Neos Kosmos receives up to five inquiries a week from Greeks interested in migrating to Australia. However, while inquiries are increasing there has been no rise in visa applications, according to an official from the Australian embassy in Athens. In 2009 until June 2010, only 26 Greek nationals were granted skilled migration visas compared to 35 in all of 2008 until 2009, an official told Neos Kosmos.

Over the same period, only 93 Greek nationals had been granted family migration visas compared to 96 in all of 2008 until 2009. The statistics clearly indicate there has been no marked change in program outcomes for Greek nationals from 2008 to 2010. Migration to Australia is divided into skilled and family (spouse/child/parent) categories. To meet family requirements, a person can apply if they are close family of Australians, such as spouses and dependent children, but not brothers, sisters or cousins. To meet skilled requirements, a person needs to have recognised qualifications in a professional area in demand in Australia, have proficient English and be aged under 45.

The skilled requirements were recently tightened for all visa applicants because of the changing economic situation in Australia. “Priority is given to people who already have a job offer from an Australian employer willing to sponsor them to Australia,” the official said. The processing of Skilled Migration applications can take up to three years. Migration applications are not processed by the Visa Section of the Australian Embassy in Athens.

Skilled migration applications are processed in Australia while family migration applications are processed in Berlin as the visa office in Athens has a very limited capacity to answer questions beyond the visas they process.

For further information email or contact the Visa Section of the Embassy’s media line on +61 2 6264 2244.