Archive for June, 2009
On 1 July the Australian Department of Immigration will be introducing the following legislative changes to the way visa application are dealt with and to the criteria that apply to visa applications:
- There will be an increase in most visa and citizenship application fees (see our previous post for more details) of 4.4% to 20%. There will also be the inevitable form changes that usually accompany the DIAC’s legislative changes.
- Contributory Parent visa applicant couples will both have to apply for their contributory parent visas together and at the outset, rather than trying to save money by applying individually and then via the partner/spouse visa route.
- A change in sponsor for remaining relative and parent visa applicants will now be permitted anytime up until the time of decision on a visa application. Provided of course that the new sponsor can meet all sponsorship requirements.
- All parent visa applicants will have to satisfy Balance of Family Test criteria at the time of making their visa application, rather then at the time of decision.
- Retirement visa (subclass 410) holders will no longer be restricted to just 20 hours of work per week.
- Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa applicants (tertiary educated 18 to 30 year olds from Chile, Malaysia, Thailand, Turkey and the USA) will now have 12 months to enter Australia from the dates of their visa grants.
- All applicants for 175, 176 and 475 skilled visas with a nominated trade occupation who are not UK, USA, Canada or NZ passport holders or otherwise meet the English Language requirements, will have to provide evidence of an IELTS score of 6.0 in each of the four parts of the IELTS test.
- The Concessional Competent English level for sponsored 475 visa applicants has been raised from an average of IELTS 5.5 to an average of IELTS 6.0.
For full details of the above 1 July 2009 changes, and all other legislative changes to Australian migration law, please follow this link.
The Australian Department of Immigration has announced an increase in visa application fees from 1 July 2009. From 1 July 2009 most fees will increase by up to 20%.
Here are details of some of the most common visa fee increases:
- Tourist Visa Application Fees (for paper based applications only): AUD$105
- Business Short Stay Visa Application Fees: AUD$105
- Skilled Visa Application Fees: AUD$2,525
- Skilled Graduate Visa Application Fees: AUD$230
- Working Holiday Visa Application Fees: AUD$230
- Student Visa Application Fees: AUD$540
- Partner/Family Visa Application Fees (lodged outside Australia): AUD$1,705
- Most Provisional Business Visa Application Fees: AUD$3,360
- Residence (permanent) Business Visa Application Fees: AUD$1,410
For details of all visa application fee increases, visit the DIAC website for more information.
According to the Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands Index poll, most travellers (10,000 travellers were polled in the survey) consider Sydney to be the world’s friendliest city and the world’s second best travel destination.
Here is why:
The poll looked at the following:
The friendliness and cultural diversity of its people (Sydney topped the poll in this category), the cleanliness, aesthetic qualities and climate (again, Sydney topped the list), and the affordability of accommodations and quality of public amenities (again, Sydney did well in this section of the poll).
Paris came top of the poll.
The Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) has decided to close off the contributory parent visa loophole which, until now, has allowed Australian parent visa applicants to save money by having only one parent acting as a contributory visa applicant, while the other parent waited until they could apply for a spouse visa.
This option of having a spouse apply for a spouse visa rather than being included on the contributory visa application, was available as soon as their spouse or partner gained permanent visa residency by being granted a permanent contributory parent visa.
However according to the DIAC’s announcement today, the option will no longer be available from 1 July 2009. Worst yet, the option will no longer even be available even to those who have already submitted their contributory parent visa applications!
The DIAC’s reasoning is simple: The DIAC has said that this loophole practice ” clearly undermines the Government’s policy intent of ensuring that those parents who migrate under the Contributory Parent visa category make a contribution by means of the VAC to partially offset the significant costs of parent migration to the broader community.
It will be interesting to see whether a legal challenge will be made to the new 1 July 2009 regulation, or whether the Government’s quiet tightening up of the existing rules will pass by relatively unnoticed.
If you feel that you need more information, or you need to discuss your options in light of this 1 July 2009 change, please feel free to contract us to have a chat.
Immigration New Zealand has concluded it’s review of the Immediate Skills Shortage List (ISSL) and, due to the economic downturn and it’s consultations with various labour representatives, it has decided to remove 44 occupations from the list!
What does this mean for you?
This means that as of today if you want to claim points for having an occupation or qualifications or experience in what is regarded as an area where New Zealand is experiencing a shortage of skilled professionals, you will have to ensure that your occupations is still listed on the revised list.
If your occupation is no longer on the list, you may still be able to qualify for a temporary work permit (with the possibility of applying for a permanent visa at a later stage). But you will have to have an offer of employment from a New Zealand employer who is able to show that he/she has made a genuine effort to find individuals to fill the role from within New Zealand.
genuine attempts to recruit a suitable New Zealander, as is the process with all other occupations. If, after the labour market is tested, Immigration New Zealand is satisfied no suitable New Zealanders are available in that location then temporary work permits will still be granted.
Here is the full list of occupations which have been removed from the ISSL:
Occupations which were identified as readily trainable and those for which New Zealanders may be available were prioritised for review, to ensure opportunities for New Zealanders.
Occupations no longer on the New Zealand Immediate Skills Shortage List:
The occupations being removed from the ISSL with effect from Monday 15 June 2009 are:
- Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operators
- Bicycle Mechanics
- Binders and Finishers (this includes Perfect Binders and Print Finishers)
- Butchers or smallgoods makers
- Cabinetmakers (marine)
- Carpenters (including builder)
- Crane, Hoist or Lift Operators
- Dental Assistants
- Earthmoving Labourers (Asphalt, concrete, chip sealing and road pavement workers only)
- Electronic equipment and electronic instrument trades workers
- Motor mechanics (automotive technician)
- Painting trades workers (painter, decorator and paper hanger)
- Paving Plant Operators (Roading)
- Pig Farmers (Farm Manager) (Pork Industry)
- Pig Farm Workers (Senior Stockperson only)
- Plasterers (fibrous and solid)
- Plastics Die Setters
- Printing machinists (including die cutter operators, die makers, flexographic printers and folder gluer operators, sheet fed offset printers, and stitcher operators).
- Product Assemblers (Aluminium Joiner)
- Reinforced Plastic and Composite Production Workersa (Fibreglass)
- Reinforced Plastic and Composite Production Workers (Marine Laminator)
- Roof Tiler and Plumbers and Supervisors of both.
- Screen Printers
- Sheep Farm Workers (Senior Shepherd/ Stock Manager)
- Sheep Farm Workers (Shepherd only)
- Sheetmetal trades workers
- Textile Dyeing and Finishing Machine Operators (Fabric Finishing Specialist/Technologist)
- Travel Consultants (Senior)
- Vehicle painters (including refinisher)
- Web-offset Printers
If you have any concers about this please feel free to contact us for a re-evaluation of your best visa options.
Alternately visit the INZ website for more information.
According to the Press Association thousands of London postal workers may be participating in a 24 hour strike on 19 June or later this month.
Why is this important for Australian or New Zealand visa applicants?
If you are facing a deadline – for example, if you must have your application in before a birthday deadline to ensure that you do not lose crucial points on the skilled points test, or you have been given so many days to provide further documents to the Australian Department of Immigration or Immigration New Zealand – then you must make sure that you plan for contingencies such as any possible postal strikes.
Other possible delays that you should look out for include Australian and New Zealand Public Holidays. Remember, Australia is divided into States and Territories, and they have their own Public Holidays.
Remember also that if your application is not receipted because of a public holiday, then you may have an argument on your hands about whether or not your application was “received” on the required date.
Here are some useful links for information about Public Holidays in Australia and New Zealand:
Click here to see when Australia observes Public Holidays: Australian Government Website
Click here to see when New Zealand observes Public Holidays: New Zealand Department of Labour
The Australian Department of Immigration (DIAC) has announced that there will be fee increase for many Australian visas on 1 July 2009. In line with budget predictions and inflation some visa fee application charges may increase by as much as 20%. Others (for example the second visa application charges (VAC) for contributory visas) should not be increasing as they were raised already last year.
What does this mean for any potential applicants? The lesson, as always, is the same: the sooner you are able to apply for your visa, the better. Once your visa application is submitted it cannot normally be affected by any legislative changes after the time of lodgment of the visa application. But until your application is submitted you are at the mercy of the DIAC and the Australian Government.
We will publish more information as soon as we are aware of the level of fee increases.
However if you would like more information about the fees in the meantime, please feel free to contact us. Sort Out My Visa is a migration and visa specialist, offering visa services to individuals or business requiring assistance with Australian and New Zealand visas.
The rationale given by prospective migrants who view Australian cities as offering a better quality of life than British cities appears to have been vindicated by a recent British study. Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Adelaide and Brisbane have all been named in the top 20 Cities in the World to live in according to the most recent Liveability Survey conducted by the publishers of the Economist.
Taking into account stability, health care, environment, infrastructure, education and culture, the annual survey assesses 140 cities worldwide and gives each city a final rating out of 100.
Auckland and Wellington came in 12th and 23rd respectively. Only two British Cities made the list of 140; Manchester and London. But both were well outside the top twenty.
According to The Age, unlike the economies of almost the rest of the World, the Australian Economy is actually doing reasonably well. In fact, the Australian economy grew in the March quarter.
This does not mean that Australia has been completely unaffected by the recession elsewhere in the World – it is true, for example, that there has been a rise in unemployment. But the state of the economy prior to the economic downturn means that Australia is well cushioned as it waits out the economic downturn.
|EOI Criteria||No. Selected|
|All EOIs at or above 140 points:||425|
|All EOIs with a job or a job offer claiming points between 100 and 135 points:||112|
|All EOIs claiming 15 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points:||50|
|All EOIs claiming 10 points for work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points:||38|
|All EOIs claiming 10 points for a qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage and with a points total between 100 and 135 points.||68|
|All EOIs between 115 and 135 points where there is no points claim for a job or job offer, work experience in an area of absolute skill shortage or qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage. These were ranked in descending order of points:||51|