Many people who dream of a new life in Australia, will go to
great lengths to ensure it becomes a reality. Justin Vella, who’s from Durban
in South Africa endured a 15 month wait for his permanent residency when he
moved across from a 457 visa. There are much talked about changes being put in place by the Australian Government surrounding
migration and visas and this is what led to the delay. Here is his story.
From Dubai to Durban
41-year old Justin Vella was born in South Africa and was
employed by food giant Nestle, he then spent five years in Dubai working for
the multi-national dairy co-operative Fonterra as a Manager for Food
Services. Coming home and settling in
Durban, Justin realised South Africa didn’t give him the lifestyle he wanted
for his wife Kirsty and his daughter Chloe.
“The country had deep rooted problems. It was both
politically and economically unstable.
There was lots of civil unrest and I never felt safe. I knew at any minute I could be the victim of
Joining siblings in Australia
Justin’s three brothers were in Australia, and so it was an
easy decision to stay in the same hemisphere but move east to join his
“I came out on a fact-finding mission with my wife Kirsty to
Perth in the winter of 2015. I met
management at the seafood and restaurant chain Kailis Brothers. I was offered a job with a 457 visa sponsorship
to take up the role as a food service manager.”
Andrew Emmott was involved in organising the visa and it
took just six weeks to process. Justin
and his wife and daughter arrived in Perth and settled in Attadale.
“I was enjoying the job and Kailis Bothers must have been
impressed as they offered to help me to secure permanent residency status, but
I had no idea it would take as long as it did,” Justin said.
Progressing from a 457 to permanent
Moving from a 457 visa to permanent residency should have
been a straightforward process but Justin’s application was submitted just
ahead of the 457 shake up announced earlier this year. It led to a long, protracted wait which
Justin found frustrating.
“I couldn’t speak highly enough of VSA, I was constantly
badgering them and they were very pro-active, but because of governmental
changes, my application stalled. But we
got there in the end,” he explained.
Achieving permanent residency
On September 6th, 2017 his PR application was
rubber stamped. It had taken 15 months to process.
“Yes, it had taken far longer than anticipated but it was
worth it. When I lodged my application, I had no idea about there would be any
migration changes. But it’s turned out well, my wife has settled
into a job she loves as a trauma clerk at a hospital, the standard of schooling
is excellent and our 13-year-old daughter is very happy. The outdoor lifestyle is suited to our
family,” he explained.
“What’s more we have now got an eight-day old son Oliver,
who is the first true Australian citizen in our family. How weird is that? We joke that he was born
just a little too late to be able to sponsor us!”