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NEWSLETTER No. 24 – October 2009

AUSTRALIA – ANNOUNCEMENT BY VETASSESS

VETASSESS have just announced some major changes in the way applicants will be assessed.

By way of background, VETASSESS is the skills assessment authority for many applicants for Australian residency. They accept applications from those applicants who wish to migrate to Australia and who nominate a skilled occupation which is a managerial, administrative, professional or associate professional occupation.

Examples include occupations such as Graphic Designers, Production Managers, Marketing Specialists, Hotel Managers etc…

Effective from 1 January 2010, such applicants need to show that their qualification is related to their occupation. VETASSESS will also in some cases require evidence of relevant work experience.

This is a major change in the current process. At the moment, if you select your nominated occupation as, for instance “Management Consultant”, you are not required to have a related degree. In other words your degree qualification could be in any subject.

This will not be possible after 1 January 2010.

These does not apply to some of those trade occupations that VETASSESS is responsible for assessing, only those which are managerial, administrative, professional or associate professional occupations.

We advise any clients looking to apply to VETASSESS to start this process asap, to avoid any complications after January.

AUSTRALIA – CHILD AND PARTNER VISAS

The Department of Immigration are now advising that for all child visas and certain partner visas, the Australian sponsor must now provide an Australian Police Check.

This includes partner visa applications in which there are dependent children. This new requirement is designed to ensure the best interests of the child are met, especially in cases where the sponsor has a criminal conviction.

Although this will not present a problem for the overwhelming number of applicants, it may lead to an increase in processing times, while this Police Check is obtained.

If you are interested in moving to Australia then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website.

NEW ZEALAND – GENERAL INFORMATION

The following is an update on routes of entry for Investors and Skilled Workers.

Investors:
The recently unveiled New Zealand ‘Migrant Investment Policy’ aims to attract financial capital to local firms or government by providing residence to people under the age of 66 years who wish to make a significant financial contribution to New Zealand’s economy.

The policy is divided into two categories:

Investor Plus – requires a three year investment of NZ$10 million and

Investor – requires an investment NZ$1.5 million for four years plus assets of NZ$1 million. The requirement for how long you have to stay in New Zealand and other conditions vary between these 2 categories but they now present a real opportunity to many people.
Update on Skilled Workers

The requirement in the New Zealand labour market for the majority of health professional occupations remains high and also for Secondary School Teachers. Chefs who are well qualified with proven experience of leading a team of Cooks, are also in demand. Many trades’ occupations are currently in low demand with the exception of Electricians and Fitter/Turners. If you find an employer who needs your skills, and you have formal qualifications, then there are other routes to consider if they have permission to employ foreign workers.

If you are interested in moving to New Zealand then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website.

NEWSLETTER No. 23 – August 2009

UNITED KINGDOM – NEW PROPOSALS FOR CITIZENSHIP

The Home Office have now announced proposals on future plans for applicants to obtain UK citizenship.

At the moment, after complying with rules on residence and character, applicants are normally eligible to apply for full UK citizenship.

The new proposals would allow the Home Office to introduce a points based system for UK citizenship. There would also potentially be a system of “probationary citizenship” before “full citizenship”.

As outlined by the Home Office, the new system

“would see people rewarded for economic contributions, skills and English language proficiency above the level already expected. Points could be removed and citizenship withheld or delayed for those breaking the law or committing anti-social behaviour”.

This would obviously be a radical departure from the current system and potentially lead to much greater scrutiny of applicants. The timeframe to achieve full UK citizenship could also be longer.

At the moment, the proposals are still at the consultation stage until 26 October. After that, we expect details on the implementation of the new system.

We will obviously keep applicants informed of any further announcements regarding the new rules for UK citizenship.

AUSTRALIA – THE MIGRATION PROCESS FOR NURSES

Nurses and Midwives are in demand in Australia. So much so that these occupations are included on the Australian Critical Skills List which means that they will be processed ahead of all other occupations.

This allows for the grant of full permanent residence without the need for sponsorship by an employer or State government. This allows total freedom to easily move from employer to employer, something that is not possible on a work sponsored visa.

We regularly assist Nurses to migrate to Australia and there are 3 key stages in the process.

* Registration with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council

* Application for full permanent residence visa.

* Registration in the State / Territory in which one intends to work.

It is vital that each stage is completed correctly. Recent rule changes now require that ALL applicants must complete an appropriate English language test for registration. This was previously waived for applicants from the UK, Ireland and the USA, however now it is mandatory.

We have an excellent record in assisting Nurses to obtain full permanent residence, professional registration and employment in Australia.

If you are interested in moving to Australia then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website.

NEWSLETTER No. 22 – June 2009

AUSTRALIA – NEW MIGRATION PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

The Department of Immigration have announced details of the new Migration Program effective for the year 1 July 2009 until 30 June 2010.

A total of 108,100 permanent skilled visas will be available from the start of the new Program year on 1 July. Although this is a slight reduction from the 115,000 visas available in the current Program year, its only brings the overall numbers back to normal levels. The numbers for this coming Program year are the 3rd highest planned intake ever.

For instance, previous years resulted in the following numbers of permanent skilled visas.

2007/08: 108,540
2006/07: 97,920
2005/06: 97,340
2004/05: 77,880

The government has announced no change in eligibility criteria or the applicable Pass Mark. We therefore expect processing of these skilled visas to largely continue in line with previous years.

There is also good news for those applying through the Partner and Parent visa categories. The number of permanent visas available in these categories has been increased.

We will obviously keep applicants informed of any further announcements regarding the new Migration Program.

 

AUSTRALIA – MORE OCCUPATIONS AVAILABLE FOR PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT

We are pleased to announce that the option of proving one’s trade skills through a practical assessment has now been extended to several more trades.

The new trades eligible for practical assessment are;

Cook
Chef
Welder (First Class)
Fitter
Metal Fabricator
Metal Machinist (First Class)
Sheetmetal Worker (First Class)
General Mechanical Engineering Tradesperson
General Fabrication Engineering Tradesperson
Toolmaker
Electroplater (First Class)
Pressure Welder
General Plumber

This is a great opportunity for those who can demonstrate the full range of skills in their trade, but who do not have formal qualifications from completing college courses, apprenticeships etc…

Successful completion of the assessment will result in the award of an Australian Qualification Framework Certificate Level 3, which in turn is recognised by Trades Recognition Australia, the Department of Immigration and Australian employers

Previously such programmes were only available in Australia, involving lengthy courses and great expense.

If you have qualifications / skills / experience in any of the above trades and you are interested in moving to Australia, then please contact us.

Additionally, the following trades have also been available for practical assessment for several months;

Hairdresser, Plasterer, Floor Finisher, Wall / Floor Tiler, Bricklayer, Carpenter, Painter and Decorator, Roof Plumber, Roof Tiler, Cabinet Maker, Landscape Gardener, Flat Glass Trades

Unlike other major economies, Australia has not entered recession.

 

UNITED STATES – E-2 VISAS

With the UK pound improving against the US dollar, E-2 visas have again become very attractive for those wanting to establish their own business in the United States. For the majority of people this is the only realistic option to live and work in the United States.

For many years we have helped people through this route and with the United States economy showing real signs of recovery this is a great time to invest in a new venture. If you are an experienced business owner, manager or a budding entrepreneur then please talk to us to see what opportunities the United States has for you.

UNITED KINGDOM – MORE RESTRICTIONS

The UK Immigration Minister has outlined some of his future plans in a major policy speech.

Changes to be implemented in the new few months will include further changes to family migration and reforms to settlement, breaking the link between temporary and permanent migration

The changes to family migration are expected to include much tougher provisions on sponsoring overseas spouses to settle in the UK. A minimum income figure for the UK sponsor is likely to be introduced.

Furthermore, the government plans to implement a much longer probationary period before spouse visa holders can become permanent residents. This may be increased from 2 to 5 years.