Depending on your purposes for entering Australia, there are a variety of different visa options available. The type of visa you will need depends on how long you plan to stay in Australia and what you want to do during your stay. You may want to live in Australia temporarily or work as a business person or you may need to bring the family – all of which require different visas. There are also different visa classes, depending on whether the skills you are bringing to Australia are considered to be in ‘demand’ by the Australian Government Department of Immigration. All foreign nationalities must apply for a visa, there are no exemptions. In addition, all visitors must be of good health and character to gain entry to Australia.
Australia has very good same-sex relationship laws. In regards to visa applications, same-sex partners are assessed the same as heterosexual de facto couples; both as partners and as parents.
- If you want to go on reconnaissance: If you want to go on a reconnaissance, you can go to Australia on a Tourist Visa or a Working Holiday Visa (for those between the ages of 18-30).
- If you are looking for a job: Skilled Sponsored Visa, Skilled Independent Visa, Skilled Nominated (Provisional) Visa are the three options if you wish to be in Australia and look for work. You do need to have a skill that is in demand in Australia. There is now in place an online system that allows you to record your information and an EOI (Expression of Interest) of living and working in Australia. The government can then invite you to file a visa application or an employer can nominate you for a skilled visa. Visit http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect for more information.
- If you have a job and need to relocate: If you have a job and need to relocate, there is a wide range of possible visas depending on how you are sponsored and where you will work.
- If you want to retire: Australia has an Investment Retirement Visa available for this purpose.
- If you are going to study: If you wish to study in Australia you will need to apply for a Student Visa.
- If you are going for an internship: There is no specific visa for this. It’s best to find a visa that closest matches your circumstances.
To assist you in choosing the correct visa type for your entry into Australia, there is an online tool provided by the Australian Government for exactly this purpose. The system asks you to enter some details and it will indicate which visa will best suit your purposes.