Requirements for an Australian visa for people over 55 years old

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Despite limited visa options, moving to Australia is possible for people over age 55. Visa applicants with pre-arranged jobs in Australia may be eligible for business visas. However, most older applicants apply for investor retirement visas, which last four years.

After settling in Australia, immigrants may apply for 10-year retirement visas, according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. This makes it possible for people over age 55 to live in Australia permanently as long as they meet visa requirements.

Business visa

Foreigners over age 55 who want to migrate to Australia as workers may apply for temporary business (long stay) visas as long as they have job offers in Australia. They must also have the English language skills necessary to live in Australia and complete their jobs successfully. Health insurance is required for the duration of their Australian residency.

Before future immigrants can apply for this visa, their employers must apply to be sponsors and nominate the work positions the immigrants will fill. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has these forms available for download. Once their positions have gained approval, immigrants can complete their visa applications and submit them to the nearest Australian consulate.

Investor retirement visa

The investor retirement visa is for applicants over age 55 who have enough money to support themselves while working 20 hours a week or less. As of June 2014, they must have AUD $750,000, plus an additional $750,000 to invest in the state or territory in which they will reside (or AUD $500,000 plus the same again to invest if you will be living in a low-growth area). They cannot have dependents, other than spouses who may accompany them to Australia. Their annual income must be at least AUD $65,000 (or AUD $50,000 in low-growth areas), according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Investor retirement visa applicants must complete a form for state or territory endorsement found on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. Once they regain the stamped form, they include it in the main visa application. After making their investments, they will obtain their visas and can move to Australia.

Retirement visa

Anyone who has had a previous retirement visa -- including an investor retirement visa -- may apply for a retirement visa to extend their stay in Australia for another 10 years. This visa allows immigrants over age 55 to work full-time in Australia with their partners, if they so choose. Applicants must prove they had health insurance for the duration of their previous stay in Australia.

The application process for this visa is straightforward; applicants simply complete an application form and pay a fee.