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DIAC delay announcement of new Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

by Lauren 4/30/2010 10:21:00 AM

The announcement of the new
SOL has been delayed by DIAC

Upon the announcement of the most recent wave of Australian visa changes, it was announced that the Australian government would be replacing the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) with "a more targeted list of occupations to better meet the medium and long-term future skill needs of the Australian economy."

They also stated that "it is expected that the new SOL will be announced by 30 April 2010 and placed on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website and take effect from mid-2010." However, this 30 April deadline has now been missed, with the following updated posted on DIAC's website:

"Update on announcement of New Skilled Occupations List

The Government is considering the report from Skills Australia containing their Skilled Occupation List. An announcement and publication of the new Skilled Occupation List for Migration purposes will be made in May."

While the continued lack of clarification is frustrating, it will be interesting to see if DIAC provide any further comment on the delay of the SOL's announcement and whether this will delay its previously announced mid-2010 introduction (which is widely predicted to take place on the 1 July, 2010).

In the meantime though, I will continue monitoring the situation and provide updates as and when I receive them.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Taking stock of the Australian visa changes and looking ahead at what's to come.

by Matt 4/28/2010 3:11:00 PM

More Australian immigration
changes are on the horizon

The last twelve months have been a turbulent time for Australian immigration policy. We've seen change upon change announced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), as the Australian government continues to restructure its Australian visa legislation and processing structure to best reflect its economic needs and skill shortages.

While some policies, schemes and lists are phased out, and other new policies are considered and introduced, the effect on individual applicants can often be confusing and frustrating.

That's why I'd like to clarify the upcoming changes that are most pressing for anyone preparing to lodge an Australian skilled visa application. It's vital that any Australian visa applicant be aware of what they need to do right well and the timeframe within which they have to do it, in order to avoid being caught out by policy changes that might affect their skilled visa eligibility.

While you may already be aware of much of this, I would still encourage that you read through and remind yourself of what you need to be getting on with right now.

What is happening with Australian immigration?

2010 is shaping up to be another year of substantial visa changes. DIAC have already removed the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) from the skilled migration process, resulting in the elimination of any additional points granted to applicants in MODL occupations.

DIAC has also announced that they are preparing to introduce a new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in 'mid 2010'. Currently, we are anticipating full details of the SOL to be released very soon, with a predicted date of 1 July, 2010 for its introduction (as this has typically been the case in previous years).

We are also awaiting the introduction of State Migration Plans, which are currently being drawn up between each individual Australian state and territory, DIAC, and the immigration minister. Beyond these specific changes, consultations continue to take place concerning a review of the points-based system.

In the midst of all this, states, territories and skills assessment bodies continue to adjust and tweak their policies and procedures. In a nutshell, as regular readers of the Visa Bureau blog will be all too aware, this is be a disconcerting time for those invested in the process.

Will I be affected by the changes?

Any change to legislation that affects your eligibility could have a direct and unavoidable impact on your ability to apply for an Australian skilled visa until your central visa application is submitted to DIAC.

There is a silver lining, however; in the recent past, DIAC have implemented changes with immediate effect and without any warning. On this occasion though, they have announced their intentions before introducing them.

As a result, applicants now have a window of opportunity in which to finalise any remaining elements of the application that need to be completed before lodging the main visa application itself.  Provided the application is then lodged before the changes are implemented, you should stand a better chance of avoiding any negative impact from legislation changes.

What should I do now?

Even though 1 July, 2010 is the time when we expect more changes to be implemented, it should not be treated as a definitive deadline by which to lodge your application. However, I would still advise all visa applicants to keep this date in mind and work quickly towards lodging their visa application.

Once you have received a positive skills assessment result and state sponsorship (if applicable), your focus should then be on completing and lodging your application as soon as possible.

- Matt Parker is a Caseworker for the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Changes to Australian business migration: visa eligibility requirements updated

by Lauren 4/22/2010 4:10:00 PM

Changes have been made to the
Australian Business Skills
Migration Program

On 19 April 2010, changes to the minimum eligibility requirements for Australian business visa applicants were introduced.

These changes to the Business Skills Migration Program resulted in an increase in the net assets and / or business ownership requirements for a number of business visa subclasses, as well as the removal of the senior migration option for the subclass 163 visa. Read on for a more detailed explanation of each of the changes: 

Increased net assets for Australian business visa applicants

The minimum net business and personal assets required for the following sponsored provisional Business Skills visas have been increased from AU$250,000 to AU$500,000 in response to increases in the cost of living and business establishment costs:

The minimum net business and personal assets required for the following provisional Business Skills visas ahve been increased from AU$500,000 to AU$800,000 in response to increases in the cost of living and business establishment costs:

Increased business ownership

Business migrants will now be required to own a substantial or controlling interest in a business to meet visa requirements. The minimum business ownership percentage required has been increased from 10 per cent to:

  • 51 per cent where the business turnover is less than AU$400,000;
  • 30 per cent where the business turnover is AU$400,000 or more; OR
  • 10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company.

This amendment applies to all business owner visas (subclasses 132, 160, 163, 890, 892, 845, 846).

Senior manager option removed from the Subclass 163 visa

Applicants who are employed as senior managers of a business can no longer apply for a State / Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) (subclass 163) visa. Only business owners are now eligible for this visa.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

More Skilled Occupation List - which occupations will be on the new Australian SOL?

by Lauren 4/21/2010 10:30:00 AM

 

Much speculation has been made
regarding the new Australian visa
Skilled Occupation List.

Even though the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is potentially just days away from being officially released, that hasn't stopped rumours flying within the Australian immigration community about exactly which occupations will appear on the final list.

To give a little background regarding the new Australian SOL (although I imagine the majority of Australian visa applicants will be all too familiar with it!), it is set to act as a tool to determine both the occupations that Australia is in demand of and the order in which Australia visa applicants will be processed.

As a result, it will become a fairly critical part of the Australian visa application process, essentially determining which workers will and won't be eligible to be granted a skilled visa.

It's sparked a number of news reports, one of which was published recently in 'The Weekend Australian'.

The article focusses on the future of skilled migration to Australia as part of the re-vamped migration process and includes a number of quotes from Philip Bullock, the head of Skills Australia (which is the organisation that has been given the responsibility of forming the new SOL and presenting it to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) for approval.)

As part of the printed version of this article, a table titled 'SKILLS WE NEED' was included, which we presume includes a number of the occupations set to be on the new SOL.

See below for this list, but once again, please understand that this is NOT the final SOL, and THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THAT ANY OF THESE OCCUPATIONS WILL APPEAR ON THE NEW SKILLED OCCUPATION LIST WHEN IT IS FORMALLY ANNOUNCED LATER IN APRIL 2010.

Construction managers
Engineering managers
Computer systems analysts
Software and applications programmers
Telecommunications and electrical engineers
Civil engineering draftspersons and technicians
Telecommunications technical specialists
Air transport professionals
Automotive electricians
Marine transport professionals
Motor mechanics
Architects and landscape architects
Urban and regional planners
Aircraft maintenance engineers
Chemical and materials engineers
Bricklaters and stonemasons
Industrial, mechanical and production engineers
Carpenters and joiners
Mining engineers
Electronics trades workers
Wood machinists and other wood trades workers
Sign writers

Childcare centre managers
Health and welfare services managers
School principals and teachers
Other education managers
Registered nurses
Psychologists
Social workers
Teachers of English to speakers of other languages
Dental hygienists, technicians and therapists
Optometerists and orhoptists
Pharmacists
Surgeons
Other medical practitioners
Lawyers
Judicial and other legal professionals
Accountants
Auditors
Actuaries
Fire and emergency workers
Police
Veterinarians

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Evidentiary requirements reduced for permanent Australian Partner visa applicants

by Lauren 4/6/2010 5:09:00 PM

Australian partner visa legislation
was changed on 23 March, 2010
 

There's been some good news for Australian Partner visa applicants who do not have children with their Australian partner sponsor, as the amount of cohabitation evidence required for them to receive a Permanent (subclass 100) visa has been reduced from 5 years to 3 years as of 27 March, 2010.

You can read the official legislation change update notification here. To provide some explanation though, applicants for an Australian Partner visa don't get to choose whether they are applying for a Permanent (subclass 100) or a Temporary (subclass 309) visa. Instead, this decision is made by the Australian High Commission once the application enters processing, with whether the applicant has had any children with the Australian partner sponsor and the amount of cohabitation evidence supplied all key factors in determining the High Commission's decision.

Cohabitation evidence is anything that demonstrates the length of time that the applicant and their Australian partner sponsor have lived together and shared financial committments, with the best regarded evidence typically being evidence of joint ownership of real estate, evidence of shared finances and evidence of shared bills / expenses etc.

While an Australian Partner visa applicant who is married to an Australian but doesn't have any children with them can be put forward for the Temporary (subclass 309) visa without providing any substantial cohabitation evidence, to be considered eligible for the Permanent (subclass 100) visa, they would be required to submit at least 5 years cohabitation evidence under the previous rules. 

However, these evidentiary requirements have now been reduced, making it possible now for Australian Partner visa applicants to be considered eligible for the Permanent (subclass 100) visa by demonstrating only 3 years cohabitation evidence.

The rules remain the same for Australian Partner visa applicants who DO have children (i.e. they will still need to provide 2 years cohabitation evidence to receive the Permanent (subclass 100) visa) and unmarried / de facto Australian Partner visa applicants without children (i.e. they will still need to provide 12 months cohabitation evidence and will only be eligible for the Temporary (subclass 309) visa).

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manage for the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.