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Huddled Trump American migrant? Forget Canada. Think Australia.

With Donald's USA now the Land of the Flee, we make the case for Down Under.

20 November 2016. Gerard Gleeson

Forget Canada

 

Listen here all you who wish to escape Trump and his plan to enclose the Land of the Free within a wall of small-minded prejudice, nativism and protectionism! Forget Canada! Yes, the Canadians are civilised, well-mannered people who prefer democrats to demagogues, but where would you rather be: freezing your arms off and wrestling with your memory of senior high school trying to remember the correct French for, ‘Excuse me, how do I eject a moose from my garden?’1 , or cuddling a koala, enjoying a beer at a barbeque even though it’s the middle of winter and learning the joys of Australian football?

 

Americans, we sympathise with both your plight and your pain but we want you to consider Australia as your chosen place of haven. Fleeing one’s country of origin has been a tradition welcomed in Australia for over two hundred years, although specifically and rightfully unwelcomed at the time by our indigenous inhabitants. The Brits, the Irish, and the Scots were followed by the Jews, the Afghans and the Chinese, who were followed by the Greeks, the Italians and the Lebanese, who in turn were followed by the Vietnamese, the Cambodians and the Chinese (again), who were then followed by the Sri Lankans, the Africans and the Afghans (again). All these people have taken turns to find a future in Australia when dictators turned against them in their homelands and forced them to trek, settle, labour and prosper in the Great South Land. We even have Mexicans. They are more than welcome.

 

Perhaps the next great wave of people fleeing to Australia will be you Americans.

 

How the Hell Did We Get Here in the First Place?

 

To be historically accurate the initial wave of immigrants from Britain were not exactly “Contiki” tourists, their voyage being judicially imposed by a ‘tough-on-crime’ Government that could have taught Rudi Giuliani a thing or two. However, that policy had an unpleasant consequence. By the late nineteenth century the River Thames had become choked with rotting prison ships called hulks, and if you’ve read Great Expectations you will know those horrible floating prisons were as unsecure as they were unhealthy. There are two reasons that modern prison walls are so high and the second is so those on the outside are saved the discomfort of seeing in. The British convicts simply had to be put somewhere else, which, it was decreed, would be Australia.

 

And so began the story of the European settlement of this continent, a history that is not like the history of the settlement of anywhere else, so much so that when Mark Twain visited here on one of his famous speaking tours he described our story as being a history that, ‘does not read like history, but like the most beautiful lies’.

 

Land of the Flee

 

But the compulsory transportation of the British criminal class aside, typically, our history is that of people fleeing freely, and still is, which is why you might be reading this blog. The history of world immigration can be summed up in two maxims. The first, is that happy, politically secure people do not migrate. The second is that unhappy, politically insecure people will always take the risk of migrating as long as they have the technology to do so, whether that be by a Boeing or a boat. However, the receiving country will usually have a preference as to the manner in which the migrants arrive, and the immigrants will often seek a way to subvert that preference if they possibly can. For instance, my Irish great-great grandparents travelled for months over the oceans escaping the Great Famine to reach Australia but were told that if they wanted to disembark their ship in the gold-rush colony of Port Phillip (modern day Melbourne) they would have to pay a hefty tax to do so. So, no doubt uttering an appropriately rude Gaelic curse, they jumped ship in the neighbouring Colony of South Australia and walked the last four hundred miles to the gold fields.

 

We are told there are equivalent contemporary schemes to avoid the processes laid down by the Migration Act of the Commonwealth of Australia. You should know that abode migration lawyers propagate and facilitate none of these. However, we do know the legal steps you can take to obtain a visa, none of which involve walking four hundred miles, and with this in mind we present a few of the visas options below that you might consider when turning your mind to a future existence antipodean.

 

In conclusion, my American friends

 

So, as our national anthem says, we have boundless plains to share except we suggest that you don’t go and live on the plains unless you fancy a spot of sheep shearing. It’s hot and dusty out there and you may not be able to get a decent coffee. In this regard we Australians have voted with our mortgages, which is why 90% of us live far from the plains and close to the cities by the oceans.

 

But saying that, it’s a big country and if you prefer ‘the vision splendid of sunlit plains extended’ there’s plenty of that! And there’s plenty of diversity. Other than a verandered beach house or a well-serviced suburban home you can live in tropical forests, on snow laden slopes, in quaint villages, or among vineyarded hills, and contrary to what the NRA says, you can own a gun if you want, but not one that shoots a lot of people very quickly.

 

Best of all there are no restrictions, walls or cultural filters in regard to race or religion. All that matters is that you want to be here and respect our laws.

 

Canada not looking so good now? Please send us your enquiry.

 

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1 ‘Excusez-moi, comment puis-je  eliminir un orignal hors de mon jardin? Merde!’

Routes to the Australian Dream

 

Partner Visas

 

It is well known that we Australians are extremely attractive and healthy, and make excellent parents and partners. So, if there is a special someone with whom you want to permanently explore your inner Aussie, the normal procedure with which people apply for a partner visa is to lodge both temporary and permanent visas at the same time.  So, once you are granted your temporary visa and while you wait for the response to your permanent visa application, you can settle into domesticity, turn off your spell check and learn how to spell ‘centre’ correctly, and work on flattening your vowels.

 

The offshore visas are the 309 (temporary) and the 100 (permanent). The corresponding onshore visas are the 820 and the 801.

 

Of course, the policy behind the law is like other countries policies, being to prevent sham relationships being a cover to get in the country (we’ve all seen Green Card), so you have to show some pretty comprehensive and convincing evidence that the relationship is genuine, exclusive, committed and continuing. Holiday snaps from your romantic fling on the Gold Coast just won’t cut it. You will need evidence of wedding certificates (if you’ve been down the aisle), joint bank accounts, joint leases, and statutory declarations from family members, among many other things.  You can read more about partner visas in this blog by one of our Directors, Sam.

 

If you are onshore, the wait time is over twelve months, which you might think is a long time, but if you are lucky enough to be waiting here, it’s a very nice place to wait.

 

Our LGBT friends are welcome to make the same applications, not a problem!

 

Student Visas

 

Everyone knows about your Ivy League Universities and we all concede that some of the best universities are in the USA. However, it is also true that we have a lot of the best post graduate environments, particularly in the medical area.

 

If you want to know the cost of undergraduate degrees you can do your own research but a quick Google search tells me that one year at Harvard will cost you about US$75,000, whereas the tuition fees at one of the better Universities in Australia to obtain, for instance, a Commerce Degree, will cost about
A$120,000 for the three-year course (you do the math). So you might take advantage of the current exchange rate and treat yourself to a little Australian intellectual stimulation.

 

The student visa is by nature a temporary visa but considering that most university courses (undergraduate or graduate) last about as long as a presidential term, this might suit you right down to the ground. And anyway, you never know how nature might change things as far as your plans to be temporary (see above – Partner Visas).

 

The 500 visa is the most common study visa that is available. If you have applied for and been accepted in a recognised institution then you can apply for the 500 and you can bring the family because all eligible family members (spouse or de facto, and dependent children) can accompany you. The visa lasts for the duration of the course.

 

There are other visa options that, for example, focus on training and research which are designed to promote international goodwill by allowing Australian organisations to sponsor individuals to travel to Australia to participate in occupational training, research or professional development activities.

 

We can advise you about these and other options if you contact us.

 

Employment Visas

 

There came a time in the western world where the thinkers, technocrats and leaders started to realise that if Governments tore down walls, opened up borders and spread resources, wealth and opportunity to everyone else’s citizens, then we might feel less compelled to kill each other over resources, wealth and opportunity. If you feel the same way and would like to live and work in a place where people still don’t think that a foreign accent in the work place is a threat then consider applying for a 457 Visa.

 

The basis of the policy behind the 457 visa program is to enable employers to address labour shortages by bringing in genuinely skilled workers where they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian for a particular role.  It is a temporary visa for up to 4 years.

 

A 457 application is a three stage process. The first is that an employer must apply for approval as a standard business sponsor and the second is the employer then nominates the occupation that it requires an overseas worker to fill. Then, lastly, the visa application is lodged. While this sounds straightforward the process can be circuitous and complex. Dessie, my other director, writes more about 457s here.

 

There are also permanent residency options through the Employer Nomination Scheme subclass 186 visa and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme subclass 187 visa which are available to employers wishing to nominate overseas employees for permanent positions.

 

General Skilled Migration

 

The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Scheme is one of the most popular visas for entry to Australia and grants permanent residency which would allow you to stay indefinitely. It is for people who are highly skilled, are under 50 years of age and who will make a contribution to the Australian economy. This scheme is a points based system that requires the applicant to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) stating the points they believe they can claim based on age, English language ability, qualifications and work experience, etc.

 

Submitting an EOI shows that the person wishes to be considered for a permanent skilled visa. It is not a visa application at that stage.  The DIBP reviews the lodged expressions of interest and sends out invitations to individuals whom the DIBP would like to apply. State/Territory governments and employers can also access this system to identify people they are interested in sponsoring.

 

Lodging an EOI does not guarantee that a person is going to be granted a permanent visa for Australia however each EOI remains in the DIBP’s system for at least 2 years and can be selected by the DIBP at any time and the individual concerned is then invited to apply for a visa under the GSM program.

 

Business Visas

 

All Governments love people who will help out with the unemployment figures. As a wise lawyer once said, ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ .

 

There are various Business and Innovation visas available but in general the Australian Government’s policy behind these visas is to attract innovation and investment. Eligibility for the varying visa options available depends on the amount an applicant is willing to invest and/or the business area they want to invest in. Some visas require you to forward a proposal to one of the State or Territory Governments and then wait to be invited to apply.

 

Granting of the visa means you can bring your family members, travel in and out of the country freely for the life of the visa, and possibly in the future apply for permanent residence.

 

The options available are complex and technical and so please complete our enquiry form if you require more information.

 

Citizenship

 

The USA gets Rupert Murdoch, we might get you. Seems fair! Subject to a good-character check, a security check, meeting the residency requirement, and once you have been a permanent resident for 12 months, you could be the recipient of a citizenship certificate from the greatest country in the world and be an inheritor of our great tradition of genuine national humility.

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