While the Australian government announced last year that changes to skilled migration programme would be made in 2012, they weren't forthcoming about too many specifics as to how the process would be affected; we wrote at the time about the changes which were proposed.
However, with so much in the news recently about Australia's immigration issues, whether it be gaps in the job market or lengthy application processes, the Australian government has responded by publishing their new site SkillSelect, intended for a 1 July, 2012 launch.
But with so many changes promised and moving to Australia already being such a daunting process, how do you know if SkillSelect applies to you?
Here is a look at the new scheme, what it is and how to use it.
The SkillSelect website will begin taking
applications on 1 July, 2012
What is SkillSelect?
SkillSelect is a new method for the Australian government to manage its skilled migration programme. Based solely online, SkillSelect will require everyone who is intending to migrate to Australia to submit their application through the new system.
Applications made through SkillSelect will be made available to employers looking to recruit staff, as well as local state or territory governments. Selected applicants will then be invited to apply for an Australian visa.
Why is it needed?
Australia has struggled in recent months to balance its immigration policy properly. While the Asian fuelled mining boom continues across the country, people looking to cash in on rising wages have flocked to the mines. This means that labour shortages have cropped up in a variety of industries with 35,000 vacancies in the hospitality industry alone.
The SkillSelect programme will mean that the Australian immigration authorities can specifically target which occupations they have a shortage of and manage those applicants who are capable of filling the vacancies.
Who can use it?
When SkillSelect opens for applications on 1 July, 2012, anyone wishing to move to Australia as part of any of the following visa programmes need to apply using the SkillSelect website:
How it affects you
The Australian government has been quick to maintain that the SkillSelect website is still subject to change while particular details are finalised with further details of the SkillSelect process expected to be announced in April 2012. Therefore, if you are an existing client at the Australian Visa Bureau and are eager to continue your application as quickly as possible, you can move forward with your application without worry; the Australian Visa Bureau has significant experience under the current system and we are confident that the majority of our clients whose applications are properly assembled will be able to lodge before the 1 July deadline.
However, if you are yet to begin the application process or you are unlikely to lodge your application before 1 July, 2012, then you may have concerns about how the new system will be handled.
The Australian immigration process has undergone significant changes with the past and the Australian Visa Bureau has always successfully adjusted to the new process. SkillSelect will bring further changes but it will also bring benefits to the applicants as well as the Australian government; once the new steamlined process has been finalised and implemented, applicants will be able to get responses to each portion of their application much quicker.
- Dominic Ladden-Powell is Online Editor for the UK Visa Bureau
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