Job Ready Program

From 1 Jan 2010, all onshore applicants who applied for PR under the General Skilled Migration will need to go through a "Job Ready Test" by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). This applied only to the applicants who are on "trade skill occupations"; Chef, Hairdresser...etc... please check out the list yourself or email me if you need the list.

This "Job Ready Program" is part of skill assessment by TRA.

The program is not likely to make overseas students happy due to the cost and strict criteria that must be met in order to satisfy the requirements of the program.

It is important to note that the Job Ready Program;
- Only applies to applicants for onshore General Skilled Migration visas.
- This requirement will apply for applications lodged on or after 1 January 2010.
- Only applies to applicants in trades assessed by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA)
- Costs a maximum of $4550.00.

The following visa subclasses are subject to the job ready requirement:
- Skilled; Independent (Residence) Visa (Subclass 885)
- Skilled; Sponsored (Residence) Visa (Subclass 886)
- Skilled; Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 487)

A key aim of the "Job Ready Program" is to provide the "job ready applicants" to Australian employers. Job ready migrants are more likely to find employment quickly, which leads to improved settlement outcomes in Australia.

Assessment through the Job Ready Program ensures that applicants for skilled migration have the skills and knowledge to perform their nominated occupation within the Australian workplace.

BIG BIG NOTES that this is not applied for the "offshore" applicants.. :)

Seems that things are getting harder. It's wise to consult with your lawyer or registered migration agent; just like me... :)

email enquiry

As I have lots of email enquiries from all over the wold regarding, migrating to Australia. It is for your interest to provide me with all your information, so that I can give you the best possible advise. Your resume is always helpful do determine the eligibility of the visa category to migrate to Australia.

In your resume, I would prefer to have:
- Age, date of birth
- Nationality
- Education history (after high school)
- English level skill, IELTS result will be perfect
- Working experience in detail; starting date and finishing date of each job and your main duties while you are/were working there.
- Your marriage status
- Number of your dependence kid/s

More detail, is better!!!

If you are marriage, detail of your spouse as well. Same information as above.

Please feel free to send me an email. It's all FREE services, anyway.
Love to help.... :)

Skills Assessmen change from 1 Jan 2010

From 1 January 2010, applicants for Subclasses 487, 885 and 886 must have obtained a suitable skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority prior to making their visa application.

There will be changes to Skills assessment for onshore general skill migrants:
- Skilled – Independent (Residence), subclass 885
- Skilled – Sponsored (Residence), subclass 886, and
- Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional), subclass 487

All these 3 subclasses need to have skills assessment done before lodge the application. These changes will take effect from 1 Jan 2010.

Skill assessment can take up to 30 working days, depends on the skills assessing authority. But, remember that 1 month is only 20 working days (Mon-Fri). Therefore, 30 working days is in fact 1.5 month.

Seems that things are getting tougher.

If you are in doubt, get an expert to help you out.

Most of overseas students will usually fall into "Skilled – Independent (Residence), subclass 885". It is good to know these changes...

AoS for Partner Visa: Onshore Temporary and Permanent (Subclasses 820 and 801)

AoS is the Assurance of Support that sometime Department of Immigration will ask some of the Partner Visa applicants to have, for the application to be processed. It base on case-by-case basis and it also depend on the case officer. Usually the case officer will ask the applicant to have the AoS in the case of the sponsor (partner) have a lower income. For example, the sponsor (partner) is a student and got no income.

AoS will be assessed by CentreLink, not Department of Immigration. The result of AoS assessment will be forwarded to Department of Immigration. Only if the result is positive, then the Partner Visa application will be processed.

The assurer(s) need to have some certain income to be able to become a guarantor for the applicant. There are many factors involve in assuring someone for the migration purposes. These are a few factors that I will illustrated here:
- number of adult assurees (visa applicants)
- number of assurers; the assurers can be a few people, using combined income to become a guarantor for the visa applicants
- there will differences if the assurer is a single person, married, have kid(s) or no kid. The amount of income threshold will be different.

To get up to date figure on the "income threshold" of the assurer, the best place to call is CentreLink at 132850. They will provide you with valueable information. Usually, the case officer from Department of Immigration will not provide this information to the visa applicant as this part of the job is not part of Department of Immigration. It's job that need be done by CentreLink.

Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885)

As most of overseas students are graduating this month, there are lots of people rushing to submit their PR application "Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885)" before 1 Jan 2010. Especially, students who will be using "trade occupation" to apply.

To beat the date-line there are 2 things that everyone need to know. As I got a few enquiries regarding this. So, I will put in this blog so that everyone can read and have a better understanding about some of the requirement for "Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885)".

1. You don't need to wait for your medical check-up and its result, to be able to lodge your application. You can just use the receipt from the appointment or booking (if you done online) to submit with your PR application.

2. Same as "skill assessment", you don't need to wait for your skill assessment result as it can take very long. The receipt from post office (recommended to use registered post) is good enough to submit with your PR application.

Once you get the result from both medical check-up and skill assessment, then you can submit that information to the Department of Immigration later.

ways to get in touch with me...

As it is not always easy to get me on my mobile phone, unless you are locally live here in Australia. All clients need to have an appointment to be able to meet up. Appointment can be done in many ways:

- Phone call, yeah... can be a bit hard if I am having a meeting with other client. There are numerous occasion when people called me late at night. Sorry guys, I won't answer my phone late at night. I am just a normal person like you all that need time to rest, relax and enjoy my life too... :) And of course, I don't work on Sunday, so please don't call me on Sunday... (SMS is OK)

As very much that I want to get back to all of my clients who called me, it is important not to use "private number" to call me as sometime I not available to answer your call and I will be able to call you back only if the number is not listed as a "private number".

- SMS, yeah... this one is easy. I can get back to you faster with SMS. Any appointment, can be done via SMS at +61412470969. I usually can get back to you via SMS real fast until I am with other clients.

- email is also good. I usually get back to you within 24 hours. Please take note that I purposely space out my email from "@", that is to prevent spammers from sending me junkmails. When you want to email me, please get rid of that space at the "@" sign.

- Skype also can be very handy. I have been Skyped with a few people around the world now. Glad to be able to give some advice to whoever might need help or clarify some Australia Immigration issues.

I hope that people will find ways to get in touch with me easier now... :)
There are a whole range of communication methods that can be used.

private health insurance for Tourist visa

I strongly encourage anyone who are here on your Tourist Visa to get your private health insurance done. Or, spend a bit more on your travel insurance. Although "private health insurance" may not compulsory for Tourist Visa, it is worthwhile to do as the medical cost in Australia is very high. Just in case of you are falling sick or some unpredicted incidents happen.

Some elderly Tourist Visa applicants may be asked by the immigration case officer to get a private health insurance while younger applicants may not be asked. This is part of a common practice. Please don't be surprise. But, it's for your own good... :)

Spouse Visa granted in 3 working days

Good news to be shared.

The Spouse Visa application of one of my client was lodged on 3rd Dec last week.
The visa was granted this week on 8th Dec; that is 3 working days.

As you can see that, things can be done if we plan ahead and get all relevant documents ready.

One case done, time to move on into another cases that I have in hand at the moment.

Migrants drive rise in degrees

NEW statistics suggest Australia is closer than expected to the federal government's target of 40 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds with bachelor degrees by 2025.

The latest Education and Work statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics indicate that the proportion of 24 to 34-year-olds with bachelor degrees jumped this year to 34.6 per cent from 31.9 per cent in 2008.

Andrew Norton, research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, points out that it was only in May that government warned that without policy changes the proportion wasn't likely to reach 34 per cent until 2025.

Mr Norton said the data suggested the expansion envisaged by the government may not need to be as big as expected.

"The big question is what role migration is playing here and if we turn off the migrant tap, which we are already doing to an extent, will there be a much slower rate of growth," Mr Norton said.

Demographer Bob Birrell of Monash University said the increase this year was partly the result of a large domestic cohort working its way into the 25-34 age bracket, but was mainly driven by immigration. "The increase in the proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds with degrees is certainly not due to any recent increase in domestic training," Dr Birrell said.

"We aren't doing enough to train locals in the skills needed for the future since most of the net growth in jobs in Australia is in

occupations which require a degree of as a minimum entry point."

But Mr Norton said the relatively high number of graduates staying in jobs that did not require their degrees raised doubts over the extent to which we need more bachelor degree holders, as opposed to diplomas and vocational qualifications.

He noted that the Education and Work numbers show the proportion of graduates in jobs not requiring their degrees had risen to 27.4 per cent this year from 26.3 per cent last year. "It suggests our policy makers should be cautious about promoting a large expansion in university enrolment."

Tighter English language requirements for GSM visas from 1 January 2010

What are the changes?

There are two English language changes.

The first relates to people who nominate a trade occupation. The second relates to applicants for a Skilled-Regional Sponsored visa.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship announced on 12 May 2009 that the English language requirement for all General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applicants who nominate a trade occupation will be increased to a minimum of 6.0 (Competent English) in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test. This will replace the previous English language threshold of Vocational English (a minimum of 5.0 on each of the four components of an IELTS test).

For Skilled-Regional Sponsored GSM visa subclasses, the threshold English language standard will be raised from an average of 5.5 to an average of 6.0 in an IELTS test. The change was introduced for applicants for the offshore Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Subclass 475) visa from 1 July 2009, and will apply to the onshore Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Subclass 487) visa from 1 January 2010.

Who will it affect?

The increased language requirements will apply to all new GSM applications lodged after 1 January 2010.
Applicants who applied for a GSM visa before the commencement of these changes will not be affected.

How are provisional regional visas affected?

In recognition of the increased language requirements, no Subclass 487 visa applicants will be required to enrol in an English language training course. This is already the case for Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Subclass 475) visa applicants.

Why is the English language requirement changing?

This increase in the English language requirements for applicants nominating a trade occupation, aligns with the English language requirements for applicants nominating all other occupations for a GSM visa.

The aim of the GSM Program is to select migrants who, because of the skills they possess, are more likely to find skilled employment shortly after they arrive in Australia. A high level of English language ability is recognised as being essential for achieving this objective.

In recognition of the importance of English language skills, since 1 September 2007, the GSM Points Test has been adjusted to award more points to applicants with very strong English language skills. Those applicants who demonstrate Proficient English (a minimum of 7.0 in all four components of an IELTS test) are awarded 25 points, while applicants who meet the English language threshold are awarded 15 points. The allocation of these extra points means that most applicants who achieve the higher English language standard will be eligible for a permanent GSM visa.

Will there be transitional arrangements for overseas students?

There will be no transitional arrangements for overseas students enrolled in trade courses.
Overseas students currently enrolled in a trade course will have been given seven months since the Minister’s announcement to either lodge a visa application or to increase their English language skills prior to making a GSM visa application.

Applicants who apply for a student visa to study a Certificate III trade course are expected to have an English language level of an IELTS 5.0 if they enrol in a preliminary 20 week ELICOS course, or 5.5 with no preliminary ELICOS course.

Given that overseas students must have studied for a total of two years in Australia before being eligible to apply for GSM, it is reasonable to expect students to have improved their English to IELTS 6.0 over this period.

Are partner points affected by the increase to English language requirements?

Yes, if you wish to claim points for your partner’s skills in your application, they must also meet the new English language requirement.

Why do the requirements for skilled migration keep changing?

The migration program is one of the tools the Australian Government can use to assist industry to address skills shortages and to meet the needs of the economy. The migration program is continually reviewed and assessed for its relevance and outcomes in light of the economic and social needs of Australia. The Government routinely adjusts migration levels and requirements according to the economic circumstances of the day.

The global economic situation has continued to deteriorate, and this has significantly weakened Australia’s economic situation, including an increase in unemployment.
The Government is committed to ensuring that skilled migration continues to meet the needs of the economy, particularly in the wake of the global economic crisis. Combined with the Government’s Nation Building and Jobs Plan, a responsive skilled migration program will help Australia emerge sooner from the global economic downturn.

Current and Future GSM Reforms

Reforms have been introduced to GSM to ensure that the skill stream of the Migration Program is driven by the needs of industry and targets skills in critical need across a number of sectors, particularly those skills in shortage and which contribute to the health of the economy.
The Government will continue to monitor the skilled migration intake and has set the 2009-10 Migration Program, including priority processing arrangements and the Critical Skills List, to reflect the economic climate.

Applying for a work permit (457 visa) assessment

VETASSESS is approved by the Australian Government to conduct skills assessments for temporary worker (subclass 457) visas.

From 1 July 2009, employer sponsored temporary workers applying for a work visa in certain trades, and who are from specified countries, must undertake a skills assessment.

VETASSESS can undertake your skills assessment if you are nominating one of the following trade occupations:

  • Welder (First Class) (4122-15)
  • Motor mechanic (4211-11)
  • Cook/Chef (4513-11)
  • Fitter (4112-11)
  • Metal fabricator (4122-11)
From the 1 November 2009, VETASSESS can undertake your skills assessment in the following trade occupations:

  • Panel Beater (4213-11)
  • Vehicle Painter (4214-11)
  • Automotive Electrician (4212-11)
  • Metal Machinist (First Class) (4112-13)
  • General Mechanical Engineering Tradesperson (4111-11)
  • General Fabrication Engineering Tradesperson (4121-11)
  • Sheet metal Worker (First Class) (4124-11)
  • General Electrician (4311-11)
  • Carpenter (4411-13)
  • Baker (4512-11)
  • Cabinetmaker (4922-11)
and if you are from one of the following countries:
  • Brazil
  • Fiji
  • Papua New Guinea
  • South Africa
  • Vietnam
  • China
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Zimbabwe

A skills assessment is one part of an application for a temporary worker visa. Other requirements include:
  • employer sponsorship
  • a minimum International English Language Test Score of 5 (IELTS) at the moment. Will be change again... watch out!!!

Permanent Skilled Entry Backlog

I have received the update from DIAC NSW Permanent Skilled Entry.

This week DIAC is receipting applications received on 9 November.

They are currently allocating visa applications which were receipted on 23 September and nomination applications receipted on 19 October.

Please note that the NSW Permanent Skilled Entry team are experiencing temporary delays due to an unprecedented increase in applications received through that office.

Agents and applicatns will by contacted by a case officer within 2 working days of the case being allocated, with either an outcome for decision-ready cases or a request for additional information or documents. Until the case has been allocated to a case officer, the department is unable to provide the agents or applicants with a processing update.

Please email the NSW PSE mailbox should anyone have any additional information or documents that the applicants would like to be considered by the case officer. This information will then be attached to the application.

The published service standards for ENS/RSMS cases is 5 months (ETA countries) and 7 months (non-ETA countries). Timeframes for processing an application vary from one case to another, depending on the individual circumstances of each applicant.

student visa change 9 Nov

Three changes to Student Visa legislation. This is partly in the context of the recent closure of some colleges.
  1. From 9 November 2009, a Visa Application Charge refund has been introduced for Student visa holders who have been affected by the closure of their education provider in 2009 and who need to apply for a further Student visa to continue their studies in Australia as a result of the closure.
  2. Regulation changes are being proposed to assist students affected by provider closures through the introduction of nil Visa Application Charge for students who need to apply for a further Student visa to continue their studies as a result of the closure of their education provider. Subject to approval by Parliament and the Governor-General, these changes will come into effect from 1 January 2010.
  3. Regulation changes are being proposed to increase the living cost requirement from $12,000 per year to $18,000 per year for Student visa applications. Subject to approval by Parliament and the Governor-General, these changes will come into effect from 1 January 2010.

IELTS for trade occupation

From 1 January 2010, the English language requirement for all General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applicants who nominate a trade occupation will be increased to a minimum of 6.0 (Competent English) in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

This will replace the previous English language threshold of Vocational English (a minimum of 5.0 on each of the four components of an IELTS test).

So, it's better that everyone organize your IELTS as soon as possible.

choose your college carefully... better to go to government one!!!

The closure of nine registered colleges in Sydney and Melbourne last week has affected a further 3400 student visa holders.

I personally, not a big fan of those "private colleges".
All my clients are go to proper University and TAFE or government colleges. They are just too many problems!!!

Please see the ABC news at

huge processing backlog in Australia’s skilled migration program

This week’s National Interest program on ABC Radio National is looking at the huge processing backlog in Australia’s skilled migration program and the distress this is causing to many migrants who now face a wait of at least two years on their applications for permanent residency in Australia. Host Peter Mares will be speaking to Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) board member Mark Webster and to a graduate of La Trobe University who is affected by the changes.

The National Interest is broadcast live to air on Friday evening at 6.10pm in Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Tasmania , South Australia and in Darwin; 5pm in Queensland and the Northern Territory outside Darwin, and 3pm in WA. It can also be downloaded at any time after broadcast from the

The MIA has raised this matter with DIAC on numerous occasions. A submission is now being sent to the Minister, drawing his attention in particular to the unfairness inherent in his priority processing decisions:

  • applications which were made as long ago as last year, and many of which were almost finalised, have suddenly been pushed back in the queue, often after new police and health checks had been paid for;
  • thousands of applicants will spend years on Bridging visas with no certainty that they will maintain eligibility for GSM, or be able to plan for their future, and will find it difficult to get work, despite having permission to work, as many employers insist that their employees be permanent residents;
  • thousands of applicants who in good faith paid visa applications charges with the quite reasonable expectation that their applications would be finalised within published service standard times find themselves in limbo
  • thousands of currently enrolled overseas students who are paying large fees to Australian education providers and who intend to use the perfectly legitimate and government designed pathway to permanent residence have had their plans derailed.

Vetassess skills assessment from 1 January 2010

From 1 January 2010, Vetassess will be changing its requirements for skills assessments for migration purposes.

The essential changes are that:

  • the qualification must be relevant to the nominated occupation
  • that at least one year’s relevant work experience will be required. This has to be work experience/on-the-job training completed in the five years before the date of application for a skills assessment.
  • In some cases, one or two additional years of relevant employment may be required IF the qualification does not have enough content which is relevant to the nominated occupation.

Vetassess advises that “the new assessment process will help to ensure that applicant’s [sic] who meet the requirements under the new process are job ready and have the relevant skills and qualifications for employment in Australia in their nominated occupation”.

NOTE: Subclass 485 (Skilled - Graduate Temporary) visa applicants

There will be a Stage 1 skills assessment for Subclass 485 (Skilled - Graduate Temporary) visa applicants, which will not require one year’s work experience. The full skills assessment (which will require work experience) must be done for an application for a permanent GSM visa.

Subclass 485 applications can only apply for a Vetassess skills assessment if they have a nominated occupation in Vetassess’s new occupation Groups A and B (see below).

Vetassess has placed particular occupations in particular groups:

Group A
[for example, Agricultural Scientist; Biochemist ; Chemist; Geologist ; Life Scientists [nec]; Teacher - Education Officer; Teacher - Vocational Educational Teacher (non trades); Urban and Regional Planner]


  • a qualification at least at an Australian bachelor degree level , with a major “highly relevant” to the nominated occupation,
  • AND at least one year of relevant employment experience at “an appropriate level”.

Group B
[for example, Advertising Specialist; Construction Project Manager; Environmental Health Officer; Hotel or Motel Manager (Degree); Marketing Specialist; Production Manager (Manufacturing); Research and Development Manager]


  • a qualification at least at an Australian bachelor degree level , with a major “highly relevant” to the nominated occupation,
  • AND at least one year of relevant employment experience at “an appropriate level”.
  • AND either two or three years of relevant employment experience will be required IF the qualification/s is identified as having a shortfall in content relevance.

Group C
[for example: Architectural Associate; Building Associate; Financial Investment Adviser; Hotel or Motel Manager (Diploma); Office Manager; Project or Program Administrator]


  • a qualification at least at an Australian Diploma level, with a major “highly relevant” to the nominated occupation,
  • AND one year of relevant employment experience at an appropriate level.
  • OR (if the major is not “highly relevant”) two years of work experience AND another “highly relevant” major at least at Australian Certificate IV level.

Group D
[Building Associate Professionals (nec); Civil Engineering Technician; Metallurgical and Materials Technician]


  • a qualification at least at the level of an Australian Certificate IV, with a major “highly relevant” to the nominated occupation,
  • AND at least one year of relevant employment experience at an appropriate level,
  • OR (if the major is not “highly relevant”) two years of work experience.

Tourist visa to come to Aust during X'mas and New Year

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has suggested, whoever would like to apply for tourist visa to come here during Christmas or New Year, please do so before 6 November 2009. As, there will be so many applications for them to process and your visa can take slightly longer.

To avoid the disappointment, I suggest everyone to quickly lodge the application ASAP.
When the Christmas and New Year come, most of staff at the Department of Immigration will be away for holiday as well.

Remember...everyone.... lodge your tourist visa application before 6 Nov, if you, your friends and family would like to come and spend this year Christmas here in Australia... :)

Police Name Check

Recently one of the person I knew have done the "police name check" with Australian Federal Police (AFP) in Canberra. It was nice surprise to see how the AFP works. They work extremely fast, everything is done within a week. It was impressive, indeed.

There is a point to take note that, the form using for "police name check" is now only available at AFP's website. The old form from The Department of Immigration and Citizenship's website is no longer can be used. I personally knew someone use tried to use the form from DIAC's website before. That was wrong, only the form at AFP's website can be used now.

Anyone need a form, please feel free to email me. I can email that form to you (just in case you can't find it on the AFP's website)

John @J The Migration Team

Priority Processing Changes for GSM, Employer Sponsored and Business Skills (Provisional) visa applications – from 23 Sept 2009

The Minister has set a new priority processing direction which comes into effect on 23 September 2009.

This Direction applies to applications in the pipeline that have not been finalised, and to applications lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, on or after 23 September 2009.

Priority processing applies to both onshore and offshore applications.

Processing priorities (highest priority listed first)

  1. ENS and RSMS applications
  2. State/territory nominated applications with nominated occupation on Critical Skills List (CSL)
  3. Family member sponsored applications with nominated occupation on CSL
  4. Applications not nominated or sponsored, but with nominated occupation on CSL
  5. State/territory nominated applications with nominated occupation NOT on CSL
  6. (i) applications with nominated occupation on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) (ii) Family member sponsored applications with nominated occupation on the MODL
  7. all other applications processed in the order in which they are received

GSM visas subject to priority processing

Skill Matching Subclass 134
Skilled – Independent Subclass 136
Skilled – State/Territory-nominated Independent Subclass 137
Skilled – Australian-sponsored Subclass 138
Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored Subclass 139
Skilled – Independent Subclass 175
Skilled – Independent Subclass 176
Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 475
Skilled – Graduate Subclass 485
Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 487
Skilled – Independent Regional Subclass 495
Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 496
Graduate – Skilled Subclass 497
Skilled – Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen Subclass 861
Skilled – Onshore Australian-sponsored New Zealand Citizen Subclass 862
Skilled – Onshore Designated Area-sponsored New Zealand Citizen Subclass 863
Skilled – Independent Overseas Student Subclass 880
Skilled – Australian-sponsored Subclass 881
Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student Subclass 882
Skilled – Independent Subclass 885
Skilled – Sponsored Subclass 886

GSM visas NOT subject to priority processing

Skilled – Recognised Graduate Subclass 476
Skilled – Designated Area – Sponsored (Residence) Subclass 883
Skilled – Regional Subclass 887.

Processing priority for subclass 485 applications

  1. applications from people who have completed an Australian Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  2. applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the CSL
  3. applications from people who have completed an Australian Bachelor degree and Australian Masters degree at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  4. applications from people who have completed an Australian Bachelor degree and Australian Honours degree (at least upper second class level) at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  5. applications from people who have completed an Australian Bachelor degree or Australian Masters degree at an Australian educational institution in Australia
  6. all other valid applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

Processing priority for Business Skills (Provisional) visa applications

  1. applications from people who are sponsored by the Commonwealth or a State/Territory government
  2. all other valid applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

DIAC’s estimated processing times

Applications with nominated occupation on CLS: within 12 months of lodgement

If your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you have applied for an offshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an offshore GSM before the end of 2009, it is unlikely that your visa will be finalised before the end of 2012.

If your nominated occupation is not on the CSL and you applied for an onshore GSM visa or intend to apply for an onshore GSM before the end of 2009, it is unlikely that your visa will be finalised before the end of 2011.

Your ‘nominated occupation’ is the occupation you nominated at the time you lodged your application and cannot be changed.

Student Visa Checks Strengthened for some countries

On 20 August 2009, the Department of Immigration announced the strengthening of checks on student visa application to prevent fraud and ensure student have the financial capacity to live and stay in Australia.

As one of the measures to strengthen integrity, the department will be strengthening checks around parts of the student visa case load in India, Mauritius, Nepal, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.

What are these measures?

The measures implemented with immediate effect include:

  • upgrading the interview program to confirm the genuineness of the applicant and to check financial capacity
  • removing or restricting eVisa access for some agents where there is evidence of fraud or inactivity
  • restricting access to eVisa for some segments of the case load if analysis demonstrates restricted access would allow for better control.

The purpose of undertaking these measures is to ensure genuine students receive high quality education and enjoy their experience in Australia. These measure build on work already conducted across the Student visa program to combat fraud.

This approach is consistent with other countries that receive large numbers of student visa applications.

All Student visa applicants are subject to standard immigration checks which include health, character and security checks. In addition, all applicants for a Student visa must show that they have a genuine intention to enter Australia for the purpose of study. The evidence required to meet this requirement varies according to the level of immigration risk of the visa applicant, which is determined based on objective data. All Student visa applicants must meet certain financial, English language proficiency and other requirements (including educational attainment).

The department routinely seeks further information to verify the evidence provided with visa applications. The precise checks to be undertaken will be determined on a case by case basis. This will include face to face, or phone interviews for some applicants.

Will these checks lead to processing delays?

Prospective students are encouraged to apply well before their intended course commences in Australia and to ensure their application is complete. Incomplete applications without all relevant documents can cause delays in processing an application. For students applying through eVisa from outside Australia, they can lodge their application up to three months before their course commences. For students lodging paper visa applications, they can lodge up to four months before their course commences.

Changes to SA List of Occupations for Provisional Sponsorships

The General Skilled Migration section of Immigration SA has advised of the following changes.

Immigration SA has amended the List of Occupations for Provisional Sponsorships. Planning levels have been attached to all occupations on both Lists. Once the planning levels have been reached they are removed from the respective list/s.

However, Immigration SA has decided not to remove the following occupations even though they have reached their planning levels in order to continue to provide the opportunity to nominate under these occupations until the new lists are finalised. However, in order that the labour market is not saturated with potential applicants seeking employment in these areas, Immigration SA has imposed a job offer criteria to the occupations:

  • Intelligence Officer
  • Librarian
  • Office manager
  • Recreation officer

Immigration SA will assure that any sponsorship application submitted up to Thursday 17 September under these occupations will be honoured provided that all the supporting documents are received before the 60 day period.

The 2009/2010 Permanent and Provisional Lists are being revised.

English Language Requirements for Student Visa Applications

As a result of a recent court decision, the IELTS test for student visa applications can be done after the date of application but before date of decision.

In a unanimous decision of the Full Federal Court of Australia, dated 21 August 2009, the Court concluded the only limitation on when an IELTS test can be taken is that it must be taken no earlier than two years before the date of the application. That is, the provisions of "taken less than 2 years before the date of application" do not prevent a visa applicant from relying on the results of an IELTS test taken after the date of the visa application.

The Full Court's decision concerned the English language proficiency requirement, applicable to certain Student visa applications. At issue was the period in which Student visa applicants must sit a successful IELTS test.

Changes to Skilled Migration

Changes to Skilled Migration

Since 1 January 2009, there were some changes to the Skilled Migration program; both employer sponsored visa applicants and General Skilled Migration applicants. However, there are many people stilling confuse about these changes, therefore, I put this up on the blog for everyone to read... :)

Employer-sponsored permanent migration

Employer-sponsored permanent migration applications will be fast-tracked. In his press release, the Minister said that "this could see employer sponsored visas occupying an increasing share of the skilled program, with 36,000 visas likely in the current year"

General Skilled Migration

For General Skilled Migration applications (both onshore and offshore), priority processing will be given to those who:
•1. have State or Territory sponsorship; or
•2. have a nominated occupation in the new "Critical Skills List (CSL)".

This list focuses on medical and key IT professionals, engineers and construction trades.
In a document entitled "2008-09 Migration Program Changes Frequently asked questions" it states in Question 8 that "Occupations that are not included in the CSL will not be given priority processing unless the applicants have a job offer or are sponsored or nominated by a state or territory government." It is not clear if this mention of a job offer is only for employer nominated applications or also for General Skilled Migration applications.

Prospective applicants for State or Territory sponsorship should contact States or Territories to enquire about sponsorship for people who have a nominated occupation on their state skills shortage list. Please note that DIAC is allowing States and Territories to sponsor up to 500 people a year who do not have occupations on their state list. Check with states and territories about this.

Accountants are on the Critical Skills List, but the list specifies that (for the purposes of the CSL) the applicant must have achieved a score of at least 7 in each band of the IELTS test and/or has completed the Professional Year in accounting who nominate "Accountant"

These changes will not affect the eligibility of applicants who are currently eligible to apply for General Skilled Migration now to be eligible after 1 January 2009. However they will not be given processing priority. There are no changes to the points awarded for MODL.

John @ J The Migration Team

Market Salary Rates from 14 September 2009 (Subclass 457)

Market Salary Rates from 14 September 2009 (Subclass 457)

Minster Evans has announced the market salary rates requirements for temporary skilled overseas workers which will come into effect from 14 September 2009. These are a result of the Migration Legislation Amendment (Worker Protection) Act 2008 and associated regulations.

These market rates will apply to all new subclass 457 visa holders from 14 September 2009, except where annual earnings of $180,000 or more are proposed.

For current subclass 457 visa holders, transitional arrangements will allow employers currently paying less than market salary rates to have until 1 January 2010 to commence paying market rates.

  • $81,040 for Subclass 457 visa holders who benefit from the English language exemption
  • $55,725 for Subclass 457 visa holders working in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) occupations who were granted their visa under certified regional employment arrangements
  • $61,920 for all other Subclass 457 visa holders working in ICT occupations
  • $40,705 for all other Subclass 457 visa holders who were granted visas under certified regional employment arrangements
  • $45,220 for all other Subclass 457 visa holders.
How the market salary rate is determined:

a) if there is an equivalent Australian worker in the workplace:- the market rate will be determined by the industrial arrangements that apply to this worker – for example, a collective agreement, award, award conditions with above award salary rates or a common law contract [This may be referred to as the ‘site’ or ‘enterprise’ rate].

b) if there is no equivalent worker onsite:- the employer may reference collective agreements or awards for that position to substantiate the market rate. If there is no applicable agreement or award, other evidence such as remuneration surveys or earnings data must be provided.

In this case it is the sponsor’s responsibility to identify market terms and conditions of employment supported by a range of evidence.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) commences on 14 September 2009 and is currently $45,220 per annum.

A nomination under the Subclass 457 visa program will be refused in most cases if the market salary rate for the nominated position is below this level of income.

The TSMIT has no bearing on what the Subclass 457 visa holder should be paid in the workplace.

Example given by DIAC
If the market salary rate for an occupation is $39,500 – that is, the market salary rate amount that is paid to equivalent Australian in the employer's workplace – then the nomination would normally be refused, as the salary is below TSMIT. Even if the sponsor decided to offer the nominee a salary of $45,220, then the nomination could still be refused, as it is the market salary rate that the department compares to TSMIT, not the actual salary proposed.

Current nomination applications will be assessed against the new nomination criterion, and DIAC will contact sponsors to seek further information.
Current nomination approvals where the 457 applicant is specified will be processed under the new legislation.

From 14 September 2009, current nomination approvals where the 457 applicant is not specified will not be valid. The sponsor may seek a refund of the nomination fee for these nominations by submitting their request in writing to the department within the validity period of the nomination.


There will be specially trained officers with investigative powers to monitor workplaces and conduct site visits to determine whether employers are complying with the redefined sponsorship obligations.

Breach of sponsorship obligations could result in fines up to $33,000, the cancellation of an employer's approval as a sponsor or barring them from making further applications for overseas workers.

DIAC can also obtain information from the Commissioner of Taxation to ensure correct salary levels are being paid to visa holders.

Immigration agent in Wollongong

Immigration agent in Wollongong. We’ll come to you

All your migration needs, all types of visas:
  • Student visa
  • Permanent resident (PR)
  • Graduate Skilled Migration Visa
  • Working visa
  • Spouse Visa; marriage & de facto
  • Skill Assessment
  • Citizenship
  • Both onshore & offshore
  • …. and much more…
Affordable price
0412-470969, by appointment only
J Migration Team @Wollongong