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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there,

I am hoping for a bit of advice about my visa situation, as I'm a bit stressed out.

I am an American citizen in Melbourne. I have about 6 weeks left on my Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462).

I've saved up a lot of money through working, but haven't had a chance to go on a proper holiday, so I'd like to stay for a few more months and enjoy time with travel and friends. After that I'd go back to the USA to enjoy the summer in the Northern Hemisphere, before eventually coming back to Oz permanently.

I would like to:

- Stay in Australia until May 2011. Ability to work is not important, I'll survive even if I'm required to stop working.

- Come back to Australia in late 2011 as a Skilled Independent Migrant (Subclass 175), after passing the points test -- I expect to have 125 points out of the 120 required.

It looks like I am not eligible to transfer from my WHV to a Tourist Visa (Subclass 676) without leaving the country.

It looks like my best options are to:

- Fly to New Zealand for a holiday in January and re-enter Australia on an ETA, which would allow me to stay until April. I could extend the ETA using a Tourist Visa, allowing me to stay until May. Alternatively, I could just skip the ETA and get a 6-month Tourist Visa while I'm on holiday in NZ. Is one plan easier than the other?

- Lodge my Skilled Independent Migrant application once back onshore in Australia. As I must be offshore for the application to be granted, this could fit in nicely with my plan to be back in the USA in May.

Can anyone vouch for this being a reasonable plan of action? Any other ideas or suggestions?

Thanks so much,
Adam
 

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The 462 visas do have limited options as you may have read on Work and Holiday Visa (Subclass 462) and your visa could even have had a No Further Stay condition on it but if not you may want to check whether the restriction re skilled visas includes employer sponsored visas if you thought that may be anoption, particularly seeing as you have some skills and have been working.
But other than that, leaving for NZ or even Asia, cheap flights, cheaper living and a much more interesting place than NZ in many respects and the main advantage is that to go to NZ you'll need an outward flight to a country you have a right to enter - and that can get tricky if you left it to the last day or two of your current visa.
You really need to book a return flight within the currency of your existing visa and then if you want to stay in NZ longer, you can get your ETA/Tourist visa for return to Australia on arrival, change your return flight and stay longer.
Going to Asia, it's a longer flight, maybe not much more or even cheaper with Welcome to AirAsia.com... Now everyone can fly or Welcome To Tiger Airways from Melbourne or the Gold Coast and you'll not have the return flight needed saga.

A six months tourist visa to return on will at least give you certainty over the ETA though if youcan show funds to support yourself, applying for a three months tourist visa whilst onshore with an ETA could see one granted.

As for the skilled visa plan, they can take a while to be processed depending on what your priority is and you may want to consider getting state sponsorship re a SMP if your occupation makes that applicable - check out the various states SMPs via the 176 visa eligibility, the 176 being where you will have found the 175.
It may be that because the 175/176 are offshore visas that there will be no restriction on you applying whikle on your current visa for they cannot be granted unless you are offshore.

If you have an employer willing to sponsor you, and even if you had to do that on your trip out or return on the ETA or even when you have returned to the US, it may be something you could have set-up for later so your return could be more guaranteed.
You can have a 175 applied for while also being employer sponsored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
to go to NZ you'll need an outward flight to a country you have a right to enter - and that can get tricky if you left it to the last day or two of your current visa.
You really need to book a return flight within the currency of your existing visa and then if you want to stay in NZ longer, you can get your ETA/Tourist visa for return to Australia on arrival, change your return flight and stay longer.
Thanks for your reply. I'm a bit confused about the section I've quoted above.

I have my heart set on NZ for this trip, to take advantage of the summer weather. At which point would I be likely to run into trouble?

- Unable to book the roundtrip ticket from Australia to NZ at all (i.e. the airline won't even let me book the roundtrip ticket, as my current visa information would be invalid for the return leg)

- At the airport, leaving Australia (i.e. the airline sees that I have a roundtrip back into Australia, but is somehow aware that I don't yet possess a valid visa for the return trip).

- At NZ immigration, upon arriving (i.e. the NZ immigration agent sees that I am in the country for a week, and that I have an onward trip to Australia, but somehow knows that I don't yet have a valid visa to re-enter Australia).

If it is genuinely going to be a problem, I may buy a fully refundable ticket between NZ and another country to appease the authorities.
 

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It may not occur when you purchase a ticket because it is a passenger requirement to have valid visa/entry requirements and as such when you front up to the airline desk at check in and they see you have an outward/return flight but no visa for Australian re-entry it'll be " Sorry, we cannot issue you with a boarding pass "

What people have done in the past is as you have mentioned and purchase a fully refundable ticket from NZ to Fiji and then once in NZ and you get a visa for returning to Oz. you can cancel that and then book your return flight to suit.
 

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Hi mate,
Just wondering if you found out the info, or have tried to go out and come back from NZ yet? My girlfriend is in the same situation and just got off the phone from Immigration who tried to scare her by telling her that even if she was granted an ETA in NZ customs officers might not allow her back into the country because she has been on a 462 VISA and 'should have had enough time to travel in the 12 months she was here'. Her VISA does not have a 'no further stay' stamp on it.
Thanks,
Ant
 
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