Visa shake-up threatened to thwart my plans but VSA rescued me

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Visa shake-up threatened to thwart my plans but VSA rescued me

Visa shake-up threatened to thwart my plans but VSA rescued me

The recent visa changes have had a huge impact on those who’ve already started the process to migrate to Australia, including one of our recent clients Paul Nevin who’s a financial planner.

Paul wanted to start a new life in Australia with his wife Alison and their four children. She had lots of relatives in Australia and narrowly missed out being born here.

“Her family moved to Australia in 1971 from the UK and six years later Alison was conceived, but during the pregnancy her Father died at the young age of 34, so the family made the decision to move back to Northern Ireland,” explained Paul.

Making the move to Australia

As time, passed the family thought more and more about Australia and Paul started investigating obtaining citizenship by descent for his wife Alison, but it wasn’t straightforward.

“I contacted Dan Engles at Visa Solutions Australia.  He was extremely thorough, to be honest he was marvellous.  He looked at it from all angles, sought legal advice and then came back and told me that I could fork out a lot of money but the likelihood was that Alison wouldn’t be granted citizenship by legal descent.”

“Yes, it was a blow, but Dan explained I needed a plan B and that’s when I decided to get my Australian qualifications in financial planning and get sponsorship through the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme on a Subclass 187 visa,” explained Paul.

Securing a sponsor on a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)

Paul knew that there were plenty of financial planning companies in the Middle East who’d like to have a representative in Western Australia and Holborn Assets offered him a role.  He would go to Perth and take up a new position offering financial advice to those who had overseas pensions and wanted to transfer them to Australia with the best tax benefits.

Paul travelled to Perth and undertook an intensive 8-week course and passed the Diploma of Financial Planning in 2016. His 187 visa was lodged but in March 2017 everything started to unravel.

“The UK Government announced they were making changes in pension legislation and this affected my role as a financial planner.  Then Mark McGowan became premier for WA and announced a massive shake up in the visa structure and that Perth was going to be removed from the Subclass 187 visa scheme.”

“Holborn Assets pulled the plug on their Australian plans soon after which meant I effectively had no job in Australia,” explained Paul.

Securing a new 186 visa in a rapid timescale

With the 187 visa no longer an option, Paul needed to find another sponsorship and gain permanent residency status through a different pathway. 

VSA’s Registered Migration Agent Andrew Emmett suggested the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) which wasn’t regional.  

He worked with Paul to lodge the application and a different company Credence International became his sponsor. But once again, Paul hit a stumbling block.

“The Australian Government had decided to reduce the age limit for this visa to 45 from 50.  They were trying to push this through and my 50th birthday was fast approaching so it was a real race against time. I came to Australia for two weeks in June 2017 to move the application along and it was lodged on the 30th June, just days before my birthday.”

“Visa Solutions Australia also lodged a 457 visa as this was a faster way to gain entry.  Credence International wanted me there as soon as possible and a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) would have a quicker turnaround, hence the need for two visa submissions.”

“The 457 was lodged on the 5th September and came through on the 22nd November.  Once my 186 is approved I’ll cross over to that as it gives me permanent residency.  Further down the line I’d like to secure citizenship,” Paul said.

457 granted and plans for the move to Perth

Paul is looking forward to starting his new life in Australia. He’s coming out ahead of his family, and recognises that the country has so much to offer.

“My children enjoy sport and the weather is brutal in Belfast, the outdoor lifestyle in Perth with the great climate is very appealing,” he said.

Paul has nothing but praise for Dan and the team at Visa Solutions Australia.

“Dan was a godsend, and the rest of the team at Visa Solutions Australia.  That man’s an absolute genius, there were so many challenges, it was a bumpy ride, but if there is anyone that can facilitate your visa application, it’s Dan and his team.”


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