Australia General Skilled Immigration Visa- Recent Changes!
Australia -General Skilled Migration – recent important changes and what it means to prospective Indian applicant for permanent resident visa to Australia
The ongoing global economic situation has significantly weakened Australia’s economic situation, including an increase in unemployment. Besides introducing a reduced ceiling of 115000 places for the year 2008-09, the Australian immigration Minister has announced significant changes in the critical skills list (CSL). In addition majority of Construction and metal machining trades are being removed from the CSL.
The critical skills list (CSL) only applies to people who are seeking to migrate under the skilled migration program and who are not sponsored by an employer or nominated by a state or territory government. The CSL contains occupations that have been identified as being in critical demand in Australia. As these occupations are in critical demand, applicants nominating these occupations will have their applications processed as a priority. This means that your visa application will be assessed after all the visas which are sponsored by an employer or nominated by a state or territory government, and before other applications.
The following outlines key information about this CSL as outlined on 16th March’2009.
- It includes mainly information technology professionals, engineers and medical professionals.
- The CSL is a smaller list of occupations developed in consultation with state and territory governments.
- Applications from people nominating the occupation of Accountant will receive processing priority only if they have completed the Skilled Migration Internship Program – Accounting (SMIPA); and/or they have demonstrated that they have proficient English language skills under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS 7) in the past two (2) years.
- This list will be subject to ongoing review to ensure that it remains responsive to skill demands.
Occupations most likely to meet the new skills list and those appearing in MODL (Migration occupations in demand – in Indian context- will mainly include the following occupations:
- Electronic Equipment Trades
- Engineer – Chemical
- Engineer – Civil
- Engineer – Electrical
- Engineer – Electronics
- Engineer – Mechanical
- Engineer – Mining
- Engineer – Production or Plant Engineer
- Quantity Surveyor
- Secondary School Teacher
- Accountant — where the applicant has achieved a score of at least IELTS 7 in each of the four competencies, and/or has completed The Professional Year – Skilled Migration Internship Program Accounting (SMIPA)
- Computing Professionals — where the applicant’s specialisation is listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).
- Computing Professional – specialising in CISSP *
- Computing Professional – specialising in C++/C#/C *
- Computing Professional – specialising in Data Warehousing
- Computing Professional – specialising in Java *
- Computing Professional – specialising in J2EE *
- Computing Professional – Linux
- Computing Professional – .Net technologies
- Computing Professional – specialising in Network Security/Firewall/Internet Security *
- Computing Professional – specialising in Oracle
- Computing Professional – specialising in PeopleSoft *
- Computing Professional – specialising in SAP *
- Computing Professional – specialising in SIEBEL * (especially Siebel Analytic)
- Computing Professional – Solaris
- Computing Professional – Unix
Australian Immigration- priority processing of permanent applications
The priority processing direction gives priority processing to permanent applications in the following order:
- Employer sponsorship.
- State or territory sponsorship.
- An occupation on the Critical Skills List (CSL).
- An occupation on the MODL.
- All other applications.
The new priority processing direction gives priority processing to provisional applications in the following order:
- State or territory sponsorship.
- Family sponsorship where the applicant’s occupation is listed on the CSL.
- All other applications.
Australian Immigration- Understanding State and territory nomination
It is entirely at the discretion of States and Territories whether or not they choose to nominate migration visa applicants. States and territories can nominate applicants who have an occupation on their skills shortage list. Applicants are required to approach the relevant state or territory agency directly to enquire about nomination. The number of potential migrants which each state or territory can sponsor from their skills shortage list is unlimited, within the total skilled migration program’s ceiling of 115 000 people. In addition to their skills shortage list, each state and territory is also allocated a quota of 500 off-list nominations per program year from occupations on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). While off-list nominations are available to state or territory governments, it is their decision which applicants and skills they choose to nominate. Each state and territory compiles its own skills shortage list. Each state or territory can sponsor potential migrants with skills in an occupation included on their skills shortage list for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa. Applicants sponsored by a state or territory government for a permanent visa receive an additional 10 points on the GSM points test.
Recent Australian Migration changes- how does it affect international Students studying in Australia?
No changes have been proposed to the student visa program itself. The pathway from a student visa to General Skilled Migration (GSM) also remains in place. It is important to note however that is predominantly driven by the labour market needs of Australia and the requirements for permanent residence can change. International students who were eligible for permanent residence before changes announced on 16th March’2009 will still be eligible for permanent residence. International students who have graduated from an Australian education provider and meet other necessary requirements will still be eligible to apply for permanent residence under the GSM program. Student visa holders will still need to meet the points test and basic eligibility requirements such as having the required level of English language proficiency and having completed a degree, diploma or trade qualification resulting from at least two academic years of study in Australia.
The announced changes do not impact on the application requirements for GSM. The points test and requirements for GSM have not changed. Students studying in courses leading to 50- or 60-point occupations on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will still be eligible to apply for GSM. The change will mean faster visa processing for applicants with employer sponsorship or who are nominated by a State or Territory Government or who have an occupation on the CSL. Students with 60-point occupations will also still be eligible for additional points on the points test if that occupation is listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) and they have the necessary skilled work experience. The SOL and MODL have not changed. Eligible applicants with occupations not on the CSL will still be able to apply for GSM. However, their visa applications will not be processed as quickly. Those people nominating occupations on the CSL will be given processing priority.
International students holding a student visa can continue to apply for other temporary or permanent visas provided that they meet the necessary eligibility criteria. However, Students wishing to change course should firstly discuss with their education provider how this can be done. Those students who wish to change to a course in a different education sector may also need to apply for a Student visa of a different subclass and should contact the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).