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Skilled Migration Pass Mark will be Lower for Some New SkillSelect Visas

A 5 point drop in the pass mark for some visas has been announce by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“The pass mark for the new SkillSelect visa subclasses 189, 190 and 489 will be 60 points. Intending migrants will first need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) and be invited to make an application for these visas.”

“The pass mark for existing general skilled migration subclasses 175, 176, 475, 487, 885 and 886 will remain at 65 points.

The pass mark for the new SkillSelect visas will encourage a broader range of people with the skills and attributes needed in Australia to register their interest in migration.”

Source:

http://www.newsroom.immi.gov.au/media_releases/1063

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Increases in Regional Visa Places in Budget

Increases in Regional Visas to cope with Australia’s patchwork economy have been announced in a press release on the website of Chris Bowen the Minister of Immigration and Citizenships.  The Ministers website contains the following:

“Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget would provide support to the growth regions and sectors of Australia's economy struggling to meet acute skills shortages.

'The measured increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000—comes in the context of significant skills gaps in both the short and medium term in certain sectors of our patchwork economy,' Mr Bowen said.

... Mr Bowen said regional visas would also continue to be given high processing priority to recognise the needs of regional employers and encourage regional migration.

Up to 16 000 places have been reserved for the regional sponsored migration scheme (skilled) to ensure those areas have the support they need to fill skills gaps, grow local economies and strengthen communities.”

Source: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/media/cb/2012/cb186408.htm

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Immigration SA announces DEADLINE for lodging under RSMS subclasses 857 and 119 criteria

Immigration SA has announced the deadline for lodging under RSMS subclasses 857 and 119 criteria, with the last day to lodge being 16 April 2012.  Any applications lodged after the 16 April 2012 will be considered for the new RSMS subclass 187.  The new subclass has a number of changes including Higher English requirements and age requirement set at 50 (with some exemptions).

Immigration SA has released the following:

“Nominations and visa applications lodged with DIAC from 1 July, 2012 will need to conform to the new DIAC requirements. Nominations lodged on form 1054 after 29 June, 2012 will not be valid and cannot be processed by DIAC.

Immigration SA is currently taking 10 weeks to certify a nomination. Based on current processing times, Immigration SA should be able to process complete nominations if received by 16 April, 2012, ready for lodgement with DIAC by 29 June, 2012.

From the 17 April, 2012, Immigration SA may not accept new nominations unless prior arrangements have been made with DIAC to lodge a registered but uncertified nomination and visa application.”

Immigration SA has release the following in relation to the new guidelines which correspond to the RSMS to be introduced by DIAC from the 1 July 2012:

“The new RSMS Guide for Employers now clearly outlines the supporting documents required to accompany a nomination. This will assist employers to lodge nominations which are quicker and easier to assess against the relevant criteria.

The new RSMS Guide for Employers comes into effect on 17 April 2012. Nominations lodged on or after this date will need to meet the requirements outlined in the new guide.”

WATCH THIS SPACE – I will provide more details on changes for Permanent Employer Sponsored Visas when they become available.

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Higher English requirements for Employer Sponsored PR applications from 1 July 2012 …

On 9 March DIAC announced there will be changes to the permanent employer sponsored program to be implemented from the 1 July 2012.  

The reforms will reduce the number of visa classes in the Permanent Employer-Sponsored Visa Program from six to two.

The two new consolidated subclasses will be:

  • ENS subclass 186
  • RSMS subclass 187

Within each subclass there will be three streams:

  1. Temporary Residence Transition Stream – for qualifying 457 visa holders.
  2. Direct Entry Stream – for a range of applicants including non-qualifying 457 visa holders, those completing studies on student visas and offshore applicants.
  3. Agreement stream – replacing labour agreements.

In the process, there are changes to the age, English and Skills requirements for ENS and RSMS.

The 457, a common temporary working visa, will become more integrated into the Permanent Employer-Sponsored Visa Program.

Those most likely to be negatively affected by the changes may include:

  •  Higher English requirements for RSMS may make it harder to apply for some:
    • For RSMS Temporary Residence Transition Stream the English language requirements will be 5.0 in each of the four components of IELTS test.  Current RSMS requirements are IELTS band score 4.5.
    • For RSMS Direct Entry Stream the English language requirements will be 6.0 in each of the four components of IELTS test.  Current RSMS requirements are IELTS band score 4.5.
  • Skills assessments required for RSMS applicants with overseas trade level qualifications or experience.
  • May be more difficult for those that are over 50:
    • With the age limit for RSMS and ENS being raised to 50, there may also be less flexibility for persons over 50.
  • Skill level four no longer available under 457 and direct stream for RSMS:
    • Skill level four, such as Mobile Plant Operators and Drillers will not be able to apply for RSMS anymore. They will only be able to be able to apply through the Agreements stream.  Agreements can take a long time to arrange and are usually for large employers.  Currently such skill level four, can apply under exceptional circumstances of RSMSM
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DIAC announces Regional hot spots to address labour and skills shortages in Tourism industry

Australian Federal Government has released the following:

"Tourism Ministers nominated eight 'hot spot' locations nationally for the development of regional tourism employment plans to address the labour and skills shortages identified by the National Tourism Labour Force Report (see below).

Relevant Government agencies will work with regions and industry to link existing and prospective programs geared towards improving education, training and employment outcomes as part of this plan.

The rollout of the hot spots commenced in December 2011 across jurisdictions nationally, including:

  • Broome, WA (commenced Dec 2011)
  • Red Centre, NT (commenced Dec 2011)
  • Sydney, NSW (commencing June 2012)
  • Regional Victoria (commencing June 2012)
  • Tropical North Queensland (commencing Dec 2012)
  • Kangaroo Island, SA (commencing Dec 2012)
  • Regional Tasmania (commencing June 2013)
  • Canberra, ACT (commencing June 2013)"


Source: http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/policies/nltts/workinggrps/labour/Pages/default.aspx

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Work Visa Lawyers becomes an official member of AustJOBS

Need Help Locating a Business Sponsor? Try AustJOBS!

One of the biggest challenges many suitably qualified overseas graduates and qualified tradespersons face in the Australian migration process, is finding a suitable employer. Work Visa Lawyers can connect you to AustJOBS who may be able to assist. AustJOBS is an Australian based service that helps to link suitably qualified overseas graduates and qualified tradespersons with Australian Employers. Contact Work Visa Lawyers, an official member, to discuss how this service may be of assistance.

You can visit AustJOBS at: www.austjobs.com

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Employer Sponsored Visas Remain the Top in Processing Priorities

Under a Ministerial Direction that becomes effective on the 1 July 2011 the processing priorities for permanent residency skilled visas are:

  1. Applications for Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and Subclass 887
  2. Applications for Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  3. Applicants nominated by a state / territory government and nominated skilled occupation is on the relevant State Migration Plan (SMP)
  4. Applications with a nominated skilled occupation on the 2011 Schedule 1 Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
  5. All other applications.

The effect of processing priorities is that applications with a higher priority are generally processed faster. For example DIAC estimates that the majority of RSMS applications which are priority 1. are being processes in 5-8 months, while some GSM visas in priority 5. are currently not progressing and can take several years.

At a practical level, the processing priorities mean, that if you qualify for an Employer Sponsored Visa, it may lead to permanent residency much faster that other visa options.

Source on processing time estimates:

http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/8.0.htm

Contact Work Visa Lawyers if you want to know more about Employer Sponsored Visas.

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DIAC Announces Additional Funding for 457 Visa Processing

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced an additional $10 million will be allocated towards 457 visa processing in as part of Budget 2011–12.

DIAC makes the following statement in relation to the role of the 457 program:

“The program is uncapped, demand-driven and highly responsive to the economic cycle. It provides a flexible avenue for employers to fill immediate and short-term skill vacancies where Australian workers are not available.”

The increase in funding is consistent with consistent statements made by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, that he favours demand driven migration policies which target skills shortages.

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/457-additional-funding.htm

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Demand for 457 Work Visas Grows While Net Overseas Migration Falls

On 3 June 2011 the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) released the ‘Outlook for Net Overseas Migration May 2011’. The DIAC paper provides insight into the trends of Australian Government migration policy.

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Work Visa Lawyers become an official member of AustJOBS

One of the biggest challenges many suitably qualified overseas graduates and qualified tradespersons face in the Australian migration process, is finding a suitable employer. Work Visa Lawyers can connect you to AustJOBS who may be able to assist.

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