NEWSLETTER No. 21 – April 2009


The government have now clarified the April 1st changes to the UK Tier 1 General (Highly Skilled) category.
All new applicants applying in this category will need to have a minimum qualification of a Masters degree and previous earnings equivalent to UK £20,000 (adjusted for different countries).

The new rules do not apply to those already in the UK on a Tier 1 General visa or the previous HSMP visa, who are extending their status while in the UK.

However, they do apply to those in the UK such as students or work permit holders changing their UK status.

Also, the rules have now been changed for the Tier 1 Post Study Work visa. From April 1st, applicants who have been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate (unless it is a PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education) will not be eligible for this visa. There is no change for applicants who have a UK Bachelors degree or postgraduate degree.



The Department of Immigration have announced that between now and the end of the visa year (30 June 2009) they will only be priority processing applications who occupations are on the Critical Skills List or who are sponsored by a State government.
Once the new visa program year commences on 1 July 2009, we expect processing of visa applications to resume in chronological order.
The Department have not announced any change in criteria or increase in the relevant Pass Mark (for points tested applicants). Applications can continue to be submitted as normal.
It is important to emphasise that Australia is still looking to attract migrants. However this change, which runs until 30 June 2009, allows States to target those occupations that are in demand in that particular State. The overall number of residence visas to be granted is only slightly reduced.
Increasingly, State Nomination is proving to be an option for many applicants and we can assist applicants with this.
This allows States to sponsor migrants who they need and these applications are fast-tracked for permanent residency. Some examples of in demand occupations in certain States include;

Western Australia – Plumbers, Child Care Managers, Plasterers, Hairdressers, Queensland – Secondary School Teachers, Electricians, Carpenters, Welders South Australia – Nurses, Accountants, Toolmakers, Bricklayers, Victoria – Motor Mechanics, Sheet Metal Workers, Engineers, Social Workers
These are just a few brief examples of different occupations in demand in different States. All States can sponsor many more occupations than this.
Please contact us for more information.

Also for HAIRDRESSERS – the next practical assessments by the Queensland Hairdressing Academy (QHA) in the UK and Ireland, will be facilitated in the first and second weeks of May.

This QHA practical assessment is for those applicants who do not have formal qualifications to demonstrate their Hairdressing skills.

Final locations are yet to be set – but at this stage, they are likely to be in London, Manchester, Glasgow and possibly Dublin. Interested applicants will be advised of exact locations and venues over the next few weeks.

Please contact us for more information if you are a Hairdresser looking to move to Australia.


The Province of Alberta is increasingly becoming one of the most popular destinations for migrants to Canada.
The 2 main cities of Calgary and Edmonton are home to the majority of the 3.5 million people who live in Alberta. The population growth last year was twice the Canadian average – largely due to immigration.

Much of the growth in the Alberta economy comes from its huge exports of oil and gas. Other important sectors include forestry, tourism and information technology. The unemployment rate is the lowest in Canada.

The Government of Alberta are allowed to nominate applicants directly through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This allows applications through many different categories such as for Skilled Workers, International Graduates, Semi-Skilled Workers, Self-Employed Farmers and the Family Stream for those who have a relative living in Alberta.

The AINP is an excellent route to gain entry to Canada’s fastest growing economy with categories to suit many different types of applicants.

If you wish to be considered for immigration to Alberta either through the Federal Skilled Worker or the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, then please complete an Online Assessment form on our website


Launch of Australian Skill Select System

The Australian government have launched the Skill Select website which will be operational from July 2012.

SkillSelect is an online system that enables skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Intending migrants could be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

Although an Expression of Interest cannot yet be submitted, please feel free to contact us for information on migrating to Australia

Online submission option for Tier 2 visas

The UK Border Agency have introduced a new system that will enable applicants applying under Tier 2 and 5 and their dependants who are in the UK to apply online for permission to stay (further leave to remain) in the UK

This service will be launched on 14 February 2012.

If you want to apply online you should complete the online application form, make an online payment and if you want to use the premium service, make an online booking for an appointment at a public enquiry office.

In order for your application to be valid you will need to meet the following requirements:

If you are applying under the non-premium postal route, you must:

  • submit any required supporting documents specified as mandatory within 15 working days; and
  • book and attend an appointment at a public enquiry office to provide biometric information. You must attend this appointment by the date we request you to.

If applying under the premium route:

  • you must attend an appointment at a public enquiry office to submit any required supporting documents specified as mandatory, and enrol your biometric information when requested, within 45 working days.

If any of the above requirements are not met, your application will be rejected.

SUMMARY – So, whilst the application form and fee can all be paid online, the application documents then need to be posted in. Maybe, one day an actual “online” application will be available, similar to Australia, where the whole application (including documents) can be made online.



NEWSLETTER No. 20 – February 2009


Significant changes have just been announced for the UK Tier 1 General (Highly Skilled) category.

From 1 April 2009, overseas applicants applying in this category will need to have a minimum qualification of a Masters degree and previous earnings equivalent to UK £20,000 (adjusted for different countries). The Masters degree requirement is a major new development as currently the minimum qualification is a Bachelors degree.

The new rules do not seem to apply to those already in the UK on a Tier 1 visa or indeed switching / extending their status while in the UK. The initial indication is that this would not affect students or work permit holders changing their UK status.

In relation to Tier 2 migrants (sponsored by a UK employer), the government has asked the independent Migration Advisory Committee to review if further changes are needed to the list of occupations that can be sponsored.

These Tier 1 changes have just been announced and we are still waiting further detailed advice from the government on the new system and exactly how overseas applicants will be assessed. If the government introduce any more changes, we’ll let you know.
make sure you remain up to date with our newsletter.


The government is proposing to pass legislation later this year to amend the requirements to allow applicants to become British citizens.

The new requirements may involve a longer period of residence before qualifying for citizenship. Another proposal is that a new concept of “probationary citizenship” will be introduced before one can become a full citizen.

We must emphasise that the exact details of the new system or the implementation date have not yet been decided. However this is expected to receive approval by Parliament at some point this year.

Our advice to all applicants is to consider applying now, if you are eligible. Last week, the Home Office announced a significant increase in the number of citizenship applications being submitted.

If you wish to consider applying for UK citizenship at this point, then please contact us.


We now have more information on the new application process for applicants with trade skills, to emigrate to Australia.

This process will result in the award of an Australian Qualifications Framework Certificate level 3, which will allow us to progress your application for migration to Australia. Such a qualification is also of great benefit in obtaining employment in Australia.

For Construction workers the process is conducted by the Masters Builders of Australia.

For Hairdressers this assessment is conducted through the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.

There are different steps in the assessment process with both organisations.

Firstly we need to complete an initial paper-based application about your skill (qualifications and experience). Assuming that you pass the minimum standard (generally this is at least 4 years of full-time experience), you will be eligible to attend the practical and examination component. This then involves a practical examination, and in certain cases a technical interview. This is conducted at various locations throughout the UK and Ireland (often at a location of your choice such as home, work, college etc..) .

Having a recognised qualification awarded by the Masters Builders of Australia or the Queensland Hairdressing Academy, will be instantly recognised by Australian employers, allowing you to start work quickly in Australia.

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

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

Separate assessment arrangements apply for UK based applicants in the following trades;

Electrician, General Plumber, Carpenter, Joiner, Motor Mechanic, Bricklayer, Cable Jointer, Refrigeration / Air Conditioning Mechanic


We are now increasingly assisting applicants through Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs. This is a consequence of the recent changes to the list of occupations that are eligible for processing under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Most provinces in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate immigrants who wish to settle in that province. The selection process varies from province to province. Each province selects immigrants who can fill its needs – normally through labour market shortages.

For instance, the government of Nova Scotia is keen to attract people to the province with work experience in Aerospace and Health Care.

However, in addition the government of British Columbia has a further need for selected occupations in Tourism/Hospitality and Food Processing.

A select number of province’s have ‘family connections’ streams of their respective Nominee Programs. Specifically, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland allow permanent residents and citizens of the province to sponsor foreign family members to come to the province where their Canadian relative lives. There are differences in each program so contact us for province specific details.

If you wish to be considered for immigration to Canada either through the Federal Skilled Worker or a Provincial Nominee Program, then please complete an Online Assessment form on our website.

Also, for students who wish to have opportunities to settle in Canada, contact us today for information on how studying in Canada can make students eligible for a number of permanent residency options.