Including Dependents On Your Visa Application
The Australian Government has introduced far reaching changes to the definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) for the purpose of most visa applications. There are now significant limitations on the class of persons that can be considered part of MoFU and hence be included in a visa application.
Character Assessment of Australian Sponsors of Partner Visa Applications
From 18 November 2016, Australian citizen and permanent resident Sponsors of Partner Visa and Prospective Marriage Visa applications (“a partner visa”), are subject to character testing. In line with current Australian Government strategies to reduce family violence in the Australian community, the new provisions have been introduced to prevent Australians who have committed a relevant offence from being able to sponsor someone for a partner visa.
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Including Dependents On Your Visa Application
The Australian Government has introduced far reaching changes to the definition of Member of the Family Unit (MoFU) for the purpose of most visa applications. There are now significant limitations on the class of persons that can be considered part of MoFU and hence be included in a visa application.
Character Assessment of Australian Sponsors of Partner Visa Applications
From 18 November 2016, Australian citizen and permanent resident Sponsors of Partner Visa and Prospective Marriage Visa applications (“a partner visa”), are subject to character testing. In line with current Australian Government strategies to reduce family violence in the Australian community, the new provisions have been introduced to prevent Australians who have committed a relevant offence from being able to sponsor someone for a partner visa.
Ability to Renew a 462 Work and Holiday Visa
Under current law, 462 Work and Holiday visas are granted for a period of 1 year. From 19 November 2016, both current and former 462 visa holders may apply for a second 462 visa, which will be granted for 1 year.
Changes To The Period Of Allowed Unemployment On 457 Visas
Changes have been introduced to the period of allowed unemployment for 457 visa holders. A primary 457 visa holder, who was granted their visa before 19 November 2016, is permitted to remain unemployed after cessation of their employment for: 90 days or the date their 457 visa expires, if the expiry date is in less than 90 days. However, this period of allowed unemployment will be reduced from 90 days to 60 days, for 457 visas granted on or after 19 November 2016.
Proposed Changes To Various Temporary Activity Visas
The Government has just announced proposed changes to the Temporary Activity Visa framework, scheduled to come into effect on 19 November 2016. This new framework is intended to make the process of applying for certain temporary visas or sponsoring applicants simpler for business, industry and individuals.
Conferral Of Citizenship Due To Hardship Or Disadvantage – How Much Is Necessary?
A non-citizen person may be able to apply for the conferral of citizenship upon their permanent resident child by demonstrating that the child would otherwise suffer hardship and disadvantage
Working For More Than One Employer Under The 457, 186 And 187 Pathways
A question often arises as to when an organisation can sponsor or nominate an overseas worker for a visa (under the 457, 186, or 187 pathways), and whether that worker can work for an associated or related entity of the organisation. It is important for both employers and overseas workers to be aware of the different requirements and limitations under each scheme.
AITSL Changes To Skills Assessment: Early Childhood Teachers & English Language Requirements
On 22 April 2016 the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) announced a number of changes to its skills assessment requirements which will apply to applications received from 22 April 2016.
Skills Select: State And Territory Government Nominated Permanent Visas (Subclasses 190 & 489)
An alternative pathway to independent skilled migration is for applicants to find a State or Territory Government to nominate them. State and Territory Governments are able to nominate an applicant for a permanent 190 visa, or a temporary 489 regional area visa which leads to permanent residency, if certain additional requirements are satisfied after grant of the visa. This article provides information about applying for a visa via this pathway, with information about the benefits and the pitfalls involved.
Applying For A 186 Or 187 Visa In The TRTS Where There Has Been A Change In Employer
If you have been working full time while holding a subclass 457 visa for the last two years, but have had more than one sponsoring employer, are you eligible to apply for a 186 or 187 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition Stream?
Citizenship Applicants With Australian Partners May Not Be Required To Satisfy General Residency Requirements
It may come as a surprise to some permanent residents that they are not required to satisfy the usual residency requirements for grant of Australian citizenship.
457 Visas – Is The Position Genuine?
Within the last year the Department has been closely scrutinising the genuine need for nominated occupations under the subclass 457 scheme. The issue of “genuine position” has become contentious under the 457 scheme and the Department usually requires significant amounts of evidence to be satisfied that the criterion has been met.
New Legislation: Prohibition On Receiving “Payment For A Visa”
On 14 December 2015, the Australian Government introduced new criminal, civil and administrative sanctions, and visa cancellation provisions as part of a framework that makes “payment for visas” behaviour illegal.
New Process for NSW State Nomination for the Subclass 190 Visa
Due to the difficulties faced by prospective applicants in the lodgement of online nomination applications for the subclass 190 visa, the NSW Department of Trade and Investment introduced a new invitation process from February 2015.
Meeting The Character Requirement For Citizenship
The most common pathway for an Australian permanent resident to become an Australian citizen is by making an application for citizenship by conferral. One of the key requirements for a person to become an Australian citizen by conferral is that they are a person of good character (section 21(2)(h), Citizenship Act 2007. This article has been prepared to assist potential citizenship applicants in understanding the character requirements for citizenship and to shed some light on the way these requirements are currently applied by decision makers.
Proposed Australian Short Term Mobility Visa
The Australian government has proposed the creation of a new visa subclass, which will allow for entry into Australia for up to 12 months to complete specialised work, including intra-company transfers and foreign correspondents. Broadly, the proposed visa subclass will allow visa holders to undertake short-term activities or work in Australia, such as those in Australia’s interest. The new visa is expected to come into effect in 2016.
Changes to Australian Visa Cancellation Powers
The Migration Act has been amended so that people in Australia on temporary visas can now have their visas cancelled even if they pose a low level of risk to the Australian community. The Migration Act will also be amended to provide the minister with the power to cancel a visa if he or she is not satisfied as to the visa holder's identity.
Proposed Changes to the 457 Program
It is expected that numerous changes to the 457 Program will be implemented by the Australian Government in the coming months. Should these recommendations be implemented, many benefits can be expected to flow to Australian employers, prospective visa applicants and the Australian economy more broadly.
Key recommendations: Independent Review of the Subclass 457 Program
Recommended changes to 457 visa program
Return of the non contributory parent, aged parent, aged dependent relative, remaining relative and carer visas
Return of the non contributory parent, aged parent, aged dependent relative, remaining relative and carer visas. On 25 September 2014 these family visas subclasses were re-introduced
Greece & Poland join Work and Holiday visa (subclass 462) Eligible Countries
On 1 August 2014 the Australian Government extended its Working Holiday Maker Program to passport holders of Poland and Greece.
Changes to the Migration Medical Service Provider
The Immigration Department announced that from 25 July 2014, Medibank Health Solutions will no longer be the Department’s migration medical services provider. The new provider is now Bupa Medical Visa Services.
Alternative English Language Tests, Closure of Certain Family Visas
On 23 May 2014, the Immigration Department announced that from November 2014 it will accept English Language test scores from the Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). The Immigration Department also announced that it will not accept any applications for certain Family Visas from 2 June 2014.
Changes to Occupational Ceilings for SkillSelect Visas - Advantages and Possible Hurdles
From 1 March 2014, State or Territory Nominated visas (subclass 190) will no longer be subject to occupational ceiling limitations set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“DIBP”).
457 Nomination Ceilings Removed
The ceiling on 457 Nominations has now been abolished for standard business sponsors. On 14 February 2014, amendments were made to the regulations to remove references to 457 business sponsorships ending once the number of approved nominations (the nomination ceiling) had been reached.
Decision Ready Checklists - No Longer Available
The Immigration Department has announced that applications certified as “Decision Ready” by Migration Agents will no longer receive priority processing. All applications that are lodged under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) will now be placed in a central queue and allocated by date of lodgement.
ICT Work Experience Assessments by the Australian Computer Society – Part II
The article titled "ICT Work Experience Assessments by the Australian Computer Society" dated 28 June 2013 addressed the criteria for skills assessment when applying to the Australian Computer Society (ACS). At the time of writing the above article, the question remained whether the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (Immigration Department) would recognise (and potentially award points for) all relevant work experience obtained after completion of the required qualification.
Introduction of Labour Market Testing to the Subclass 457 Visa Scheme
On 23 November 2013 laws in relation to labour market testing under the subclass 457 visa scheme came into effect.The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has stated that labour market testing (LMT) has been introduced to ensure that the subclass 457 visa is only used to meet genuine skill shortages in the Australian labour market.
New 457 Labour Marketing Testing criteria
It was announced yesterday that from 23 November 2013, standard business sponsors (i.e. 457 sponsors), will be required to undertake Labour Marketing Testing (LMT) prior to lodging a 457 nomination application.
Streamlining Student Visa Processing Arrangements
In October 2013 the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection and the Minister for Education jointly announced the introduction of streamlined visa processing arrangements for applicants seeking to enrol in courses at particular education institutions. Such applicants, regardless of their country of origin, will no longer be assigned an Assessment Level and will therefore be viewed by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as being a low immigration risk.
Name Change & New Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
In September 2013 the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) changed its name to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to emphasise the new Liberal government’s commitment to “Stop the Boats”.
Department of Immigration and Citizenship establishes eMedical
Over the course of 2013 the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (“the Department”) has progressively moved more of their processing systems online. Now all processing of medical results is done through the Department’s online system eMedical.
Expanding the Application of PIC 4020: False or Misleading Information
Public Interest Criteria ("PIC") 4020 was introduced in April 2011 to reduce the level of fraud found in visa applications, and originally only applied to General Skilled Migration and Employer Sponsored visa subclasses. It was then extended to Business Skills and Student Visa applications. From 1 July 2013, PIC 4020 now also applies to Family Visa applications including partner, parent and child visas.
Fair Work Ombudsman to Monitor Subclass 457 Scheme Compliance
In an effort to prevent the misuse of the subclass 457 visa scheme by some employers the government has introduced legislation into Parliament this month empowering the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) to monitor and enforce conditions surrounding the employment of subclass 457 visa holders
ICT Work Experience Assessments by the Australian Computer Society
Under Australian migration law the Australian Computer Society (ACS) is the designated skills assessing body for ICT occupations. Applicants who do not hold an ICT qualification, or who do not hold an ICT bachelor degree or higher from Australia, must demonstrate a certain period of work experience in order to obtain a positive assessment in an ICT occupation from ACS.
Tougher Penalties for Employers Hiring Illegal Workers
From 1 June 2013, new and harsher penalties will be in place for employers hiring illegal workers. The new scheme firmly makes the employer responsible for ensuring that all their employees have appropriate work rights.
Changes to Student Visa Cancellation Procedures
In April 2013 a new approach to student visa cancellation was implemented by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). From that date Education Providers can no longer issue Section 20 Notices, which means DIAC no longer has the power to automatically cancel student visas.
Changes to Short Term Work Visas
In March 2013 the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) made a number of significant changes to the range of short term work visas available. The intention of these changes is to make a clear distinction between work and business visitor activities.
Proposed Changes to the Subclass 457 Temporary (Skilled) Work Visa Scheme
In December 2012 the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (“DIAC”) released a discussion paper proposing a range of changes to the subclass 457 visa program. These measures have not yet been made into law, however the Government has now introduced the bill into parliament with an expectation of it being made law by 1 July 2013.
Changes to Evidence Required to Prove Family Violence
In November 2012 the Family Violence provisions to the Migration Act 1958 were amended to broaden the evidentiary requirements for applicants who make non-judicially determined claims of family violence.
Changes to Bridging Visas for Partner and Parent Applicants
From November 2012, onshore partner and parent visa applicants will be granted a Bridging Visa A and Bridging Visa B with nil conditions.
Updated List of Accredited Institutions - Recognised Temporary Graduate (Subclass 476)
In October 2012, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship updated the list of accredited institutions foreign nationals can graduate from to become eligible for a Recognised Graduate Temporary Visa (subclass 476).
Longer Tourist Visas for Parents
In September 2012, DIAC announced that it would make available longer tourist visas for parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
First Round of Invitations Issued under SkillSelect
On 1 August 2012 DIAC issued the first round of invitations under the new SkillSelect system for General Skilled Migration visas.
Changes to ENS and RSMS
On 1 July 2012 DIAC made significant changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).
Student Visa Changes from 24 March 2012
The Australian government announced a number of beneficial changes for student visa applicants effective as of 24 March 2012, including changes to assessment levels, work conditions and English language studies.
Updated Policy on ENS and RSMS Registration Requirements
The Department of Immigration has clarified whether certain ENS and RSMS applicants need to hold registration, licensing or professional membership, when lodging their applications.
Return Resident (Subclass 155) Visa - Changes to Validity Period
Recent changes will limit the opportunities for Australian permanent residents to “extend” their permanent residency status through the Resident Return visa (RRV) pathway.
Sponsoring overseas workers in the hospitality and tourism industries
The 457 visa program is a fast and simple way to address immediate skills shortages in your hotel, motel or restaurant by sponsoring workers from overseas.
Victoria rolls out the red carpet for PhD graduates
The Victorian government has made special arrangements with DIAC for international students who have completed a PhD at a Victorian University. Former PhD graduates are able to nominate any occupation on an expanded list of occupations.
Setting aside cancellation of student visa – evidence and preparation is key
Success in getting student visa cancellation overturned by MRT
Courts open door to MRT review of Labour Agreement 457 visa refusals
In a recent case run by Visa Lawyers Australia, the Federal Magistrates Court has confirmed that the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT) can review DIAC decisions to refuse 457 visa applications that are based on a Labour Agreement. This is the case even where there is no Labour Agreement in place.
Australia welcomes genuine students
The Australian government has recently changed the requirements for student visas to make it easier for students to come to Australia to study.
Streamlined processing for Accredited 457 Sponsors
On 7 November 2011, DIAC introduced a new 457 sponsorship accreditation scheme that allows employers to gain access to priority processing, and be approved as a sponsor for six years (rather than the standard three). The Minister has introduced this scheme in response to the 40% increase in the use of the 457 visa program in the latest financial year.
The Knight Review – Australian visa requirements relaxed for international students
International student enrolments at Australian Universities have dropped considerably since peaking in 2009. This prompted the Australian government to commission a strategic review of the student visa program on 14 January 2011. The objective of the review, conducted by Mr Michael Knight, was to explain the reason for the decline and provide recommendations for a viable program which will balance Australia's economic, educational, and migration interests. Mr Knight made 41 recommendations on how to reform the Australian Student visa program. On 22 September 2011, the government announced that it has accepted all recommendations in the Knight Review, with the majority proposed to come into effect before the second semester of 2012.
Perth added to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Since 12 September 2011, Perth has been included in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) along with the rest of WA. Employers in all parts of Australia except for the major east coast metropolitan areas are now able to nominate employees under this scheme.
China Overtakes UK as the Largest Contributor to Immigration in Australia
For the first time in its history, Australia has accepted more Chinese than British migrants in any one year. Australia accepted 29,547 migrants from China between 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2011, while UK immigrants amounted to a total of 23,931 during the same period.
Employer compliance with 457 sponsorship conditions
As a sponsor under the 457 scheme, an employer has a valuable recruitment tool, namely the ability to sponsor and employ overseas workers. Sponsorship approval also carries with it a series of significant obligations. In September 2009, DIAC introduced civil penalties for employers of 457 visa holders who breach sponsorship obligations. DIAC recently announced increased reliance on the imposition of civil penalties as a compliance mechanism.
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Skilled Work Experience Evidencing Under the New Skilled Migration Points Test
In order to be eligible for Australian Skilled Migration visas, applicants will need to satisfy certain threshold requirements. One of these threshold requirements is that the applicant provide evidence of recent skilled employment in a skilled occupation or have recently completed the Australian Study requirement. Applicants may also rely on a certain period of work experience in Australia or overseas to satisfy the pass mark.
The 457 visa program: The past, the present and the future
The number of 457 visas granted between 30 June 2010 and 30 June 2011 increased by a staggering 38.2% (to 48,080) compared to the same period in 2009–2010. The total amount of primary visa holders in Australia at 30 June 2011 was 72,030, an increase of 5.3% compared to the same date last year.
GSM Processing Update
Effective from 1 July 2011, the Department of Immigration & Citizenship has introduced new priority processing arrangements. These arrangements are intended to give regional visas the highest processing priority. Essentially, the new arrangements have divided the former Processing Group 1 into new Priority Groups 1 and 2. Former Processing Groups 2, 3 and 4 have become Processing Priority Groups 3, 4 and 5 respectively.
Major changes to Australia's Skilled Migration Program
The Australian Government has decided on a number of major changes to the Skilled Migration Programme that will completely alter the way skilled migrants are admitted into Australia. The changes, coming into force on 1 July 2012, will affect the following visas types: Skilled – Independent (Migrant) subclass 175; Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) subclass 176; Skilled – Independent (Residence) subclass 885; Skilled – Sponsored (Residence) subclass 886; and Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) subclass 475.
Changes to the GSM Points Test - Community language points
On July 1 2011 a new points test will come into force for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applicants. All GSM visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2011 will be subject to the new points test, unless limited transitional arrangements apply. Consequently, points for a designated/community language can no longer be claimed on the basis of being the holder of a qualification from a university where instruction was in that language.
Changes to the GSM Points Test - English language requirements
On July 1 2011 a new points test came into force for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applicants. The English language requirements contained in the new points test mark a significant departure from earlier requirements. All GSM visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2011 will be subject to the new points test, unless limited transitional arrangements apply.
An increased number of Family Visas to Australia will be granted in FY2011-2012
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, has announced that the number of visas granted under various parent and family visa programs will be increased by 16% to 10,700 for the 2011 – 2012 financial year.
457 Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold to increase to $49,330 from 1 July 2011
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced an increase in the minimum salary payable to employees nominated under the subclass 457 visa scheme. Effective from 1 July 2011, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will be $49,330, up from the current TSMIT of $47,480.
New skilled migration points test – transitional arrangements
On 1 July 2011 a new points test will come into force for a number of skilled migration visa applications. The new points test includes new points factors (see our article dated 9 June 2011) and a new pass mark of 65 points.
Adding family members to certain GSM visas after date of grant
Family members and/or relatives cannot be added to an applicant’s GSM permanent visa (eg subclasses 885 and 886) after it has been granted. In those situations, the family members will need to apply for residency under the partner or child migration pathways (as applicable).
English language requirements under the new skilled migration points test
On 1 July 2011 a new points test will come into force for a number of skilled migration visa applications. In order to be eligible for one of the affected skilled migration visas, applicants will need to satisfy a number of threshold requirements. One of these requirements states that the applicant must have an English language skill level of at least “Competent”.
New Skilled Migration Points Test
On July 1, 2011 a new points test will come into force for a number of skilled migration visa applications. The changes will affect the following visa subclasses: Skilled – Independent (175); Skilled – Sponsored (176); Regional Sponsored (475); Skilled – Regional Sponsored (487); Skilled – Independent (885); and Skilled – Sponsored (886).
Enterprise Migration Agreements - Commonwealth Budget (2011-2012)
Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs), a new temporary migration initiative to help address the skill needs of the resource sector have been announced by the Australian Government. EMAs will be a custom-designed, project-wide migration arrangement suited to the resource sector. Through EMAs, major resource projects will be able to access overseas labour for genuine skill vacancies that cannot be filled from the Australian labour market.
Regional Sponsored Initiatives - Commonwealth Budget (2011-2012)
In recognition of the challenges that employers in regional Australia face to maintain and grow their businesses, in the 2011-12 Budget the Government has directed the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to begin investigating the viability of a number of initiatives specifically targeted toward assisting regional Australia to manage these challenges.
Australian Migration Program for 2011-2012
The Australian Federal Government has announced an increase in the Migration Program Planning Levels for 2011-2012, to 185,000. The increase of 16,300 places from 2010-11 planning levels has mostly been allocated to the Skill Stream to assist in meeting the demand for skilled migrants given strong employment growth and tightening labour market conditions.
Regional Migration Agreements
The government is proposing to introduce an initiative in 2011-2012 that will bring together employers, local and state government and unions to cooperate on addressing local labour needs. Regional Migration Agreements (RMAs) will be custom-designed, geographically based migration arrangements that set out the occupations and numbers of overseas workers needed in the area.
Changes to acceptable probationary periods under the Employer Nomination Scheme
there will be numerous changes to policy under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). There will be numerous policy changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). The Department has indicated that this will include no longer accepting extended employment probationary periods.
New Temporary Work Scheme for Semi-Skilled Workers
According to news reports, the Federal Government is contemplating a new migration scheme for semi-skilled workers to be employed on million-dollar mining and construction projects
Changes to processing of 485 visa applications
Prior to the implementation of a new points test for general skilled migration on 1 July 2011, the Minister for Immigration has announced that some 485 applications may be finalised, thus avoiding assessment against the new criteria.
Priority Group 3 GSM applicants invited to obtain health and character clearances now
In anticipation of priority group 2 General Skilled Migration (“GSM”) applications being finalised by the end of this financial year, DIAC has invited certain priority group 3 GSM applicants to obtain health and character clearances now. This suggests that DIAC may be in a position to finalise certain eligible priority group 3 GSM applications before the end of this financial year (that is, by 30 June 2011).
Carer, remaining relative and aged dependent relative visas intake reduced by 70%
On 18 January 2011, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, announced that there will be a cap placed on the Other Family visa category. This cap limits the number of visas that can be granted under this category this financial year to a maximum of 750.
Victorian State Migration Plan: Update
The Victorian government announced that it will no longer accept applications for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skilled occupations after 30 January 2011, for the purposes of nomination under its State Migration Plan.
State Migration Plan for South Australia
State Migration Plans are agreements between individual States and Territories with the Immigration Minister which allow states and territories to nominate General Skilled Migration (GSM) applicants under occupations required to fill skill shortages within their local labour markets.
DIAC to Prioritise General Skilled Migration Applicants with an ANZSCO-Reviewed Skills Assessment from the Australian Computer Society
DIAC recently announced that it will prioritise GSM applications lodged before 1 July 2010 nominating the ASCO skilled occupation of Computing Professional not elsewhere classified (nec), where the applicants provide a reviewed/new skills assessment in an ANZSCO based skilled occupation found on Schedule 3 Skilled Occupation List.
New Points Test for General Skilled Migration Announced
A new points test for General Skilled Migration (GSM) was announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship on 11 November 2010.
Processing Priorities for Visas Under the Family Migration Streams
Priorities for processing family migration applications have recently been established. Within the family migration stream, higher priority is given to immediate family members. This includes dependent children (including children for adoption), orphan relatives, partners and fiancés.
ICT or Computer professionals applying for skills re-assessment with the Australian Computer Society
Recently, there have been a number of practitioners suggesting that it may be possible to change a nominated skilled occupation after a General Skilled Migration (GSM) application (eg subclass 175, 176, 885 or 886) has been lodged.
Victorian State Migration Plan
The Victorian State Migration Plan allows the Victorian Government to nominate skilled applicants, whose occupations are listed on the State Sponsorship Eligibility List.
Important GSM Decision Ready Checklist Update
In July 2010 DIAC’s Brisbane Skilled Processing Centre for GSM applications introduced a ‘Decision Ready Checklist’ (DRC) on a trial basis. The DRC gives priority to onshore GSM applications which have been lodged online (eLodged) by Registered Migration Agents and which are ‘Decision Ready’.
Important changes to processing arrangements for Partner (Permanent) Visas
From 1 October 2010, all Partner (permanent) visa applications lodged at an immigration office overseas and due for permanent visa assessment on or after 1 October 2010 will be processed at the Partner (permanent) Processing Centre located Brisbane.
State or Territory Nomination Under General Skilled Migration
State migration plans are expected to be released within the next 2-3 weeks. The migration plans will offer an opportunity for potential skilled migrants under the General Skilled Migration program.
Waiver of the health criterion now available in NSW
From 22 September 2010, it is possible for applicants in NSW to obtain a waiver of the health criterion where they have applied for the following permanent visas: Subclass 846 (Regional Established Business in Australia); Subclass 855 (Labour Agreement); Subclass 856 (Employer Nomination Scheme); and Subclass 857 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme).
Decision ready checklists for General Skilled Migration applications
In order to speed up processing of visa applications, the Department of Immigration team in Brisbane has recently announced a ‘Decision Ready Checklist’ system.
Relationships Recognised by DIAC for the Purposes of a Visa Application
A summary of the types of relationships that are recognized by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for visa purposes.
Changes to the Australian Institute of Management’s Criteria for Manager for the Purpose of Migration
The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) has introduced changes in its assessment criteria for Manager for the Purpose of Migration to Australia. These changes will apply to all skills assessment applications lodged with MIA on or after 1 July 2010.
Recent Changes to Skills Assessment for Nurses and Midwives
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) recently announced changes which favours the recognition of registered nurses and midwives from member states of the European Union.
Training Benchmarks for 457 Sponsors
Employers sponsoring 457 visas required to satisfy 'training benchmarks'
ENS and RSMS Processing Overload
DIAC’s Parramatta office is experiencing an overload in applications
New Processing Arrangements for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas
Changes were announced to priority processing arrangements for some General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas
Medicare eligibility for permanent residency applicants
Medicare entitlements for those without citizenship or PR
Challenging “Cap and Cease” Letters
While there has been suggestion that the legality of the “cap and cease” letters could be challenged, in practice this would be difficult and expensive.
Visa capping and termination bill: ministerial power to control and “kill” applications
New 'Visa Capping' bill gives the Minister power to cap and terminate visa applications
457 visas, the English Language Criterion and Exemptions
English language proficiency level depends on applicant’s occupation
Changes to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for 457 visas
Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold Changes
New Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for General Skilled Migration (GSM)
New Skills Occupation List (SOL) from 1 July 2010
New Occupation List under the New Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
New occupations list that applies to ENS
New Occupation List for Subclass 457 and Subclass 442 (Occupational Trainee) visas
New occupations list for 457 and 442 visas
ANZSCO and the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL)
Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) revoked for all visa applicants with some exceptions
Changeover from ASCO to ANZSCO from 1 July 2010
ANZSCO has replaced ASCO as the standard used by DIAC
Australia's new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) for General Skilled Migration (GSM)
New Skilled Occupation List (New SOL) announced for Australia
Temporary suspension of Offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) applications for Subclasses 175, 176 and 475
Temporarily suspension in accepting Offshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applications as demand exceeds supply.
Australian Computer Society Skills Assessments and the New SOL
The new SOL lists ANZSCO rather than ASCO codes and has implications for IT skills assessments
Changes to Skills Assessment for Accountants and related occupations
New info for skills assessment as an accountant
Skills assessment through Trades Recognition Australia – Skilled Worker Program
Two alternate skills assessment programs for trade qualifications
Evidence required to include dependent children in a visa application
New evidence required for inclusion of dependent children on visa applications
Reduction in the term of a “long term partner relationship”
Change in meaning of “long term partner relationship”
Changes to health requirements for onshore Skilled Migration applicants
No medical examination required before lodging for onshore Skilled applications
Recognition of TRA skills assessments obtained prior to 1 January 2010
Onshore GSM applicants no longer require TRA skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010.
Migration occupations in demand list (MODL) revoked for ENS and RSMS applications
DIAC recently announced that the MODL has been revoked for the Employment Nomination Scheme
Substantial changes to the general skilled migration program announced
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program on 8 February 2010. Some of these changes will affect current and future candidates.
Changes to General Skilled Migration (GSM) skills requirements
Changes to permanent residency eligibility effective 1 Jan 2010
Significant changes to VETASSESS skills assessment requirements
From 1 January 2010 VETASSESS will be requiring applicants to show acceptable academic qualifications and work experience.
Working in a closely related Skilled Occupation in Australia
Receive 10 points if employed in skilled occupation for at least 12 months
Removing “No Further Stay” Conditions
In certain cases, it is possible to apply to the Minister to have the no further stay condition removed or waived.
Restrictions on “reusing” health examination results
‘Re-use’ previous health examination reports for future visa applications permitted
Changes to Priority Processing effective from 23 September 2009
New processing priorities for certain skilled migration visa applications
Changes to priority list for subclass 485 visas effective from 23 September 2009
Changes to priority list for subclass 485 visas
Changes to laws allowing lodgement of partner visas in Australia
Welcome changes to partner visa scheme
Changes to salary levels for 457 visa holders
457 visa holders must be paid at a market salary rate
IT graduate skills now assessable against MODL occupations
IT graduates with Australian qualifications are now eligible to have their skills assessed against the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) occupations.
Work Condition 8101 - “No Work”
New work conditions attached to temporary visas including visitor visas, student visas, temporary business visas and bridging visas.
Measures to protect children from high risk situations
Policies aimed at protecting minors from high risk situations
New Worker Protection Act Legislation - effective 14 September 2009
The Worker Protection Act, effective 14 September 2009, includes nine requirements of sponsors including employing the sponsored visa holder in the occupation for which he/she has been sponsored and supplying information to Government when requested.
2009-2010 Australian Budget and impact on immigration levels
Changes to Australia’s migration planning levels, with decreased General Skilled Migration
Fast-track your General Skilled Migration Application
Economic conditions lead to re-ordered visa processing
New Departmental Approach to Subclass 457 Visas
DIAC will be taking a new approach to the 457 visa program
Dramatic Slowdown in Processing Some GSM Applications
As a result of the global financial crisis Immigration Department processing of certain General Skilled Migration visas has slowed down dramatically.
Changes to 457 Sponsor Obligations
Draft amendments to the Migration Regulations will significantly affect the obligations owed by 457 temporary business visa sponsors
MRT appeal successful for applicant without competent English at time of DIAC decision (Subclass 485)
Our firm successfully represented a Migration Review Tribunal (“MRT”) applicant, who did not have competent English
New priority processing for skilled migration applications
From January 2009, new priority processing for skilled migration applications New priority processing for skilled migration applications
Parent visa processing explained
Parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Contributory Parent Visa (“CPV”) or Parent Visa streams
Proposed Changes to Sponsorship Obligations of Employers of 457 visa holders
Employers who sponsor foreign employees are likely to be affected by a Bill currently before the Federal Parliament
457 Visa Processing Centres of Excellence
On 1 July 2008, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) opened 3 new “Centres of Excellence” designed to streamline the processing of 457 visa applications
Automatic work permission for students
Since 26 April 2008, all newly granted Australian student visas have had permission to work granted automatically.
General Skilled Migration Scheme Expanded
The Australian Government has reaffirmed its commitment to attracting highly skilled migrants to Australia with a substantial increase to the General Skilled Migration Scheme (GSM) quota for the 2008-2009 financial year.
Australian Work Experience
Applicants for points tested skilled migration (visa subclasses 175, 176, 885, 886) may be eligible for 10 bonus points if they have worked in their nominated occupation, or a closely related skilled occupation, in Australia, for 12 months in the four years immediately before they apply.
Changes to Skilled Migration Effective from 1 January 2009
From January 1, 2009 changes will be introduced to employer sponsored and skilled migration