Having studied abroad (Ireland), I was required to send in all of my exam results for my B.Sc, H.Dip & M.Sc. as well as a reference from each employer that I worked with in my field (Software Engineering).
For the visa I was applying for at the time it required that I was certified by the ACS, have a minimum of 5 years experience.
The process took 6 months for a single sheet of paper saying I was qualified for my profession! Due to this, my visa was submitted quite a while later than I initially planned and that took a further 12 months. 18 months all up waiting for my residency.
They took $600 for what was an open and shut case. They never contacted any of my references or colleges enquiring about my past experience or grades. The whole thing is a complete sham and is just another way of grabbing money off those who need visas.
The entire visa system in Australia is in bad need of restructuring and left a very sour taste in my mouth.
10 minutes later you have a Visa good for three years. Normally one expects lots of bureaucracy when dealing with the government, but the US/Canada have really streamlined their NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) down to next-to-no hoops to jump through.
Regardless of what they say, you always calmly reply with the following mantra, "My period of employment is for a period of up to 3 years [note: used to be one year]", at which point my plan is to return home to Canada.
Every statement you make with immigration must be some variant of that, and you must never, ever, suggest that there is the slightest thought/plan of staying past your limited visa, even if you plan to do that by re-applying.
With the exception of the first couple years (where I was rejected twice), I've never had to spend more than 10 minutes at immigration. I will admit the confrontational attitude does get your heart racing...
"You will place the interests of the public above those of business, personal, or sectional interests".
Also, I am potentially doing this through my current employer rather than as a skilled independent migrant.
Edit: I'm from London
OTOH the independent visa gets you much better terms than the sponsored one. The sponsored one contains a provision stating you must leave the country if you're unemployed for a month (IIRC). BUT you will need to prove more experience than you currently have to get the independent PR visa. If you have the BSc it knocks a few years off the experience requirements.
I found the australian immigration website and a web community called PomsInOz very helpful for these things.
You would have issues getting a different visa than the 457 though, they require 5 years experience if you do PR by yourself.
Does the 457 visa mean that there is no requirement to meet the educational requirements for a Software Engineer on the SOL?
Effectively, my lack of BSc won't stop me if I can get on a 457?
The 457 requires you "have skills, qualifications, experience and an employment background which match those required for the position". I never finished uni and got a 457 in 2008 (I'm Swedish). I did have ~10 years of experience though.
The Department of Immigration have lots of information on their site, http://www.immi.gov.au/.
I'm trying to figure out if they will accept me being sponsored by my employer with my 2.5 - 3 years experience and DipHE... basically, will they take me despite my lack of BSc?
Australia is very restrictive on immigration because so many people want to go there. I'm not really sure why they would restructure the system when this is the case, they have a relatively small population and extend a variety of state benefits to immigrants, so they don't want to be swamped.
It's all about keeping one type of immigrants out.
- moved all over the world
- applied for a visa while inside the country in question
- some expectation that having an employer vouch for him means anything
- most of his trouble with getting a COC out of Singapore
As I state at the end of the post, I'm quite well placed to deal with all this and thus personally find it mostly rather comical. However, dealing with this as eg. a refugee fleeing war or persecution is another kettle of fish, and the sheer rigidity of the system means that plenty of people fall through the cracks: a friend of mine recently had to leave the country after 10 years (!) of legal residence and entrepreneurship because his self-employment didn't fit squarely into Immigration's boxes.
Singapore is a business, not really a country, they want as many immigrants as possible. They have a stated aim to use immigration to massively increase the population. This is not the same situation as Australia at all.
And refugees don't have to apply for skilled visas, they come under other rules.
Good luck with your visa, but don't assume that everyone finds the system as hard as you seem to be.
I don't even live there any more so it doesn't affect me directly.
How Oz treats refugees is a subject of much debate, I was trying to say it's quite a separate issue from this one.
Yes, the processing fees are enormous, especially considering you don't get it back if you fail.