Journey to Australia : The road to get a Visa

As outlined in my previous post, I'm kicking off my series, which shares my experience in making once in a life time decision. Please note that this is my journey. you are free to criticise and I would be happy to understand your views on this. Feel free to comment.

First of all, thank you to all who took time to go through my last couple of posts. As per the blogger stats, each of my past 2 posts have been viewed over 100 times. There is no better feeling for a blogger, and this is my best encouragement to keep going. I would love to interact with my readers as well - feel free to like, share or comment on my posts - I'd be ecstatic!

Now back to business, my last post ended at me giving a call to Visasavenue. In this post I'll briefly explain

Image courtesy - https://welcome2kuwait.wordpress.com
  • the process to acquire a Permanent Resident Visa to Australia
  • my journey
  • some important info like cost, timeline etc.
The Process
After some extensive Google'ing, we decided to approach Visasavenue as our agent(Note : I'm in no way promoting Visasavenue. Just sharing my experience. The process of applying for a Permanent Resident Visa as per December 2016 was -
  1. Check how many points you get is the Points system. You can do this yourself here - Points Table. When I applied, the minimum points required for application was 60. It has been increased to 65 recently. A point to note, there are hidden points in each of those categories. For eg : if you are doing a job unrelated to your degree, the first 4 years(I think) of your job experience won't count. i.e., if you are an EC engineer doing software, it'll be tough for you. 
  2. Skills assessment - This requires a bunch of documents, mainly your resume. The process is different for Software Engineers(done by Australian Computer Society - ACS) and other Engineers (Done by Engineer's Australia). This step primarily validates your skill with the advertised job requirements by the Australian Immigration. If they are happy with your profile, you an assessment completion letter and you can move to your next step. Usually takes 2-3 months to get it done.
  3. File for Expression of Interest - Basically you are expressing your interest for acquiring a Visa. You provide some information and apply it. Post this, you just wait for the immigration to get back with an EOI
  4. Apply for Visa - Now starts the actual work. This step requires lot of documents, and going with an agent - you get a huge list of documents and just submit to them. I'm not getting into the details here. Submit all the required documents and file your Visa application. You'll also have to do a medical checkup for the Immigration authorised medical centre.
  5. Wait... - Everything is done! Now the wait, which can take upto a year(the processing period has been revised recently). One fine day, you'll get your Visa grant via mail :) Ready to go!
My  Journey
My experience with Visasvenue was really good. At first, I made a visit to their office to understand the whole process and fees. Post that all communication was via phone and email. My dedicated agent was based in Delhi. At every step of the application, the case officer Kirti would sent me a list of documents required. Our duty was to collect it and send it back. A few of them that I recall are -
  • Resume
  • Letter from all previous employers stating the job description and salary
  • PTE or IELTS score
  • Same set of documents for partner
  • Police Clearance Certificate
  • Certificate for English for partner (instead of IELTS/PTE score for partner)
  • School and college certificates
  • and a lot more, feel free to ask if you need info on anything specific
I fortunately did well with PTE and the high score gave additional 5 points to make our points to 70. This high point also helped in quickly receiving the EOI.

Important info
  • Cost
    • Agent fees - Around Rs. 70,000
    • Visa fees(for a couple) - AUD 3600
    • PTE fees - around Rs. 10,000
    • Misc fees - Medical, notarising certificates, PCC etc.
    • Approx Rs. 4.5 lakhs for a couple
  • Timeline
    • We started the process in Dec 2016
    • Applied for Skill assessment in first week of Jan 2017 
    • Received the completed assessment by end of Jan 2017. By this time I got my PTE score
    • Submitted EOI by end of Jan 2017
    • Because of my high points, received EOI by early Feb!
    • Submitted Visa application by end of March 2017
    • Got Visa grant in September 2017
  • PR Visa conditions and benefits
    • 5 year validity
    • Right to work
    • Medical and Educational benefits
    • Have to enter Australia within 6 months of Visa grant(you can visit and go back)
  • Misc info
    • All these steps have a validity. For example Visa application must be done within 60 days of receiving EOI
    • You can do PTE or IELTS for English proficiency. Need minimum of 70(I think) in PTE to get the minimum 5 points
    • Have a credit card with enough limit (3600 AUD!)
    • Unlike the process of other countries, you don't need to stamp your passport, attend any interviews, have any bank balance etc.
Note : I don't recall all the details, the process might've changed as well. Please do your due research. Also if you have questions, don't hesitate to comment!

Read all the posts related to my Journey to Australia -
  1. The Beginning
  2. Road to get a Visa
  3. Cracking PTE
  4. Visa granted, now what?
  5. Job Hunt Part -1 
  6. Time to Fly!
  7. Arrival
  8. Job Hunt Part - 2