2 Crosscare believes that every person is created in the image and likeness of God. This places responsibility on us to work to the highest possible standards while treating every person who uses our services and who works for or with us with care, courtesy and love. Our work is guided by four core values: Respect, Human Rights, Integrity and Excellence. ISBN Design by Language.
4 1 Introduction 5 2 Visiting Australia 19 3 General Information 29 4 Working Holiday Visa 43 5 Studying in Australia 63 6 Family Sponsorship 87 7 Working in Australia Healthcare Education Accommadation Finding a Job 225
5 12 Taxes Banking and Finance Driving in Australia Useful Contacts Irish Contacts Dos and Don ts 277
7 Welcome to the new edition of the Going to Australia publication. Ireland has a long history of emigration to Australia. Crosscare Migrant Project is a project of the Archdiocese of Dublin and we have been assisting Irish emigrants since Our experience of working with intending Irish emigrants has shown us the importance of predeparture information. Therefore when developing this edition of the booklet we were very conscious of a number of factors. Crosscare Migrant Project is committed to providing up-to-date information in a manner accessible to all. You will note that beside some of numerical figures used in the booklet we have put: (2007 figure). As some of these figures change we will update the Going to Australia publication on our website so that you will be able to access the most current, up-to-date information. Many people who choose to leave Ireland often feel overwhelmed with the amount of issues they have to consider.
8 6 Going to AUSTRALIA Our aim was to try to make the information as simple as possible and so we decided to present the information in question and answer format where possible. This booklet is designed to provide you with accurate information on Australian immigration procedure, as well as give you an insight into the costs involved in emigrating, for example the cost of medical cover, accommodation etc. This is to help you to make an informed decision as we feel the more information you have the more prepared you will be. The saying forewarned is forearmed applies to any person who is making a decision to emigrate no matter what destination they choose.
9 We wish to acknowledge the following people and organisations for their contribution to the development of the Going to Australia publication. Fr. Alan Hilliard from the Irish Episcopal Commission for Emigrants (IECE), the Irish Welfare Bureau s in Sydney and Melbourne, the Department of Social and Family Affairs and Supporting Irish Abroad SIA/IECE for funding this publication.
10 8 Going to AUSTRALIA Why Australia? Australia s climate has always been one of the most motivating factors in the decision making process of where to emigrate. The warm sunny climate especially in most coastal regions means that people can enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. Australia is the 6 th largest country in the world but has a low population density per square kilometer. Australia has a natural abundance of beaches, rainforests and amazing rock formations. Australia is made up of 6 states and 2 territories: 7 Northern Territory 3 Queensland 4 Western Austrailia 5 South Austrailia 1 New South Wales 8 Austalian Capital Territory 2 Victoria = States = Territories 6 Tasmania
11 A practical guide to emigrating 9 1 New South Wales Sydney is the capital of New South Wales and is Australia s largest city and home to some of Australia s most famous landmarks which include Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour and Bondi Beach. Sydney has a warm climate and has a population of about 4.5 million people. Byron Bay is the world famous, most easterly point in mainland Australia and the first place in Australia to witness the sun rising. The Snowy Mountains as the name suggests offers skiing in the winter and excellent bushwalking in the summer with its wide variety of wild flowers. 2 Victoria Melbourne is the capital city of Victoria and is also the 2 nd largest capital city in Australia. Melbourne is best known for its food and wine and has some of the best restaurants and cafés in Australia and hosts many food and wine festivals. It is situated in the south east of Australia on Port Phillip Bay and has a population of about 3.6 million people.
12 10 Going to AUSTRALIA 3 Queensland The capital of Queensland is Brisbane which has the fastest growing population of all Australian cities. It has a sub tropical climate which makes Brisbane one of Australia s most popular holiday destinations. Brisbane has a population of about 1.8 million people. 4 Western Australia The capital of Western Australia is Perth. Perth is the only major city situated on the west coast of Autralia and is on the banks of the Swan River. Perth has a Mediterranean style climate and has some of Australia s best cultural and artistic centres. Perth has a poplulation of about 1.4 million people. 5 South Australia The capital of South Australia is Adelaide, which is situated between the Mount Lofty Ranges and the waters of Gulf St. Vincent. Adelaide has some of Australia s best wines and is considered to be the wine and festival capital of Australia. Adelaide has a dry climate which is similar to a Mediterranean style climate. Adelaide has a population of about 1.1 million people.
13 A practical guide to emigrating 11 6 Tasmania The capital of Tasmania is Hobart which is Australia s 2 nd oldest capital city. Hobart is situated on the banks of the Derwent Estuary. Hobart has a population of about 200,000 people. Tasmania is most famous for being a penal settlement as it is the only island state of Australia. There are a lot of National parks situated all over Tasmania which offer fabulous scenery, great walking trails and outdoor activities. Tasmania also has some beautiful waterfalls including Russell Falls. 7 Northern Territory Darwin is the capital of the Northern territory and is Australia s most northern capital city and is located on the northwest coast of Australia. Darwin is named after the famous scientist Charles Darwin and is Australia s only tropical capital city. Darwin has a population of about 100,000 people. The Northern Territory is the most barren of all the areas in Australia. The soil is mainly a red colour as is the rock formations, the most famous of which is Ayres Rock.
14 12 Going to AUSTRALIA 8 Australian Capital Territory Canberra is the capital of both Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. The city is home to the Federal Parliament and Australia s national institutions. The climate in Canberra is cooler compared to other Australian cities with Canberra being located approximately 150 kilometres north of the Australian snowfields. Canberra has a population of about 300,000 people. From an Irish prospective here are some of the advantages and things to think about. Advantages: Warm sunnier climate High standard of living Lower cost of housing Excellent educational system and standards Excellent medical facilities Multicultural society Lower cost of living.
15 A practical guide to emigrating 13 Things to think about: Isolation from any family members remaining in Ireland There can be geographical isolation depending on the area you are living The cost of moving and setting up home in Australia Expense of travelling within Australia and to and from Australia Imported goods are very expensive Dangerous insects and other animals.
16 14 Going to AUSTRALIA How to use this guide This guide gives details of the majority of options open to people wishing to move to Australia to live and work, whether for a year or 2 or for longer. It is broken into different chapters some of which may not be relevant to you. Make sure to double-check all information before making a final decision. What chapters should I look at? Everyone should read Chapters 2 - Visiting Australia and Chapter 3 - General Information. They contain essential information about the pre-entry and entry procedures you will have to go through. Not all the information will necessarily apply to you, but make sure you know what you need to do before you leave Ireland. Go to Chapters 4 - Working Holiday Visa, Chapter 5 - Studying in Australia, and/or Chapter 7 - Working in Australia if you think they might apply to you. You can use the index at the beginning of each chapter to see what section or page has the information you want. Chapter 6 would be important for anyone hoping to go to Australia to accompany or join family members.
17 A practical guide to emigrating 15 Chapter 8 is very important as it covers healthcare. You should read this through so you know what you are entitled to and where you should go if you need medical attention. Chapters 9-11 cover accommodation, education and employment. They should be useful for everyone, especially families. Chapters 12/13 are very important for anyone intending to work in Australia, so read them both to make sure you know what you have to do to get your finances and tax situation organised as soon as possible after arrival. Chapter 14 is important to read if you plan to drive in Australia. Chapter 15 and 16 have all the contact details for organisations mentioned throughout the book, as well as useful Internet sites. Have a look at these before you go, as they will be up-to-date and will give you an idea of the current housing, jobs, and general situation in Australia. Make sure to read Chapter 17 - Dos and Don ts!
18 16 Going to AUSTRALIA With so much to organise and remember below is a list of the most important things to know before you go. Within the first few weeks of arriving in Australia you will need to: Apply for a Tax File Number Register with Medicare Open a bank account Find or have already found accommodation Have some identification with you, for example, passport or birth certificate Register with Centrelink Get a map of the area and find out about transportation in your area Find the contact details for an immigrant-serving organisation in your community Try to find a job.
19 A practical guide to emigrating 17 Within the first year you will need to: Find permanent housing Get a telephone installed Register your children in school Get a family doctor Have your children immunized Get an Australian drivers licence Take time to relax and participate in community activities Understand your rights and responsibilities under Australian law.
21 Introduction 20 Do I need a visa to go to Australia on holiday 20 or for a short stay? Visitor ETA 20 Short Validity Business ETA 22 Tourist Visa 23 Can I work in Australia while on an ETA or tourist visa? 25 Are there any vaccinations I will need to have if I am 25 going to Australia on holiday? Will I need to get travel insurance if I am going to 26 Australia on a holiday/short stay?
22 20 Going to AUSTRALIA In this chapter you will find information on visiting Australia. There is information on the different types of visas available as well as important information on how to apply for the visa, the cost involved and your rights and obligations if you visit Australia. Do I need a visa to go to Australia on holiday or for a short stay? Yes, you do need a visa to go to Australia for a holiday or short stay. If you are outside Australia and hold an Irish passport you can apply for a visa online or by post. There are a number of visas available for people to visit Australia as a tourist which include: Visitor Electronic Travel Authority Short Validity Business ETA Tourist Visa. Visitor ETA If you are travelling to Australia for holidays, tourism, informal studies or training you can apply for a Visitor ETA. An ETA is normally a multientry visa which is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. You can stay for up to 3 months on each visit within the 12-month period.
23 A practical guide to emigrating 21 Your ETA is linked to the passport number you give when you make your application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. A separate ETA is required for each family member travelling with you to Australia, including those who are under 18 years of age and are included on your passport. ETA s cannot be extended. If you intend to extend your stay after arriving in Australia you should apply for a different type of visa at least 2 weeks before the expiry date of your current ETA. You may be required to undergo a health examination when you apply for an ETA. Applications for ETA s can be submitted through travel agents or airlines. You can also submit applications directly through the website There is no fee for an ETA however you will have to pay an administration charge of AUD $20/ 15 (2007 figure). ETA applications are processed almost immediately. The Australian Government electronically records approved applications. When you are checking in at the airport, airline staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia. You are not allowed to work on an ETA.
24 22 Going to AUSTRALIA Short Validity Business ETA If you are travelling for business purposes you can apply for the Short Validity Business ETA. It is valid for 12 months with stays of up to 3 months on each visit and can be used for single or multiple entry travel. The short validity business ETA is equivalent to a visa but there is no stamp or label in your passport and there is no need for you to visit an Australian embassy/high commission office to submit an application. You can submit an application directly through the website The application is processed almost immediately. The Australian Government electronically records approved applications. When you are checking at the airport airline staff can electronically confirm that you have authority to board the flight to Australia.
25 A practical guide to emigrating 23 Tourist Visa If you want to visit Australia for a holiday, tourism, informal training or study, to visit family and/or friends for more than 3 months you will need to apply for a tourist visa. You can apply for a tourist visa online or by post. When you apply you will have to pay a non-refundable visa application charge of AUD $75/ 50 (2007 figure). If you are granted this visa you can stay in Australia for up to 12 months depending on the purpose of the visit and your personal circumstances. Online applications You can apply for a tourist visa online If you apply online you will be given a Transaction Reference Number (TRN). The TRN is a unique number assigned to each completed online application. It is important that you record this number as you will need it if you need to contact the Australian Immigration Department about your application. You can also use your Transaction Reference Number (TRN) to check the status of your online visa application.
26 24 Going to AUSTRALIA If your visa application is approved the Australian Immigration Department will inform you that you have been granted a visa by letter or . You should keep this notification as you will need it when you travel to Australia. It details your visa grant number, the validity date of your visa and the visa conditions. Your visa is linked to the passport number you submitted with your application; therefore you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. If you do obtain a new passport you must advise the department of the new passport details before you travel to Australia. If you do not inform the department that you are traveling on a new passport you may be delayed or not allowed to board your plane. Postal application If you are going to apply for a tourist visa by post you will need to apply to the Australian High Commission in London as there is no visa processing service in Ireland. For details on all postal applications please see Chapter 15 - Useful Contacts. There is no direct phone line for the Australian High Commission in the UK available for Ireland, so all communication is by post, or fax. If your visa is approved, you may have a visa label placed in your passport detailing the visa conditions. If your visa is not approved the department will send you a notification letter or advising you of the reasons for the refusal, your review right to a review and
27 A practical guide to emigrating 25 the time limit for lodging an appeal. You may be able to request a review of the decision by the Migration Review Tribunal. For more information please see the website Can I work in Australia while on an ETA or tourist visa? No, you cannot work in Australia while on a visitor/tourist visa. For more information on the various work visas for Australia please refer to Chapter 7 - Working in Australia. Are there any vaccinations I will need to have if I am going to Australia on holiday? Yes, the Australian government requires any person over 1 year of age to hold an international yellow fever vaccination certificate if, within the six days prior to their arrival in Australia, they have stayed overnight or longer in a declared yellow fever infected country in Africa or South America.
28 26 Going to AUSTRALIA Will I need to get travel insurance if I am going to Australia on a holiday/short stay? It is always advisable to take out travel insurance before you visit any country. You should always check with your travel agent, bank, and insurance company to see how much travel insurance will cost you and what the travel insurance will cover. If you are visiting Australia you will not need to take out specific medical insurance as the Australian Government has signed a reciprocal Healthcare agreement with the Irish government, which entitles you to limited subsidised health services for medically necessary treatment while visiting Australia. The reciprocal healthcare agreement covers any treatment that is medically necessary. Medically necessary treatment means any ill-health or injury which occurs while you are in Australia and which requires treatment before you return home. If you are visiting Australia on a student visa you are not covered by Medicare and will need to take out Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC). As an Irish citizen, normally resident of Ireland, you are entitled to free treatment as a public in-patient or out patient at a public hospital and access to subsidised medicines during your visit to Australia. This covers any ill health or injury needing medical
29 A practical guide to emigrating 27 treatment while in Australia. To access these benefits you should show your passport at hospitals or pharmacies. You will not be entitled to (this may be covered in your travel insurance policy): Medicine not subsidised under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (see Chapter 8 - Healthcare for more information) Dental work and allied health services Treatment arranged before your visit to Australia Accommodation and medical treatment in a private hospital Accommodation and medical treatment as a private patient in a public hospital. For more information on this please see the website
31 Introduction 31 Where can I get information on the different visa 31 options for Australia? How do I get information on my visa application? 32 If I apply for a visa are there any requirements I must 32 meet in order to get the visa? Health check requirements 33 Temporary Visa applicants 33 Permanent Visa applicants 34 When do I arrange a health examination? 34 How do I arrange a health examination? 35 What do I bring to the health examination? 35
32 30 Going to AUSTRALIA What can I do if I do not meet the health requirement 36 and my visa application is refused? Health examination results 37 Character check requirements 37 If my visa is cancelled or my application is refused can 39 I appeal this decision? How do I have character checks done? 40 What do I do if the country I lived in is not listed 41 on form 47P? What do I do if I have criminal convictions? 41 What do I do if I have outstanding debts to the 41 Australian Government?
33 A practical guide to emigrating 31 In this chapter you will find very important information which you should read, no matter what type of visa you are applying for from a tourist visa to a permanent visa. In this chapter we have included the health requirements that all applicants will need to meet and you will also find information on what you will need to do if you are asked to attend a medical examination. We have also included information on the character requirements that all visa applicants must meet in order to enter Australia as a tourist, temporary worker or a permanent resident. Where can I get information on the different visa options for Australia? You can get general information about immigration and citizenship through the Department of Immigration and Multicultural affairs website at The site will also provide you with recent announcements, publications, application forms and guides.
34 32 Going to AUSTRALIA How do I get information on my visa application? If you are living in Ireland you can contact the Australian High Commission in London as the Australian High Commission in Dublin does not provide an immigration service. The contact details for the Australian High Commission in London can be found in Chapter 15 - Useful Contacts. If I apply for a visa are there any requirements I must meet in order to get the visa? No matter what visa you apply for whether a temporary or permanent visa you may be required to meet the following requirements: Health check requirement Character check requirement.
35 A practical guide to emigrating 33 Health check requirements If you are planning to visit or live in Australia and you are not an Australian citizen or permanent resident you must meet certain health requirements before a visa can be granted. This means that you may be asked to undergo a health examination. All applicants for permanent visas and temporary or provisional visas that may lead to the grant of a permanent visa are required to undergo health examinations. If you pass the health examination this does not mean that your visa will automatically be granted. If you are required to do a health examination you will be financially responsible for paying all costs associated with the examination. Temporary Visa applicants If you are applying for a temporary visa whether or not you will need to have a health examination will depend on your circumstances, your intended activities in Australia and your country of origin or residence. You may need to undertake a health examination if you are: Likely to enter a hospital or other healthcare environment, including nursing homes as either a patient, visitor, trainee or employee Likely to enter a classroom environment, including pre-school, creche and childcare situations
36 34 Going to AUSTRALIA Known or suspected of having a medical condition, regardless of your length of stay Aged 70 years or older or if there are indications that you may not meet the health requirement. Permanent Visa applicants If you are applying for a permanent visa you and all members of your immediate family, including dependant family members who do not intend to migrate must meet the health requirement. This includes all children under 18 years of age as well as other dependants regardless of whether they live with you and whether they intend to emigrate. When do I arrange a health examination? You do not need to have a health examination before you lodge your visa application unless the information about your visa specifically asks you to do so. You will be advised by the worker assigned to process your visa (case worker) if and when to attend a health examination.
37 A practical guide to emigrating 35 How do I arrange a health examination? You must arrange your health examination with a panel doctor and/or radiologist nominated by the Australian Government. Examination reports by non-panel doctors/radiologists are usually not accepted. After you have lodged your application, the processing office will provide you with the forms and a list of panel doctors. You are responsible for paying any fees and costs associated with the examinations, including those of the examining doctor, radiological examination, special tests and investigations, treatment and specialists. You should expect examination fees to be similar to those charged locally for a comprehensive examination or report by a qualified medical practitioner. You should ask about the fees in advance and expect itemised receipts to be issued. What do I bring to the health examination? You will need to bring the following to your health examination: Your passport for identification Your prescription glasses or contact lenses (if applicable) Existing specialist and/or other relevant medical reports for known medical conditions
38 36 Going to AUSTRALIA Previous chest x-rays Health application forms - Forms 26EH /160EH for online applications or Forms 26 and/or160 for paper applications. After you have completed your health examination a report will be sent to the department by the doctor who carried out the examination. A Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC) will examine the report and inform the department with an opinion on whether or not you meet the health requirements for your visa application. What can I do if I do not meet the health requirement and my visa application is refused? If your visa application is refused you have the right to have this decision reviewed depending on the type of application you have lodged. The department will notify you of your right to review and provide you with information on how to apply for a review.
39 A practical guide to emigrating 37 Health examination results Health examination results are generally valid for 12 months from the date the examination was conducted. If you have completed a health examination within the last 12 months these health results may be used for your current visa application. If you have not lodged your application and require further information please refer to the website Character check requirements No matter what visa you are applying for whether temporary or permanent you must meet the character requirements. You must prove that you are of good character. You will fail the character test if: You have a substantial criminal record You have or had an association with an individual, group or organisation suspected of being involved in criminal conduct There is a significant risk that you will engage in criminal conduct in Australia On examining your past and present criminal conduct the Australian immigration department are not satisfied that you are of good character.
40 38 Going to AUSTRALIA You are deemed to have a substantial criminal record if you have been any one of the following: Sentenced to a term of imprisonment for 12 months or more Sentenced to either death or life imprisonment Sentenced to 2 or more terms of imprisonment (whether on one or more occasions) where the total of those terms is 2 years or more Acquitted of an offence on the grounds of either unsoundness of mind or insanity and as a result you have been detained in a facility or institution. If you do not pass the character test an Australian immigration officer will decide whether to refuse your application or cancel your visa. If your visa is cancelled on the grounds of either a substantial criminal record or past and present criminal conduct you will be permanently excluded from Australia.
41 A practical guide to emigrating 39 If my visa is cancelled or my application is refused can I appeal this decision? If an immigration officer either refuses or cancels your visa you may have a right to have the decision reviewed, for example, if you have either a sponsor or nominator in Australia. You must lodge an application to review the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) within 28 days from the date of the refusal decision. If you decide not to make an appeal to the AAT you may seek a judicial review of the decision if you believe the decision was not lawfully made.
42 40 Going to AUSTRALIA How do I have character checks done? In order for the Australian government to determine whether you are of good character you may be asked to provide police clearance certificates for each country you have resided in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years. You will need to provide police clearance from when you were 16 years if age and over. In some cases you may also be asked to obtain additional documentation. For more information on this please refer to the website Form 47P available on the website, gives detailed instructions on how to obtain police clearance certificates from countries where you have resided. You also need to be aware that to enter Australia either temporarily or permanently you must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government, or if you have any outstanding debts that you have arranged to repay them to the Australian Government.
43 A practical guide to emigrating 41 What do I do if the country I lived in is not listed on form 47P? If you living in Ireland please contact the Australian High Commission in London for advice. If you are living outside Ireland for information on where to find your nearest Australian embassy/high commission office please see the website What do I do if I have criminal convictions? You must declare all criminal convictions on your visa application including present or previous convictions. If you do not declare this information and the Australian Immigration Department discover that you deliberately did not include it, your visa will be cancelled. If you are in Australia at the time your visa is cancelled you may be detained and subsequently deported. What do I do if I have outstanding debts to the Australian Government? Before you can be granted any visa, you must repay, or have made arrangements to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian Government, before a decision can be made on your application.