AUSTRALIA

Migration to Australia - immigration visa informationFew other countries in the world offer as attractive a lifestyle as Australia does. With an enviable standard of living, unparalleled natural beauty and a real outdoors lifestyle – Australia has always been a major attraction for immigrants.

There are a range of different visa options that we deal with, assisting applicants in all categories. Some of these options are listed here. 


Skilled Workers - For Skilled Migration, Australia has a Skilled Occupations List which details the occupations needed. Certain occupations that are in acute shortage also receive bonus points to reflect their high demand. We provide a detailed assessment of your eligibility to pass the points test.

If you do not score enough points to pass the Points Test, then there are a range of further options available through State / Territory sponsorship. These include the State / Territory Nominated Independent visa (STNI) and Skilled Independent Regional (SIR) visa. We deal directly with State governments to secure your sponsorship, which in effect bypasses the Point Test. 

We have an excellent track record in dealing with all types of visas for Australia and we have achieved notable success in processing “more difficult” applications. These include applications for Tradespersons without formal qualifications but possessing the requisite experience.


Spouse visas - We have also developed particular expertise in processing visas through the Spouse category for married spouses, defacto spouses and fiancées. Our service ensures a dedicated and highly personalised approach to processing your application. Every application under this category is different and we need to assess each application individually. Please feel free to contact us to discuss how we can help you with applications in these visa classes.


Business and Investment visas – Business owners and experienced executives have the opportunity to apply for special business visas. Individuals must be able to demonstrate their ability and be able to support any future opportunities that they wish to develop with funds and quality business plans.

If you have a background as an Investor you need to demonstrate a successful track record. Your minimum assets available must not be less than AU$1,250,000 of which AU$750,000 has previously been invested and available for future investment. 


Working Holiday - If you are aged between 18 and 30, we can help you obtain a Working Holiday visa. This allows you to travel and work in Australia for 12 months with an option to extend to 24 months.


For further information on migration to Australia, please call us on
+44 (0) 1223 830 916 or complete an Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com.


USEFUL LINKS - AUSTRALIA FACTS & INFO
(external links with general information on Australia)
Wiki: Australia - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
About Australia: Australia Facts
CIA - The World Factbook: Australia
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Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

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

OISC, UK visa, immigration services

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants
UK Government Registered Immigration Consultants No. F200100020

Member of the Association of Regulated Immigration Advisers (ARIA)
Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Migration

ILPA, Immigration Law Practitioners' Association

ILPA - Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
 

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

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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. 
 

________________________

NEW
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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

________________________

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


Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd. | info@commonwealthimmigration.com