Are you dreaming of a life Down Under and wondering how to move to Australia? Or perhaps to neighbouring New Zealand? Migration to Australia and New Zealand is popular with many people living in Singapore. So popular, in fact, that NZ and Australian migration agent JAMES HALL started his business ANZ Migrate to help them navigate the transition. Here he tells us all about the process.
Tell us about yourself and how you became an Australian migration agent.
I worked and lived in Australia and New Zealand with IBM as a project manager for many years and moved to Singapore in 2000. During this time, I managed projects in Asia-Pacific across multiple industries.
Seeking a change, I left the corporate world and looked at industry opportunities in Singapore, identifying a need for professional immigration services for Australia. I was motivated to do something I could excel in, using my love and knowledge of Australia, while also following a career path where I could help people rather than being driven to deliver corporate profits.
Unfortunately, the majority of migration to Australia providers in Singapore at the time weren’t operating under any regulations. Completing immigration law study in Australia, I became an Australian migration agent and established myself as an Australia registered (and regulated) migration service provider in Singapore. I started my business in 2003, then called Australian Migration Agency. After completing my New Zealand immigration advisers licence, I changed the name to ANZ Migrate to reflect this.
Aside from my main gig assisting with migration to Australia and New Zealand, I also speak at international immigration conferences, teach immigration law for continuing professional development training, and write articles on immigration. For over ten years, I’ve been providing mentoring and supervision for other agents as a qualified education agent in Australia. And I provide assistance to other agents on complex issues and cases, helping overturning refusal decisions and representing cases at tribunal hearings.
What migration services does ANZ Migrate offer?
We offer migration services to Australia and New Zealand including pathways for family, employment, business, investment and study. I’m the principal adviser and we have two licensed and registered professionals for each country. We cover all the visa services, which has extended to providing education services as well. Education includes both school leavers as well as professionals seeking further education. For those seeking education as a gateway, we’re able to advise on strategies to remain in the country after study and seek residency.
As a team, we pride ourselves on our client focus. We give honest advice, even if it means telling a client not to proceed because the risks are too high, or that the work is simple and they can do it themselves. We spend a lot of time understanding our clients’ needs and ensuring we’re offering the right solution before they commence services with us.
How difficult is it to move to Australia or New Zealand?
Australia and New Zealand operate very different migration programs. Our most popular program for Australia has been general skilled migration. This has allowed applicants to obtain a permanent residence visa based upon factors such as qualifications, experience and English competency, without requiring a job offer in Australia. This program is still available but with a huge increase of applications following the post-pandemic rebound, opportunities for new applicants are becoming limited. The focus is on priority occupations such as education and health.
New Zealand has restructured its general skilled program so effectively that only applicants who already have job offers will succeed. For this reason, many applicants look for other pathways such as study.
Study is increasing in interest as it not only allows for skill development but can be a gateway to permanent residence. In both countries, if a person is studying a higher education qualification such as a master’s degree, the spouse may be able to work full time, which can lead to options for permanent residence. As there are options for post-study work visas for both countries, this can also be a step towards gaining permanent residence.
Family pathways exist for partners or parents of citizens/residents of either country.
ANZ Migrate has just celebrated 20 years. How has the business grown over time?
After 20 years, we’re happy that we’ve been able to maintain our high level of service commitment to clients. We now have teams across Asia in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia, as well as in Australia, and we’re training new staff to operate in New Zealand.
ANZ Migrate has received international awards spanning several years including being ranked in the top 25 and 50 global immigration agencies respectively. I was also very humbled to be recognised as one of the top 25 global immigration CEOs in the industry. It’s been an incredible journey!
Are you able to help businesses wanting to know how to move to Australia or New Zealand?
Since 2012, Australia has had a very active business migration program. The new 2022 federal government had concerns that it wasn’t providing sufficient benefits for Australia and effectively suspended the program. Now we don’t have any pathways for business migrants to go to Australia. However, we’ve been successfully using other strategies for many years to move employees to Australia.
Singapore and Australia have a free trade agreement in place that supports intra-corporate transfers between related Singaporean and Australian businesses. We can use similar pathways for a Singapore business to send an employee (which can also be the business owner or manager) to Australia to establish operations in Australia. These pathways aren’t limited to temporary work visas, and there are strategies to move to permanent residence later.
New Zealand allows business migration but it’s limited to exporting, high growth or innovative businesses only. The best advice is to talk to us so we can understand your needs and we’re able to use our vast knowledge of the system to identify the right strategy to get the desired outcome.
Are there any plans to expand your migration services to other countries?
While we’re focused on Australia and New Zealand, we receive many referrals from clients for their friends seeking guidance for other countries. We’re using our industry experience and professionalism to support a related company, Arthea, providing low-cost residency and citizenship strategies for other countries, particularly European destinations such as Portugal.
We work with partners in other countries, particularly Vietnam, Hong Kong and China, to provide support to their clients. We also provide back-end support to many other migration agents and agencies, including some well-known global immigration companies that need our expertise for complex cases.
Our team speaks multiple languages and we’re able to support clients in most countries. As most consultations are via video calls, this means we’re able to support clients in any country.
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
I just love helping people realise their dreams of moving to Australia and New Zealand and making a difference in their lives. We’ve received such a positive response from our clients, including receiving gift baskets, dinners and other gifts of gratitude. Most significantly, clients send their family and friends to us for support, and we value their trust in us and our services.
Special offer for a free consult with ANZ Migrate!
To help you make your Aussie dreams a reality, contact ANZ Migrate and quote “Expat Living” for a free consultation with their Australian migration agent, plus a follow-up with a visa strategy for Australia!
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