Thursday, February 12, 2009

Faq on 09 migration part 2

continuation of the FAQ on migration changes for 2009...

Q20 Has something like this happened before?

In 1997, the department introduced priority processing in the partner migration program. In that instance, applicants sponsored by an Australian citizen with children were given priority. The MODL is updated periodically, based on DEEWR labour market research, to meet the changing skill shortages inAustralia.

Q21 What is the processing priority going to be now?

The new priority processing direction gives priority processing to permanent applications in the

following order:

1. employer sponsorship

2. state or territory sponsorship

3. an occupation on the CSL

4. an occupation on the MODL

5. all other applications.

The new priority processing direction gives priority processing to provisional applications in the

following order:

1. state or territory sponsorship

2. family sponsorship where the applicant’s occupation is listed on the CSL

3. all other applications.

Q22 What will happen to those applications which are in the final stages of processing and where the department has requested applicants to provide health and character clearances?

Those applications which are currently close to being finalised will be finalised by the department, subject to health and character clearances.

Q23 What about applications outside the skill stream?

These measures only affect the skill stream.

Is your occupation in demand?

Critical Skills List (40KB PDF file)  (---enclosed in seperate post---)

State Nomination

Q1 How can states and territories nominate, or sponsor, people?

States and territories can nominate applicants who have an occupation on their skills shortage list and they may also sponsor up to 500 people a year who do not have occupations on their state or territory list.

Applicants should approach the relevant state or territory agency directly to enquire about nomination.

 Q2 How many people can states and territories bring in under the state and territory skills shortage list?

The number of potential migrants which each state or territory can sponsor from their skills shortage list is unlimited, barring the total skilled migration program’s ceiling being reached. However, each state and territory is allocated a quota
of 500 off-list nominations per program year from occupations included on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) but not on the state or territory’s skills shortage list. These off-list nominations are in addition to the nominations from their skills
shortage list.

Q3 What is the state skills shortage list?

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.

Q4 Is there any restriction on the types of skills that states and territories can bring in under the state skills shortage list?

The state and territory skills shortage lists identify occupations believed to be in shortage in each jurisdiction. The only limitation is that occupations included on the state skills shortage lists must also be listed on the GSM SOL.

Q5 Can the states and territories bring in people with skills that are not on the CSL?

Yes, states and territories may sponsor applicants who have nominated an occupation which is on the SOL but is not on the CSL. They may use their 500 off-list nominations to sponsor other applicants.

 Q6 If I have already lodged an independent skilled application, is there any way to change it to a State Sponsored visa?

If you have lodged a Skilled – Independent (subclass 175) visa or a Skilled – Independent (subclass 885) visa, your visa can be assessed as a State Sponsored visa.

To obtain a state or territory nomination, you should approach the state or territory you would like to live in and request they consider nominating you. Please note that state-sponsored migrants are expected to live for at least two (2) years in
the state or territory which sponsors them.

See: Nomination by State/Territory government

 If you are accepted by a state or territory government, they will notify you and lodge the relevant nomination form directly with the department.

You will also need to complete the post-lodgement form to let the department know that you have accepted a nomination and wish to have your application assessed under either the Skilled – Sponsored (subclass 176) visa or a Skilled – Sponsored (subclass 886) visa.

See: General Skilled Migration Post-Lodgement Enquiry Form


Q1 How will these changes impact on international students?

Australia has a well-deserved reputation for high-quality education and training. We continue to welcome overseas students, and appreciate the contribution they make to both academic life and the communities in which they live.

There are no changes being proposed to the student visa program itself. The pathway from a student visa to General Skilled Migration (GSM) also remains in place. However, applying for a student visa and applying for GSM are separate
processes. It is important to note that student visas are aimed at achieving an educational outcome.

GSM on the other hand is predominantly driven by the labour market needs of Australia.

Q2 I am an international student, can I still apply for permanent residence?

International students who were eligible for permanent residence before these changes 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.

While the requirements for GSM have not changed, Australia continually adjusts and reviews its migration program to ensure it meets changing needs and circumstances. Prospective permanent visa applicants should continue to monitor the website for changes.

Q3 The course I am studying will not allow me to qualify for an occupation on the Critical Skills List (CSL), can I still apply for a permanent residence visa?

These 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. 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). 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.

 Q4 What visas other than skill stream visas can I access?

International students holding a student visa can continue to apply for other temporary or permanent visas provided that they meet the necessary eligibility criteria.

 Q5 The course I am studying will not allow me to qualify for an occupation on the Critical Skills List - Can I enrol in another course?

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).

Q6 I am an education provider with students enrolled in a course that will not allow them to qualify for an occupation on the CSL and these students are now withdrawing their enrolment. Is the Government going to compensate me?

No. The Government has not made any changes to international education or student visa policy. There is no reason why a provider cannot continue to offer the same courses. The occupations eligible for GSM have not changed. The changes
will only impact on those students who apply for GSM on graduation. 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.

The government changes GSM visa requirements in response to economic conditions and labour market needs. As such, the government makes no guarantees that courses delivered by education providers in response to students seeking a permanent migration outcome will continue to assist them in meeting this goal.

Q7 What further changes are proposed for the student program?

At this time, there are no changes proposed to the student visa program.

Applying for a student visa and applying for GSM are separate processes. GSM requirements may be altered in future in response to changing economic circumstances.

The Government is focused on shifting the outcome of the migration program to a more industry driven model where employer sponsored visas become a significant pathway to permanent residence. Further changes along this direction will potentially be made in the future.

Subclass 457 – Business (Long Stay) visa

Q1 Do these changes affect my 457 application?


Q2 Can I apply for General Skilled Migration while I hold a 457 Visa?

Yes, you can apply for an offshore GSM visa in Australia as a holder of 457 visa as long as you meet the threshold requirements. However, as this is an offshore category visa, you must be outside Australia at the time of grant and you will not be eligible for a bridging visa.

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.