My Journey For Australia PR

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My Journey For Australia PR


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Old 21st June 2014, 06:31 PM
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Default My Journey For Australia PR

[Disclaimer : Looooooooong thread, can surely be boring at places. Information accuracy nowhere proclaimed and all are just an individual's personal experience]

Hi All Fellow Expatriates

This thread is what we call in this forum as “yet-another-grant-story”! However, I want to make it a bit different. I understand that an inspirational story certainly boosts morale of the
wishing expats but to me as an individual, bullet points on steps to be done always helped more than emotional write-ups. Pardon me as in that light this is not at all a story rather just
a depiction of what I did throughout the journey for my PR.

Little background first - I am an ICT professional from India with 10 years of experience and I am the only applicant. My ANZSCO code is 2613111 (Analyst Programmer). My skill assessment
was done by ACS. Therefore, this thread will be more relevant to the people from Indian IT field. However, I believe in overall it can help at least in some way to all the expats browsing this
wonderful forum.

Due to post size limitation, the whole content is broken into 7 parts as follows:

1. How did I initiate the process?
2. Why no Agent?
3. IELTS preparation and study materials
4. ACS skill assessment document preparation
5. EOI submission (189 and 190 for Vic SS)
6. Invitation and Visa application process with document list
7. PCC and Medicals

Furthermore, this post assumes that reader is familiar with the basic steps that need to be done for Australian PR visa. Primary intention of this post is not to educate that PR process
rather to highlight the minute steps at each stage of the application.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by _shel; 21st June 2014 at 09:08 PM.
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:31 PM
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Default How did I initiate the process?

Honestly, there were not many inspirations for the first thought of migration rather it was limited to some change of circumstances in my private life. Nevertheless, once I sold the
idea of immigration to myself, the reality touched me. How to start? Where to go? At this point I must admit that I was amazed by the details present in the website
REMOVED BY MODERRATOR. Although the content is slightly outdated now, still this is a superb website with almost all details. I really did not look further to start with.
I believe the author is a member here, too; my heartfelt thanks to him.

Next was this website - Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Surprised? Let me explain. You can create a website
with real cool look and feel and stuff it with a plethora of information and possibly every link at the first page to show how content rich the website is. Exactly at all these points DIBP has
done the correct thing in the right way. Navigation is brilliant, information is grouped together expertly. Pin-pointing a particular piece of data is not a challenge. In overall, an excellent
website with very easy access to all the information I need. Reading all, I mean literally going through almost all the relevant links in the website, gave me high confidence that yes I know
the process on how to get a PR.

Then I found expatforum! My early days of 'visiting' this website... someone named 'felix2020' answering almost everyone's query... one moderator named 'espresso'
answering so proficiently, to the point, like professional agent – I was indeed impressed. I did not find '_shel' till then. Realisation reached soon that this place is best source after
official website. This website goes more into the role than just saving the money for an agent. I decided to register and participate. In P2P terms, don't be a lecher. Join in. Take and give information.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by _shel; 21st June 2014 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:32 PM
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Default Why no Agent?

As I did all on my own, there is no migration agent in my story. However, the thought of using agents came to me in the initial days. It is not the requirement of agent which bugged me
but in general so many people (not people in this forum but people in real life with whom I talked to) expressed various opinions about some so called the best agent offices that I felt
kind of suspicious that what makes them such a special entity. My initial impression after talking with some people (again readers - my experience, yours obviously can differ) was that I
have not done anything regarding migration unless I have talked to some professional agents. The more I interacted in some circles, deeper the impression came to me that this PR process
is close to climbing a mountain and without agent means without “sherpa”!

On the contrary, my experience of reading DIBP website constantly told my conscience that it is not a rocket science rather a series of events where each action is clearly documented.
All you need is to read the correct source and act upon. To give it a shot, I planned some communication with the agents. Again, spending money for an agent did not trouble much rather
what special they can do intrigued me. In fact, that was going to tell me what I missed by reading official documentation. Luckily, I did not do any of these. In stead what happened, is more interesting.

Meanwhile, a colleague of mine in the same process, already content with the belief that migration agent is the only option and I am just fooling around reading websites, proposed to
accompany him in a meeting with an agent. The person with whom we talked was representing the most popular name (let's be discrete) in Bangalore city. Note, that was second meeting
and before that my colleague already paid around 2k INR to the agent office for first interaction. Our meeting was really eye opener to me. For my colleague, he became more confused.
I am not going into further what my colleague did but what that agent proposed to us and what were my thought processes were like these (readers – you are welcome to judge me in
any way you like – I promise I would not mind any bashing):

* Elaborate end to end migration assistance by payment of 60k INR (~ 1k USD)
Understood, your fee.

* Doing all office work for applicant
Question after question and final understanding – they are just going to do the 'important' and 'complex' 'document upload into website' part. Collecting the document and may be attestation
are my responsibility. Their payment is just for the expert step in using DIBP/ACS website. Very well!

* Special case arrangement and premier treatment by payment of 75k INR
Now this went to my nerve! WTH ? Can you go and bend the rules of a foreign country immigration office just because someone paid you more? How can my position to DIBP suddenly become
special if I give you more money? No no you are not kidding with me, you are just alluring me to a trap covered with an excellent wrapping (I admired the agent for his voice intonation and being
very proficient to portray the picture like a guide in moonless night's jungle suffery – my colleague's face was worth watching)

* Finally, with additional 40k INR (~ 750 USD), special Job Assistance
I am too bad. First word only knocked me! Assistance? Not Assurance? That means you can just forward CV! What else – please be specific what you will do for me to get a job once I am in Oz!!
No direct answer rather just deeper cloud and use of some jargons. A simple question to answer. Who can assure job? Nobody. Then why the advertisement sounds in every means that they
will give you job but always very careful in using correct words such that a client can not complain back! Later I found (please no offence) multiple people in this forum who got fooled by this 'assistance'.

* Lastly the Q&A answer session
As you, my reader, can guess now - I went guns blazing.

- How do we do 189 & 190 combined?
- How both you (agent) and me (applicant) together access the online application?
- I know you have told me DIBP rules but what was the history of changes in these rules? How the process has been modified in the recent past?
- How to correct things if it is found that there was mistake in step# N while we are at step# N+1?

All I was looking for, if not boolean, then discrete and to the point answers. All I received were longer English sentences with heavier jargons.

In conclusion, the bubble of super power of agents busted for me. My colleague was still awestruck to the agent. May be good for him!

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by _shel; 21st June 2014 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:32 PM
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Default IELTS preparation and study materials

I took the exam at BC centre. Till now, only mantra of IELTS success I believe is practice. I feel sorry for people who jeer the system complaining it as a money making machine and what all
I can say is that please channelize your frustration into correct way to prepare. Don't just work very hard for IELTS. Find out what you need to improve and concentrate there.

I crawled the internet looking for materials. Few were easy to find but many were corrupted, incomplete. Some were too hard to locate in free web. In overall, world of P2P makes so much
content available! But not always legal. If you can search really good - you can find out almost every material in the internet. Else purchase books as you can afford. But the key is to do more
and more practice.

I personally have a staggering collection of more than 3 GB of IELTS materials. This in turn contains more than 100 full practice tests. Note, these are not blind downloads rather categorized and
formatted content after download. Audio files are cleansed using software. A screenshot from my hard drive where the collection is kept is shown in the below image. Explanation for the contents
of each folder is given inline. I doubt sharing this whole thing would be feasible.



Having talked about study materials, here are my 2 cents for the exam preparation.

Reading
Read all guide books once just to get the idea and take out any tips if you find useful. Next, start practice tests in time-bound environments. Only practice will sharpen your skills and as marks here
are absolute objective hence with ample practice it is really possible to score all correct. Beyond this, if you like reading books
(I, personally, a voracious reader - favourites are David Baldaaci, James Rollins, Tom Clancy etc.) then that would help you great. Because what I believe is that reading novels boosts your
paragraph scanning speed. I got 9 in exam.

Listening
Same as Reading. Do more tests at home such that by exam day you can repeat the exam instructions. Likewise with reading, watching English news channels help. But what I think helps
more is listening news channels. The point is with TV, even if you could not get the speaker, by the video you will understand the message. But by using only audio (like Radio or Internet Radio),
interpretation of message solely lies in understanding the speech correctly. I got 9 in exam.

Speaking
Here I made the mistake! I was over confident on my language fluency. I ignored the fact that fluency is indeed a part but how varied your vocabulary is that also crucial. I suggest wishing
expats to practice via Skype like tool. What to look into is about describing an object or incident for 2 minutes. There you will be caught if same adjective is repeated. Hence practice more.
Target is not to speak totally error free rather to speak fluently with rich choice of words. I scored mere 7.

Writing
This is an area where lot of people lack behind. What I mean is that performance does not match expectation. Me too was an victim. Not in the exam! This is a place where I will strongly
recommend purchasing online professional writing correction services. You can choose any as per your budget. No endorsing here. An IELTS teacher's correction will open your eye
(for those only who are lagging here) on all the small points where you were making mistakes. Position of 'the', correct usage of 'in'/'at' etc makes a huge difference.
Why so special? Remember the rule - writing paragraph with superb vocabulary fetches less marks than writing paragraph with standard vocabulary but with no grammatical mistakes.
Root cause of less marks is sentence construction and grammatical errors; not the popular belief of not having a paragraph with sophisticated punch lines. I purchased 8 correction services
and realised how same writing with just mistakes removed takes score from 6.5 to 8. I scored moderate 7.5.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by _shel; 23rd January 2015 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:34 PM
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Default ACS skill assessment document preparation

With IELTS preparation, ACS document gathering goes parallel. In my last 10 years, I have worked in 5 companies and one of them is now merged with another organisation.
I was able to collect HR letter from 4 of them (including my current organisation) and for one company I had to fall back for the option of statutory declaration. In line with the main
purpose of this thread, readers will find attachments (both draft soft copy and final PDF uploaded) here which they can directly use as template for their own application.

Employment Reference Letter.doc is a sample work reference letter which is coming from HR of a company. Replace the red marked sections within the document, re-word
as per your job duties and you shall be good. I tried my best to keep the document covering all requirements of ACS in direct words. experience_certificate.pdf is the final copy
which I uploaded into ACS website. I personally always felt having a look beforehand both to the draft and final copy helps hence this is my paying it forward. Note that the PDF is blurred
in few areas to cover privacy but you shall be able to get the idea what goes where.

Statutory Declaration from Colleague.doc is a sample document which your ex-manager will sign for you. The major mistake committed by many people is blind copy of the sample
available online. Remember, “Commonwealth Statutory Declaration” is invalid outside Australia. People usually directly copy paste the document available at Australian website but
law of statutory declaration is different in different countries. ACS/DIBP ignores these in most of the cases although better not to do (I have seen exception at this forum).
For India, this is Indian Notary Act 1952, please find out the law/act name for your country. Likewise direct HR letter, editing the document for the red marked sections and rewording
duties shall produce final copy. At the last page, advocate's name is to be written who will sign the document.

statutory_declaration_with_organisation_chart.pdf is the final document that I uploaded into ACS website for this. First page has to be printed in a court paper, amount can be any
(at India it can be of INR 20/50/100). There are 2 additional sheets within the PDF which shows organisation hierarchy and ex-manager's employee identification card scan with employee
visiting card scan. Organisation hierarchy is your relation with your ex-manager and the same is graphically depicted. Note, these are the only “document type”s available at ACS website
hence preparing this set you shall be okay. I was not sure whether manager's employee cards are required but anyway I collected them from my ex-manager and added here.
Note: Recent ACS changes indicate you shall produce payslip also along with this.

Some General Notes:

Certified True Copy: I have seen a lot of people get confused in the early stage that what really is this and is there a constraint on the exact text. The point is, certified true copy
is a very general legal term and it becomes bit confusing mainly due to the reason that most of us visit notary for first time during ACS document preparation.
Otherwise, certified true copy is just a stamp from an authority who vouches that this is a correct photocopy and not a doctored document. In addition, the text appearing in the stamp
can vary from court to court but in generally it remains the same.

Valid International Stamp: This is another dubious point. Does a notary stamp at country X will be valid at Australian Department? This question bothered many and I saw a good
number of people reporting in online forums that they applied a special (costly) stamp to validate the same. Even I fell for this as you can find in the attached PDF. Now what all I can say
that this is absolutely not necessary. Don't worry about international validity. DIBP/ACS is asking to validate against law of the land where you are residing.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by girlaussie; 2nd February 2016 at 09:44 AM. Reason: Requested by OP
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:35 PM
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Default EOI submission (189 and 190 for Vic SS)

This is the simplest step in the whole PR process. Root cause is nothing to add as an attachment! I filed promptly as soon as I received the ACS assessment.
The only check to do here is to be sure not to over-claim points. This in turn says to correctly interpret ACS result and to omit the years ACS found not relevant.

However, at first submission, I only selected 189. Then I came to know that Victoria still has spaces left for 261311 nomination. Hence I applied for that also and
came back and updated my EOI to include 190, too. Good part I found is that DIBP system clearly maintains two separate submission dates for 189 and 190.
Although, I received invitation before my Victoria State Sponsorship received a response hence with the invitation I sent a mail to Victoria to cancel my nomination request.
I did not receive any response but probably they got the job done.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

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Old 21st June 2014, 06:35 PM
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Default Invitation and Visa application process with document list

“The step” where faint-hearted tends to think wish I had an agent... What I loved maximum in this forum is watching so many people fumbling at this stage to gradually gain confidence just by interacting with fellow members and not by paying money to someone. Finally all succeeded submitting alone with only help from official document and forum friends. Therefore, in this post I will detail in maximum for the benefit of all the future travellers in this journey.

To start with, here are all the files that I uploaded. I kept them ready such that I can file visa as soon as the invitation comes. All documents are color xerox, certified true copy and then color scan (except payslips). Minimum requirement is either b/w xerox and notary stamp or color scan. I exercised all these just because I had access to means.



In the assembly of screenshots above, Image 1 shows the top level folder structure in which way I grouped my documents. Company names are hidden for privacy. You can see there are documents for 5 of them. Image 2 shows what all documents I uploaded for 'Personal Details'. I uploaded aadhaar and pan card as additional identity proofs. They are Not mandatory. These are some special documents which work as an Id Proof for Indian citizens. Rest are self explanatory.

The document 'character_statutory_declaration' is a special case for me. I visited a country 9 years back for 1.5 years from where all my attempts to procure a PCC failed. This sealed the fate for me to not to have direct grant. I explained to my CO what all I did to obtain the same. In response, CO asked me to submit a self prepared statutory declaration. The template of that is attached here as character-statutory-declaration.pdf. You won't find this document anywhere in the DIBP website. This is asked for exceptional cases only. Hence sharing if there are future aspirants in the same boat. Image 3 shows the content of the folder 'ACS and IELTS'.

Image 4 is the content of 'Qualifications' folder. This is the same set that I submitted to ACS. For graduation and post graduation, as the marks were in grades, I scanned the back of the mark sheet also and added that as 'legend'. It was suggested in ACS website. I am not sure whether 10th and 12th documents are required or not (I mean mandatory) but I uploaded them anyway.

Image 5 is the content which is identical for 4 of the employment sub-folders. One was little different - that is the current one which does not have a release letter yet. The fifth one out is in the Image 6 as it had statutory declaration as employment reference in stead of HR letter (experience certificate in this image is the standard one without roles and responsibilities). You can see that each document followed the same nomenclature to have company name added in the file name. I scanned all increment letters and clubbed them into single document. I merged ALL payslips into single document. This may be overkill and you can produce one payslip per quarter - I think that's fair enough.

Tax documents, Image 7, I added separately and grouped them here under 'Tax Retunrs'. This document varies from country to country. For India, people usually upload Form 16. I preferred return acknowledgement. Why? Firstly, if there are 2 companies then 2 Form 16 to submit. Secondly, Form 16 is just company declaration for TDS and there can be other incomes. Thirdly, I ignored ITR too because that also what I am submitting. IT Return acknowledgement is the one where Govt. of India acknowledged my tax submissions and status should show whether I am paying it fully or not. This is a reasoning of mine, yours may defer my dear reader. I uploaded since day 0 of my employment.

Lastly, Image 8 shows the content for 'Bank Statements'. As you can see, I submitted for last 6.5 years. I highlighted the document thoroughly where salary credit is shown.

Software I used for PDF file save / print / split / merge: PDF Redirect
To compress big size PDF: PDFCompress! - Compress PDF files online for free.
To unlock secured PDF: PDFUnlock! - Unlock secured PDF files online for free.

Next is the document type listing as I used while uploading to IMMI account. I have seen multiple question in this forum regarding this... hope this helps who are still in the process. Again, some document can surely be uploaded into other categories but this is what I did. I believe this shall give a true complete picture.

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html

Last edited by _shel; 23rd January 2015 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:36 PM
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Default PCC, Medicals and finally Grant!

This thing varies hugely from country to country. Like majority of the applicants, I too did this proactively. I had same current address as written in the passport hence received the PCC on the spot. One point of advice to fellow people who are applying for PCC in Indian metro cities, there is no need to wait for any appointment. You can just walk in for PCC in the next morning after submitting the request online.

For medicals, I have seen varied responses hence nothing standard here. The requirement from DIBP is same to all but how hospitals honor that - varies tremendously. I have seen people reported here going into birthday suit and various tests, similarly people reporting practically no test being done. My experience felt in the second category. The general physician took less than 100 seconds to complete my form. I had spectacles but without looking at me he wrote 6/6 vision. He asked me my weight and height, nothing he verified/checked. Keeping apart the aspect of blood and urine test, the whole process looked like a mockery to me. Anyway, I take that as an one off incident.



What NEXT ??

I received grant in about 7 weeks since lodgement and in exact one month since CO contacted. Grant letter is in hand now for around 3 days. I am not an emotional guy... hence excitement receded quickly. I know I am not migrating right now as there are things to settle and ends to tie up. Life will slowly go back to more time in stackoverflow / carwale / 500px than in expatforum. So the real battle - getting a job and settling in Oz land - is yet to start. Hope that would be another story!

Thank you all. If you reached till here (without quick scroll down) then I admire your patience. Thank you so much for reading my post!

God bless
Mainak (yes its my name, not forum id)

__________________
261311 | 189 | ACS app/+ve: Dec 14/Mar 4 | IELTS: Feb 1 | EOI sub/inv: Mar 4/Apr 28 | Lodge: Apr 28 | PCC,Med: Apr 30 | CO: May 20 | Grant: 19th June, 2014
My PR Story: http://www.expatforum.com/expats/pla...e-ranking.html
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Old 21st June 2014, 06:53 PM
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Wow! This thread has staggering amount of information! Great job m8!

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Old 21st June 2014, 06:55 PM
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Mainak,

Awesome write up and incredible amount of information for anyone at any stage of Immigration.

Congrats on your grant and Good luck.

Cheers

Santhosh
mainak and Wilson2017 like this.

__________________
Financial Investment Advisor | OFFSHORE |IELTS: L 8, R 6.5, W 7.5, S 8 | Vetasses Lodged 26th July | Vetassess Positive 18th November | NSW SS Submitted: 09th December | NSW SS Approval 13th March | Visa Lodged: 22nd March | All Docs & PCC uploaded 26th April | Grant July 21st | Landed on Sydney on 11th August
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