted of a page from the area super saying in all my years living here I wasn't known to them . One took 3 days .

Last edited by Ozeire; 25-03-2011 at 10:06.
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27-03-2011, 09:01   #7
Confused_73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.pop View Post
Confused,
First up we filled in the online form then attached the following certified copies (solicitor) of...passport biopages,photographs, birthcerts, marriage certs, college diplomas, results transcripts, cv, letter from employers stating salary, duties, employment dates etc, letter of skills assesment/recognition (for me it was engineers australia), random selection of pay slips.
.
Thanks for that response. Very useful indeed

In relation to the letter from your employers, salary, duties etc ... Why did you need this? I guess I don't fancy asking my current employer for these as I don't want to signal my intentions. Who knows what the future holds?

The more I think about it, I think we will definitely apply ourselves. As you say, we will still have to do all the leg work ourselves so what is the point in paying someone a fee as well?

Now we basically have 3 months before the new points system kicks in, but I guess we won't be able to apply before this as we'll need time to gather everything, and I believe it can take 12 weeks to organise the Skills Assessment test - can anyone confirm this?

Also, even though both myself and my wife would qualify for the visa in terms of points, skills etc .. we will only be making the application for one person. But to support the application, should we include "college diplomas, results transcripts, cv, letter from employers stating salary, duties, employment dates" for both of us?
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27-03-2011, 09:08   #8
Confused_73
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Getting back again to the Skills Assessment test.

How is this carried out? I presume it differs from industry to industry. Are you questioned by experts or is there an examination of sorts?
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27-03-2011, 10:43   #9
d.pop
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused_73 View Post
Thanks for that response. Very useful indeed

In relation to the letter from your employers, salary, duties etc ... Why did you need this? I guess I don't fancy asking my current employer for these as I don't want to signal my intentions. Who knows what the future holds?

The more I think about it, I think we will definitely apply ourselves. As you say, we will still have to do all the leg work ourselves so what is the point in paying someone a fee as well?

Now we basically have 3 months before the new points system kicks in, but I guess we won't be able to apply before this as we'll need time to gather everything, and I believe it can take 12 weeks to organise the Skills Assessment test - can anyone confirm this?

Also, even though both myself and my wife would qualify for the visa in terms of points, skills etc .. we will only be making the application for one person. But to support the application, should we include "college diplomas, results transcripts, cv, letter from employers stating salary, duties, employment dates" for both of us?
Confused, unfortunately you'll have to provide the employment stuff as it is required to prove you have the specific work experience required, they asked me for a letter from previous employers up to 4 years history, letter to state duties, title, salary etc and then recent payslips from last 12 months, you'll find it on the website, can't see any way around it sorry.
I told my boss that the process can take up to 2 years and you then have 12 months to activate which buys you another 4 years, told him that it was just a ''daft idea'' and nothing might come of it, just a fall back plan in emergencies etc etc..
Some of the other guys on here may be more up to speed with the current process but as far as your wifes education etc goes, i think if you have enough points on your own then as the primary applicant your wife and daughter would just piggyback on your application, no education or employment stuff required...however...if you are short points and your wifes occupation is on skills list i think you can use her to gain extra 10? points. No doubt if that is the case she would have to supply everything as well.
Check out the DIAC website for your particular skills assesment provider, mine was engineers australia, sent them my college transcripts, cv and $250, took 2 weeks, but Aus and Ire have an accord for engineers so very straightforward, don't know about IT, if you have a professional body and there is a similar one in Aus, might be easy.
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27-03-2011, 11:05   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Confused_73 View Post
Getting back again to the Skills Assessment test.

How is this carried out? I presume it differs from industry to industry. Are you questioned by experts or is there an examination of sorts?
For me (IT) I sent my CV, college exams & degree and letters and payslips from work for the last few years to the Australian Computer society.

It will be similar from area to area - the details of which body you apply for is on immi.gov.au
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27-03-2011, 11:23   #11
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Originally Posted by d.pop View Post
Confused, unfortunately you'll have to provide the employment stuff as it is required to prove you have the specific work experience required, they asked me for a letter from previous employers up to 4 years history, letter to state duties, title, salary etc and then recent payslips from last 12 months, you'll find it on the website, can't see any way around it sorry.
I told my boss that the process can take up to 2 years and you then have 12 months to activate which buys you another 4 years, told him that it was just a ''daft idea'' and nothing might come of it, just a fall back plan in emergencies etc etc..
Some of the other guys on here may be more up to speed with the current process but as far as your wifes education etc goes, i think if you have enough points on your own then as the primary applicant your wife and daughter would just piggyback on your application, no education or employment stuff required...however...if you are short points and your wifes occupation is on skills list i think you can use her to gain extra 10? points. No doubt if that is the case she would have to supply everything as well.
Check out the DIAC website for your particular skills assesment provider, mine was engineers australia, sent them my college transcripts, cv and $250, took 2 weeks, but Aus and Ire have an accord for engineers so very straightforward, don't know about IT, if you have a professional body and there is a similar one in Aus, might be easy.
Cheers for that. I really do appreciate the feedback

I could raise it with my boss alright. As you said, it would be a couple of years down the line so he need not get too concerned. So does this requirement just need to consider the previous 4 years? I am in my job for over 4 years so I presume I would not need anything from my previous employer
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27-03-2011, 11:24   #12
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For me (IT) I sent my CV, college exams & degree and letters and payslips from work for the last few years to the Australian Computer society.

It will be similar from area to area - the details of which body you apply for is on immi.gov.au
Thanks Hussey. Do you also work in IT?

That requirement sounds fine anyway
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29-03-2011, 23:55   #13
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Hey Hussey, I'm in the same boat as you now and am in the final stages of getting everything certified to be lodged for the skills assessment with the ACS. Just wondering how long the actual skills assessment stage of the process took you as I'm wondering if I'll be lodging my visa application either before or after the 1st July and if I'll be dealing with the old or new points system?

I've had a look at the ACS website and they reckon to allow about 12 weeks but was just interested to hear from somebody who'd gone through the process themselves!
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30-03-2011, 05:01   #14
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Have a look at the timelines on Britishexpats.com


Expect a spike as people are panicking to get skills in before July changes.
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30-03-2011, 07:28   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Traq View Post
Hey Hussey, I'm in the same boat as you now and am in the final stages of getting everything certified to be lodged for the skills assessment with the ACS. Just wondering how long the actual skills assessment stage of the process took you as I'm wondering if I'll be lodging my visa application either before or after the 1st July and if I'll be dealing with the old or new points system?

I've had a look at the ACS website and they reckon to allow about 12 weeks but was just interested to hear from somebody who'd gone through the process themselves!
I applied pretty much this time last year and mine took 6 weeks, but I agree with mandrake have a look at British Expats
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