Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Australian Department for Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) has announced policy changes that will have implications for those currently applying to immigrate and for those intending to do so.Essentially, the changes mean that it is now even more important for all applicants to be fully informed of the best way and the best time to apply, in order to achieve visa success.
“We recommend that all eligible candidates for immigration to Australia apply now, without delay”, said Grant King of the Migration Bureau. “Although the DIAC changes may entail longer processing times under certain skilled visa categories, it is essential that all prospective settlers to Australia lodge their applications now in order to secure their position and protect themselves from further changes.”
Using a registered Migration Agent will also ensure that applicants are kept well informed of all such developments and of the different options open to them. “In many cases,” Grant King advised, “intending migrants can adjust or improve the quality of their applications in order to suit the requirements of other visa classes. For instance, we are currently re-assessing all of our clients to determine whether they could apply under a different visa class which would be more advantageous for them. If applicants can obtain a qualifying job offer, they can in fact speed up their visa processing by applying under an employer-sponsored category or a temporary work visa class (eg. 457).”
New applicants are definitely recommended to seek the professional advice of a registered Migration Agent in order to ensure that their application to immigrate to Australia is drafted in the best way possible and targeted to the visa category most likely to ensure them success.
For Business migrants the need to act now is imperative. The Australian Government has advised that changes to business visa regulations are likely to follow in the near future, so prospective candidates should apply without delay to safeguard their opportunities to immigrate.

Australian Government cuts migration program- changes to critical skills list:
The Rudd Government will cut the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration program by 14 per cent to protect local jobs while ensuring employers can access skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages.
As has long been the case, the Government can adjust immigration levels according to the economic circumstances of the day and last week Cabinet agreed to cut the permanent skilled migration program in light of the worsening global economic situation.
Clearly, the economic circumstances in Australia have changed as a result of the global financial crisis so it is prudent to reduce this year's migration intake accordingly

The changes to the program are:

A 14 per cent cut in the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration program intake from 133 500 to 115 000.
Removing building and manufacturing trades from the Critical Skills List, such as bricklayers, plumbers, welders, carpenters and metal fitters. The list will now comprise mainly health and medical, engineering and IT professions.
These changes follow measures announced in December that resulted in only those migrants sponsored by an employer or in an occupation on the Critical Skills List being granted visas under the permanent skilled migration program. Almost half of the permanent visas granted are to applicants already living and working in Australia.
The Critical Skills List will remain under constant review and the Government will remove occupations from the list if demand for those skills can be satisfied by local labour.
The overwhelming message from business and industry is that Australia still needs to maintain a skilled migration program but one that is more targeted so that migrant workers are meeting skills shortages and not competing with locals for jobs.
There are still skills shortages in some sectors, such as healthcare, and these measures will enable industry to continue to source the skilled professionals they need while protecting local jobs and the wages and conditions of Australian workers.
The Rudd Government remains committed to a strong migration program but will continue to monitor the migration intake and will set the 2009-10 migration program to reflect the economic climate as part of the Budget process.
Skilled migration plays a crucial role in stimulating the economy and combined with the Government's Nation Building and Jobs Plan, will help Australia come out of the global economic.

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