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International Students: 5 key tips to prepare for your future in Australia
November 26, 2015

#1 – Don’t assume anything

Immigration law changes very often. Don’t assume that because you checked the graduate or permanent visa requirements when you started your course, that they will still be the same now. Fees, English requirements and Occupation Lists change very often.

Also, don’t assume that because a friend who studied the same course as you last year successfully obtained a visa, that you will as well. There are many requirements to meet, not all cases are the same.

#2 – Take the English test early

The last few months of a course are very stressful. You don’t want to have to be worrying about taking an English test on top of all your exams and assignments. You also want to give yourself enough time to receive the test results back and be able to redo the test if you need to. Also, allow yourself time to have a few classes with a tutor to give you some extra tips and tricks to help you get that higher score you might need.

In most cases, English tests are valid for up to 3 years. Immigration now accept alternate tests to IELTS. Look at our blog post for more info.

#3 –Know who your Skills Assessing body and Registration body is

You will most likely need to get a positive skills assessment at some point in your migration journey. It’s important to know the requirements early. Your relevant skills assessing body and Immigration may have different requirements. For example, although Immigration now accept English tests other than IELTS, some skills assessing authorities still only accept IELTS. Likewise, Immigration may not require any proof of work experience but some skills assessing authorities do.

Meeting the requirements for an Australian visa is just one step. Does your occupation require you to register? In some occupations the skills assessment and registration is all combined in one step or application, for other occupations it isn’t. For example, Nurses need to get their skills assessed by ANMAC but they also need to be registered with AHPRA.

#4 – Be flexible

Permanent Residency is a goal for many migrants, students alike. During your years of study in Australia you have most likely created a new life for yourself. Although Permanent Residency is an attainable goal for some, it may be a long journey.

Be prepared to have to apply for another temporary visa after you finish studying. As mentioned above, you may need registration and/or a positive skills assessment for the permanent visa you want to apply. These take time, and sometimes require post-qualification work experience. The 485 Temporary Graduate visa was created for this reason.

#5 – Don’t rely on your qualifications

It is true that studying in Australia, and more specifically in the State or territory you want to live in, can make the permanent migration process a little easier. For example, you may be able to access a broader occupation list to be state sponsored or it may streamline the skills assessment process.

Be aware, studying in Australia is not a golden ticket to permanent residence. To give yourself the best chance of having the most options, try to network early on in your course with people in your industry. Try to find part-time or even volunteer work. If you build a network you may be able to find an employer willing to hire you full-time once you are qualified. This could give you that experience you need to have your skills positively assessed. Or the employer may even be willing to sponsor you.

The information in this post is general and only valid at the time of publication. For specific advice about your situation please contact us or use our visa assessment form.

Disclaimer:The information available on this website is general. You should consult a Registered Migration Agent for individual advice on your situation.
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