NEWSLETTER No. 3 - April 2007

A PLACE IN THE SUN - Exhibition, 30 Mar-1 Apr 2007


We were very pleased to meet so many of our clients and potential clients over the weekend at the “A PLACE IN THE SUN” exhibition at the ExCel Centre, London.

As our clients are based throughout the UK, Ireland and even further away, we often don’t get to meet many of you face to face. So it was very nice to catch up with so many of you.

For those of you wishing to have your eligibility assessed please feel free to call us on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380 or complete an Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com 


AUSTRALIA
 – SIGNIFICANT CHANGES JUST ANNOUNCED

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.

If you are unsure if you qualify or not, then please call us on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380 or complete an Online Assessment form on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com.


UNITED KINGDOM
– NEW APPLICATION FEES


All clients need to be aware that new government application fees apply for all UK visas and work permits, effective from April 1st. The new fees are the result of a consultation exercise recently conducted by the Home Office.

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

Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.
59 Cambridge Gardens
London, N10 2LN
United Kingdom
Tel. +44 (0)20 8365 3380
Email: info@commonwealthimmigration.com
UNITED STATES
- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES


Recent events in the US have seen a fall in property prices there. This coupled with the continuing weakness of the US dollar, has meant that properties and businesses for sale in the US, are now much more affordable.

We receive enquiries from many individuals looking to open a business or make an investment in the US. To this end, there are 2 principal routes of entry to the US, namely, the E-2 visa and the Immigrant Investor Program.

The E-2 visa is where one invests in a U.S. business or sets up a new business, and looks to run that business and employ US workers. A minimum of US$100,000 would normally be required to apply under this visa.

The Immigrant Investor EB5 Program involves making a designated investment to secure permanent residence for the investor and his/her family. This involves an investment of US$500,000 to secure permanent residence. This amount is refundable after 2 years.

If you wish to obtain any more information on these options or on purchasing property to live in the US, then feel free to contact us.


UNITED KINGDOM - NEW VISA
– INTERNATIONAL GRADUATE SCHEME


The UK government have just announced a new visa which will be launched on May 1st – The International Graduate Scheme (IGS). This will replace the current Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme.

The IGS will allow overseas students who have successfully completed and obtained a degree, Master’s degree, PhD, or postgraduate certificate or diploma on or after 1 May 2007 to work in the UK for up to 12 months upon completion of their studies. If they want to remain in the UK beyond this time, they can switch into an appropriate immigration category to pursue their career, provided they meet the relevant requirements.

This will allow many graduates to gain valuable UK experience to enable them to then apply under different categories to remain here – such as the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme visa.

For further details, please feel free to contact us.




We hope that this newsletter has 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 www.commonwealthimmigration.com
or
2) give us a call on (+44)  (0) 20 8365 3380

We would love to hear from you!

Regards
Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration
www.commonwealthimmigration.com



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Member of the Association of Regulated Immigration Advisers (ARIA)
Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Migration
Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd. | info@commonwealthimmigration.com