FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

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1. Do I qualify?

Our assessing procedure is firstly to review your curriculum vitae when you fax or email it to us. Then, if we believe that you are eligible to migrate to Australia, we ask you to come in for an interview. At the interview, we obtain further particulars from you, which will either confirm our initial assessment or lead us to the advice that you are not eligible. Our firm’s policy is to provide a frank assessment of your chances even though the assessment may not be favourable. We occasionally ask you to come back for a second interview so that we can examine further documentation we may require, such as mark sheets or other documentary evidence of qualifications or experience. As registered migration, we are not legally able to provide you with any guarantee of success but our fee structure will indicate to you that we only take on cases where we are firmly of the view that the application will be successful.

2. How long does the process take?

All processing of skilled migration applications takes place onshore through the Department of Immigration & Citizenship in their offices in Adelaide, South Australia. The processing time is approximately 50 weeks at present however, before lodging with the Department we must first obtain your occupational assessment, which may take anything from 2 weeks to 5 months depending upon your occupation. In general, the process for Australia is taking 15 to 18 months from start to finish.

3. Does Walker Davis Guarantee me a job ?

Walker Davis does not guarantee to find anyone a job; our role is to act as your legal consultants in the migration process. Nevertheless, during the process we will offer you guidance as to how you go about seeking a job and refer you appropriate recruitment consultants. We will also guide you to the various web sites, which contain more job-seeking information.

Migrating to Australia is not the same as moving to the Middle East where you have a sponsor and a job to come to. Of the many millions of migrants who have migrated to Australia in the past 40 years virtually none of them have had a job to go to. Infact, most went to Australia with poor English and little or no money but somehow survived and flourished. The new skills based migration programs are targeted to attract the skills that are needed by Australia.

People coming to Australia under these categories must be below 45 years of age, satisfy English language requirements, have current work experience and have qualifications or skills which equip them to fill gaps in our skilled labour or professional markets. Statistics show that the programs are extremely successful in that after a period of 6 months, migrants coming to Australia under these categories can expect to attain better rates of employment than the average Australian.

4. How is the Climate ?

Australia has a land area of 7,692,000 sq km (approximately 3 million sq. m) being 3,680 km. long and over 4,000 km wide. In land area, Australia is the 6th largest nation after Russia, Canada, China, the USA and Brazil and occupies 5% of the earth’s surface. Temperatures and climates ranges from a Mediterranean type climate in the south, a tropical climate in the North to a desert climate in the Centre of Australia. Most of our clients will settle in either Melbourne or Sydney, where the climate is described as Mediterranean ie with 4 seasons and no extremes of temperature either in terms of heat or cold. Summer in the southern hemisphere is from December to February, autumn from March to May, winter from June to August and spring from September to November.

5. How do I obtain a driver's licence ?

Motor vehicles in Australia are right hand drive and therefore travel on the left hand side of the road. There are strict laws regarding speed limits and driving after drinking alcohol. Everyone in your car must use a seat belt or a proper child restraint, and you must call the police immediately if you are involved in a road accident in which someone is injured. As a result of strict speeding and drink driving laws the road accident toll has been reduced dramatically over the last 10 years and by international standards, driving in Australia is extremely safe.

If you have a driver’s licence from another country, in English or with an official translation, you are allowed to drive for the first three months after becoming an Australian resident in all states and territories except Queensland. After that, if you want to drive, you will need to have the appropriate Australian driver’s licence. To get one, you usually need to pass a test as to the local traffic laws, a practical driving test and an eyesight test.

6. Do I qualify for Social Security Benefits ?

Most newly arrived migrants have to wait 2 years after arriving in Australia before they can get most social security payments for unemployment, etc. Naturally, refugees and humanitarian entrants are exempt from the waiting period. It is therefore important to understand that you should have enough resources to keep yourself and your dependents until you obtain employment. Nevertheless, there are special benefits, which may be available during the waiting period if you are in hardship because of a substantial change in circumstances beyond your control.

Migrants with dependent children may qualify for the family tax benefits and/or child care benefits, which are payments that help with the costs of raising children. There is no waiting period for these family assistance payments subject to you holding a permanent residence visa. The amount you receive depends on your family size, total income, whether you pay for childcare and the type of childcare you use. These payments are a handy income supplement but are not designed to totally support the family.

Pensions for old age or disability are generally available to people who have been Australian residents for 10 years or more. Old age and disability pensions are “generous” by international standards and the old age pension is available from age 65 or slightly less in certain circumstances.

Schooling:

The children of permanent residents are immediately entitled to free education at the primary and secondary level through the government school system in Australia. The great majority of children attend government schools however, there are also fee paying private schools available normally conducted through one of the religious denominations. Whilst the vast majority of private schools are conducted either under the Catholic or Protestant system there are other schools for minority groups such as Muslims, Greek Orthodox, Jewish, etc. The government schools will only require parents to pay for books for the children but may also ask for a small donation at the start of each year of something like AU$200 but this payment is entirely discretionary and is simply designed to provide for a few minor items which are not covered by the government.

It is compulsory for children to attend primary and secondary school. This means children have to attend school from the ages of six to 16. However, most children begin school earlier, at five years of age, and most leave later at 18 or 19. The school year runs from February to December and has four terms. These are broken up by three holidays of two to three weeks and a six-week summer holiday. Schools days are Monday to Friday, starting at around 9:00 am and finishing at about 3:30 pm.

Medical Benefits:

The Australian government helps with medical expenses through a scheme called “Medicare”. Medicare contributes towards the cost of most medical services and some services provided by optometrists. It also provides free accommodation and treatment in public hospitals if you enter as a Medicare patient. Medical covered through Medicare is available immediately upon entering Australia as a Permanent Resident and at the time you obtain your visa we will give you detailed instructions as to how to go about registering with Medicare upon your arrival.

7. Can I change jobs ?

Australia is a free country and of course, you can move from one employer to another as your career progresses. We do not have any concept of sponsorship as you find in the Middle East. You are also free to move to any city in Australia e.g. if the first job you take is in Melbourne but you later receive a job offer to go to Darwin then there is absolutely no restriction on movement within the country. If you are sponsored by a State or A Region you may need to stay in that State or Region for 2 years.

8. Do I have to make a first landing ?

You do need to make only one landing. For Australia, you must make a landing within approx twelve months of having completed your medical and for most cases this will be approx six months after you obtain your visa. The Main Applicant must travel to Australia first or together with the dependents.

9. How do I become a citizen ?

People born in Australia of an Australian parent become an Australian citizen by birth; people born overseas of an Australian parent may be able to acquire citizenship by descent; and people who emigrate to Australia or New Zealand may acquire citizenship by grant.

On 1 st July 2007, the new Citizenship Act passed into law. The new requirements only apply to people who become permanent residents on or after the commencement of the legislation. The minimum residence requirement is now:

  • Lawful residence in Australia of at least the last 4 years.
  • At least 12 months residence in Australia as a permanent resident.
  • At most 12 months absence from Australia in the last 4 years
  • At most 3 months absence from Australia in the last 12 months
10. How long can I stay offshore before I settle in Australia?

In the case of Australia, you can stay offshore for up to 5 years from the date of the visa approval – the exact date will be set out precisely in your visa. These periods of time are not extendable or renewable under any circumstances.

11. Is there any Interview I must attend?

Walker Davis as your migration agent will handle the whole of your application. In most cases there is no interview required Nevertheless, the government reserve the right to interview you during the process and of course, are free to contact any party to seek verification of the documentation lodged.

12. Do I need to take any funds ?

You are not legally required to take any funds when migrating to Australia. From a practical point of view, we strongly recommend that you take sufficient funds to support yourself for the length of time it will take to find employment. If both husband and wife are in the workforce, then normally when one person is working the income will be sufficient to maintain the family. Your consultant will give you individual advice as to how much he recommends that you should take, depending upon your personal circumstances. Bear in mind that most migrants go to Australia with very little money. Because of their endeavours and determination to make a success of their many migrants become “success stories” and indeed when you look at the published list for the Top 100 wealthy people in Australia, you will see that the majority of those people are first generation migrants.

13. Can I buy property?

A permanent resident of Australia has the right to buy or rent property. You can buy as many properties as you like either for the purpose of your own use or for the purpose of investment. The tradition in Australia is for couples to own their own home or villa normally, 3 – 4 bedrooms, lounge, dining, kitchen, 2 bathrooms, family room and/or rumpus room, double garage, etc on a block of land of approximately 1,000 sq m. The percentage of home ownership amongst married couples is in excess of 75%. In addition to the family home, many Australians like to have a small holiday cottage normalry, close to the beach or in a rural area.

14. What are the tax rates ?

The tax rates in Australia is generally moderate being less than the overall tax rates in the UK and Europe but in excess of the tax rate in the USA. Taxes are calculated on assessable income being salaries, rent, interest received, etc less all expenditure incurred in deriving that income and personal deductions for certain tax related expenses. In addition, in Australia there is a Medicare levy which is equal to 1.5% of the taxpayer’s taxable income. There are various tax rates payable on increasing ‘slabs’ of income so that the tax rate on a lower income is much lower than a high income earner and the marginal tax rate on a top dollar earner may be up to 47% in Australia whereas an average rate of tax will normally work out at 25% to 30% after all deductions are taken into account for dependents, superannuation contributions, self-education expenses, etc. As a permanent resident earning income, you must lodge a annual tax return and we certainly recommend that you seek the services of a tax agent in Australia to complete your first return so that you can become familiar with the never ending game of minimizing the tax legally payable by you. On the benefit side you must keep in mind that in return for the tax paid, you receive free education for your children, the Medicare system, a standard of living as good as anywhere in the world and plenty of other benefits you cannot put a financial value on such as the most politically stable region of the earth.

15. Is there discrimination ?

The honest answer to this question is that in every country in the world you will find discrimination of one form or another based on race, religion, caste, creed, etc. In Australia there are laws protecting you against discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, age, gender, marital status, ethnic belief, political opinion, employment and family status, color, ethnic or national origin or sexual orientation. These laws provide you with legal remedies and substantial financial awards in your favor may be granted in the event of anyone discriminating against you on any of these grounds. There are no barriers to your success and certainly no barriers to your social or economic mobility in our communities. It is a fact that Australia is extremely multicultural and recognize the benefits which this multiculturalism has brought over the past few decades.

  • We are a legal practice that specializes in Australian migration. Walker Davis was the first firm from Australia to be granted consent to practice as legal consultants in the United Arab Emirates in the year 1999.

Where to find us

  •   Walker Davis.
            Emarat Atrium Building, Sheikh
            Zayed Road
  •   + 971-4-3212777
  •   + 971-4-3212773
  • info@walkerdavis.net