NEWSLETTER No. 36 – September 2011

UNITED KINGDOM – FAMILY MIGRATION CONSULTATION

The UK government have now launched a consultation on reforming UK family migration, particularly partner migration (which includes married spouses, civil partners and unmarried partners).

The consultation is open until 6 Oct 2011. Some of the key proposals that the government is wishing to consult on include;

Requiring specific income / maintenance levels for British citizens / residents to sponsor partners

Increasing the probationary period for settlement from 2 to 5 years

Asking applicants to demonstrate why their combined attached to the UK is greater than to any other country

The overall tone of the proposals as detailed in the consultation seems to be one of restricting the rights of partners to move to the UK with their British citizen partner. Indeed, it is worrying when one sees references to Denmark’s immigration system in the documents, which has long been seen as one of the most restrictive and inflexible in Europe.

UNITED KINGDOM – EEA APPLICATIONS

The UK Border Agency has revised the application forms for EEA applications.

These forms should be used by EEA and Swiss nationals who are exercising treaty rights in the UK and their family members who wish to apply for a document to confirm their right of residence in the UK. The forms now include additional details on the evidence required to demonstrate comprehensive sickness insurance.

The revised forms (version 06/2011) should be used for all applications made on or after 20 June 2011.

We have extensive experience in EEA applications, please visit our dedicated EEA webpage and obtain your free EEA guide (emailed directly to you) providing detailed information on making applications, supporting documents and specialist advice. See our EEA webpage at:

* EEA info page with free Guide on EEA applications

AUSTRALIA – NEW WORK EXPERIENCE REQUIREMENTS

Now that the new Australian points system has been in place for a couple of months, we are starting to see how this is impacting on the pre-application skills assessment process.

Perhaps the most significant change is the new role taken on by many skills assessment bodies in relation to assessing work experience.

Previously, the main role of such skills assessment bodies was to review the entry requirements (i.e. qualifications) of the applicant to that particular occupation.

So, for instance, the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) would assess the qualifications and professional registration of an overseas nurse to make sure he / she met the Australian standard to be a Nurse.
This role of the ANMC (and indeed of many other skills assessment bodies) has now been expanded to also review relevant work experience. This includes work experience for the purpose of claiming points in a residence visa application.

So, now it seems that the Department of Immigration will defer to the skills assessment bodies evaluation of the applicant’s work experience, when deciding whether to allocate points or not. This was previously a major function of the Department of Immigration during the residence visa application.

Consequently, applicants need to fully understand the importance of submitting a comprehensive application AT THE SKILLS ASSESSMENT STAGE, to be sure of claiming work experience points. This is now vital to a successful overall application.

If you are interested in moving to Australia, then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website so we can see if you qualify on the new system for skills assessment and work experience.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – STATE SPONSORSHIP

A new list of occupations for State Sponsored Migration has been placed on the website of Immigration South Australia.

This list is extensive and includes high availability occupations and those with special criteria. South Australia has always been a very pro-active state in trying to attract overseas migrants.

However, the application procedure is bureaucratic and time consuming. Very little flexibility is shown by case officers in assessing applications. If you are interested in moving to South Australia, then why not contact us through our website and we can see if we can help you

UNITED STATES – GREEN CARD LOTTERY TO BE SCRAPPED ?

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee has moved to abolish the Diversity Visa Program (Green Card Lottery) by approving the Security and Fairness Enhancement (SAFE) for America Act in a 19-11 vote.

John Conyers, Democrat from Michigan, is one of the bill’s opponents and says that scrapping the Green Card Lottery would make it nearly impossible for Africans to immigrate legally to the U.S., and it would make it harder for all prospective immigrants to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States. Conyers says he wants to improve the Diversity Visa Program rather than abolishing it, and ads that the U.S. immigration system would look very different if it didn’t have the visa lottery, “and not in a good way.”

The bill now moves to the full U.S. House of Representatives. According to many politicians, the Green Card Lottery is open to fraud and gives opportunity to terrorists, thus compromising national U.S. security.

Bob Goodlatte, Republican from Virginia who introduced the bill, agrees that the visa program is a threat to national security, and says the U.S. Immigration system should be based on the county’s needs rather than on pure luck on behalf of a small number of applicants.

The first Diversity Visa green cards were issued in 1995, and since that time more than 785,000 visas have been awarded to applicants who won the lottery. The Diversity Visa Program was created in 1990 to make the immigrant population in the U.S. more diverse.

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