No. 3 - April 2007
A PLACE IN THE SUN - Exhibition, 30 Mar-1
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,
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
– 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
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
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
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.
– 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
Commonwealth Immigration Consultants
59 Cambridge Gardens
London, N10 2LN
Tel. +44 (0)20 8365 3380
- 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
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
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
on our website www.commonwealthimmigration.com
2) give us a call on (+44) (0) 20 8365 3380
We would love to hear from you!
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