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Looking at Australia

Looking at Australia

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Facts on "Down Under"
Facts on "Down Under"

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Published by: Dr. Stanislaus Veiga on Oct 30, 2009
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12/07/2009

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Looking at Australia
Area: 7,686,850 sq kmPopulation: 21.26 millionCapital: CanberraGPD: $ 38,100Australia is the world’s smallest continent but the sixth-largest country. Thegeography of the country is extremely diverse, ranging from the snow-cappedmountains of the Australian Alps and Tasmania to large deserts, tropical andtemperate forests. Australia’s coastline stretches about 50,000 kilometers and islinked by more than 10,000 beaches. The majority of the population lives within 50kilometers of the coast, making it an integral part of the Australian laid-backlifestyle.
Becoming Australian
If you are in the right profession with the rightqualification, getting Australian citizenship is easy
By James Schwier/Gulf News ReportSince 1945, more than 6.5 million people have emigrated to Australia, helping toincrease the country’s population from about seven million to 21 million. Eachethnic group has helped to shape the modern-day outlook of Australia, andimmigration is still open to everyone.If you have an Australian partner, you can apply for a spouse visa, which, if successful, gives you four years in the country. And if you have secured a job inAustralia, your company will more than likely sponsor you, meaning that they willhelp you fill in all the paperwork.However, if you do not fit into these categories there are still plenty of options.While the days of the ‘£- Poms’ – when Britons who emigrated to Australia after theSecond World War using an assisted passage scheme were only charged 10 poundsfor their fare – are long gone. Australia is still a country that welcomes a number of nationalities each year. If you are in a profession considered valuable, this willstand you in good stead. Your suitability for a visa is assessed on a points system, with educationalqualifications, skills, age, English language ability and a range of other factors alltaken into consideration. If, after assessing your suitability against the criteria(which can be found on the Australian department of Immigration website), yourpoints total adds up to less than 80, your application will be refused. If it is between80 and 100 points you will be placed in a reserve pool for two years (meaning that if the pass mark is lowered and your score is then above that mark your application
 
will be reassessed). If you score more than 120 points you will be eligible for askilled, independent visa, meaning you do not require sponsorship to emigrate.One exception to this rule is doctors and nurses. There is a shortage of medicalprofessionals in Australian, particularly in rural areas, and GPs or specialists whohave obtained their primary qualifications are much sought after. The same appliesto nurses.
Integrating immigrants
Once a visa has been awarded, new entrants can apply for assistance from theauthorities if they have moved on humanitarian grounds, have moved with theirfamilies but their spoken English is poor, or are a skilled migrant living in a ruralarea whose spoken English is poor. The Settlement Grants Programme helps these people to get in touch with relevantgroups or Authorities. It also helps them find a place to live, enroll their children inschools, help them improve their English and get involved in community groups.Harvey Zaocanella moved to Sydney with his father, mother and sister from Italymore than 50 years ago and says he could not imagine living anywhere else. “I stillhave family in Italy who I often go and see, but Australia is most definitely my homenow,” Zaocanella says. “It was tough at first not speaking the language, but beingyoung at the time you soon pick it up. I’ve brought my children up her and I can’tthink of a place I would have rather done it.”After residing in the country for four years, expats are eligible for citizenship – astep that 2006 Australian of the year, Scottish-born scientist Professor Ian Frazer,was delighted to take. “We’d been in Australia a couple of years and decided wewanted to stay here,” he says. “Becoming a citizen was the natural thing to do.“I’ve always felt that what I do in life should be good for the community. I thinkthat’s the measure of being an Australian citizen.”xxxxxxxxxxxxx
What visas are available?
Spouse visas:
You must provide evidence that you have been in an exclusive erelationship with your Australian partner (and living with him/her) for at least the 12months previous to your application. If successful you are given either a two-yearor four-year visa, depending on the length of your relationship.
Skilled, sponsored visas:
You must have an eligible relative in Australia who iswilling to sponsor you. You must be under 45 and you must have an occupationthat is needed in Australia. Successful applicants are given permanent residency.For more information and a full list of all the visa sub-classes, visikt the AustaralianDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship athttp://www.immi.gov.au/immigration.

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