Changes to the citizenship residence requirement on 1 July 2010

The general residence requirement is one of the eligibility criteria you must meet to apply for Australian citizenship. The residence requirement is specified in the Australian Citizenship Act 2007.
It is based on the length of time:
  • you have lawfully lived in Australia
  • you have spent outside Australia
  • you have been a permanent resident
From 1 July 2010 all citizenship applicants will need to meet this residence requirement at the time they apply for Australian citizenship.
  • You must have been living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for 4 years immediately before applying, including 1 year as a permanent resident, and
  • You must not have been absent from Australia for more than 1 year during the 4 year period, including no more than 90 days in the year immediately before applying.

fake marriages... don't do it...

Fake marriages for migration purposes have always been a problem for governments, including the Australian government and here are some stories from overseas.

Amendments to Parent Category Visas

To apply from 27 March 2010, amended to better align the Regulations with objectives of family stream policy:
  • Allow certain spouses, de factos, dependent children and family members to be added to applications for Contributory Parent visas between lodgement and approval;
  • Permit certain applicants for Subclass 143 – Contributory Parent visas to be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance when the visa is granted;
  • Enable certain applicants for Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent visas to remain eligible even if sponsoring child has died;
  • Change decision criteria for a Subclass 864 – Contributory Aged Parent visa to ensure applicants who have held a substituted Subclass 676 visa can continue to meet the time of application criteria at the time of decision;
  • Enable certain applicants for parent visas who are parents of children under 18 to be sponsored by 'relative' of the child or 'relative' of the child's spouse rather than a 'close relative'; 
  • Take measures to reduce potential abuse of the Subclass 804 – Aged Parent visa

Skill assessment of trade occupation (pre 1 Jan 2010)

Effective from 12 March 2010, this change regards onshore applicants for General Skilled Migration who are nominating a trade occupation in the following subclasses:
  • Subclass 487 (Skilled - Regional Sponsored)
  • Subclass 885 (Skilled - Independent)
  • Subclass 886 (Skilled - Sponsored)
All applicants applying for the above visas and who nominate a trade occupation will be able to use an existing suitable skills assessment to lodge a valid visa application. That means that a skills assessment which pre-dates 1 January 2010 can be used.

Changes introduced on 1 January 2010 had required these applicants to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010. This is no longer the case.

Business Skills Visas for 2009/10 Financial Year

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has issued a new Legislative Instrument which imposes a cap of 6530 on the number Class EA and Class UR Business Skills visas that may be granted in the 2009/2010 financial year.
The affected visa subclasses are:
Class EA
132 Business Talent (Migrant)
Class UR
160 Business Owner (Provisional)
161 Senior Executive (Provisional)
162 Investor (Provisional)
163 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional)
164 State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional)
165 State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional)
This legislative Instrument is effective from 18 March 2010.
The granting of these business visas has not yet stopped, as 6530 visas have not yet been granted, but that number could be reached at any time.

Once 6530 of these business visas have been granted, no more will be granted until after 30 June 2010.