Archive for May, 2012

Shape rise in Sponosrhip visa numbers for Australia

Thursday, May 31, 2012@ 1:14 PM
Author: JMcQuaid

Recently released Australian Department of  Immigration  reports show a rising demand from businesses for skilled foreign workers.

The number of subclass 457   visas granted from July 2011 to 30 April 2012 was 48.6 per cent higher than the previous year.

The number of   457 visa holders in Australia at 30 April was at an all time high of 90,400, reflecting an increase of 28.4 per cent compared with the same date in the previous year.

The Australian Department of Immigration have announced more details on the 1st July 2012 law changes for Skills Migration, Business Skills & Employer Sponsorship.

Applicants who do not have an employer sponsor will have to make an Expression of Interest (EOI) application and wait to be invited to apply for the visa. Immigration expect the first round of invitations will be at the end of July 2012
Anyone on a visa in Australia  that applies for a skilled visa will be entitled to a bridging visa with no restrictions . There will be no onshore/offshore distinction; this will reduce confusion on visa types

The Independent visa processing times to will reduce to 4-6months.

There will be ceilings  on occupations groups , once the occupation limit is reached for the year , new EOI applicants will have to wait   for new occupation allocations in the following year
The minimum points eligibility is 65  , but applicants with higher points  will have the best chance of being picked  to apply for their visa
There will be some uncertainty when lodging an  Expression of Interest (EOI) as to if or when an applicant will be invited to apply for the visa
State governments will access the EOI system and nominate applicants who have expressed an interest in state sponsorship , once nominated by a state government , an invitation to apply for the visa will be issued.
There are also some changes for employer sponsored visas ,
Temporary  457 visa holders transition to Permanent Residence  will be simpler and given priority processing.
A new Consolidated Skills Occupations List will be broader than the current three lists. This is really good news for 457 visa holders in occupations not currently on ENSOL.

There is no age restriction on the temporary 457 visa , from July 1st 2012 the upper age limit for the permanent Employer Nomination applications goes up to age 50 .

Tuesday, 08 May 2012

The Australian  Government today announced an increase to the 2012–13 migration program, providing additional places to help fill skills shortages

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget would provide support to the growth regions and sectors of Australia’s economy struggling to meet acute skills shortages.

The increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000 in  2012–13 migration program includes a skill stream of 129 250 places, 60 185 family places and a special eligibility stream of 565 places.

Mr Bowen said regional visas would also continue to be given high processing priority to recognise the needs of regional employers and encourage regional migration.

Up to 16, 000 places have been reserved for the regional sponsored migration scheme (skilled) to ensure those areas have the support they need to fill skills gaps, grow local economies and strengthen communities.

‘Further recent reforms have made employer-sponsored programs more streamlined and responsive.’

Mr Bowen said the government also recognised the important social benefits of close family reunion, reflected in the increase in family places from 58 600 to 60 185.

‘Our skilled migration program is driven by Australia’s genuine skills needs ……..We believe we have the balance right.