January 2013 Newsletter – Australian immigration update‏

Dear Subscriber,

Welcome to the Commonwealth Immigration Newsletter focusing on Australia.

Please feel free to forward this newsletter on to your friends and family.

However, if you no longer wish to receive this newsletter then just send us an email and we will delete your details straightaway.

Previous issues of the newsletter are available to read on our website. You can also now click onto dedicated Country Info pages on our website for each of the countries that we specialise in.

Just go to

www.commonwealthimmigration.com and click “Countries and Visas”.

AUSTRALIA – PARTNER VISA PROCESSING

Over the last few months we are seeing lengthening processing times for Australian partner visa applications.

While applications have been usually taking 5- 6 months to be processed, the Australian Department of Immigration are now advising that 7 – 8 months could be the standard time for many new applications.

This is the result of the annual limit or “quota” assigned to family applicants in the overall migration programme.

Applicants need to prepare an application in plenty of time and plan ahead if thinking of relocating to Australia with their non-Australian partner. This includes married and defacto partners, same-sex partners and fiancé(e)s.

It is possible to apply for a partner visa while outside Australia and then enter Australia as a visitor temporarily. However, in this instance it is important to ensure the correct procedures are followed to allow the partner visa to be successfully issued.

Please contact us in plenty of time if you are thinking of applying for a Partner visa. We can then plan ahead and work with you to ensure you can relocate to Australia in line with your desired timeframe.

ENGINEERS IN AUSTRALIA

Recently released data from the Department of Immigration has shown that demand for Engineers in Australia is continuing strongly. Engineers are among the most popular professions to be selected for Australian migration by the new “SkillSelect” system.

The following occupations are all in the top 15 most selected occupations;

Civil Engineer

Mechanical Engineer

Chemical Engineer

Electronics Engineer

Electrical Engineer

It seems Australia’s demand for Engineers is driven through state sponsorship and employer nomination. All states in Australia have Engineers on their demand lists.

Other Engineers on the main occupation list include;

Geotechnical Engineer

Structural Engineer

Industrial Engineer

Mining Engineer

Petroleum Engineer

Production Engineer

Agricultural Engineer

Biomedical Engineer

Transport Engineer

Materials Engineer

The main assessment process for Engineers involves showing completion of a minimum Bachelors degree education with some associated experience. There is a quicker assessment process for applicants from certain countries such as the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Turkey and Russia. However the assessment process is open to Engineers from all countries.

Engineering Technologists and Technicians are also in strong demand and applicants in these occupations are also able to apply for permanent residence.

If you are looking to move to Australia then please complete the online assessment form on our website.

AUSTRALIA – NEW OCCUPATION LIST FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Effective January 2013, the state government of South Australia has introduced a new occupation list for state sponsorship.

33 new occupations have been added to the list and some other occupations have been removed from the list – and now require additional off-list criteria.

Some occupations now have additional requirements in terms of work experience.

Applications submitted prior to January 2013 are not affected.

South Australia has brought these changes in after analysing their local labour market and skills shortages. State sponsored migration has always been a priority for South Australia, where successive governments have been keen to attract workers in a variety of occupations.

Unemployment is low and there is a strong demand for workers in nearly all sectors. The cost of living and house prices in particular are much more affordable in South Australia.

If you are interested in applying for South Australia state sponsorship, then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility. We can advise you on your ability to qualify.

Australia info page;

www.commonwealthimmigration.com/australia.htm

TEACHING IN AUSTRALIA – NEW CRITERIA

From 1stJanuary 2013, some additional requirements have been introduced around English language testing for Teachers looking to migrate to Australia.

Teachers can show they completed their studies through English – i.e. 4 years of Degree / Diploma level studies in Australia, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom or the United States of America. Alternatively, they need to pass a designated English language test.

Demand for Teachers in Australia remains strong. For example, the Australian state government of New South Wales (NSW) has recently launched a new occupation list for state migration with Teachers included.

This includes sponsorship for all areas of NSW including regional areas and major cities such as Sydney. State sponsorship can help an applicant receive vital extra points in applying for Australian residence.

FREE GUIDE ON EEA APPLICATIONS

FREE GUIDE ON EEA APPLICATIONS

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EEA Guide

 


  EUROPEAN ECONOMIC NATIONALS (EEA) AND FAMILY MEMBERS

The Free Guide on EEA Applications will be emailed to you, containing information on;

– All categories of EEA Applications
– The application process in your country of residence
– Advice and guidance on the documents required to support an application
– How to complete the application forms
– Common mistakes to avoid
– How to deal with the UK government
– How to obtain specialist advice when applying
EXTRA UK settlement advice on; employment, obtaining a National Insurance number, taxation, property, opening a bank account, transferring funds.

Obtain your Free Guide now!

Advice on UK visas, EEA1 Family Permits and EEA2 Residence Cards

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants

  EUROPEAN ECONOMIC NATIONALS (EEA) AND FAMILY MEMBERS

We have many years experience in handling applications for UK visas and permits on behalf of EEA nationals and their families (especially non EEA family members).

We submit applications in the UK and at British Embassies and High Commissions all over the world.

This includes applications for EEA Family Permits, EEA Residence Cards, EEA permanent residence and EEA registration certificates.

We have particular experience with many complex situations in such applications.

These include;

– Demonstrating that the EEA national is a ‘qualified person ‘ – a jobseeker, a worker, a self-employed person, a self-sufficient person or a student.

– Including unmarried partners or same sex partners on an EEA Family Permit.

– Changing to EEA family status while in the UK on a different visa.

– Proving sufficient funds are in place to support the relocation.

– Applications to show a genuine marriage exists

– Requesting return of passports for travel.

– Obtaining permanent residence and then British citizenship for EEA nationals and their family members.

It is important to remember that the UK government can be very strict in reviewing EEA applications, as these are under European Union rules and not derived from UK law. Many applicants are refused for poor quality documents or for incomplete applications. Many applications are refused because they have not demonstrated that the marriage or relationship is genuine.

The EEA (European Economic Area) consists of the EU (European Union) and 3 other countries. The following countries are members of the EEA (European Economic Area);
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.

Although Switzerland is not a member of the EEA, Swiss citizens and their families are included in this, due to a separate agreement signed with the EEA.

So, who is a Family Member? This definition is different under EU law than through normal UK immigration. A Family Member includes; spouses, civil partners; unmarried partners, children under the age of 21, dependent children aged 21.

It can also include other direct relatives who can show they are dependent such as parents and grandparents.

However, the rules vary for different Family Members. Spouses (married or civil partners) are treated differently from unmarried partners or same sex unmarried partners. It is vital to plan such applications accordingly.

EEA Family Permits – these are for non-EEA family members looking to move to the UK with the EEA national. This includes spouses, partners, same-sex partners, children and other dependants. This has to be applied for outside the UK – usually at the nearest UK Embassy or High Commission.

EEA 1 Registration Certificates – this is an application by the EEA national to prove their status in the UK. Although this is not mandatory, this can be of benefit in seeking to bring non EEA family members to the UK.

EEA 2 Residence Cards – after the family member has arrived in the UK, this is the process allowing them to apply to stay. This process involves demonstrating the family relationship and the employment / self-employment of the EEA national. This category has a relatively high rate of refusal – especially for applicants who have arrived on an EEA Family Permit. It is vital to remember that this is a fresh application and new updated evidence is required. It is not the same as simply extending an EEA Family Permit.

EEA 3 and EEA 4 Permanent Residence
EU law provides a right for EEA nationals and their family members to attain permanent residence after 5 years.

This is not the same as UK Indefinite Leave to Remain – instead an application under EU law for permanent residence is assessed under different criteria.

It is vital for the applicant to be able to show that he / she has lived and worked (or exercised another Treaty right) for the last 5 years. These applications can be complex and require extensive preparation.

Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916
Email: info@commonwealthimmigration.com

 

 

Australia – Residence visas for Spouses and Partners

Australia – Residence visas for Spouses and Partners

There are several visa categories that can lead to Australian residence based on a relationship with a partner, married spouse, prospective spouse etc.. The following are some of the main categories of entry;

• Partner Visa: Offshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 309 and 100)

• Prospective Marriage Visa (Subclass 300)

• Partner temporary visa (subclass 820) and permanent visa (subclass 801)

Spouse visa Partner UK

What Relationships can be included ?

Australia permits many different types of relationships to apply under these categories, including;

Married spouses (same sex or opposite sex)

Defacto spouses (i.e. same sex or opposite sex spouses living together but not married)

Prospective spouses – those who intend to marry in Australia.

In all cases, applicants need to show that there is a genuine and continuing relationship. Many applications are delayed for want of sufficient evidence on this point. Regardless of the length of the relationship, this point is crucial.

Defacto spouses

In order to qualify as a Defacto Spouse (either through a same sex or opposite sex relationship), the applicant and sponsor must show the existence of such a relationship for the 12 months period immediately before the application.

Unfortunately, many applicants are rejected on this point by confusing a defacto relationship with cohabitation for 12 months. Applications are frequently submitted with evidence just showing cohabitation for 12 months and then expecting approval. This approach is not likely to receive approval without more evidence.

Cohabitation for 12 months is just one component of proving a defacto relationship. Unless, you can provide sufficient evidence to demonstrate all the components of a defacto relationship, then there is little point in applying.

Australia is generous compared to many other countries (such as the USA) that only recognise married spouses. However, the evidence required for defacto spouses is not something that is viewed lightly. Each application needs to be carefully assessed to ensure the key components are met.

The content of statements from the sponsor and applicant are crucial, as are those from family and friends. We regularly assist applicants to show that all the key components of a defacto relationship are being met.

Who can sponsor ?

Your application must be sponsored by your partner who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.


Your sponsor can live in Australia or outside Australia. If your sponsor lives outside Australia then he / she should be intending to return to live in Australia with you.

Evidence of employment or other sufficient financial resources is often required from the sponsor.

Criminal Convictions

Australia screens all applicants for spouse / partner residence visas as to whether or not they can meet the “character” requirement.
This requires a full declaration of all criminal convictions, regardless of whenever such convictions occurred.

Applicants also need to provide Police Record Checks for every country one has lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years since turning 16

Even if you have criminal convictions Australia can still determine that you meet the character requirement. This really depends on the dates of conviction (s) and most importantly the nature of the conviction.

Applicants need to provide detailed written statements and sometimes character references to support any application in which criminal convictions are declared.

In many cases, applicants with criminal convictions can still be referred to the specialist Visa Applicant Character Consideration Unit (VACCU) for more detailed scrutiny.

Annual quotas in these visa categories

Unlike other countries, Australia operates an annual migration programme, which places quotas on the number of visas that can be issued in any particular category (or subclass). Spouse / partner visa subclasses are subject to this annual quota or cap.
Therefore, every year there is a cap on the number of such visas that can be issued. Recently, the numbers of such visas have been reduced, leading to the situation where processing times are increasing for such applicants.Also, remember the Australian visa year runs from 1 July to 30 June, so as the end of the year approaches the number of available visas can be reduced rapidly.

Typically, these applications can take 4 -6 months from submission for a decision to be made. This timeframe may well change in future months. It is crucial therefore to plan ahead if thinking of moving to Australia with your partner.

Including Dependents

Your partner (which can include opposite, same sex, married or unmarried partners) can include their dependent children on their application.
Children usually need to be living with you and dependent on you.

In cases where children have turned 16, it is often necessary to produce additional evidence to show that they are still dependent.

Our service in applying for Australian spouse and partner visas

We have many years experience in securing Australian residence visas, through the spouse and partner subclasses, for our clients.

We can handle the whole application from start to finish. The service includes everything from pre-application advice, document review, completing forms, covering letter, drafting your personal statements, submission to the government and bringing to a successful conclusion. This continues throughout the whole process until your application is approved.

You will only deal with one dedicated immigration adviser to provide you with a focused one to one service.

Our success rate is second to none and we can provide numerous verifiable references from satisfied clients for you to review and inspect. We are immigration consultants based in the UK, assisting applicants all over the world.

At this stage, we just need you to complete this quick registration form on our website;

http://www.commonwealthimmigration.com/assesment_form.html

This should give us all the information we need to give you the correct advice.

We can then review in full and get back to you.



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