South Africans looking to emigrate to Australia may discover a plethora of skilled job opportunities, particularly in Western Australia.
Australia is currently facing a potential visa system gridlock as federal officials deal with a massive backlog of visa applications for thousands of skilled workers. Many employers have stated that if a solution to the chronic labour shortages is not found, they will be forced to close their doors.
Official figures show that the number of skilled foreign workers leaving Australia outnumbers those entering, highlighting the labour market's strain.
The skills shortage is most visible in Western Australia, where the visa programme recently changed, allowing new applications from people living abroad and expanding the occupations available under the Graduate stream.
People residing overseas are now eligible to be considered for Western Australia (WA) State nomination beginning with the 2022-23 programme year. Invitations to apply for WA State nomination will be issued using the ranking system, with preference given to applicants currently residing in WA, followed by those residing in Australia, and finally those residing overseas.
South Africans seeking to emigrate to Australia now have access to a more extensive graduate occupation list through the Graduate stream, with over 300 occupations becoming available.
The new occupations list for Western Australia is diverse, and includes the following occupations:
- Ambulance drivers
- Community arts workers
- Environmental research scientists
- ICT support engineers
- Pig farmers
- Recruitment consultants.
Since there is a longer wait for these visas, it is critical to begin the process as soon as possible. Most applicants will spend months preparing for a visa application, taking English language tests and assessing their skills to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), then an application for state nomination, and finally a visa application. Given the numerous steps that an applicant must complete before submitting a visa application, it is better to apply sooner rather than later.
The Australian government issues visas based on a points system, with applicants receiving points based on their age, qualifications, experience, and English language skills. Skilled visas are classified into three types: Skilled Independent visas, Skilled Nominated visas, and Skilled Regional visas.
The various state governments assess their own labour market needs and create lists of in-demand occupations. In all cases, an applicant must be under 45 years old, have at least 65 points on the immigration skills points test, and work in a skilled occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupation List.