Thursday, February 12, 2009

Faq on 09 migration part 1

Hello All !
Many of you have been asking me to post updates relating to immigration changes on this blog. so here we go...this is the frequently asked questions relating to the Migration Program changes for 2008-09.

Q1 What changes have been announced for the Skilled Migration program?

The changes announced to the skilled migration program by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship are:

• a new section 499 ministerial direction on priority processing

• the introduction of a critical skills list (CSL)

• greater scope for state and territory governments to meet critical skills shortages in their jurisdiction.

 Q2 Which applicants will receive priority processing?

The new priority processing Direction gives priority to applicants with employer sponsorship, state or territory nomination
and those skilled migration applicants with an occupation on the CSL.

Q3 When will these changes be introduced?

These changes came into effect on from 1 January 2009.

Q4 Why have these changes been introduced?

In the 2008 Budget, the skill stream of the migration program for 2008-09 was significantly increased to 133 500 places as
part of the Government’s strategy to counter the risk of increased inflation due to pressure on the growth of wages.
However, since the 2008 Budget, there has been a significant change in Australia’s economic circumstances as a result
of the recent global financial crisis.

 This crisis has weakened the Australian economy, as reflected in the recent Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook
(MYEFO) forecasts. In response to these changes in circumstances, the minister has announced a more targeted
approach to the 2008-09 skilled migration program. This announcement includes priority processing of employer
sponsored, state and regional sponsored and the introduction of a CSL of occupations. People seeking to migrate to
Australia who have skills or qualifications in one of the occupations on the CSL will be processed in a higher priority to
those applicants who do not. This will include all applications that are on hand at the time of the announcement as well
as any applications received in the future.

 Q5 Are these changes temporary or permanent?

The skilled migration program is continually reviewed and assessed for its relevance and outcomes in light of the
economic and social needs of Australia. The program is modified as these needs change.

 Q6 Will the program be capped, either officially or unofficially?

If the processing of priority categories does not consume all of the department’s processing resources, there are a
number of legislative based tools available to the minister to manage the skilled application pipeline, if necessary,
including suspension of processing or capping the number of visas to be issued.

 Q7 Is there any difference in processing between onshore and offshore programs?

No, the new priority processing will affect onshore and offshore applications equally.

Q8 What occupations or industries are affected?

Occupations that are not included in the CSL will not be given priority processing unless applicants are sponsored by an
employer or sponsored or nominated by a state or territory government.

 Q9 An employer has offered me a job in Australia. Will I get priority processing?

The priority processing only applies to those who have an employer willing to sponsor them for migration, not simply a job
offer. Applicants who are sponsored by an employer must apply for one of the employer sponsored scheme (ENS) visas.

Q10 An employer has offered to sponsor me. What should I do?

You will need to check your eligibility for an employer sponsored visa. The employer intending to sponsor you must also
meet certain requirements.

 If you have applied for a GSM visa since 1 September 2007, you may be able to apply for an ENS visa without having to
pay a new application visa charge. You will have to complete another visa application form.

 If you applied for a GSM visa before 1 September 2007, you may be able to be assessed for an ENS visa without having
to lodge a new application or pay a new application charge.

Applications for ENS visas will receive priority processing.

See: Employer Sponsored Workers

 Q11 A State or Territory has agreed to nominate/sponsor me. What do I do?

You will need to provide your nominator/sponsor with your application reference details. Your nominator will then submit
a nomination form on your behalf to the department. If the nomination is successful your application will then be eligible
for priority processing.

 Q12 My occupation is now on the CSL. What should I do?

You do not need to do anything. The department identifies those applications which are now prioritised and will advise
you when you are assigned a case officer.

Q13 I am an accountant but only have IELTS 6 and have not completed the Professional Year. How can I receive
priority processing?

Only accountants who have a minimum of 7 in each IELTS component or have completed the Professional Year program
under the sc485 visa qualify for priority processing under the CSL.

 This means that if you want to have your application given priority, you have the option of sitting the IELTS test and
gaining a minimum of 7 in each component of the test, which is ‘proficient English’.

Once you have received your ‘proficient English’ IELTS results, you should contact the department on the post-lodgement
form to have your visa processed as a priority.

See: General Skilled Migration Post-Lodgement Enquiry Form

 Q14 What is happening to the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL)?

There have been no changes to the points allocated for MODL. The MODL will be reviewed as necessary to determine
any changes required for its continued use for skilled migration purposes. Under the section 499 direction, General Skilled
Migration applicants who nominate an occupation from the MODL will receive priority processing after those applicants
who nominate an occupation from the CSL and those applicants sponsored or nominated by a state or territory

Q15 When will the review of the MODL be undertaken?

It is expected that the review of the MODL will be undertaken in early 2009.

Q16 What subclasses have been affected by this announcement?

The introduction of the CSL and the changes to the processing priorities will affect applications for most GSM subclasses,
including those lodged after 1 January 2009 and those already lodged but not yet granted. Applicants for subclasses 485
and 887 will not be affected by this change.

 Q17 How many grants were made in 2007-08 for skills that are now on the CSL?

During program year 2007-08, there were 23 424 grants made to all subclasses for occupations that are now on the CSL.

 Q18 Where do agents/clients enquire about specific cases?

In the first instance, agents and clients should refer to the information available on the department’s website. This will
provide valuable background information on the changes and possible implications.

Where an agent or client’s question is not answered by the information available on the website, they can contact the
General Skilled Migration line:

• In Australia: 1300 364 613 for the cost of a local call

• Outside Australia: +61 1300 364 613 (charges applicable in your home country will apply).

Q19 What is the feedback mechanism for general queries about the change?

General enquiries about the changes should be referred to the information available on the department’s website. Where
more specific information is required, clients can contact the General Skilled Migration line:

• In Australia: 1300 364 613 for the cost of a local call

• Outside Australia: +61 1300 364 613 (charges applicable in your home country will apply).

Disclaimer: The above details is provided as information as is. for the most recent changes, refer to the web site of the department of immigration. for immigration related matters, it is best to consult a registered migration agent.