“I like to think I facilitate and empower those who want to call Australia home, but on a wider level I am contributing to this country’s economy. I am part of the process to bring skilled people here, who have expertise and knowledge which should help to bolster the economy.”
Nathalie arrived in Australia in 2007 with her husband on a skilled visa. She was born in Mauritius, a country which she calls a ‘melting pot of different cultures.’
“I had a great childhood. The Chinese community represents just 2% of the 1.2 million population there. It is a very multi-cultural place so I have always mixed with different ethnic groups.”
Working in the Canadian Embassy in China
When Nathalie was 18, she left the island and went to study in Beijing, completing a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language. Once out of university, she joined the Canadian Embassy in Beijing as an immigration registry clerk.
“The Canadian Embassy would assess applications from Chinese nationals who wanted to migrate to Canada. I helped case officers and it is where I learnt my trade and I stayed for two years.”
During her stay in Beijing, she met her husband who is South Korean, she moved to Seoul so he could complete his compulsory military service. She studied Korean for a year and a few years later the couple made the decision to move to Australia.
“I had an Auntie in Perth and we thought it would be a great place to start a family. Eleven years ago, it was easier to apply. Having a relative here and an occupation on the skilled shortage list meant it was fairly straightforward.”
Moving to Australia
Arriving in Perth, she spent three months in an administration role at the Department of Education. When that came to an end she saw an opening at a migration company which suited her background.
“It was a graduate trainee role at a company which was headed up by Dan Engles who is now the MD of Visa Solutions Australia. So, Dan and I go back some time. This position would give me on the job experience as well as allowing me to study to become a registered migration agent. In total I was there for ten years.”
Nathalie left to do more corporate visas with one of the top accounting firms EY until she was offered the role at VSA by her former mentor Dan Engles.
Encompassing all migration work at VSA
“When I was at EY I was dealing with compnaies in oil and gas and helping with corporate visas. At Visa Solutions Australia there’s more partner and family visas as well, I love this variety especially meeting people face-to-face and helping them to make Australia their permanent home.”
Nathalie describes her self as ‘one of life’s helpers’ and finds the migration industry tremendously rewarding.
“Migration law is always changing so I have to be on top of new legislation. No year is the same, you get to see different trends. At the moment people coming here on student visas are specifically targeting their studies to suit careers on the skilled list so they can become a permanent resident and then a citizen as they know it’s getting tougher to stay here.”
What a racquet, Nathalie’s home life
Nathalie has a 7 year-old-son and outside of work she likes nothing more than quality family time.
“We like going to the Perth Hills. We also play badminton, it’s a sport I have enjoyed since a child in Mauritius when I used to play competitive matches. We love eating out because there is such a mix of different food available but my husband is the cook, he’s very experimental with his food.”
And just as Nathalie likes the mix of different culinary offerings, she says the mix of different migration client means it’s her lifelong chosen career.
“I go home every night knowing I have made a difference, migration is in my blood so yes I will still be doing this in years to come.”