Planning to Move to Australia?
Let Me Help You with My Journey on 189 Australia PR Visa.
My Professional Journey:
Back in the 2010s, when I started my career as a Software professional, unlike others I was not crazy about the “onsite opportunity” and living outside India. To be frank, I never gave enough thought to that idea. I was more into shaping up my career by learning new tools & technologies. You can say I was quite naive in my tiny little world.
All that suddenly changed in early-2014, when I was sent by my employer, Cognizant Technology Solutions to Singapore to accomplish one of the Mobile Automation projects for UBS. I instantly fell in love with the lifestyle, the infrastructure, the weather, the opportunities and overall energy level in the people here. Currently, I have a lot of friends from different states in Singapore and though people complained about many things, nobody ever thought of coming back to India. That’s where I started contemplating the idea of immigrating.
Why I decided to apply for Australia PR?
Needless to say that Singapore has offered me a lot. In my view, this is the liveliest city on this planet. But, I always had kind of fear and anxiety working on Employment Visa. And, with government stricting the employment laws it was becoming more and more difficult to plan anything for long terms.
My preferences were different. So I started looking for another prospective country. At the same time few of my friends and colleagues were applying for Canada and Australia immigration. Considering, things such as the Ease of Immigration, Employment Opportunities, Public Safety, Work-Life Balance, Government Assistance, Weather, Public Infrastructure, Family Support – so on and so forth, Australia came in my mind.
And My PR Journey Started here
I remember sitting at home around 4 years ago dreaming about Australia PR. I remember thinking at the time that Australia was somewhere different. I started preparation and considering applying for permanent residence (PR Visa 189) in 2015 itself. I learnt about the basic requirements and process of visa application from different Websites like, ExpatForum, MigrationDesk, MyImmiTracker etc.
Once the initial research about the country, immigration rules and the visa points system was done, I was ready to get a jump start on the real thing. I had several stumbling blocks reaching the 70-points pass mark at that time.
What First- English Exam or Skills Assessment?
There are two options one can start either with English Exam or with Skills Assessment. I started with English Exam preparation and parallel was collecting my documents for Skills Assessment.
So, here it comes “The English Exam”:
It’s a decisive milestone, one that will literally change your fate. In fact, it is so crucial and yet so scary that many people want to tackle it first and then proceed ahead with a skills assessment later.
Clearing English exam was my worst nightmare. I opted to go with Pearson Test of English as everything from exam to result was online and quick. However, I had to retake the test several times hoping to achieve an all band 7 and be able to claim 10 points for it. But that didn’t happen, in every test result there was always one show stopper. It attempted to crash my dreams.
I did my researched, read a lot of topics in Google, spoken to a lot of people for advice and kept re-assessing my points and options. But, other than clearing the English exam I didn’t find any better alternative to reach 70 points. So, I had to turn stumbling blocks into stepping stones.
I was getting desperate each day, but that didn’t stop me from pursuing my dreams. I took some suggestions from one of the PTE Guide and finally after 1 year and 4 unsuccessful attempts I got thorough the exam and cleared it with an average score of 7.5 bands.
Skills assessment, in simple terms, means the evaluation of your qualification and work experience by an authorized assessing authority. Each occupation listed on SOL has a different assessing authority. In my case, since I used Software Engineer (261313) as my nominated occupation, the assessing authority was Australian Computer Society (ACS).
For Skills Assessment, I had to collect all my education & work experience documents. This was time consuming process, as I had worked for 3 employers by then, and getting documents from all of them was difficult. But, i had no other go, so started working on this. I had to collect as many documents as possible from my employers which included Offer letter, Salary Slip (For few months), Bank Statements, Tax Statements, Hike Letter, Promotion Letter, Experience Letter, and the most important Roles & Responsibility letter.
Once I had everything I had to apply for Skills Assessment. That cost around 500 AUD and took a month time.
Completing two major tasks successfully was an incredible boost for my confidence. With renewed enthusiasm, I started working on the next step – filing for an EOI.
Filing an EOI is the first step towards Australian skilled visa. EOI is a way to show that you are interested to apply for skilled visa and wish to migrate to Australia. It is an online application in which you have to mention all your personal, education work history, and dependent details together with the visa that you are interested to apply for. Once you file an EOI, your application goes into a pool of applications which is available for any state, region or employer to look at.
I remember we were on a vacation in Paris and we were at Louvre Museum snapping pictures and then suddenly the light of my Mobile phone brightened, the golden mail had arrived stating “You have received an invitation to apply for a visa in SkillSelect. SkillSelect is a portal where you upload your documents for visa. It took me just a week to get the invitation as cutoff point was 70 during that time, and i had that marks.
Lodging Visa Application And Making Visa Payment
Now that I had received the invitation to lodge visa, I had 60 days to do that or else the invitation would expire. Lodging visa application consisted of one monstrous task – making visa payment. It was monstrous in the sense that the amount itself was big enough and there was only few options to make the payment – The best was Paypal, so I created an account in paypal, transferred money from my bank account to PayPal account and paid the visa fees via that.
Once the payment is done, you can start uploading all the documents which you used to claim points while filling EOI.
The Infinite Wait Game:
Once, you have submitted all the documents, one of the Case Officer will be assigned to review your documents. Later they will ask for Police Clearance and Health Exam documents. I did all of them within a week time.
And after that, the never ending wait game starts, each morning after getting up from bed I used to check my Email, hoping I might have got the Visa Grant mail today. But, it took me around 10 months to get that Golden mail I had been dreaming for last 4 years. Finally, just before my birthday, I received the grant mail.
I was really happy, nervous, excited, name it and I was just jumping for joy. Praise God! He always finds a way to get you to where you want to go. I made first call to my wife and we were almost crying with happiness.
The Validation Trip:
And Final Thoughts?
And Today, I feel, it was the second wisest decision I made in my life. First one will always be my soul mate. :)
What Next: I will be Moving to Australia very soon to pursue my further dreams. Stay Tuned. Stay Connected.