NEWSLETTER No. 39 – May 2012

AUSTRALIA – NEW VISA SUBCLASSES

In preparation for the launch of the new system on 1 July 2012, the new visa subclasses that will be available under the SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) have been announced. These are;

Subclass 189 Skilled – Independent (Permanent) (Class SI)

Subclass 190 Skilled – Sponsored (Permanent) (Class SK)

Subclass 489 – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP)
Business Skills visa program
You can also express interest in the following visa programs on your EOI to be selected by an employer;
Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Class EN)
Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Scheme (RSMS) (Class RN)
Subclass 457 – Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Class UC)

You can express interest in a range of skilled migration programs in one EOI.

The old visa subclasses of 175, 176 and 475 will be closed for all new applications on 1 July 2012.

SkillSelect is a radical new selection model for skilled migrants. If you are interested in applying for Australian residence, then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility. We can advise you on your ability to qualify through the new SkillSelect process.

Australia info page;

www.commonwealthimmigration.com/australia.htm

UK – TIER 2 VISA CHANGES

The annual limit on the Tier 2 (General) sponsorship certificates was renewed on 6 April 2012 and will remain at the previous level of 20,700 sponsorship certificates per year.

In the previous year, this annual quota was not reached, so we anticipate that employers will still be able to sponsor overseas workers by requesting additional sponsorship certificates if needed.

20,700 will also be the annual limit for the year, starting in April 2013. In April 2014, the UK Home Office plans to introduce a new annual limit.

However, the government plans to increase the skills threshold from 14 June 2012 for Tier 2 (General) visas.

This will result in a reduced number of occupations eligible for Tier 2 sponsorship. In summary, the skills threshold is to be increased from National Qualifications Framework (NQF) level 4 to level 6.

A new shorter list of occupations available for Tier 2 is effective from 14 June 2012.

UK – MAINTENANCE FUNDS CHANGES

Applicant should be aware of a change in maintenance funds for Tier 1 (General) and Tier 2 (General) visa categories from 14 June 2012.

The amount of maintenance funds for applicants and dependents will increase after that date. The following are the new amounts that UK based applicants will need to show in maintenance funds

Tier 1 (General) applicant £900

Tier 1 (General) dependant £600

Tier 2 (General) applicant £900

Tier 2 (General) dependant £600
Remember, this new amount needs to held in a bank account for 3 months, if applying anytime after 14 June 2012. This applies to new applications and extension applications.

Please make sure that you are meeting this maintenance funds requirement well in advance of your application.

UK – BORDER DELAYS AND COMPUTER SYSTEMS CRASHES

The last few weeks have seen much media coverage of lengthy queues at airports as the UK Border Force struggles to handle the numbers of passengers passing through immigration.

The situation has been particularly bad at London Heathrow airport with reports of some passengers taking up to 3 hours to pass through immigration.

The Immigration Minister, Damian Green was forced to make an emergency statement to parliament to explain the delays and reassure the public that the delays would be rectified. Apparently a new rota system will begin in May and the Minister stated that all border control desks would be fully manned during the London Olympic Games, which start on 27 July.

Equally worrying are the major issues the UK Border Agency (UKBA) is experiencing in processing visa applications. Repeated IT problems have been reported through the UKBA website in the last few weeks. Everything came to a head on the first week of May when the foreign national ID card computer system crashed.

This is the key computer system which is used for issuing biometric residence permits to foreign nationals.

This is likely to lead to delays in processing for all applicants as the shutdown and backlog are addressed.

UK info page;

http://www.commonwealthimmigration.com/united_kingdom_uk.htm

 

Migration to United Kingdom – a range of different immigration UK visa options

LATEST IMMIGRATION NEWS – UNITED KINGDOM
(as published in our newsletters)

UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)March 2012 – FOCUS ON
 – UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

Overview

We have many years experience in assisting migrants to obtain UK Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) visas, also known as settlement or permanent residence.

The normal qualifying period to obtain ILR is 5 years. However if one is married to a British citizen, then the qualifying period is 2 years. However, not every visa category is counted as “qualifying” for ILR. For instance, time spent in the UK on a Working Holiday visa or a student visa does not count.

The following visa categories DO count towards the 5 year qualifying period;

Tier 1 (General)

Tier 2 (General)

Work permit

Tier 1 (Investor)

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur)

Ancestral visa

Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP)

You can obtain your qualifying 5 years by living in the UK on one of these visas or a combination of these visas. However, applicants need to note that EEA visas and residence cards cannot be used in combination with any of the above categories to apply for ILR.

EEA visas and residence cards can lead to permanent residence in their own right under EEA law but not ILR through UK immigration.

Absences in the 5 Years

The main residence requirement is that the applicant has been living in the UK throughout the qualifying period.

All absences from the UK need to be declared in the application. The UK Border Agency will of course disregard short absences for annual leave every year or for business trips.

New guidance has been issued to UK Border Agency case officers in April 2011 on calculating the continuous period in the UK and permitted absences.

The guidance states that discretion can be used where absences are for up to 3 months for a single absence or total absences of up to 6 months. The UK Border Agency can look at longer absences where these were for;

“compelling grounds either of a compassionate nature of for reasons related to the applicant’s employment or business in the UK”.

As detailed in their guidance, the case officer will want to see that;

“the applicant has clearly continued to be based in the UK“

Proof of employment, self-employment throughout the 5 years

The applicant needs to provide evidence to show that they were employed or self-employed in the UK or otherwise resident here in accordance with the terms of their visa.

So, for instance, Ancestral visa holders need to show that they have been working or self-employed in the UK throughout the qualifying 5 years – i.e. that the visa holder complied with the terms of their visa throughout the 5 years.

This previously was a very flexible requirement. However it is now being viewed much more strictly by the UK Border Agency.

Applicants need to be diligent in compiling as much material as possible throughout the 5 years. Many applicants may need assistance in this situation especially where a previous employer is no longer trading or in providing the correct proof of self-employment.

Applicants married to British citizens do not usually need to show employment or self-employment throughout the qualifying period.

Criminal convictions

In 2011, the government issued much more stringent rules relating to any criminal convictions when applying for ILR.

In short, an applicant cannot have any “unspent convictions” when applying for ILR. Most convictions become “spent” after a set period of time passes. This has proved a major hindrance for many applicants who may only have been convicted of a minor offence.

Please contact us, in strictest confidence, if you wish to see if a criminal conviction is seen as “unspent” and when it can be “spent”.

Life in the UK Test

Unless exempt through age or disability, applicants need to sit the Life in the UK Test. This is available at centres throughout the UK and is designed to test applicants’ knowledge of UK society, history, politics and government.

The test is not seen as particularly onerous – however applicants should take some time to prepare and read the recommended text book on “Life in the UK”

If you are applying for ILR on the basis of an initial application through the old HSMP visa category, then please contact us so we can see if you need to sit the Life in the UK Test.

Spouses, Partners, Children

Previously, applicants could include their spouse, partners or children on their ILR application. Once declared on the application they would be granted ILR with the main applicant regardless of how long they had lived together.

The rights of dependents changed in 2011, when the government removed the automatic rights of spouses and partners to apply at the same time.

We now have to prove that spouses or partners have been living at the same address as the main applicant for a minimum of 2 years before they can apply for ILR.

2011 changes and future developments

The following are some of the main changes to apply for ILR announced in 2011, and future proposals

Applicants applying for ILR whose current visa is Tier 1 (General) are now points tested. This is a major change from the previous position where applicants just needed to show they were economically active through employment or self-employment. The new system requires the applicants to pass a points test based on age, qualifications and most importantly – recent earnings.

Applicants applying for ILR whose current visa is Tier 2 (General) need to provide specific documents to show that they are being paid at the correct rate of pay for their occupation’s code of practice.

Revised guidance has been published on absences from the UK throughout the qualifying period for ILR.
A recent consultation on family migration has proposed increasing the residence period for ILR for spouses and partners from 2 to 5 years.

Retaining ILR

Once granted, ILR allows the holder to remain indefinitely or permanently in the UK. After living in the UK for another 1 year, the applicant may be eligible to obtain UK citizenship.

The main requirement to retain ILR is to continue living in the UK.

Any absences of more than 2 years at any one time outside of the UK, can result in one’s ILR being revoked.

Our ILR service

We have many years experience in securing ILR for our clients. The process can be complicated and is not granted easily by the UK government – it does, after all, allow permanent residence and is a very important step on the route to British citizenship.

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 statement, submission to the authorities and bringing to a successful conclusion. This continues throughout the whole process until your visa 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.

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

* Online Assessment Form

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.


UK Immigration and ResidencyUNITED KINGDOM – IMMIGRATION QUOTA INTRODUCED 

July 2010 – The UK government have announced that they are pressing ahead with plans to implement a cap or quota on all non-EU economic migrants. This was predicted in our previous newsletter.

This is likely to affect all applications for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas.

A permanent cap is set to be introduced from April 2011. In the meantime, a temporary cap is to be imposed which will see overall numbers between now and April 2011, reduced by 5 %.

The criteria for Tier 1 visas (Highly Skilled workers) has been tightened from July 19th by increasing the points threshold by 5 points.

We therefore advise all applicants and employers to look at applying for such visas, as soon as possible. The announcement of a cap is unprecedented in UK immigration and is likely to lead to an increase in applications.

This may then lead to visas being unavailable until the new visa year commences in April 2011. The new criteria effective from April 2011 may well see further restrictions to ensure an immigration cap is effective.

A review by the Migration Advisory Committee has been launched into the permanent cap. There are a broad range of proposals on how the government should implement a cap and also what the final quota numbers should be.

If you wish to go ahead with a Tier 1 or Tier 2 application, then please contact us so that we can assess your eligibility

UK Immigration and ResidencyUNITED KINGDOM – NEW GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT QUOTA? 

June 2010 – The new UK government took office last month with Damian Green appointed as Minister for Immigration.

The coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has reached compromise on many issues. However the government has still retained the Conservative idea of a “cap” or quota on numbers, as their main immigration policy.

The following is an extract from the agreed Programme for Government on the subject of immigration;

“The Government believes that immigration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy, but that it must be controlled so that people have confidence in the system. We also recognise that to ensure cohesion and protect our public services, we need to introduce a cap on immigration and reduce the number of non EU immigrants.”

No timeframe has been indicated for this and it is important to stress that it does not affect EU migrants or migrants in other categories such as spouses, students etc..

However, this may logically result in an annual quota of visas to be granted, in categories such as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Applicants intending to apply in these categories may be advised to start the process sooner rather than later, in case a future quota would work to their detriment.

In any event, new figures show that net migration to the UK is set to drop below 100,000 a year. This of course is a key target of the new government – the aim of reducing the level to “tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands”.

New official immigration figures show that more eastern European migrants (from the 2004 Accession countries such as Poland) are leaving than arriving.

The annual citizenship figures for 2009 also published show more than 203,000 people were granted UK citizenship last year.

The overall statistics show a continued decline in net migration to the UK – the number of people coming to work and study minus the number of people leaving to live abroad – to 142,000 in the year to September 2009. This compares with a net migration figure of 160,000 in the previous year to September 2009.


UK Immigration and ResidencyUNITED KINGDOM – TIER 1 VISA CHANGES 

March 2010 – The UK Border Agency has announced an important change in UK immigration that will affect many overseas migrants looking to work in the UK through the Tier 1 visa.

Effective April 2010, the minimum educational requirement for the Tier 1 visa has now been amended from a Masters degree to a Bachelors degree.

The points system has also been amended to change the qualifying criteria for previous earnings.

The Tier 1 visa allows overseas professionals to enter the UK to work or establish themselves as self-employed. Most importantly – this visa does not require a sponsoring employer. It is assessed on a points system with points awarded for age, education, previous earnings etc…

This previous Masters degree requirement affected many overseas migrants who scored well on other assessment criteria but were ineligible for not having a Masters degree. This is a very significant change and will now allow many more overseas migrants to qualify to work in the UK without a sponsoring employer.

EEA1, EEA2, UK visas, how to apply… – free guide from immigration consultants

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants

EUROPEAN ECONOMIC NATIONALS (EEA) AND FAMILY MEMBERS

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

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.

FREE GUIDE ON EEA APPLICATIONS

Complete our form for your free guide:

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!

Immigration to Australia – recent news from visa experts UK

LATEST IMMIGRATION NEWS – AUSTRALIA
(as published in our newsletters)

NEW
  Teaching Australia Ebook

Do you want to teach in Australia or train as a teacher?

Teaching AustraliaThen you need the Teaching Australia Ebook – see
www.teaching-australia.com

________________________

Australia Immigration Nursing UpdateAUSTRALIA – NURSING UPDATE
September 2010 – The Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA) has revised its frequently asked questions (FAQ) and explanatory notes on English Language requirements.

The new version dated 17 August, means that applicants who have completed secondary schooling and a nursing or midwifery qualification in English are now only required to provide evidence of their English language education. They are no longer required to sit the English language test (IELTS) and achieve a score of 7.

This is a significant policy change that will be welcome news to many applications applying for registration.

HOWEVER – it is important to remember that the NMBA only deal with registration for Nurses who are able to work in Australia – i.e. have a work or residence visa etc… Most overseas applicants will still need to go through the assessment process with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) to apply for residence. The ANMC still retains the IELTS test as a compulsory requirement for ALL nurses.

If you are a Nurse looking to move to Australia then contact us through our website for specialist advice.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – NEW IMMIGRATION MINISTER
September 2010 – Following the recent election in Australia, the Labor government has been returned to power. A new Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen has been appointed.

This will be of interest to migrants currently awaiting their applications to be processed and those hoping to apply soon.

We now understand that all Australian State governments have submitted State Migration Plans to the Immigration Minister to approve. These State Migration Plans will allow State governments in Australia to select migrants with the desired skills required by that State.

Once Ministerial approval is received, then State governments will be able to receive applications for State sponsorship. We understand that the criteria for State sponsorship may not necessarily be the same as the previous criteria used by States for selection.

In the meantime, the wait for existing applicants continues, while no further information on processing priorities has been made available. The position of the previous government was that the imposition of processing priorities was for the benefit of the Australian economy and that this was to be placed ahead of the expectations of migrants.

We wait to see if any changes will be made to such priorities and if a system where applicants are processed in chronological order can be re-introduced.

If you are looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – NEW DEVELOPMENTS
July 2010 – At a recent meeting at Australia House, London we received some information on future plans for the introduction of State Migration Plans (SMPs).

SMPs are crucial for many migrants to Australia as they specify which states will sponsor which occupations. This is now a vitally important route for many migrants.

It seems the first SMPs will be published by September and hopefully implemented soon afterwards. All SMPs need to be fully approved by the Federal government before being launched. It is thought that many SMPs will follow the previous state sponsorship occupations.

Furthermore, the Australian Department of Immigration are introducing a new system for occupational coding.

The new system is called the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). This replaces the previous ASCO coding system and is being introduced as the new standard to capture occupation information in all visa, settlement and citizenship programs.

ANZSCO will also be used within skilled visa programs, where it is a requirement for visa eligibility, as the standard by which a visa applicant’s skills to undertake a specific occupation in Australia are assessed.

If you are looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – NEW OCCUPATIONS LIST
June 2010 – A new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for migration to Australia has been published by the Department of Immigration.

The new SOL contains fewer occupations than the old SOL, with a reduction from 408 to 181 occupations.

The new SOL can be viewed HERE (PDF file).

The new list does not affect those whose applications have already been submitted. It also does not affect those looking to apply through State sponsorship.

All State governments in Australian will still be able to sponsor skilled migrants in accordance with the State’s own “State Migration Plan” regardless of whether the migrant’s occupation is on the SOL.

The government’s review into the points system has still not been published.

If you are looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – NURSING ASSESSMENT
March 2010 – As of March 2010, all applications for qualifications assessments by overseas nurses need to be submitted through an online form.

This is the process through which an overseas qualified nurse applies to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) for recognition of qualifications and work experience.

The process is initially completed through an online form (submitted electronically) and then printed, signed and posted to the ANMC with all the required documents.

If you are a Nurse or Midwife looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.


Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – SKILLED MIGRATION CHANGES

February 2010 – The Australian Department of Immigration have announced some significant changes in the processing of applications in the General Skilled Migration category.

The Migration Occupation Demand List and the current Skilled Occupations Lists are to be replaced by a new Occupations List. This new list will allocate points for migration to different occupations according to the demand for such occupations.

This will form part of a new overall points system for migration, which is due to be launched by July 2010. A consultation paper on the framework for the new points system will now be launched.

It is very important for applicants to note that all current applications (lodged after September 2007 and currently in the system) are not affected. Any future changes will not apply to such applications, which will continue to be assessed on the criteria in place when they were lodged.

Applications which are sponsored by a State government will still be accepted. The announcement has specifically mentioned that state sponsored migration plans will play an important role in the future points system.

Current applicants who have yet to apply, have the choice of waiting for the new system or submitting beforehand on the current criteria.

The Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evan, has pledged that the new occupations list and the new points system will be much more focused on Australia’s skills shortages. The current system is seen as insufficient to properly pinpoint the key skills needed.

The Minister has stated that one of the main purposes of the changes is to break the “automatic” link between studying in Australia and then applying for permanent residence. The current government have long been critical of the routes introduced
by the previous government, which provided a direct pathway for overseas students obtaining qualifications in “demand” occupations, to then apply for residence. It seems that overseas student currently studying in Australia will be most affected by the changes. Shortage occupations such as nurses, accountants, engineers and trades workers are all expected to feature prominently in the new migration system, as these are in shortage throughout Australia. Such occupations are already on the in-demand lists for State governments.

As part of moves to address the backlog of current application, the Minister has announced that all applications submitted before September 2007 and not currently concluded, will be returned to the applicant with a fee refund. This is through the Minister utilising the power of “capping” – setting a maximum number of visas that can be processed. This is a highly controversial move which has been met with much vocal opposition already.

We will of course update you on further developments on the new migration system, through our newsletter, as more information becomes available.

If you want to know more about how you may qualify for Australian residence, then please feel free to complete the online assessment form on our website.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – REVIEW OF MIGRATION “DEMAND” OCCUPATIONS

December 2009 – The Australian Department of Immigration is currently conducting a review of the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL).

The MODL is the list of high demand occupations that score 15 extra points when applying for migration. There are over 100 occupations on the list and the extra available points are crucial to many applicants’ eligibility.

The review is likely to result in certain occupations being removed from the list. The Minister for Immigration himself is on record as stating that he thinks that certain occupations need to be removed from the list, in line with current employment conditions in Australia.

Any changes are not due for several months yet and will not affect those who have already applied. However, if your occupation is on the list, you are best advised to start the process for migration now.

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

The new trades eligible for practical assessment are;

Motor Mechanic
Vehicle Paint Sprayer
Panel Beater
Telecommunications Linesperson
Tree Surgeon
Printer

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.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – ANNOUNCEMENT BY VETASSESS

October 2009 – 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 Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – CHILD AND PARTNER VISAS

October 2009 – 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.

Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – THE MIGRATION PROCESS FOR NURSES

August 2009 – 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.

Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – MORE OCCUPATIONS AVAILABLE FOR PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT

June 2009 – 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.

Link to BBC News – Australia able to avoid recession

Although obviously the global economic situation has impacted on the economy, the demand for skilled workers remains strong. This is reflected in the continuing high numbers of permanent skilled visas available in the new Migration Program.


Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – NEW MIGRATION PROGRAM ANNOUNCED

June 2009 – 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 Immigration Nursing UpdateAUSTRALIA – CHANGES IN PRIORITY PROCESSING

April 2009 – 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.

Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – MORE INFORMATION ON THE NEW TRADES ASSESSMENT PROCESS

February 2009 – 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


Teaching AustraliaAUSTRALIA – NEW TRADES ASSESSMENT PROCESS

January 2009 – Many of you will be aware that over the last 18 months, the process for many applicants with trade skills, to emigrate to Australia has changed.

This is due to the decision of Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) not to recognise certain qualifications and / or prior learning. This has lead to many highly experienced tradespersons not being eligible for emigration, especially those who have acquired their skills through several years of on the job experience, rather than through formal qualifications.

The good news now is that we are working with approved Australian training organisations who can carry out detailed practical assessments throughout the UK and Ireland. 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…

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

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

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 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 will then review your background in detail and advise you if the practical assessment is your route to a new life in Australia.

This is a great option for those who have all the practical skills without the paperwork!
Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA –EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNTIES

January 2009 – The demand for skilled workers in Australia continues despite the global downturn affecting many other economies. The Australian economy is underpinned by a huge demand for its natural resources such as gas, minerals and metals and this is continuing a demand for workers. Construction, IT, Finance and Healthcare are areas that still urgently need skilled workers.

The Australian government has pledged that applicants with many construction skills will be placed to the front of the queue when processing new applications for immigration. Furthermore, state governments are continuing to sponsor migrants directly for permanent residence.

We have developed links with many employers, recruitment agencies and state governments, all looking to offer employment opportunities to skilled migrants.

There is no shortcut to starting a new life Down Under. The first step is to see if you qualify for an Australian residence visa. Please complete the Online Assessment form on our website and we can review your eligibility.


Australia Immigration and Residency VisaAUSTRALIA – PRACTICAL ASSESSMENT FOR TRADESPERSONS

September 2008 – Over the last few months many of our applicants have been successfully passing their Practical Assessments for trade occupations, to migrate to Australia.

This is a relatively new process affecting UK applicants who work in the following trades;

General Electrician, General Plumber, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Motor Mechanic, Bricklayer, Carpenter and Joiner, Electrical Powerline Tradesperson, Cable Jointer

The practical assessments are held at designated test centres in London, Glasgow and Accrington (Lancashire). It involves a full one day assessment of necessary skills relevant to the applicant’s trade. Many applicants need to arrange an overnight stay as the assessments start at 8 a.m.

Despite some initial misgivings, feedback so far from our applicants has been largely positive; with many feeling it has been a beneficial process and a fair assessment. Most applicants feel that the assessment has been relevant to their trade and did not assess them on anything other than what they would routinely be expected to do in their trade.

The assessments are a pre-requisite to apply for Australian residence. If you work in any of the above occupations, then please contact us for more information on the opportunities Australia has and the process to secure permanent residence.

United Kingdom Immigration UKAUSTRALIA – NEW PROCESSING CENTRE


July 2008 – The Australian government have now opened a new processing centre to handle applications for residence visas through the General Skilled Migration programme.

The new centre has been opened in Brisbane. The Brisbane Skilled Processing Centre (BSPC) will not be fully operational for a few more months but it is hoped that it will help reduce the current backlog of applications at the Adelaide Skilled Processing Centre (ASPC).

Australia has announced an increase in the number of migrants it wishes to accept under their General Skilled Migration programme. The opening of this new centre will go some way to assisting this target to be reached.

Furthermore, new visa fees for all visa categories have now been announced by the Australian government. Please contact us to make sure you are paying the correct fee.


United Kingdom Immigration UKAUSTRALIA – NEW OCCUPATIONS ON HIGH DEMAND LIST

June 2008 – The Australian government have now added some more occupations on to the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL). Occupations on this list attract bonus points, making it easier to reach the required Pass Mark.

The following are the new occupations on the list:

Engineering Manager
Computing Professional – spec. in Data Warehousing
Computing Professional – spec. in Linux
Computing Professional – spec. in .Net technologies
Computing Professional – spec. in Solaris
Computing Professional – spec. in Unix
Electronics Engineer
Optometrist
Dental Technican
Binder and Finisher
Landscape Gardener
Tree Surgeon
Australia Immigration Nursing UpdateAUSTRALIA – CANBERRA, ACT

February 2008 – We will shortly be meeting with representatives of the government of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) who are very keen to attract migrants to their city of Canberra.

The ACT government will be looking at nominating applicants for Australian residency and sourcing employment for them. If you work in any of the occupations listed below, then we would be very interested in receiving your CV. We can then present your details to the ACT officials with a view to employment and / or nomination for residency.

Automotive Electrician
Baker
Bricklayer
Binder and Finisher
Cabinetmaker
Carpenter
Joiner
Communications Linesperson
Cook
Drainer
Electrician
Electronic Equipment Tradesperson
Plasterer
Fitter
Furniture Upholsterer
Gasfitter
Hairdresser
Motor Mechanic
Air-conditioning Mechanic
Plumber
Panel Beater
Motor Mechanic
Printing Machinist
Roof Slater and Tiller
Stonemason
Vehicle Body Maker
Vehicle Painter
Tiler
Welder
Chef
Building Inspector
Building Associate
Estimator
Architectural Associate
Accountant
Child Care Co-ordinator
Computing Professional (CISSP, e-commerce, Network security, SAP, SIEBEL, DB2,
Oracle, Satellite Design, PK1)
Dentist
Civil Engineer
Electrical Engineer
Electronics Engineer
Environmental Health Officer
Nurse
Midwife
Occupational Therapist
Pharmacist
Podiatrist
Physiotherapist
Quantity Surveyor
Radiographer
Social Worker
Urban and Regional Planner
United Kingdom Immigration UKAUSTRALIA – SKILLED MIGRATION

December 2007 – The Australian Department of Immigration has advised applicants for Skilled Migration, who applied before September 1st 2007, that the 5 bonus points available by lodging a capital investment of A$100,000 has now been removed.

All the State government organisations that accepted the capital investments of A$100,000 from skilled migrants have announced their withdrawal from the program. This follows recent newspaper reports alleging a “scam” involving unauthorised loans to some hundreds of applicants.

Of course, many applications which have been in process for lengthy periods will not be granted the bonus points because they cannot now find a State government that is prepared to accept the investment.

If you submitted an immigration application before September 1st and you were relying on these 5 points for capital investment, then please contact us so that we discuss alternative options to assist you.


Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – CANBERRA, ACT

November 2007 – We recently met with government officials from Canberra, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), who were very keen to tell prospective migrants about what Canberra has to offer;

– A booming economy with an unemployment rate of just 2.8%

– Workers in Canberra enjoy the highest average income in Australia.

– Cost of living and house prices are all significantly lower in Canberra.

– Excellent schools and a first class health service.

So where is it? Canberra is in the ACT, and is surrounded by New South Wales. It is roughly a 3 hour drive from Sydney. Regular flights connect Canberra with Sydney, Melbourne and also with many international destinations. Just two hours away to the south are the ski fields of Australia’s highest mountain range, and a similar distance to the east is the unspoiled Pacific Coast with its beautiful beaches.

The good news is that migrants are needed in many sectors and the ACT government will nominate those who work in a range of occupations such as I.T. Professionals, Hairdressers, Chefs, Nurses and Building Associates. They are hoping to dramatically increase the list of occupations for nomination soon, once Federal approval is obtained.

If you think Canberra might be the place for you, then complete the Online Assessment form on our website.

We can if necessary put you in contact with key government officials who can offer advice on moving to Canberra.


Migration to Australia - immigration visaAUSTRALIA – JOB OPPORTUNITIES

November 2007 – We are pleased to announce that we have teamed up with a major recruiter in Sydney, who can assist with placing individuals in jobs in all industry sectors and locations throughout Australia.

This service will be of strong interest to our clients who have secured their Australian residence visas or are still in the application stage. It may also be of interest to applicants looking for an employer to sponsor them for a work visa.

All you need to do is to email us a detailed CV with all your qualifications and experience. Please also mention your preferred location(s) in Australia. We will then pass on to our Sydney recruiters, who will contact you directly.


Australia ImmigrationAUSTRALIA – NEW APPLICATION PROCESS FOR SOME TRADES APPLICATIONS

October 2007- We now have much more information on the new process affecting applications for Trades Assessment for many tradespersons which was introduced on September 1st. The new process affects applicants from the UK, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines who work in certain trades (General Electrician, General PlumberRefrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Motor Mechanic, Bricklayer Carpenter and Joiner, Electrical Powerline Tradesperson, Cable Jointer)

The new process involves a paperwork-based assessment of the applicant’s qualifications and work experience. This is similar to the usual assessment process operated by TRA. However the key difference is that after passing the paperwork-based assessment, the applicant will then need to book a practical assessment.

At the moment, practical assessments are available every second month for UK applicants in London and Glasgow. We have been informed that the practical assessment will take 1 day to complete. No other UK venues have been scheduled so some applicants will need to undertake a lengthy journey and overnight stay to London or Glasgow.

The practical assessment will involve a technical interview and a series of ‘challenge tests’ or simulated activities that assess a number of the key skills required for the occupation. Once the practical assessment is passed, then you will receive an assessment letter from Vetassess, which will allow you to apply for your residence visa.

If you work in any of these trades and wish to migrate to Australia, then please contact us so that we can fully check your eligibility against the new criteria.
Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – UPDATE ON THE NEW ENGLISH LANGUAGE CHANGES

August 2007 – In our previous newsletters we announced some significant changes in relation to the selection criteria for Skilled Migrants to Australia. These changes have now taken place and one of the most important changes is in relation to the points for English language.

This means that maximum English language points can only be awarded to those applicants who sit an English language test (IELTS).

Passports holders from English speaking countries such as the UK, Ireland, Canada etc… will now only be automatically awarded 15 points. To score the maximum points of 25, a score of 7 will be needed in the IELTS test.

We did hope that the Australian government would make an exception for applicants born and educated in an English speaking country, but this has not happened. It is therefore vital that every applicant has their points eligibility full reviewed to see if their application will require the additional English language points and therefore require the test to be undertaken. 


Migration to Australia - immigration visaAUSTRALIA – NEW ENGLISH LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS

August 2007 – We are still awaiting clarification from the Australian government on how the English language requirements from September 1st will be assessed.

Some recent reports in the UK media have criticised the Australian government for the new system, which requires English-speaking applicants to “prove that they can speak English”!

Under the new system, the points awarded for English language ability will be 15 or 25 points, rather than the current breakdown of 15 and 20 points.

Applicants who are passport holders from an English speaking country should automatically be granted 15 points. However the main point of controversy is that under the new system to score 25 points, applicants will need to sit an English language test, even if born and educated in an English speaking country.

It still remains to be seen if this will be the case and many groups are asking the Australian government to waive the English language test for those who can show that English is their native language.

Once we have any more news on how this will be implemented, we’ll update you.


Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – MORE DETAILS ON SEPTEMBER 1ST CHANGES FOR TRADES APPLICATIONS

August 2007 – We now have some indication of the new process affecting applications for Trades Assessment for many tradespersons from September 1st. From that date, applicants from the UK, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines who work in the list of trades below, will need to undertake a much more detailed Trades Assessment before applying for Australian residency.

The new process will be overseen by an Australian organisation named VETASSESS and will involve 2 main stages. The first will be a paperwork-based assessment of the applicant’s qualifications and work experience. The applicant will need to be able to show competency in all main duties of the occupation. If the applicant successfully passes this stage, he / she will be set a date for a practical assessment. This will examine the applicant’s practical skills in the trade and also include a detailed technical interview.

Overall the application process will take longer and the proposed application fees are to increase. However the new process is expected to make it easier and quicker for applicants to register in their occupation when they arrive in Australia.

The full list of Trades subject to the new assessment process include:
– General Electrician
– General Plumber
– Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
– Motor Mechanic
– Bricklayer
– Carpenter and Joiner
– Electrical Powerline Tradesperson
– Cable Jointer

Please note that this does not affect applicants who have already passed a Trades Assessment.

If you work in any of these trades and wish to migrate to Australia, then please contact us so that we can fully check your eligibility against the new criteria.


Australia Immigration Nursing UpdateAUSTRALIA – NEW TRADES APPLICATION PROCEDURES FOR ELECTRICIANS, PLUMBERS, BRICKLAYERS, CARPENTERS, MECHANICS, ETC..

July 2007 – New details have been announced of significant changes affecting applicationsfor Trades Assessment for many tradespersons from September 1st. From that date, applicants from the UK, India, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the Philippines who work in the list of trades below, will need to undertake a much more detailed Trades Assessment before applying for Australian residency.

This will include a detailed technical interview and practical assessment. The application process is likely to take longer and will be much more in-depth. At the moment the Trades Assessment process is relatively quick and no practical assessment is required.

Our advice to all our clients is that if you work in any of these Trades and you are thinking of emigrating to Australia, then you need to contact us promptly.

It is much more preferable to try to submit your application now, before the much more onerous and expensive requirements from September 1st are introduced.

The full list of Trades subject to the new assessment process include:
– General Electrician
– General Plumber
– Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic
– Motor Mechanic
– Bricklayer
– Carpenter and Joiner
– Electrical Powerline Tradesperson
– Cable Jointer

For further information on migration to Australia, please call us on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380 or complete an Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com.

Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA – NEW GOVERNMENT APPLICATION FEES

July 2007 – All clients need to be aware that new government application fees apply for all Australian visa applications, effective from July 1st.

Please contact us to ensure you are paying the correct government fee.

Migration to Australia - immigration visaWESTERN AUSTRALIA – CALLING ALL NURSES AND MIDWIVES !

July 2007 – We met last week with representatives of the Western Australia Department of Health.

At the moment, Western Australia is experiencing an acute shortage of Registered Nurses, Registered Mental Health Nurses and Midwives. This shortage is expected to continue for many years, in part due to an ageing workforce but largely due to the growing provision and investment in healthcare throughout Western Australia.

The good news for overseas Nurses is that the WA government are looking to sponsor such professionals for permanent residency. Furthermore, newly qualified Nurses and Nurses over 45 years will also be eligible for sponsorship (which is a change from the General Skilled Migration criteria).

So, if you are a qualified Nurse or Midwife, or are soon to qualify, then please send us your CV or complete the Online Assessment form on our website. We can then present your details to the WA Department of Health with a view to securing employment and permanent residence visas for you and your family.

Migration to Australia - immigration visaWESTERN AUSTRALIA
– OPPORTUNITIES FOR NURSES AND MIDWIVES

June 2007 – We are pleased to announce that we will shortly be meeting with representatives of the Western Australia Department of Health.

Western Australia is currently experiencing an acute shortage of Registered Nurses, Registered Mental Health Nurses and Midwives. This shortage is current throughout Western Australia including Perth and Regional Areas.

Therefore the WA government are looking to sponsor such professionals for permanent residency. Overseas Nurses and Midwives need to have their qualifications verified by the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council before securing WA sponsoring.

So, if you are a qualified Nurse or Midwife, or are soon to qualify, then please send us your CV or complete an Online Assessment form on our website. We can then present your details to the WA Department of Health with a view to securing employment and permanent residence visas for you and your family.


Migration to Australia - immigration visaAUSTRALIA
– CHANGES IN TRADES ASSESSMENT

May 2007 – Trades Recognition Australian (TRA) are the Australian government body that assesses the trade skills of overseas workers looking to migrate to Australia. TRA have recently announced that in the future they envisage that certain tradespersons from certain countries will be assessed in their home countries by a new registered training organisation.

The relevant trades are General Electrician, General Plumber, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Mechanic, Motor Mechanic, Carpenter and Joiner, Electrical Powerline Tradesperson, Cable Jointer.

The relevant countries are; the UK, India, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

The new arrangements will mean that potential migrants in the above countries and trades will undertake competency-based assessments in their home countries by an approved Australian training organisation. This assessment would then be sufficient for migration.

Further details are expected in the next 2-3 months.

Many of you will also be aware that in our last newsletter we announced some significant changes in relation to the selection criteria for Skilled Migrants to Australia. These changes will apply to all applications that will be submitted after September 1st 2007.

If you qualify on the current system, then it is important to ensure you move ahead with submitting your application before these changes take effect on September 1st.

We will of course bring you full details on the new immigration changes once these are announced.

For further information on migration to Australia, please call us on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380 or complete an Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com.


Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA
– SIGNIFICANT CHANGES JUST ANNOUNCED

April 2007 – The Australian Department of Immigration has just announced some significant changes in relation to its selection criteria for Skilled Migrants.

These changes will apply to all applications that will be submitted after September 1st 2007. The main changes include;

The total points available for English language ability is to increase from 20 to 25. However, in order to secure these new points, all applicants will need to undertake an English language test. This will apply to ALL APPLICANTS – even those from an English speaking country.  At present, applicants from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland are automatically awarded 20 points. This will change from September 1st. Applicants from these countries will only be awarded 15 points, if they choose not to undertake the English language test

The requirement of recent work experience is also to be made standard across all visa classes. Applicants will be required to demonstrate skilled work experience for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately preceding the lodgement of the visa application.

In order to score 15 points for working in an occupation on the Migration Occupations Demand List (MODL), an applicant must have worked in that occupation (or a closely related occupation) for a total of 12 months in the 4 years immediately preceding the submission of the visa application.

These are important changes and will impact on the eligibility of many potential applicants. The extra points for English language ability will benefit many applicants but obviously the requirement to undertake an English language test will not be very welcome for a native English language speaker.

The new Pass Mark for these visa classes has not been announced. We will of course let you know once this decision is made.

If you qualify on the current system, then it is important to ensure you move ahead with submitting your application before these changes take effect on September 1st. At the very least, it will remove the need to undertake an English language test.

Also, as we do not know what the new Pass Mark will be, our advice to applicants is – if you qualify now, then you should be applying now. Your visa for Australia is valid for up to 5 years before you have to settle there permanently.


Australia Immigration and ResidencyAUSTRALIA
– RECORD LEVELS OF MIGRATION

March 2007 – A recent report from the Australian Department of Immigration has confirmed that the numbers of skilled migrants entering Australia is at an all-time high.

In the Migration Programme from 2005-2006, over 97,000 migrants entered Australia through the Skilled stream.

Also the number of applicants securing residency through nomination by a State government has increased by 47 % from the previous year. This State nomination route is proving increasingly popular, as it allows particular States to pinpoint exactly the types of skills they require.

In May, the Minister for Immigration is likely to announce another increase in the number of places in the Skilled stream.

And with so many occupations now receiving bonus points through the Migration Occupation Demand List (MODL), there may never be a better time than now to apply for Australian residency.

Migration to Australia - immigration visaWESTERN AUSTRALIA
– STATE NOMINATION

January 2007 – The government of Western Australia are still desperately looking to attract many Tradespersons to their State. Almost all the major trades are included on the W.A. Priority Skills List.

State sponsorship through the State Migration Centre then allows an applicant to be fast-tracked for residency with the Department of Immigration. This can reduce the overall processing time to secure residency.

This option isn’t for everyone but if you are committed to settling in Western Australia and/or your points don’t meet the level for the Skilled Independent visa, then this is a great opportunity.

Western Australia is currently experiencing unprecedented sustained economic growth. Driven largely by an expanding minerals and petroleum sector, this is creating many exciting opportunities across the State.

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We hope that these news have been informative for you. However, remember everyone’s circumstances are different so if you or a friend or family member want to check your eligibility to emigrate then either

1) complete the Online Assessment Form on our website or
2) give us a call on +44 (0) 1223 830 916

We would love to hear from you!

Regards
Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration
www.commonwealthimmigration.com