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Monday, 15 December 2014 - 14:23
Australia Gateway unveils new opportunities for Sri Lankans in Australia

Upbeat on growth prospects available for professionals and businesses
One of Sri Lanka’s leading Australian Migration Consultants - Australia Gateway, the Sri Lankan arm of Melbourne-based Fairfields Lawyers has embarked on aggressively promoting investment, trade and immigration opportunities in the Continent, in the light of its latest immigration-friendly visa regime.    

“Recently-introduced ‘Australia Business Innovation and Investment Visa’ allows successful business innovators and investors who intend to invest or enter into business in Australia and contribute to the growth of the Australian economy. This offers ample opportunities for Sri Lankan professionals and businesses,” says Susantha Katugampala, prominent Sri Lankan Immigration Law Specialist practicing in Melbourne.

“This visa has three primary streams, namely : ‘Business Innovation Stream’—for people with a successful business career and a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner in a new or existing business in Australia; ‘Investor stream’—for people with a successful record of qualifying business or eligible investment activity who will make a designated investment in a state or territory of Australia and have a realistic commitment to continue to maintain business or investment activity in Australia after the designated investment has matured; and ‘Significant Investor stream’ for people who are willing to invest at least AUD 5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.”

The Business Innovation and Investment Programme incorporates access to flexibility provisions to assist business people and their family members to achieve permanent residence and encourage innovative businesses. Provisional visa holders who are granted their visa by meeting the requirements for the business innovation stream may be eligible to apply for a two year extension to their provisional visa provided they are nominated by a state or territory government for the extension. Similarly, significant investor visa holders can renew their visa twice, to provide a maximum of eight years on their provisional visa.

Susantha Katugampala left Sri Lanka 25 years ago for Australia where he completed his LLB degree at Monash University in Melbourne after which he was admitted to the Supreme Court of South Australia as well as that of Victoria and practiced Law in Adelaide and in Melbourne. In 1998 he joined Immigration and Commercial Law with the Law firm Knox and Hargrave Lawyers in Adelaide the second oldest law firm in Australia and the oldest Law firm in South Australia established in 1838.

In order to cater to the ever increasing demand in migration inquiries of Sri Lankan clients and to provide a timely, reliable and effective service to our growing clientele, Fairfields Lawyers set up its very own office in Sri Lanka - Australia Gateway, located at the Jaic Hilton Towers, in 2005. With expert consultants for regional, state-sponsored and tradespersons migration matters, Australia Gateway offers reliable, trusted and credible services to assist you in your skilled and business migration to Australia.

Mr. Katugampala steered Australia Gateway to become the most sought-after migration consultancy firm in Colombo of which he is the Director with the intention of assisting Sri Lankans to migrate and settle in Australia, and to call Australia ‘home’.  

“With Australia being the no 1 immigration-friendly country, we have a trend in Sri Lanka where many professionals and businesses are looking into the possibilities of migrating to Australia. It is therefore very important that the general public receive the right information and advice with regards to this issue as the possibilities of potential immigrants being mislead are many. With regards to migration majority of people in Sri Lanka have a limited access to the accurate information,” Mr. Katugampala added.  

Australia has abundant migration and employment opportunities for Sri Lankan migrants, mainly for professionals such as accountants, IT professionals, engineers etc. In the case of most individuals the Sri Lankan qualifications alone will be sufficient enough to be eligible to fulfill the migration and employment requirements in Australia as most local Sri Lankan Government university degrees are equivalent to an Australian degree.

Australia became the most immigration-friendly country recording the highest rate of immigration-per-capita in the OECD in 2009. This figure measures inflows of foreign migrants, as a proportion of its own population. This indicates that immigration plays a bigger role in Australian society than any other developed nation.

Australia is a rich, stable, well-run nation with good infrastructure and strong education and healthcare systems. Its strong multi-cultural influence and timezones make it an attractive destination for migrants from Asia in general and Sri Lankans in particular. In terms of economic performance, Australia was one of the few rich nations to avoid a recession throughout the global recession. It has maintained relatively strong GDP growth, recently underpinned by a mining boom, low unemployment and low levels of government debt.

Sri Lankan expatriate community in Australia has made significant contribution to advancement of Australia and has been well recognized and respected by the Australian public over many years. Mr. Katugampala has been repeatedly awarded the ‘Best Lawyer Award’ at the Serendib Sri Lankan Community Awards in Australia.

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