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Tag Archives: migration

December 28, 2017

Population growth will help propel Australia to become the world’s 11th biggest economy within a decade, a report predicts.
The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13.
Countries that depend on brainpower to drive their economies will generally overtake those dependent on natural resources, with China tipped to replace the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2030, the centre says.
While Australia’s economic growth has been fuelled by resources in recent years, the centre also noted that it’s become one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration.

The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13. And it’s particularly Australia’s intake of migrants with highly sought-after skills that will help fuel its future growth.
“Australia is one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration as well as having natural resources.
“The growing population means that the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026.
“Investment in urban infrastructure will need to accelerate as population increases.”
Australia welcomed 245,400 immigrants in the year ending June 30, 2017, a 27 per cent increase from the year before.

“The growing population means the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026,” said the centre’s 2018 World Economic League Table, which ranks the world’s economies by gross domestic product measured in US dollars at market prices to 2030.
Image result for australia 11th biggest economy

June 29, 2017
In November 2016, reported about Victorian Government’s decision to temporary stop accepting applications for skilled visa for certain ICT occupations.
The Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

Skilled visa applications for 11 occupations were temporarily closed by the Victorian Government for certain ICT occupations from 11 November 2016 till 6 March 2017 which was later revised and extended till 30 June 2017.
The state government has announced that from 1 July 2017, the Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program will reopen applications for ICT occupations.

New application process for ICT occupations

Due to the high number of ICT applications that Victoria receives, the state government is changing the application process for ICT occupations. The aim of this is to reduce processing times and improve experience.
Those interested in applying for Victorian nomination (in ICT occupations), are advised to follow these steps:
1. Send your resume to sydney@inteducation.com
we will check you meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) requirements and Victoria’s minimum nomination requirements.
Then we will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)  in DIBP’s SkillSelect, and indicate your interest for Victorian nomination. You do not need to notify Victoria that you have submitted an EOI.
There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed. If selected, an email invitation to apply for Victorian visa nomination will be sent to your email address used for the EOI.
If you receive the invitation. we will submit an online application for Victorian visa nomination within 14 days of receiving the invitation. Note that you must be able to demonstrate that you still meet the claims that were in your EOI when you were invited. It is recommend that you have all your supporting documents ready before you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, as the 14 days cannot be extended.
If you are successfully nominated by the Victorian Government, you will receive a SkillSelect invitation to apply for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) .
Then we will submit a visa application to DIBP within 60 days of being nominated by Victoria.
Selection considerations
The Victorian Government will review and select the top ranking ICT candidates from SkillSelect, who have indicated Victoria as their preferred state.
Candidates who are selected to apply are still required to meet Victoria’s minimum eligibility requirements, including demonstrating employability and commitment to Victoria, and are not guaranteed nomination.
If you are not selected by the Victorian Government, you will not receive an email. Your EOI will continue to be considered for as long as it remains in DIBP’s SkillSelect system.
Current  Occupations eligible to apply for Victorian visa nomination

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For more details, visit Victorian Government’s website. [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]

February 3, 2014

Australian_PR_COB_2006Gallup’s Potential Net Migration Index reported that Australia and New Zealand remain the ideal migration destination for people around the world among countries in the region. The population for the two countries can increase vastly if these people will be given freedom to live in a country where they wanted, the poll revealed.
The intention of people to migrate permanently to other countries had decrease to 13 per cent, but the score for moving to Australia and New Zealand remained “positive and high.”
The survey was conducted through interviewing 520,000 participants in 154 countries – taking away the number of people interested to leave a country from the number of those interested to move in the same country.
In the list of Potential Net Migration to Asia for 2010-12, Australia lands at no. 1 with 1.36 per cent, followed by New Zealand with 1.34 per cent.
Professor Paul Spoonley explained that the decline in the percentage of New Zealand as compared to Australia for 2010-2012 was due to New Zealand’s “cooling of the job market”.
“The global financial crisis has seen a softening of people applying to come to New Zealand in real terms, and the slowdown in the job market over the period also affected the desire of people on wanting to move here,” Mr Spoonley told NZ Herald.
As compared to Australia, “The big change in the last couple of years was the strength in the Australian labour market and the weakening of the job market in New Zealand, which could explain why Australia became a more popular choice,” he added.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were listed as top two most desired destinations for would-be migrants among the countries in the Middle East and North Africa. People were seeing both countries as high-income countries which offer economic opportunities and employment.
Canada tops the list of the Potential Net Migration among the countries in the Americas.
As a whole, the report shed light on the aftermath of global economic downturn in relation to people’s desire to move out from their country and moved to another. Essentially, the study showed that people were still looking forward for economic conditions to eventually improve in these countries.
The PNMI is measured on a scale of -100 (meaning the total adult population of the country would leave) to infinity (meaning the potential inflow of adult population to the country is unlimited and depends on the number of adults who want to move in from around the world). As with any survey-based estimate, the PNMI has a corresponding margin of error for each country, calculated using the standard error of the index. Sample size, size of the country, and range in population projection weights affect the PNMI margin of error.
Gallup’s PNMI is based on responses to the following questions:

$1·         Ideally, if you had the opportunity, would you like to move permanently to another country, or would you prefer to continue living in this country?

$1·         (If “would like to move permanently to another country”) To which country would you like to move? [open-ended, one response allowed]

Source:  International Business Times  /  By Athena Yenko | February 3, 2014

November 24, 2013

labour_market_testingLabour Market Testing (LMT) for the Australian subclass 457 visa programme has begun and further details of how it will work have now been issued by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

All applications from 23 November will be subject to the new LMT rules but those lodged before this date will be unaffected.
The Government has sought to moderate the impact on Australian employers, and has consulted widely with industry prior to introduction of the new system.
The impact of Labour Market Testing will be limited to selected occupations only. Employers sponsoring for 457 visas in most occupations will not be affected.
There are also generous exemptions for transfers of employees from subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region.
For employers who do not fall within one of the above exemptions, Labour Market Testing will involve an extra administrative step which could cause delay and additional expense in obtaining the necessary 457 visa.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss how the new labour market testing requirement will affect your business.
Which occupations will be affected?
In terms of exemptions, the majority of skill level one and two occupations, generally those requiring a degree or a diploma, will be exempt. But engineers, nurses and trades such as cabinet makers, boat makers, wood machinist, fitters, welders, plumbers and bricklayers are included.
Exemptions due to trade obligations include applicants who are citizens of New Zealand, Chile and Thailand. Applicants who are employed by an associated business in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) could also be exempt.
Labour Market Testing will only be required for the following types of occupations:

  • Trade occupations (ie requiring an apprenticeship or completion of the equivalent of an Australian Certificate IV)
  • Technical occupations (ie requiring a Certificate IV)
  • Engineers
  • Nurses

Which occupations are exempted?

  • Labour Market Testing will NOT be required for:
  • Most Management Positions
  • Most Professional Occupations
  • Most Associate Professional Positions (requiring a diploma level qualification)
  • The main exception to the above are people working in the engineering and nursing fields.

Other Exemptions to Labour Market Testing
Even if the occupation is on the LMT list, exemptions from labour market testing apply where:

  • The applicant is a citizen of Chile or Thailand, or a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand;
  • Where the employee already works for an associated entity of the sponsor in Chile, New Zealand or an ASEAN country (Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand or Vietnam);
  • Where the employee has worked full time for the nominating business for the last 2 years;
  • Where the business operates in a WTO member country and is seeking to sponsor senior management staff to work in Australia; or
  • Where workers are required to respond to a major disaster

457 visa rules
The new rules require employers to test the local labour market before seeking to employ an overseas worker on a subclass 457 visa.
The government said that it believes it is adopting a sensible approach to the implementation of the new rules requiring employers to test the local labour market before seeking to employ an overseas worker on a subclass 457 visa.
But the rules are not as rigorous as they might have been under the previous government, most notably there is no minimum requirement for the length of time a job has to be advertised within Australia.
Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said that labour market testing is a requirement of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013 which was introduced by the previous government and passed by the previous Parliament in June. The current government does not believe that there was adequate consultation.
‘The government is committed to ensuring that the subclass 457 programme acts as a supplement to, and not a substitute for Australian workers. The government fully supports the principle that Australian workers have priority, but to bind employers up in needless red tape will only stymie Australian business and cost Australian jobs over the long run,’ explained Cash.
She announced that highly skilled occupations will be exempt from the LMT requirement and employers can advertise positions on their own company websites and on social media. Businesses that are part of a Labour Agreement will also be exempt from the requirements.
Labour market testing will apply to mainly technical and trade occupations available for sponsorship under the subclass 457 visa programme. Cash explained that exemptions will also apply in a small number of cases in which labour market testing would conflict with Australia’s international trade obligations.  The Act also allows for the minister to declare exemptions in the event of a major disaster, in order to allow overseas disaster relief and recovery workers to enter Australia unimpeded.
She also said that the LMT implementation should be done in a practical way which accounts for its impact on Australian businesses and Australian workers alike.
How Must Labour Market Testing Be Conducted?
If required, Labour Market Testing will in general involve advertising the position and indicating why no suitable applicants were found from the Australian labour pool.
Labour Market Testing must have been done for the occupation at some stage in the 12 months prior to application. However, if staff have been made redundant in the occupation within the last 4 months, Labour Market Testing must be done after the redundancies have occurred.
Information provided in a Department of Immigration FAQ sheet indicates that advertising of positions via social media, company websites and other free means are perfectly acceptable ways to meet the Labour Market Testing requirement.
Alternatively, employers can provide:

  • Labour Market Research;
  • Support letters from government employment agencies; or
  • Details of the business participating in job and career expos

For further information on latest labour market test (LMT) information on selected 457 visa occupations please contactwww.visaagency-australia.comor write tomigration@inteducation.com
If you are interested in Australian visas, contact International Education Agency – Australia (IEAA)  for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try ourmigration services to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia.


November 9, 2012


Professor Lesleyanne Hawthorne writes:

Amid Australia’s ongoing doctor shortage, the health system risks losing dozens of Australian-trained, foreign-born doctors because of a shortage of intern places. The Australian Medical Students Association estimates the system needs 182 intern places to ensure all international students can finish their medical training and gain full registration as doctors.

These intern, (or post-graduate year one) places, are based in hospitals, which are run by the states. But the Commonwealth also bears some funding responsibility for medical training. The Commonwealth, state and territory health ministers are expected to discuss who should pay and potential solutions to the problem when they meet tomorrow in Perth.

Rise of international student migration

Over the past decade, international students have emerged as a prized and contested human capital resource. OECD and select Asian countries are expanding their international student flows, through global promotion strategies and regional migration programs, aligned with lower entry requirements, including for medical degrees.

International students have been immensely responsive to these migration options. In 1975, 600,000 international students were enrolled abroad, compared with 3.4 million in 2009. By 2025, it is predicted there will be 7.2 million international students studying globally.

A recent British Council survey of 153,000 international students confirmed opportunities for migration exert an extraordinary impact on the choice of study destination. While students sought a high quality, internationally recognised education, the scope to remain and work was found to “massively impact” both decisions and expectations.


In 1999, following the removal of a three-year eligibility bar, international students became immediately eligible to migrate to Australia. Within six years of the policy change, 52% of skilled migrants were selected onshore.

By 2010, 630,000 international students were enrolled in Australian courses (all fields and sectors). Of these, 18,487 were undertaking health degrees, including over 3,000 medical and 10,000 nursing students. International medical student graduates grew 223% from 1999 to 2009, compared with 52% growth in Australian domestic graduates.

International medical students

In 2009, the majority of international medical students were enrolled at

  • Monash,
  • Melbourne,
  • Queensland,
  • New South Wales and
  • Sydney universities.

Their source countries were highly diverse – most notably

  • Malaysia (1,134 students),
  • Singapore (577),
  • Canada (437),
  • the United States (84) and
  • Botswana (74), followed by
  • South Korea,
  • Brunei,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Indonesia and
  • Sri Lanka.

These international students achieve stellar rates of immediate employment and are highly attractive to local employers. As demonstrated by yet-to-be-published research conducted for the Medical Deans of Australia, 45% of international students plan to remain in Australia when they commence their studies. By their final year, 78% accept intern places (virtually all those who are not scholarship students sponsored by their home governments).

Australia’s Graduate Destination Survey from 2009-2011 reveals their employment outcomes to be near identical to those achieved by domestic students (99.6% working full-time at four months compared with 99.7%). The source country was almost irrelevant, with 100% of Canadian, US, Malaysian, Indonesian, Taiwanese, Norwegian and Botswanan students fully employed, compared with 97% from Singapore and 89% from China.

International medical graduates

As affirmed by the OECD, Australia has developed extraordinary reliance on international medical graduates (IMGs), who gain their qualifications overseas.


By 2006, 45% of Australian residents holding medical qualifications were overseas-born, including an estimated 25% who were overseas-qualified. The United Kingdom/Ireland, China, India, North Africa/ Middle East, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, South Africa and the Philippines were major sources of migration.

This diversification of supply has proven extremely challenging for Australia. The 2006 census shows just 53% of IMGs secured medical employment in Australia in their first five years of residence (across all immigration categories).

Doctors from English-speaking background countries moved seamlessly into work, while Commonwealth-Asian doctors fared reasonably. Outcomes were poor, by contrast, for many birthplace groups. Just 6% of doctors from China found medical employment within five years, along with 23% from Vietnam and 31% from Eastern Europe.


Employment access is significantly better for IMGs selected through the 457 visa temporary sponsored pathway. From 2005-06 to 2010-11 17,910 doctors were sponsored as temporary 457 visa migrants to pre-arranged jobs, with a 99% immediate employment rate.

From 2004-05 to 2010-11, an additional 2,790 IMGs were admitted through the permanent General Skilled Migration category. But not all passed the Australian Medical Council examinations, which are a requirement for unconditional registration in Australia. From 1978 to 2010, 82% of candidates passed the MCQ (the standard theoretical examination), typically on their first or second attempt, along with 85% of clinical candidates. But overall AMC completion rates were just 43%, since many choose not to persist with the process.

Large numbers of IMGs face significant barriers to securing professional registration. By contrast, international medical students face no impediments: they’re of prime workforce age (far younger than IMGs) and have self-funded to meet Australian domestic requirements.

Medical students’ future

We know that large numbers of international medical students wish to migrate to Australia – and access to intern places is critical for them to secure permanent resident status.

If Australia fails to retain these graduates, other countries will. Singapore, for instance, actively recruits in Australia, in a context where the nation’s fertility rate is incredibly low. New Zealand annually registers over 1,200 IMGs per year, but two-thirds will have left within two years. So there is major interest in attracting Australian-trained graduates.

If Australia is serious about retaining international medical students in the future, it’s vital to provide access to intern training places. While the students’ long-term intentions are unknown, it’s clear they have great potential to address Australian workforce shortages in the future.


** Lesleyanne Hawthorne is Professor of International Health Workforce, at the Australian Health Workforce Institute, University of Melbourne

This article was first published by The Conversation. A reminder to www.mystudyinaustralia.com readers that TC articles are freely available for republishing under a creative commons licence.

March 12, 2012


A renewed pride in the Australian flag seems to have bloomed as a new wave of patriotism sweeps the nation. Picture: Bob Barker

MIGRANT numbers have hit a two-year high, confirming that we are hurtling towards a “Big Australia”.

And more than 160 protection visas are being issued to asylum seekers each week as the Federal Government deals with rising numbers of arrivals by boat and air.

About 146,000 permanent settlers came to Australia in the past year, the most since 2010.

There were 14,210 arrivals in January alone – a 41-month high.

But the growth in population is much higher when the number of foreigners given permanent residency visas is taken into account.

Net overseas migration is about 184,000 a year and is expected to reach 204,000 by mid-2015, according to the latest Immigration Department forecasts.

The so-called Big Australia target of 36 million by 2050, disowned by PM Julia Gillard before the last election, is on track with annual net migration of 180,000 and above.

Monash University population expert Dr Bob Birrell said permanent immigration was at a very high level and temporary migration was increasing at an even higher rate.

“This is a sign of what’s in store for us given the Government’s policy settings,” he said.

Separate Immigration Department figures show 4260 asylum seekers were given protection visas in the second half of last year. This compares with 4818 visas for the whole of 2010-11.

About half of the successful visa applicants were from Afghanistan and Iran, while significant numbers also came from Iraq and Sri Lanka, according to the department’s latest Asylum Statistics Australia report.

Of those given visas in the second half of last year, 2845 were boat arrivals and 1412 sought asylum after arriving by air.

Adult boat arrivals are initially detained, but the Government’s policy is to release people while their refugee claims are assessed.

It has been reported the Government will start releasing 400 asylum seekers a month into the community after initially promising to release 100 a month.

The Opposition has branded Labor’s asylum seeker policy as “let them in and let them out”, but the Government says if the Coalition were truly concerned about boat arrivals it would pass the Malaysia solution legislation.

Source: Herald Sun March 07, 2012 by: John Masanauskas

November 3, 2011
November 3, 2011

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced businesses using the subclass 457 visa program can now gain access to priority processing and approval for six years under a new accreditation scheme.

‘This new scheme recognises that many Australian businesses have a long history of dealing with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) and an excellent record of compliance with workplace and migration laws,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘From 7 November, these businesses will be able to seek accreditation that qualifies them for sponsorship approval of six years rather than the current three, as well as ensuring faster processing times for all future subclass 457 nominations and visa applications.’

Businesses will need to meet certain additional benchmarks to qualify for accredited status, including being an active 457 visa sponsor for the past three years and a commitment to ensuring at least 75 per cent of their domestic workforce is Australian.

‘While employers should first look to Australians to fill skill vacancies, the subclass 457 visa provides a fast and flexible process for the entry of overseas workers where they are needed to fill skill vacancies,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘The new accreditation scheme was developed in consultation with the Skilled Migration Consultative Panel, which includes representatives from major employer groups, unions and state governments.’

The 2011 KPMG Skilled Migration Survey of employers found that the subclass 457 visa program provided a flexible avenue to alleviate skill shortages in growth sectors such as the mining industry.

Use of the subclass 457 visa program is increasing, with 54 360 subclass 457 primary visas granted in 2010–11, an increase of 38.2 per cent compared to the same period the year before. The UK was the most popular source country, with 11 820 primary applicants granted visas.

The median processing time for a subclass 457 visa remains at a historically low level of 22 days.

Minister Bowen has announced that DIAC will introduce a Sponsorship Accreditation system from Monday 7 November 2011.

Employers can apply for Accredited Sponsor status to qualify for priority processing for Subclass 457 visa nominations and visa applications.

Accredited Sponsor status is valid for six years, unless it is revoked because the employer no longer meets the required criteria.

Accreditation status is for employers with have a long and positive history of dealing with the Department and an excellent record of compliance with workplace and migration laws.

Applications for Accredited Sponsor status are made in the same way as applications for approval as a Standard Business Sponsorship applications, online or using Form 1196S.

A company must meet all the following criteria to gain Accredited Sponsor status:

  • be a government agency, a publicly listed company, or a private company, with a minimum of $4 million turnover per year over the last three years;
  • have been an active Subclass 457 visa sponsor for the past three years (with a break of no more than six months, which was not due to any sanction);
  • have no adverse information known of it based on DIAC and DEEWR monitoring, including formal warnings and sanctions;
  • have had at least 30 primary Subclass 457 visa applications granted in the previous 12 months;
  • have lodged a high level of Decision Ready applications over the previous two years;
  • have a non-approval rate of less than three percent during the previous three years; and
  • have Australian workers comprising at least 75 percent of its workforce in Australia, and have made a commitment to maintain this level.

Information on sponsorship accreditation is on the DIAC website, with further information to be available on Monday 7 November.

September 28, 2011
September 28, 2011


UNIVERSITIES will be allowed to entice foreign students with quick visa approvals and the right to two years of work after graduation as part of a reform package to stem further losses of overseas student income.


Immigration Minister Chris Bowen and Tertiary Education Minister Chris Evans said yesterday they would act on a remarkably frank report on Australia’s education export industry by former NSW politician Michael Knight.


By mid next year, foreign students keen on an Australian university degree will have access to a new, fast-track visa system.


Students from supposedly high-risk countries, such as China, no longer will have to show $75,000-plus in a bank account to prove they can cover fees and living costs.


Regardless of where they are from, would-be students will simply have to make a declaration they can support themselves.


Onerous financial requirements have been bitterly criticised as an over-reaction to past failings when migration was the motor of education, especially in private colleges.


Under yesterday’s Knight reforms, which single out universities for special treatment, foreign graduates emerging with a bachelor’s degree will be entitled to two years of work with no restriction on the type of job.


But if they want to stay for good they still have to satisfy stricter rules for skilled migration, which are much less generous to on-shore foreign students with low value skills.


University leaders yesterday welcomed the liferaft thrown them by the government.


“The reforms announced are more positive than anyone we spoke to expected [and] they come when competitors are kicking own goals _ riots in the UK and US funding cuts,” said University of NSW vice-chancellor Fred Hilmer.


“We expect a moderate lift in 2012 and a significant lift in 2013.”


In New Delhi yesterday, Professor Hilmer said education agents had told him that a streamlined student visa system was “the key to restoring our competitive position”.


Violence against students and tighter rules for skilled migration drove Indian students away while the US and Canada were making inroads on the China market.


In 2010-11, Australia’s education export earnings fell by almost 10 per cent from their $18 billion peak. Sharp declines in numbers at English language colleges and tertiary preparation courses suggest that universities are heading into tough trading conditions next year.


The education export industry complains of “a perfect storm” _ meaning rapid and unsettling changes in visa rules and skilled migration policy, the strong dollar and more competition for students overseas, and lingering reputational damage done by attacks on Indian students.


Under the Knight reforms, broadly adopted by the government, students wanting to study for a bachelor’s or higher qualification at university will find it easier and quicker to get a visa, regardless what country they are from.


“Unfortunately the worst perceptions about visa processing times are in Australia’s biggest market, China,” Mr Knight said.


From next autumn, would-be university students would benefit from an end to the requirement that they show large amounts of money upfront as evidence of capacity to pay.


Also promised next year is a comprehensive review of the so-called risk assessment levels that immigration officials use to vet would-be students. This system makes it harder for students from China and India, for example, to get visas.


Mr Knight recommended a new work rights regime for foreign students who graduate from an Australian university.


He said this had to be “administratively very simple”.


“The scheme must be one which can be marketed by the universities to prospective students as almost guaranteeing post-study work rights,” he said.


Glenn Withers, chief executive of Universities Australia, said the work entitlement was “one of the biggest breakthroughs”.


“This [work right] is as good or better than the Canadian or the US provisions,” he said.


But Monash University researcher Bob Birrell said the labour market implications had not been thought through.


Locals already were competing with thousands of former overseas students who were on bridging visas following a reform of the skilled migration rules, he said.


Stephen Connelly, from the International Education Association Australia, welcomed the Knight reforms.


He praised the extension of the new streamlined visa rules to packages including university study with foundation programs or English language courses.


“Australia has world’s best practice in pathways and preparatory programs for university studies, and this aspect of the recommendations will help cement our competitive advantage in this area,” Mr Connelly said.


He urged rapid implementation of the reform package to try to reverse the downward trend in on-shore student numbers.


Mr Knight justified special measures to boost overseas student recruitment by universities, rather than by TAFEs or private colleges, on the basis that universities were of “universally high” quality.


He also cited the “huge financial stake” of taxpayers in a university sector that had become heavily dependent on fees paid by foreign students.


He expressed surprise at the degree of dependence, pointing out that in 2009, about 25 per cent of students at the elite group of eight universities were internationals.


Andrew Norton, higher education expert at the Grattan Institute, was troubled by the favouritism shown to universities.


“My concern is that this is a big blow to the private higher education sector and the TAFES … and that this will distort the market further,” he said.


He said public universities already enjoyed a privileged position in the demand-driven system starting next year.


Adrian McComb, from the Council of Private Higher Education, said the “university centric nature” of the Knight report was disappointing.


He said this ran counter to the unified system of regulation for higher education, public and private, under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.


Mr Knight said universities were “not perfect”.


He put universities on notice that they would be held accountable for systematic migration abuses by their students or for lower standards.


“The financial dependence which universities now have on the fees from international students could create pressure to soften entry standards and assessment standards,” he said.


He said his freeing up of student visas would be “quite dangerous” unless immigration officers put new effort into checking that applicants were genuine temporary visitors as well as genuine students.


However, Dr Birrell said the guidelines for this new student visa test were “so opaque that it’s almost impossible to apply. I cannot see how [an immigration] officer could possibly implement them.”


BY: BERNARD LANE From: The Australian September 23, 2011 12:00AM

November 16, 2010


On 11th November the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the government’s intention to implement a new points test applying to certain skilled migration applications made on or after 1 July 2011.

The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.

It is proposed that a new points test for skilled migration visa applications will be introduced on 1 July 2011. It complements the series of reforms the Australian Government announced in February 2010.

The new points test is focused on selecting highly skilled people to deliver a more responsive and targeted migration program. It was developed following a review of the current points test, which considered submissions from a variety of experts and the wider Australian community.

The new points test balances the different factors that are considered when determining whether someone will be granted a skilled migration visa. It will deliver the best and brightest skilled migrants by emphasising high level qualifications, better English language levels and extensive skilled work experience.

The new points test will continue to award points for study in Australia, including regional study, community languages, partner skills and completing an approved Professional Year. Points will no longer be awarded on the basis of an applicant’s occupation, but all applicants must still nominate an occupation on the applicable Skilled Occupation List.


Under the new points test, points will no longer be awarded on the basis of occupation. Applicants will still be required to nominate a skilled occupation and provide a satisfactory skills assessment from the relevant Australian assessment authority for that occupation.

The equal weighting of occupations will have the added benefit of not distorting the study choices of international students. For more information of the point test see: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-fact.pdf .

The Minister’s speech includes this statement: “Educating the future leaders of our regional partners can make an important contribution to our diplomatic efforts long into the future. The measures I’m announcing today strike the appropriate balance between recognising valuable overseas qualifications and encouraging study at Australian institutions.”

For the complete speech see: http://www.chrisbowen.net/media-centre/allNews.do?newsId=3889 .

For further details:

August 5, 2010



These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are designed for clients who have already lodged an application for General Skilled Migration (GSM). These FAQs should be read with the information about the priority processing arrangements.

Please note: These FAQs will continue to be updated in response to common questions received from clients about the changes.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, set new priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas on 14 July 2010. These priority processing arrangements apply to all applications already lodged with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, as well as all future applications.

QI What is priority processing?

Priority processing refers to the order in which the department considers skilled migration applications. Section 51 of the Migration Act 1958 gives the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship powers to consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate. Departmental officers must follow this ministerial direction, which applies to both new applications and those applications awaiting a decision.

Q2 What are the changes to the skilled migration visa processing priorities?

The Minister has set new priority processing arrangements which apply to the following visas:


  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas.


Under the arrangements, processing priorities (with the highest priority listed first) are:


  1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.
  2. Applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency with a nominated occupation that is specified on that state or territory’s state migration plan.
  3. Applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 3 in effect from 1 July 2010.
  4. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.


Q3 Which GSM visas are affected by priority processing?

The following GSM visas are affected by priority processing:


  • Skilled — Independent subclass 175
  • Skilled — Independent subclass 176
  • Skilled — Regional Sponsored subclass 475
  • 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.


Q4 Which GSM visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing?

The following visa subclasses are exempt from priority processing:


  • Skilled — Recognised Graduate subclass 476
  • Skilled — Graduate subclass 485
  • Skilled — Designated Area — Sponsored (Residence) subclass 883
  • Skilled — Regional subclass 887.


Applications for these visa subclasses will be processed in the order in which they are received by the department.

Q5 What applications are not affected by the Direction or priority processing?

The following applications are not affected:


  • Applications that have been remitted by the Migration Review Tribunal for reconsideration.
  • Applications where it is readily apparent that the criteria for grant of the visa would not be satisfied.
  • Applications by visa applicants claiming to be a member of the family unit of a person who holds a visa granted on the basis of satisfying the primary criteria in Schedule 2 to the Regulations and who did not make a combined application with that person.
  • Visa applications for a Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 487 visa where the applicant holds a Skilled – Independent Regional (Provisional) Subclass 495 visa, Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored
  • (Provisional) Subclass 496 visa, Skilled – Regional Sponsored Subclass 487 visa or Skilled – Regional
  • Sponsored Subclass 475 visa at the time they apply.


Q6 The new direction refers to Schedule 3 of the Skilled Occupation list (SOL) what do these schedules refer to?

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is a list of occupations that are accepted for general skilled migration. Applicants must have a nominated occupation which is on the SOL that applies to them at the time they apply. The recent changes to skilled migration have included generous transitional arrangements for some people. These arrangements require that the previous version of the SOL be kept available for those people so they can access their transitional arrangements. The changes also included a change in the way occupations are classified, from ASCO to ANZSCO. This change required that the previous version of the SOL be provided in both the ASCO and ANZSCO coding.

The different SOLs are distinguished by different schedules, as follows:

• the SOL in existence prior to 1 July 2010 in ASCO code (schedule 1) — applies only to GSM applicants who lodged their application prior to 1 July 2010.

• the SOL in existence prior to 1 July 2010 in ANZSCO code (schedule 2) — applies to GSM applicants who are eligible for transitional arrangements and who lodge their application before 1 January 2013.

• the current SOL (schedule 3) in effect from 1 July 2010 — applies to all new GSM applications, including applicants eligible for transitional arrangements if they prefer to use it.

• the State and Territory SOL (schedule 4 ) — applies only to GSM applicants nominated by a State or Territory government under a State Migration Plan.

More information about change to the SOL are available from the departmental website. See: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/

Information about the transitional arrangements is available from the departmental website. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-sol.pdf

Information about the department’s introduction of ANZSCO, which replaces ASCO in relation to skilled occupations, is available from the departmental website. See: www.immi.gov.au/employers/anzsco/

Q7 What is a State Migration Plan?

State Migration plans are developed by state or territory governments and include occupations that are in demand in an individual state or territory. Each state migration plan is approved by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. State migration plans are currently being developed and are expected to come into effect during the second half of 2010. A notice will be put on the department’s website when plans come into effect.

Q8 Why have the processing priorities changed?

The priority processing arrangements take account of the changes to the SOL that came into effect on 1 July 2010, as well as the revocation of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) and the Critical Skills List (CSL). These changes to priority processing simplify previous arrangements. Many applicants will find that they are in a higher priority group. Some will have to wait longer for their visas to be processed.

Q9 When did the changes to priority processing come into effect?

The changes took effect from 14 July 2010 and apply to applications lodged with the department on or after this date. The changes also apply to applications lodged before 14 July 2010 that have not been finalised.

Q10 Is there any difference in the processing priorities that apply to onshore and offshore visa subclasses?

No, the processing priorities apply to both onshore and offshore applications. Processing times, however may vary for onshore and offshore applications

Q11 What will happen to applications in the final stages of processing where the department has requested applicants to provide health and character clearances?

The new arrangements apply to all visa applications, including those in the final stages of processing. Applications in lower priority groups cannot be processed further until those in higher priority groups are finalised in accordance with the priority processing direction.

Q12 Can I request that my application be given higher priority outside of the Minister’s Direction?

No, please do not contact the department to request your application be exempt from the priority processing direction. Case officers must adhere to the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship’s priority processing direction.

Q13 My nominated occupation is Accountant but I was not eligible for the CSL. What level of priority processing will I receive?

The occupation of Accountant is included on Schedule 3 of the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and therefore your application will be in priority group 3, except those already included in priority groups 1 or 2.

Q14 My application is in priority category 4. When can I expect to have my application finalised?

Applicants with nominated occupations in priority group 4 will have a long wait for visa processing. The department’s Client Service Charter will be updated shortly with information about current estimated processing times. See: Visas for Migrating to Australia as a Skilled Person (http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/clientservices-charter/visas/8.0.htm)

Q15 I have been nominated by a state or territory government but my occupation is not listed on a State Migration Plan. What level of priority processing will my application receive?

If your nominated occupation is not on your state or territory’s State Migration Plan, your application will be processed on the basis of your nominated occupation. Applicants who have nominated an occupation that is included in Schedule 3 of the current SOL are in priority processing group 3. An applicant with a nominated occupation that is included only in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the current SOL is in priority processing group 4.

Q16 If my nominated occupation is not in Schedule 3 of the SOL in effect at 1 July 2010 what level of priority processing will I receive?

Applicants with a nominated occupation that is included only in Schedule 1 or Schedule 2 of the current SOL are in priority processing group 4, unless they have applied for ENS or RSMS or have a state or territory nomination in an occupation on a state migration plan.

Q17 I applied for GSM. If my nominated occupation is not in Schedule 3 of the SOL in effect at 1 July 2010 can my application receive higher priority processing?

Yes if you are nominated by a state or territory government under a state migration plan. Applicants who lodged before 1 July 2010 that have been nominated by a state or territory government agency in an occupation that is subsequently specified in their nominating state or territory’s state migration plan will receive processing under priority group 2.

Q18 What are my options if my application is in priority group 4 and I have applied for an onshore GSM visa?

The options available are:


  • continue to live and work in Australia (if your visa permits) while you await a decision on your visa application
  • assess your eligibility for an employer sponsored visa or a nomination by a state or territory government under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister
  • apply for another substantive visa
  • withdraw your application and depart Australia.


Please note: Some of these options would require the lodgement of a new application and the payment of a new Visa Application Charge (VAC). If you choose to withdraw your application you will not be entitled to a refund of your VAC.

For applications lodged after 1 July 2010, a new application may be required if you have obtained a state or territory nomination after lodgement. Please contact the skilled processing centre. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/australia/processing-centres/adelaide-skilled.htm

You may also seek an employer sponsorship under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

More information about ENS and RSMS is available from the departmental website. See: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/visa-permanent.htm

More information about estimated processing times are available from the departmental website. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/8.0.htm

Q19 What are my options if my application is in priority group 4 and I applied for an offshore GSM visa?

The options available are:


  • continue to await a decision on your visa application
  • assess your eligibility for an employer sponsored visa, or nomination by a state or territory government under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister
  • withdraw your application.


Please note: Some of these options would require the lodgement of a new application and the payment of a new VAC. If you choose to withdraw your application you will not be entitled to a refund of your VAC.

For applications lodged after 1 July 2010, a new application may be required if you have obtained a state or territory nomination after lodgement. Please contact the skilled processing centre. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/australia/processing-centres/adelaide-skilled.htm

More information about estimated processing times is available from the departmental website. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/8.0.htm

Q20 I am currently in Australia but my visa will expire before my application for an offshore GSM visa is finalised can I remain in Australia while my visa is processed?

Applicants for an offshore GSM visa are not eligible for an associated bridging visa to remain in Australia while their GSM application is being processed. You must apply for another visa to remain in Australia lawfully; otherwise you will need to depart Australia.

Q21 I am an onshore GSM applicant on a Bridging C visa which does not allow me to work. What can I do?

It is possible to be granted a Bridging C visa that will allow you to work. Please complete a Form 1005 Application for a bridging visa and submit this and supporting documentation evidencing financial hardship to the skilled processing centre processing your visa application.

Examples of the types of supporting documents required include a statement outlining income against outgoing expenses. Other examples may include living expenses such as accommodation costs and other bills.

Q22 I want to travel overseas but my onshore visa application has not been finalised. What should I do?

If you were granted a Bridging A visa when you applied for your GSM visa you may be able to lodge an application for a Bridging B visa to allow you to travel and return to Australia (within a specified period). A Bridging B visa is
generally not issued for longer than three months.

You must apply for a Bridging B visa at one of the department’s state or territory offices, not the skilled processing centre which is processing your GSM application. See: http://www.immi.gov.au/contacts/australia/

If you travel on a Bridging B visa, you do not need to contact the department on your return to Australia to apply for another bridging visa unless you have further need to travel outside Australia.

Note: If you travel out of Australia on another type of visa, your bridging visa will cease and you will need to apply for another bridging visa if you return to Australia.

Q23 I have a provisional or temporary GSM visa and my spouse/child now want to join me will they be able to do so?

Yes, applications for subsequent entrants for provisional GSM visas are exempt from priority processing arrangements.

These arrangements apply to the following GSM visas:


  • Skilled — Regional Sponsored subclass 475
  • Skilled — Recognised Graduate subclass 476
  • Skilled — Graduate subclass 485
  • Skilled — Regional Sponsored subclass 487
  • Skilled — Independent Regional subclass 495
  • Skilled — Designated Area-sponsored subclass 496.


Q24 Am I entitled to compensation if my visa application is taking longer to process than expected due to the new priority processing direction?

Compensation is not available for delays in processing.

Q25 Why do the rules keep changing?

The skilled migration program is designed to be responsive to the current economic climate and the needs of the Australian economy. The new priority processing arrangements complement other recent changes to skilled migration to ensure that the economy gets the skills it needs in a timely manner. Priority processing arrangements are always subject to further change in response to the economic climate and the demand for particular skills in the Australian economy.

Priority in the skilled migration program goes to those who can provide the skills Australia most needs, rather than those visa applicants who applied first. The Australian Government is aware that the priority processing arrangements impact on many applicants. These changes to priority processing simplify previous arrangements. Many applicants will find that they are in a higher priority group. Some will have to wait longer for their visas to be processed.

Q26 Isn’t priority processing retrospective legislation?

Priority processing is an administrative arrangement, and impacts on the order in which applications are considered. It is not retrospective legislation as it does not change the criteria for the grant of a GSM visa.

Useful documents

More information about the changes to the GSM program is available from the department’s website including the following information sheets.


http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/new-list-of-occupations.pdf (101KB PDF file)

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/faq-new-sol.pdf (87KB PDF file)

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/options-not-eligible.pdf (71KB PDF file)