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Immigration to Australia

 

Geography and Climate

 

With its abundance of mountains, rivers, deserts, rainforests, coral reefs and islands, Australia is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and mega-diverse countries in the world. With a landmass of about 7,617,930 square kilometres, Australia is the world’s smallest continent yet also the sixth largest country by total area. Its composition is also similar to an island; located on the Indo-Australian Plate, it is also surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. For these reasons, it is known as the “island continent”.

 

Australia is divided into six states and two major mainland territories. The six states are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. The two major mainland territories are the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

 

Meanwhile, Australia’s climate is greatly influenced by ocean currents, leading to periodic drought, cyclones (in the northern part), and varying amounts of rainfall. In addition, due to Australia’s size, the climate of its northern and southern regions differs drastically: whereas the northern parts typically have warmer tropical and grassland climates, the southern parts are more temperate. Owing to the fact that it is situated in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s winter occurs in June and its summer is in December. Therefore, there is no “White Christmas” in Australia.

 

Environment

 

Australia is famous for its “unpolluted” environment. Here, you may enjoy fresh air and clean water. Since the air is relatively unpolluted, clear blue skies can be seen most of the time. However, as this island continent is located beneath an ozone depletion zone, a 2008 study found that Australia has one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world. Being the driest inhabited continent, Australia has the least amount of water. Chronic water shortages do occur because of droughts or urban population pressures (pollution, sewages, fertilisers, etc.), and hence, sometimes water restrictions are enacted in certain Australian cities in response.

 

Demographic

 

The official language of Australia is English, and the people of Australia are of primarily British and/or Irish ethnic origin. Over 80% of Australia’s population is of European ancestry, while most of the rest are of Asian heritage, with a smaller minority of indigenous (Aboriginal) background. In fact, major ethnic groups include English, Native Australians, Irish, Scottish, Italian, German, Chinese and Indian.

 

In terms of creed, over 60% of Australians are Christian; however, Australia has no state religion. In fact, the Australian constitution prohibits the federal government from making any law to establish an official religion, impose any religious observance, or prohibit the free exercise of any religion. In other words, you may have the freedom to choose your own religion if you immigrate to Australia.

 

There are roughly 25 million people in Australia, with an estimated annual growth of 1.7% as of 2021. This population is most densely situated in the states of New South Wales and Victoria. Their respective capitals, Sydney and Melbourne, are also the largest cities in Australia. Australia’s population is concentrated along the coastal region, from Adelaide to Cairns, with a small concentration around Perth, Western Australia. On the contrary, Australia’s centre is sparsely populated.

 

Economy

 

In 2020, Australia’s GDP was $1.38 trillion. The Top 5 Industry Shares of Output are as follows: Services (57%), Mining (9%), Construction (8%), Manufacturing (7%) and Retail Trade (5%). As of May 2021, the unemployment rate in Australia was only 5.1% – most of the job vacancies are in the major cities. However, as most of the parts of Australia are suburban lands or farm lands, it is not easy to find a job outside the major cities.

 

Australia has one of the largest capitalist economies in the world, and its Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney is the largest of its kind in the South Pacific. The currency of this country is the Australian dollar (AUD). Having a liberal economy, Australia is a member of many organizations such as the APEC, G20, OECD and WTO. 

 

In Australia, there are taxes levied at the state, federal and local levels. The maximum personal tax is around 45% with a 1.5% levy on Medicare and around 10% sales tax on most of the merchandise.

 

Social System

 

Australia provides great social stability and various welfare benefits. Forms of income support include age pensions, Newstart Allowance (unemployment benefit), Youth Allowance, AUSTUDY Payment (for Indigenous Australians undergoing studies), Disability Support Pensions, Sickness Allowance, Carer Payment (for those who provide full-time care), and Parenting Payments. There is also a publicly funded universal health care system, known as Medicare, which typically covers 100% of the hospitalization costs, 75% of general practitioner costs, and 85% of specialist services. This health care system is available even after retirement.

 

Perhaps it is because of this social support network that Australia's life expectancy at birth was 82.8 years, the seventh highest life expectancy in the world, according to a 2019 study done among the countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

 

In terms of schooling, education is compulsory in Australia and children are required to attend school from the age of 5 to 16. Elementary and secondary education is free in Australia, funded by the government.

 

Immigration

To immigrate to Australia and become an Australia Permanent Resident, you will need to apply for and be issued a visa that gives you the indefinite leave to the permanent resident status. 

The main category is Family Stream, which is for people who seek to reunite Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and eligible New Zealand citizens with their close family members.  There are a number of migration options for fiancés, partners, children, parents and other family members of Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Please note that some visa classes within the Family Stream are subject to being capped and queued. These visas may have extensive waiting periods and this may affect your decision to apply for one of these visas.

Another common way is to apply as Professionals and Other Skilled Migrants. The following visas are the most common type:

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

Aged Parent Visa (Subclass 804)

Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa (Subclass 870)

Carer Visa (Apply in Australia) (Subclass 836)

Carer Visa (Apply outside Australia) (Subclass 116)

Special Category Visa (Subclass 444)

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888)

 

Please press the links above to view the different requirements and rights of the visas.

 


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