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Immigrate to Australia/NZfor work/study from the US?


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Long story short, I'm struggling on multiple fronts here in the US. I graduated from school in 09 with what a degree in a field that is increasingly difficult to break into, city planning. I truly have no interest in pursuing that career path, but my degree has also proved worthless in pursuing elsewhere. I was fortunate enough this past year to travel extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand, and had nothing short of a wonderful experience. I truly feel more at home there. I've traveled many places, and this is the one part of the world that just clicked for me. So, I've become interested in pursuing an education and/or a career in that region. Have any other Americans (on this forum) pursued this? I know from research that these countries prefer "skilled" migrants in high-demand fields, but I assume being college educated from an English-speaking country can't hurt my chances. I do know of a few people who have recently moved there and are not working in "skilled" areas (one is a bartender). So, any fellow Yanks with experience dealing with Australian immigration feel free to share your thoughts.

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Well, I don't have a degree, and have no intention of living outside the US.


From my professional experience, a college degree teaches you time management & how to learn. I have many colleagues that received degrees in misc. fields such as religious studies, philosophy, etc, and their jobs don't have anything to do w/ their education.


It essentially just gets your foot in the door by showing you're dedicated. Just my $0.02

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Why did you go into a field you have no interest in? Can you go back to school and use what you have to get an associates in something else with just one or two more classes or have enough for a second degree in something if you'd go one more year? I think that you should look at what you really want to do. Does your degree focus on construction, or does it focus on managing people and resources? There are other things you can do with it.


Also, if you went, would you just go take any job just to get there? They won't want you to come as an unemployed person looking for a job or "finding yourself". They even used to be strict about tourists and visitors - you had to prove you had the funds for your stay and means to get home. There has to be a benefit to them. You can't just have a goal of pursuing "an eduction of career" and not know what that education or career is. You would have to pursue something that makes sense to be there.

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If you are under 30, you might be able to get a working holiday visa providing Australia and America have a reciprical agreement. These are relatively easy to get if you can meet some criteria (ie enough money to support yourself initially).


Otherwise, unless you have a job offer and the employer is willing to sponsor you or you have skills and experience in a high demand industry, it is going to be VERY hard (if not impossible). To put it bluntly, Australia is notoriously difficult to immigrate to because the government is obligated to make sure that Australians have priority when it comes to finding jobs. Like just about every other country, we also have plenty of people who are unemployed or looking for work. Believe me, there is more to the people who immigrated here to work in a bar (working holiday visa, Australian spouse etc). Employers in unskilled or low skilled industries have ample local people to fill their jobs.


If you are looking to move here permanently I'd be looking into gaining the skills and experience that are needed in Australia.


I'll assume that you've looked at Department of Immigration and Citizenship website but incase you haven't link removed


Good luck!

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Thanks for the replies folks. Couple of things. First, I had no idea what to study in college, still don't...nothing particularly interested me. I maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout HS and college, no subject proved to be a challenge nor did my studies spark a passion. I suppose I am willing to take any job there, but I should really consider furthering my education. Perhaps a certification program at an Australian university... Fortunately, I do actually have the funds to support myself. Basically, I've worked two jobs non-stop since HS. My college tuition was covered by my father's military benefits, so the whole time I was in school I bankrolled $ by working and commuting to school. I know how strict other countries are with immigration, which is fine. In fact, I completely respect countries giving priority to their natural-born citizens. I guess I'm leaning more towards the study/ part-time work option with potentially becoming a permanent resident over just going over there as an unemployed visitor hoping to land a job. I don't see a whole lot of hope for a future in America. I figure my great-grandfather left Europe for a better life, and the time may have come to begin looking abroad for the same opportunity.

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It's never very easy getting into other countries. As to Australia, they revamped the system in January. Not sure if people from the US require a Visa, but if you do - Now if you fall in a Special category, eg You are a famous person, sportsman, academic, author , actor etc etc you'll get a visa.


If you are in a wanted occupation eg Doctor or Nurse you'll get a visa.


If you are sponsored by an employer you can get a 457 visa


If you are rich and meet the requirements you'll get a business visa.


It seems to me that, unless you are in a special category, if you are over 45 there is no way that you'll be considered for a visa if you are applying as an independent. I am assuming you are under 45, so if you fit a special category, you should make it. However, if you are independent you must make the 65 points in the test.


When I did the online "check yourself questionnaire" for independent professional person, the answer was you must be between 18 - 45 for this category.


Australia has a system that prefers migrants with certain classes of jobs and a different class for people willing to move to Regional areas. Check out link removed to read all about it.


Check out the above link to see what skills are required. If you are willing to move to Regional areas, then you may stand a chance.


Also, try the points test - it's really interesting.

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Thanks folks, really good info. I might call up their consulate in LA, and get more info as well. I have several Aussie friends that have offered sponsorship and places to stay if need be, everywhere from Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Sydney, Canberra, and Auckland, NZ. I've also been made aware of the military option. Seems both countries accept veterans from other nations such as the US, Canada, UK, and most of Europe. I've been considering a military career anyway, and a brief stint stateside could be a good way to Australian citizenship/ residency.

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I guess I can't believe you've never found anything you've really liked to do. Usually folks get a liberal arts degree if they are not really sure and just enjoy learning. City planning is pretty specific. If you are considering a military career, then why not enlist or apply here? I would imagine getting into a foreign military without having been a resident for a long while would raise an eyebrow for sure.

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Well, some of us just fall through the cracks I guess. I actually do have an associate degree in liberal arts, lol, in addition to my bachelors. What interests I do have are extremely varied, but none are really a passion or potential careers. When I mentioned the military route, that would entail enlisting domestically, finishing out a stint, and then joining a foreign service. Of course, if I went that route, I might as well just stay in for a career domestically. However, America's uncertain financial future makes even that an issue. The government is currently looking into slashing defense, and reducing the size of our force, specifically the Navy and Air Force. Plus, our military currently has no issues with recruitment. Qualified candidates are taking upwards of a year in some cases to actually ship off to training. So, the potential to make a career (20+ years) in the US military is rather slim. Plenty of folks are being RIF'd (reduction in force). Other nations, such as Australia are actively recruiting foreigners with military experience to fill their ranks, due to low domestic recruitment as a result of a booming economy. Last I checked, the unemployment in Australia was under 5%. Like I said, I'm looking at the big picture and my long-term future. I see no reason not to consider settling down overseas. I like to travel, and I rather enjoy that part of the world. At this age, with very little to tie me down, and an uncertain future here, I have all the incentive I need to look elsewhere.

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