Australia government student visa fee relief for student effected by COVID-19
The Australian Government has been making several changes to visa requirements in recent weeks.
One of the most notable is that applicants will be given
additional time to hand over their English language results and
complete biometric and health checks, allowing future students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 the chance to finish their visa applications.
In addition to these measures, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has announced that current international students who will be unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to COVID-19 will be able to lodge another student visa application free of charge.
This will certainly be warmly welcomed by the thousands of international students who’ve been worrying about what the future will hold for their education in Australia.
What is the fee waiver?
The fee waiver means that any international student who is unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to the pandemic, will be able to reapply without paying the usual application fees. This fee waiver came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 5 August 2020.
A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that the waiver will only be available to students who had a valid visa from 1 February 2020:
“A visa application fee waiver will be available to students
who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and
who were unable to complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19.”
This fee waiver will only apply to new applications and no refunds will be offered to those who applied before midnight 5 August 2020.
Even if you are eligible to receive the fee waiver, there are some extra steps that must be taken in order to receive the free application.
First, you’ll need to submit COVID-19 Impacted Students form from your education provider, in addition to your visa application.
This form will have to be signed by your education provider, showing how the pandemic has affected your visa requirements.
As well as fee waivers, the Australian Government has announced that the eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa have been relaxed. If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and are enrolled with an Australian education provider, you may be eligible for the following:
New or current student visa holders who have been forced to undertake online study outside Australia due to the pandemic will be able to count this toward the Australian Study Requirement.
Graduates who have been affected by the travel restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be able to receive a temporary graduate visa outside of Australia.
It’s clear from these announcements that the Australian Government wants to make sure that international students will be safe in the knowledge that they will be able to continue their education in Australia.
Department of Home Affairs website,
for the latest news on Australia’s travel restrictions. You can view and
download up-to-date information for all types of visa holders in English or
All travellers to Australia from midnight, 15 March 2020 are required to
self-isolate for 14 days. Self-isolating means you’re required to stay in your
You’ll need to avoid going out into public spaces such as restaurants,
supermarkets, workplaces, universities and any other public places that you
will come into contact with people. Additionally, avoid receiving visitors into
your home or local accommodation.
If you need more information on self-isolation, get more details by
downloading the Isolation Guidance information
sheet from the Department of Health website. If you need to use
public transport (e.g. taxis, ride-hail services, train, buses and trams.),
kindly follow the precautions listed in the public transport guide.
If you’re starting your studies during the time you’re required to
self-isolate, contact your school or university to discuss your study options.
Many universities have put in place measures to assist students who are
required to self-isolate, such as delayed semester starts or online study
If you, or any friends and family start showing flu-like symptoms such
as a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important to
contact your local doctor. You can also monitor your symptoms using the Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptom
checker. Call before you visit and explain your symptoms and travel
history to ensure they are prepared to receive you.
If you’re enrolled in Semester 1 2020 and unable to begin classes due to
the travel bans or the 14-day self-isolation, you’ll need to get in touch with
your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your enrolment.
Many Australian universities have delayed their semester start dates or
have put in place changes to assist international students who have been
impacted by the recent travel bans.
We recommend you contact your university or school as soon as possible
to discuss your possible study options or deferring your studies to start at a
You can also check out the following websites for current advice and
information that may assist you:
If you have arranged for student accomodation and can’t travel into the
country, then it’s vital you check in with your student accommodation about
your next steps.
Some student accommodation providers may require you to provide
additional information or may change or delay your accommodation arrangements.
can I go for support?
The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus presents an emotionally
challenging situation for many international students. The spread of the virus
may be causing you or your friends and family distress or anxiety, especially
if you have loved ones in affected areas or have not been able to return home
or to Australia because of the recent travel bans.
The Australian Government have created a dedicated and multi-lingual
support service for international students. You can contact them via email or
phone 1300 981 621 (8:00 am–8:00 pm AEDST Monday to
You can also visit the Australian Government Department of
Education website to download the latest information, guides
and FAQs for up-to-date general health and enrolment advice, where to access
support services, and news on the latest immigration and border protection
If you have flight arrangements in place, your plans may be affected by
travel bans or cancelled flights.
Many major airlines and countries are cancelling flights or restricting
entry. If you have overseas travel plans, it’s important to regularly check
your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for next steps and
travel options at a later date.
to IELTS testing
There are currently changes being made to IELTS testing. Visit the IELTS website to find out if the changes
will affect you.
Good news for our clients; in the last skill select invitation round (being 11 October 2018) the number of invitations issued for the subclass 189 visa more than tripled. The total number of invitations went up from 2,490 to 4,340. That’s a significant 74% increase.
The point score cut-off remains 70, with the number of invitations sent out to those who claimed 70 points more than tripling from 605 to 1,903.
More good news for our clients in IT sector; the points required for “Software and Applications Programmers” and “Computer Network Professionals” dropped from 75 to 70 points.
The other capped occupation groups remain unchanged, with points required for Accountants and Auditors remaining at 80. This shows the high calibre of applicants in these occupations, many of whom have superior English skills and have completed a period of education in Australia.
Points required for Electronics, Mechanical, Industrial & Production engineers remains stable at 70. Points required for Environmental Engineers remains at 75 with Civil & Electrical Engineer occupations remaining uncapped.
Our clients on 70 points are receiving invitations, however, you can still expect to wait approximately 3 months. For our clients on fewer points, or who wish to obtain a faster invitation, state sponsorship still remains the best option.
There are currently many opportunities for potential immigrants in the general skilled migration program. Consulting and working with a qualified MARA migration agent will ensure that you receive the most up-to-date, professional and timely information, and that your application will be handled in accordance with best practice.
To enquire about a migration assessment, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact MARA licensed migration agent Feriha Güney (MARN 0960690) or Australian Lawyer (NSW) Ceren Güney on +90 546 946 38 11 / +61 2 9232 7055 / +61 477 524 039. Alternatively, please feel free to email us at email@example.com
The new year brings changes to an ever-shifting Australian immigration system. 1. Longer processing times for partner visas
Partner visas take longer to process.
Because the Family Violence Bill passed in the Senate last November, partner visa sponsorships need to be approved first before applications are lodged. This means that potential offshore applicants and sponsors will have to pass through a stringent process to assess their character and history. This will then prolong the process of obtaining a partner visa. 2. An introduction of a new temporary sponsored parent visa
Parents of permanent residents and citizens can stay temporarily in Australia for either 3 or 5 years.
This year, Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to bring their parents from overseas to Australia.
Only 15,000 visas will be granted each year. Once approved, these parent visas will be valid for three or five years, costing $5,000 and $10,000 respectively.
The said visas are renewable, but only up to a maximum of 10 years when combined. 3. An increase in show money for foreign students to more than $20,000
Evidence of funds will increase in 2019.
This year, students have to be able to provide evidence of funds of around $20,290. Bringing in a partner is an additional $7,100 and an additional $3,040 needs to be provided for each child. 4. Matching ATO tax records to salaries of employer-sponsored migrants
The Department of Home Affairs and ATO will make sure employer-sponsored migrants are paid what they are due.
This year, the Department of Home Affairs will be cracking down on companies underpaying employer-sponsored migrants.
In partnership with the ATO, the department will be gathering the tax file numbers of those who currently hold a 457/482 TSS visa in order to match them with current tax records to make sure that the said migrants are being paid the right amount based on their nominated salary. 5. South Australia visa for start-up entrepreneurs
South Australia will pilot a program in 2019 for start-up owners who want to migrate to Australia.
The state is set to pilot a new visa for start-up entrepreneurs which isn’t as difficult to obtain as a Business and Innovation visa. The said visa doesn’t require a $200,000 funding arrangement and only a 5 average band score on the IELTS.
Applicants are required to provide the state with an original idea and business plan in order to obtain this visa.
AUSTRALIAN PERMANENT RESIDENCY in NORTHERN TERRİTORY
Over the next five years, low skilled migrants with limited English will have the option to apply for permanent residency after living and working in the Northern Territory for at least three years.
From cooks to family day care workers to motor mechanics, low skilled migrants will now be able to apply for Australia’s permanent residency.
Northern Territory has opened its door to skilled migrants in 117 occupations and has offered a pathway to permanent residency to these workers who are willing to work and live in the region for at least three years.
In a bid to distribute the migrant population outside Australia’s major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, the Australian government has designed a new scheme to attract migrants to regional areas across the country.
The scheme – known as the Designation Area Migration Agreements (DAMA)s has been announced for two regions in Australia – Warrnambool region in Victoria and the Northern Territory which are experiencing labour shortages and need a population boost.
The second-such agreement for NT, this time with a pathway to permanent residency, DAMA II came into effect on January 1st 2019.
NT DAMA II Occupation List
Aged or Disabled Carer
Agricultural and Horticultural Mobile Plant Operator
Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanic
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Mechanical)
Bar Attendant Supervisor
Beef Cattle Farmer
Butcher or Smallgoods Maker
Cabler (Data and Telecommunications)
Cafe or Restaurant Manager
Chief Executive or Managing Director
Child Care Centre Manager
Child Care Worker
Civil Engineering Technician
Conference and Event Organiser
Cook (includes Ethnic Cuisine)
Customer Service Manager
Diesel Motor Mechanic
Disabilities Services Officer
Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher
Earth Science Technician
Earthmoving Plant Operator (General)
Electronic Instrument Trades Worker (General)
Family Day Care Worker
Family Support Worker
Fitter and Turner
Fruit or Nut Grower
Hair or Beauty Salon Manager
Hotel or Motel Manager
Hotel or Motel Receptionist
Hotel Service Manager
ICT Customer Support Officer
ICT Support Technicians nec
Licensed Club Manager
Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer
Mixed Crop Farmer
Mixed Livestock Farmer
Motor Mechanic (General)
Motor Vehicle or Caravan Salesperson
Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Fitter (General)
Motor Vehicle Parts Interpreter
Nursing Support Worker
Out of School Hours Care Worker
Personal Care Assistant
Program or Project Administrator
Residential Care Worker
Retail Manager (General)
Sales and Marketing Manager
Sheetmetal Trades Worker
Small Engine Mechanic
Supply and Distribution Manager
Telecommunications Cable Jointer
Truck Driver (General)
Waste Water or Water Plant Operator
Welder (First Class)
NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the addition of the pathway to permanent residency in DAMA II gave skilled migrants a big incentive to move to the NT and stay long-term.
“The Territory Labor Government’s number one priority is jobs for Territorians but we know access to, and retention of, a suitably skilled workforce is a key issue for many employers and there is a need for additional workers, Mr Gunner said.
“We also know that more people moving to the Territory equals more jobs.
“The Territory Labor Government fought hard for the inclusion of the pathway to permanent residency in this new five-year agreement, which we expect to significantly increase the number of skilled migrants moving to the Territory.
“The NT has a long and proud history of migration of overseas nationals and they have been a key contributor to economic growth, population growth and social diversity. This new agreement will help that continue.”
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.
According to the Migration Legislation Amendment Regulations 2017 that came into effect on 18th November 2017, an existing condition, 8303 has been amended to expand its scope. Under the new migration rules, many Australian temporary visas will be subject to a condition that will enable the Immigration Department to cancel a person’s visa if they are found to be involved in online vilification based on gender, sexuality, religion, and ethnicity.
Before 18 November 2017, the condition that earlier applied to only a few visas, is now applicable to most temporary visas applied for on. This condition now also applies to
temporary graduate visa (Subclass 485)
skilled regional (485),
student visa and
The Immigration Minister now has the power to cancel a visa if there is evidence of a visa holder engaging in harassment, stalking, intimidation, bullying or threatening a person even if it doesn’t amount to a criminal sanction. These activities may include public ‘hate speech’ or online vilification targeted at both groups and individuals based on gender, sexuality, religion, and ethnicity.
The Department of Immigration says that the new change: “It sends a clear message, explicitly requiring that the behaviour of temporary visa holders is consistent with Australian government and community expectations. It advises visa holders what sorts of behaviour can result in visa cancellation.”
The Immigration Department says its officers have the discretion to determine whether the condition has been breached. They also have the discretion to not cancel the visa even when the condition has been breached.
No one should break the law but even behaviour that may not necessarily warrant a criminal sanction can be deemed a breach of this condition. So it is important to remember that your actions online may have consequences just like your real-life actions.
Australian economy is growing exponentially with spectacular economic boom in almost all engineering diciplines but espacially, Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production engineering sectors. Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineers with relevant experience are in greater demand in Australia.
Australian Government has opened skilled migration visas for Engineers to reduce the serious shortages of overcome the delay in projects. Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineers are in great demand in Australia.
The minimum entry requirement for these occupations is a bachelor degree or higher qualification. In some instances relevant experience is required in addition to the formal qualification. Industrial Engineering Professionals (ANZSCO Skill Level 1) Investigates and reviews the utilisation of personnel, facilities, equipment and materials, current operational processes and established practices, to recommend improvement in the efficiency of operations in a variety of commercial, industrial and production environments. Registration or licensing may be required. Industrial Engineers may have specialization as Process Engineer. Mechanical Engineering Professionals (ANZSCO Skill Level 1) Plans, designs, organises and oversees the assembly, erection, operation and maintenance of mechanical and process plant and installations. Registration or licensing may be required. Mechanical Engineers may have specialization as an Airconditioning Engineer or Heating and Ventilation Engineer. Production Engineering Professionals (ANZSCO Skill Level 1) Plans, directs and coordinates the design, construction, modification, continued performance and maintenance of equipment and machines in industrial plants, and the management and planning of manufacturing activities. Production may have specialization as an Automation and Control Engineer. Required Job Tasks for Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineers
Studying functional statements, organisational charts and project information to determine functions and responsibilities of workers and work units and to identify areas of duplication
Establishing work measurement programs and analysing work samples to develop standards for labour utilisation
Analysing workforce utilisation, facility layout, operational data and production schedules and costs to determine optimum worker and equipment efficiencies
Designing mechanical equipment, machines, components, products for manufacture, and plant and systems for construction
Developing specifications for manufacture, and determining materials, equipment, piping, material flows, capacities and layout of plant and systems
Organising and managing project labour and the delivery of materials, plant and equipment
Establishing standards and policies for installation, modification, quality control, testing, inspection and maintenance according to engineering principles and safety regulations
Inspecting plant to ensure optimum performance is maintained
Directing the maintenance of plant buildings and equipment, and coordinating the requirements for new designs, surveys and maintenance schedules
Immigration to Australia for Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineers
Industrial, Mechanical, and Production Engineers needs to prepare Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) before applying for Skilled Migration for Australia. Engineers Australia is the designated authority to assess professional and Para-professional qualifications in engineering for the purposes of skilled migration to Australia for most engineering occupations. Occupational Categories to Assess Engineering Degree from Engineers Australia
Engineers Australia recognises three occupational categories within the engineering team in Australia:
For migration purposes, an additional category of Engineering Manager is also recognised
Recognising Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineering Qualifications in Australia
To recognise your Engineering qualification in Australia, you need to assess your qualification/ degree through Engineers Australia. There are two pathways to assess your qualifications. If your Engineering Qualification is recognized by Washington Accord, Dublin Accord or Sydney Accord, then you need not to prepare Competency Demonstration Report (CDR).
In other case you need to write Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) to assess your Engineering degree and finally to apply for Skilled Migration of Australia. Degree Assessment from Engineers Australia
You need to submit your application with all relevant documents plus assessment fee. Following documents are required to assess your engineering degree through Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) pathway:
Certified Academic Transcripts and Experience Letters
Note: Engineering degree assessment process may take up to 16 weeks from the date of receipt, however the time period keeps varying depending upon the work load. English Proficiency Test
Minimum English requirement for your Engineering Degree Assessment through Engineers Australia is overall 6.0 band in IELTS or any equivalent English proficiency test (e.g. Cambridge/ TOFEL, etc.). Your band should not be less than 6.0 in any of the four modules; reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Both General Training and Academic version of the IELTS are acceptable. Applicants who are native English speakers or who have completed an Australian undergraduate engineering qualification, or who have completed a Masters Degree or PhD program at an Australian university may be exempted from IELTS. Application for Skilled Migration Visa as an Civil, Industrial, Mechanical, Mechatronics, and Production Engineer
Once you have received your positive skill assessment from Engineers Australia, it means that your qualification is recognized in Australia and you are eligible to work as an Engineer in Australia. After getting the positive skill assessment you can apply for your Skilled Migration Visa (Visa Class; 189 or 190 or 489). You are welcome to Australia along with your family after the approval of your visa application. Presently you can apply for your visa through EOI system on Australian Immigration and Border Protection website.
Visa Agency – Australia is helping engineers from all disciplines and particularly Industrial, Civil, Mechanical, and Production Engineers to review their Competency Demonstration Report (CDR). CDR samples are available that will help as a guideline. Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) is the most critical step for getting Australian Skilled Migration and we don’t recommend you to take any risk.
After giving birth to your own baby since migrating down under you will had a number of comments made on this associated post asking what the immigration status, residency or citizenship status of your own baby will be following the birth.
With this in mind we thought to write up an article to summarise the residency and citizenship status of your baby should you be blessed with the birth of a new child whilst spending your time down under.
If you applied for your Permanent Residency visa before your baby was born the following circumstances will normally apply.
1.If your baby is born in Australia, and at least one parent is an Australian permanent visa holder or Australian citizen,
your baby is an Australian citizen by birth.
No Australian visa is required for this baby.
Baby born australian citizen
If your baby is born in Australia and neither parent is an Australian citizen or permanent visa holder,
your baby will generally automatically acquire the visa of either parent dependent on whichever visa is more “beneficial”.
If your baby is born outside Australia, and at least one parent is an Australian citizen otherwise than by descent,
your baby is eligible for Australian citizenship by descent.
If your baby is born outside Australia and at least one parent is an Australian citizen by descent and that parent was present in Australia lawfully for at least 2 years before your baby’s citizenship registration,
your baby is eligible for Australian citizenship by descent.
If your baby is born outside Australia, and neither parent is an Australian citizen,
your baby has no immigration status in Australia and will need a visa to enter Australia.
If I have my Australian visa, but not validated it, and my child is born outside Australia
If your Australian Visa has already been granted to you but you’ve not been to Australia to validate the Visa then you’re newborn child will not automatically be granted a visa as part of your own application.
You will have to advise the DIAC about the new addition to your family, as a change of circumstances before you validate your own Visa as your baby will have to be sponsored on a child visa in its own right.
This is normally a straight forward process however you should add at least 10 – 12 weeks for the new baby to be added.
The Short‑term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will be applicable for Subclass 190 (Skilled—Nominated visa) or Subclass 489 (Skilled—Regional (Provisional) visa.
The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will be applicable for General Skilled migration visas – Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa), Subclass 489 (Skilled Regional Provisional Visa who are not nominated by a State or Territory government agency) and Subclass 485 (Graduate Temporary Visa) visa applications.
Previously Australian government had announced from 1st of July 2017, many changes to 457 visa are coming in to effect that it will introduce some reforms to Australia’s temporary employer sponsored skilled migration programmes. The reforms were to include abolishing of Temporary (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa (457 visa) and replacing it with a completely new Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa from March 2018.
The changes from 1st July 2017
For existing 457 visas, the STSOL (Short-Term Skilled Occupation List ) will be further reviewed on the bases of advice from the Department of Employment. The MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) will be revised based on outcomes from Department of Education and training’s 2017-18 SOL review.
English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed.
Policy settings about the training benchmark requirement will be made clearer in legislative instruments.
Provision of penal clearance certificates will become mandatory.
For existing 457 visas, before 31st December 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will start collecting the Tax File Numbers of 457 Visa holders and will match the data with Australian Tax Office’s record to make sure the visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
The Department will also commence the publication of details relating to sponsors sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation.
The Changes from March 2018
From March 2018, the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa.
The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Medium-Term stream will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of high skill and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Short-Term stream will include the following criteria:
Genuine entry: A genuine temporary entrant requirement.
Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore once only.
For non-regional Australia, the STSOL will apply.
For regional Australia, the STSOL will apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employers.
English language requirements: A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.
The Medium-Term stream will include the following criteria:
English language requirements: a requirement of a minimum of IELTS 5 (or equivalent test) in each test component.
Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years.
For non-regional Australia – the MLTSSL will apply.
For regional Australia – the MLTSSL will apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employers.
Eligibility criteria for both streams will be:
Work experience: at least two years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation.
Labour market testing (LMT): LMT will be mandatory, unless an international obligation applies.
Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
Character: Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.
Workforce: A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.
Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for a TSS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. The contribution will be:
payable in full at the time the worker is nominated;
$1,200 per year or part year for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $1,800 per year or part year for other businesses.
The detailed policy settings for several of these requirements will be finalised through the implementation process. Further details on these requirements to inform stakeholders will be available in due course. Who is affected?
Current 457 visa applicants and holders, prospective applicants, businesses sponsoring skilled migrants and industry.
Existing 457 visas continue to remain in effect.
457 visa applicants that had lodged their application on or before 18 April 2017, and whose application had not yet been decided, with an occupation that has been removed from the STSOL, may be eligible for a refund of their visa application fee.
Nominating businesses for these applications may also be eligible for a refund of related fees.
Further information could be find at border.gov.au [contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]
Australia is one of the great country to get a first-rate education, but also it is a wonderful place to live and work. Many international students who study in Australia choose to apply for permanent residency after they finish their studies.
As an overseas student on a student visa you can apply for permanent residency under Australia’s General Skilled Migration program (GSM).
There are many different types of permanent residency visas but Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (subclass 885) focuses on skilled migration for students who have graduated from Australian study.
When you’re considering applying for an Australian visa, whether temporary or permanent, it’s very important that you obtain a proper eligibility assessment from accredited professionals, based on your own personal circumstances.
For example: eligibility for Australian permanent residence involves more than passing a points test, so it’s vital your whole situation is considered before you apply and risk a visa refusal and losing your application fee of AUD $2,525.
If you are not eligible now, it’s also important to get proper advice to maximize your chances of eligibility in the future eg you may be eligible for permanent residence after studying in Australia.
Our immigration lawyers, migration agents and education counsellors are very experienced; we can answer all your questions and assess your eligibility for all Australian visas including temporary work visas and permanent residence. This will save you lots of time and money.
Contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org for our personal visa eligibility assessment service which includes advice on all your options to live, work and study in Australia.
Visa Agency – Australia is an experienced talented team of immigration lawyers, migration agents and support staff dedicated to providing outstanding migration services to our many clients locally, nationally and around the world.
We have a reputation for:
understanding our client’s individual needs
finding solutions to those needs
exceptional legal knowledge
exceeding our client’s expectations, and
excelling in the practice of immigration law
Our support staff are specially chosen for their dedication to hard work and their commitment to never being happy with second best. They are committed to assisting you and satisfying your individual needs.
We take very seriously and honour our high professional and ethical obligations to our clients. As lawyers we are bound by the strict ethical confines of the NSW Legal Profession Act and as migration agents we are bound by the strict rules, regulations and ethics of the Commonwealth Migration Act and the Migration Agents Code of Conduct.
We provide our team with free access to compulsory on-going legal and professional education as well as access to continuous hands-on learning opportunities. The result is a very happy, motivated, well-educated team at your service. It is no secret that we strive for excellence in all areas of our practice.
· have completed at least two years of approved full-time study in Australia
can apply for permanent residency under the ‘Skilled – Independent (Residence) visa (Subclass 885)’.
For more information about who can apply for this visa, see below and visit the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship website atwww.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/885/index.htm or contact to qualified migration agent partner that work with International Eductaion Agency – Australia.
IEA-A works with qualified migration Agent Partner is also registered as e-visa qualified migration agent for number of countries such as India. China, etc.
In order to qualify for the General Skilled Migration program, students need to satisfy a number of requirements relating to:
· Your study undertaken in Australia: you must have completed either a single qualification (degree, diploma or trade in an Australian institution, in English, registered with CRICOS) that required two years of full-time study, or more than one qualification resulting in a total of at least two years full-time study in Australia. You must apply for your visa within six months of finishing your study.
· Your location: you must be in Australia to lodge your visa application and receive the application decision.
· Your skills and qualifications: your skills and qualifications must meet the Australian requirements of your nominated occupation.
· Your health: you must undergo a medical examination and meet minimum health requirements.
· Your character: you must be able to prove that you are of ‘good character’. You will be required to provide certified copies of police checks and other relevant documents, such as any relevant military discharge papers. The points test
In addition to the requirements above, students must get pass mark from a points tests in order to be granted permanent residency in Australia.
A minimum of 120 points must be scored on the points test for the application to be successful. Applicants score points according to how they rate for different criteria relating to:
· nominated skilled occupation ( only 50 or 60 points from Skilled Occupation Lists)
· English language ability
· specific work experience
· occupation in demand / job offer
· Australian qualifications
· having completed an approved qualification in an area classed as ‘Regional Australia’ or ‘low population growth metropolitan area’
· spouse skills.
Bonus points are available for applicants who satisfy the requirements of one of the following additional categories: ‘Australian work experience’, or ‘Fluency in one of Australia’s community languages’.
Consult your qualified Migration Agent partner through International Education Agency – Australia.
If you don’t meet the above requirements you may be able to apply for the new ‘Skilled – Graduate’ visa (subclass 485).
‘Skilled – Graduate’ visa (subclass 485). temporary visa is designed to give students who have completed at least two years study in Australia but who do not meet the requirements for a permanent GSM visa the opportunity to stay in Australia for up to 18 months to gain the additional skills they need for permanent residency.
The Australian Government skilled migration program targets young people who have skills, an education and outstanding abilities that will contribute to the Australian economy.
International students with Australian qualifications account for about half the people assessed under the skilled migrant program. For up-to-date information on the program, contact the qualified Migration Agent Partners that works with My Study in Australia office in Sydney. Options for extending your stay
The following table outlines your visa options to extend your stay in Australia. Please take this as an guideline and consult qualified Migration Agent Partners that works with My Study in Australia office in Sydney.
Reasons for further stay
Continue your studies
Apply for a new student visa.
My Study in Australia Student counsellors can assist you.
To have your PhD thesis assessed
Attend your graduation ceremony
Apply for a visitor visa.
Consult a qualified migration agent partner from International Education Agency – Sydney.
Have a holiday
For work, travel or for completing a professional year
If you are successfully completed 2 y, an acceptale F/T study in Australia, you may apply for a work visa, e.g. Skilled – Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 485)
This visa allows overseas students who do not meet the criteria for a permanent General Skilled Migration visa to remain in Australia for 18 months to gain skilled work experience or improve their English language skills – two things that may enhance their chances of gaining Skilled Migration.
Holders of this visa may apply for permanent residence at any time if they are able to meet the pass mark on the General Skilled Migration points test.
This visa allows the qualified Graduate and any secondary applicants included in their visa application to remain in Australia for up to 18 months with no restrictions on work or study. During 485 visa holders may:
· study to improve your English skills
· Complete a professional year.
Please take this as an guideline and consult qualified Migration Agent Partners that works with My Study in Australia office in Sydney.
Permanent residence in Australia
If you are successfully completed 2 y, an acceptable F/T study in Australia, and if you are qualified to apply for Permanent Residency,
Please take this as an guideline and consult qualified Migration Agent Partners that works with My Study in Australia office in Sydney.
Many international students who have graduated from Australian institutions apply for Independent Skilled Migration programme through International Education Agency – Australia’s qualified Migration Agent partners. There is a special category for International Students who have studied in Australia.
You may be eligible to apply if you have studied a course that scores 50 or 60 Points on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). See http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1121i.pdf. To achieve recognition in one of these Skilled Occupations, you need to meet the criteria set down by the relevant Assessing Body.
To find out if your course qualifies you to apply for Permanent Residency, you will need to have your skills assessed by the relevant body, shown beside the occupation on the SOL. The SOL changes from time to time, so there can be no guarantee that if an occupation is on the list when you commence a course that it will still be there when you graduate. The list is based on areas where Australia has skills shortages.
Please contact you’re my Study in Australia Student Counsellor to have up-to-date information on qualified courses.
Most Trades – e.g. Hairdressing, Commercial Cook, Pastry Cook, Baker, Greenkeeper, Nurseryman, General Gardener, Automotive mechanic, Electronic Equipment Tradesperson, General Clothing Tradesperson, Dressmaker, Graphic Pre-Print Tradesperson, Aircraft Maintenance Engineer- assessed by TRA may require:
AQF Certificate III – CRICOS registered
2 years of study
900 Hours relevant work experience
e.g. Community Welfare Workers – assessed by AIWCW – require study of an accredited course. See www.aiwcw.org.au
Bachelor degree (3-4 years e.g. Information Technology, Accounting, Nursing, Teaching…) or
Post Graduate Diploma or Masters
There are a number of programs which are open to graduates of any recognised degree, and set graduates up for recognition as
Information Technology Specialists ACS
Please seek migration information from a qualified migration agent Partners that works with My Study in Australia office in Sydney.
If you have an overseas qualification that has been assessed as not meeting Australian requirements, please contact our counsellors to find out what courses are available to assist you to gain the recognition needed.
Five Australian university are among the world’s top 50 universities and 7 are in the top 100, according to a major global ranking that shows Australian universities have made overall improvements in all measures, including teaching, employability and research.
Australian National University is the highest ranked in the country at 20th place in the 2018 QS World University Rankings.
It is followed by the University of Melbourne, ranked at 41, the University of New South Wales at 45, the University of Queensland at 47 and the University of Sydney at 50.
Monash University, with a rank of 60, and the University of Western Australia at 93 round out the seven Australian universities in the top 100.
An institution’s rank is determined by its academic and employer reputations, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, and international faculty and student ratios.
A total of 37 Australian Government universities are included in this year’s ranking, which covers 959 universities around the world and measures performance in research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.
Belinda Robinson, chief executive of peak sector body Universities Australia, said the ranking is especially important to international students choosing a university.
“Global rankings are a major factor for many international students in deciding where to study, so they’re also very important to the $22.4 billion a year that international students bring into Australia’s economy,” Ms Robinson said.
“These impressive rises underscore the global competitiveness of Australia’s universities and the excellent quality of our education and research on the world stage.”
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the top ranked university in the world for the sixth consecutive year, followed by Stanford University, Harvard University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, University College London, Imperial College London, the University of Chicago and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.
MIT has been described as “the nucleus of an unrivalled innovation ecosystem” by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the education analysis firm behind the ranking, which notes that companies created by the university’s alumni have a combined revenue of $2 trillion, the equivalent of the world’s 11th largest economy.
Research director at QS Quacquarelli Symonds, Ben Sowter, said the improved ranking of Australian universities can be partially attributed to the changing political climate in countries such as the US and UK increasing Australia’s comparative popularity.
“Higher internationalisation scores certainly reflect coherent international outreach efforts made by university marketing departments,” Mr Sowter said. “However, they also reflect the increased desirability of Australian higher education in the light of current political situations in the United States and United Kingdom – typically Australia’s main Anglosphere competitors.
“Improvements in scores for Academic Reputation can be attributed to both the type of teaching innovations … and the standard of research emanating from Australia’s universities.”
Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016-17. The purpose of the country’s skilled migration programme is to attract “highly employable” people for migration, and it is the most common form of migration to Australia.
Australia is one of the biggest gainers through emigration, which is largely accomplished through its “skilled migration programme” which gives preference to skilled foreigners looking to make the country its new home.
The purpose of the country’s skilled migration programme is to attract “highly employable” people for migration, and it is the most common form of migration to Australia.
According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) new guidelines, these are some of the skills that will give you preference for emigration to Australia.
There are over 185 jobs listed – below is a general overview of the types of skills.
Chefs (excluding fast food or takeaway food services)
Fitters and turners
Engineers (Chemical, Electrical, Aeronautical, Agricultural and many others)
Telecoms (Network planners, Radio technicians, Engineers)
Computer Network and Systems Engineers
Doctors, Surgeons and medical specialists
Registered Nurses and Midwives
Actuaries, Auditors, Accountants
The Skilled Occupations List (SKO) is used for Skilled Independent Visa, Skilled Regional Provisional Visa and Graduate Temporary Visa applications.
In the same report, the DIBP has also released the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSO) which is used for Skilled Nominated Visa, Temporary Work Skilled Visa and Employer Nominated Scheme visa applications.
The CSO lists skills that companies in Australia are looking for, and employers or the state will sponsor for emigration into the country. The full list for both classes can be found here:Australia SKO and CSOLists
Fifty two occupations may be removed from Australia’s Skilled Occupation List that identifies occupations for immigration to the country. The SOL is a compilation of occupations for skilled migration for the purpose of meeting the medium to long-term skill needs of the Australian economy.
The 52 occupations that have been flagged on the Skilled Occupation List 2016-17 include health professionals, including specialists, engineers, taxation accountants, barristers, solicitors etc.
The federal health department is pushing to scrap 41 jobs from SOL – including GPs, surgeons and anaesthetists, The Australian has reported.
“Immigration is often used as a short-term demand management strategy and it continues to be poorly co-ordinated,” a Health Department submission into the review of the Skilled Operations List reads.
“Over a longer planning horizon, better management of migration pathways for international health professionals must occur in combination with all commonwealth departments”
The move would be counterbalanced by increasing numbers of local medical graduates who could fill vacancies, especially in regional areas.
The Department of Education and Training provides advice to the Minister of Immigration and Border Protection on the composition of the SOL.
The department undertakes the review of the SOL each year following which there are a number of occupations which are ‘flagged’ for possible removal in the future. Generally, occupations are flagged when there is emerging evidence of excess supply in the labour market.
The list of occupations flagged by the Department of Education and Training
New rules affecting foreign student visas, which go into effect from 1 July 2016, will be a boon for the property market, especially in Sydney and Melbourne.
The Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) aims to “support the sustainable growth of Australia’s international education sector” by reducing red tape. Key changes under the SSVF include reducing the number of student visa subclasses from eight to two and introducing a simplified single immigration risk framework for all international students.
The head of Australia for Chinese property portal, Juwai.com, Gavin Norris, said the new framework is positive for the Australian housing market.
“Six out of every 10 Chinese property buying inquiries made in Australia last year were related to education,” Norris said.
“Juwai.com sent about AU$1.6 billion of property buying inquiries to Australian vendors last year, and almost $1 billion of that value came from families who wanted to buy homes for their children to live in while studying here.
“Anything Australia does to increase the number of Chinese students will also increase investment in strategic areas of the real estate market that generates more construction jobs, more new housing being built and more economic growth.”
Last year, Chinese students made up 1 out of every four international students in Australia, and international students support about 130,000 jobs, according to research from Juwai. Norris said these statistics demonstrate the invaluable contribution foreign students have on the Australian economy.
“When Australia wins a foreign student, it gains tens of thousands in education fees, additional tens of thousands in retail and services spending, hundreds of thousands in a potential real estate investment and – most important of all – the possibility that highly educated individual will decide to stay and work here and contribute to our economy over the long term,” he said.
“Every student who might have come here, but doesn’t, could represent substantial lost benefits.
“The reverse is also true. Anything that discourages international property investment also risks causing adverse impacts the education industry.”
Norris has also praised other SSVF changes, which include trialling visa applications in Mandarin and trialling 10-year student visas.
“These visa changes are smart, and help Australia catch up to nations like the US, which offer similar visa terms.
“The most important elements are the Mandarin language applications, the 10 year validity pilot and the simplified paperwork.
“For the most part, these changes are about avoiding the loss of our privileged place as a destination of choice for overseas students, rather than beating the competition,” Norris said.
The Australian Education Roadmap developed by Austrade clearly articulates an ambition to develop, enhance and grow the onshore sector to welcome up to 720,000 students; compound annual growth of 3.8% on the nearly 500,000 Australia welcomes today.
“In a high market-share scenario, these numbers could almost double to nearly 990,000 by 2025,” states the report. “Beyond this, in the relatively untapped borderless skills market of in-market, online and blended delivery – there are projected to be in excess of one billion students around the world.”
“In a high market-share scenario, these numbers could almost double to nearly 990,000 by 2025,”
The three areas of focus for the strategy are: Strengthening the Fundamentals of Australia’s education system (via delivering the best student experience possible, providing robust quality assurance); Making Transformative Partnerships (via alumni building, strengthening partnerships) and Competing Globally (via promoting excellence).
Richard Colbeck, minister for tourism and international education, signed off on a considered and cohesive strategy which represents clear ambition.
In Richard Colbeck, minister for tourism and international education, Foreword, he commented, “It is critical that we embrace the role as a driver of change. We must be conscious of what our competitors are doing, particularly what they are doing better than us.”
Stakeholders welcomed the announcement. Phil Honeywood, CEO of the International Education Association of Australia, said, “Given that international education is now worth $19.6 bn a year to the Australian economy, it now requires the level of attention that the nation’s third largest export sector should attract.”
“Given that international education is now worth $19.6 bn a year to the Australian economy, it now requires the level of attention that the nation’s third largest export sector should attract.”
Honeywood is a member of the Coordinating Council for International Education which consulted with government on its draft strategy. The council commended the first “whole-of-sector” strategy and said effective implementation was now needed.
“The sector provides far more than just an economic boost,” underlined Honeywood. “Research collaboration, two-way student mobility and student services such as accommodation and employment skills are all vital and require greater national coordinated effort. These ‘soft diplomacy’ benefits are often overlooked.”
Minister Colbeck also announced the formation of an ongoing council that will be responsible for implementation.
It was the country’s foreign minster, Julie Bishop, who announced the strategy while in Tasmania and it is the department for foreign affairs and trade which is championing the alumni agenda. To support this concurrent strategy, a website and Linked In group has been launched.
Twelve “inspirational” alumni ambassadors have been selected to work to build Australia’s profile in their home countries, and a video profile series is available, Australian by Degree.
“Over 50 years, 2.5 million international students have been attracted to Australia and its world class educational institutions,” said Bishop.
New applications for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) have been suspended since 24 April 2015, for the purpose of preparing new framework for the SIV in anticipation of its reintroduction on 1 July 2015.
Last Friday (15 May 2015), Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment, and Michaela Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, made a joint announcement of the Australian Government’s much anticipated new investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV). The announcement also provided some further information regarding the introduction of the new Premium Investor Visa (PIV).
The new arrangements are part of the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda to facilitate the flow of capital into innovative start-ups and emerging Australian companies.
The agenda is to be achieved by stopping SIV applicants from investing the required $5 million into passive investments, such as government bonds.
The new framework for the SIV will require at least a $5 million investment, which must comprise:
At least $500,000 into eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) (VCPE) investing in start-ups and small private companies;
At least $1.5 million into eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that predominately invest in emerging companies (i.e. market capitalisation below $500 million) listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed;
A ‘balancing investment’ (the amount will depend on how much was invested in the above mandatory elements) in managed funds or LICs investing in a combination of other eligible investments, including other ASX-listed companies (i.e. companies with market capitalisations above $500 million), corporate bonds or notes, annuities and (with limitations) residential real estate.
The new framework also prohibits ‘loan back’ arrangements. Accordingly, new visa applicants will no longer be allowed to use their investments as collateral for borrowings.
What are the Significant and Premium Investor visas?
The Significant Investor visa is a stream within the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (Subclass 888) visa.
The purpose of the visa is to provide a boost to the Australian economy and to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment migration. Significant Investor Visa (SIV) holders are required to invest AUD5million into complying investments for a minimum of four years before being eligible to apply for a permanent visa.
The government intends that the Premium Investor visa (PIV) will be created as a new stream within the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (Subclass 888) visa on 1 July 2015.
The purpose of the Premium Investor visa is to attract high net worth individuals to contribute their entrepreneurial skill or talent to Australia. The Premium Investor visa will be require applicants to invest AUD15million into complying investments for a minimum of twelve months before being eligible to apply for a permanent visa.
The announcement confirmed that the PIV will provide a fast-tracked, 12-month pathway to Australian permanent residency for talented entrepreneurs and innovators who can invest at least $15 million into eligible investments. The PIV will also allow a wider range of eligible investments than the SIV, including direct investments in a range of companies and financial products.
The new framework for the SIV and the PIV will come into effect on 1 July 2015.
According to Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton, Australia is set to further streamline and the visa system simplified under measures contained in the Budget.
Reduced red tape and several initiatives will benefit Australian consumers, international travellers, the travel industry, exporters, importers and visa applicants.
The Seamless Traveller initiative will see the roll out of new technology, including SmartGates, at air and sea ports, the Trusted Trader Programme (TTP) will expedite cargo clearances and the Budget will enable significant changes to Australia’s skilled and temporary migration legislation.
Seamless Traveller will see $93.7 million spent over the next five years for rollout of next generation automated biometric processing at major air and sea ports.
Biometric capability will reduce manual processes allowing a fast, seamless self-processing experience for up to 90 per cent of travellers and enable border control officers to concentrate on passengers-of-interest.
“Through the use of cutting-edge technology, such as SmartGates, we are providing benefits to travellers and industry while meeting national security challenges head on,” Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton said.
A total of $5.6 million has been allocated to start a pilot phase of a Trusted Trader Programme.
The pilot will start with four industry partners focusing on seaborne container exports and rapidly expand over the year to imports and air cargo involving around 40 Australian exporters and importers and their supply chains.
Faster clearance of low risk cargo for traders with a history of high trade compliance and commitment to supply chain security will again enable border officers to focus on high risk consignments.
“Increased efficiency in cargo movement will make Australia more competitive in the global marketplace and benefit the economy, Mr Dutton said.
Changes to Australia’s skilled and temporary migration legislation will see 25 visa subclasses consolidated into a simplified framework providing an easier process for visa applicants.
Mr Dutton said these changes were smart policy that would improve system integrity and border security and deliver a more efficient service.
“The measures in the 2015 Budget are yet another example of the Government’s commitment to cutting red tape and streamlining services,” Mr Dutton said.
The Productivity Commission has floated the idea of selling the right to immigrate, but politicians aren’t sure it’s such a good idea.
The Australian government would sell the right to immigrate to Australia – with migrants no longer accepted based on their skills or family connections – under radical proposals being examined by the government’s independent think tank.
The Productivity Commission is investigating a price-based immigration system that would use entry fees as the primary determinant for who gains entry to Australia.
The scheme could help the government rein in the budget deficit by bringing in tens of billions of dollars in extra revenue.
The scheme could help the government rein in the budget deficit by bringing in tens of billions of dollars in extra revenue.
Such a scheme could help the government rein in the budget deficit by bringing in tens of billions of dollars in extra revenue and allow it to trim the number of public servants administering Australia’s immigration system.
But the proposals have alarmed business groups and unions, who say tackling skills shortages should remain the focus of Australia’s immigration policy. Ethnic community groups say they would oppose any moves that would prevent poorer immigrants from re-uniting with their families.
The Productivity Commission issues paper on Australia’s migrant intake, released on Friday, raises some dramatic proposals including introducing an immigration lottery and creating a HECS-style payment system for immigrants to pay back their entry fee.
The Australian migration program issues permanent residency visas to three streams of migrants: those with particular skills; those with families in Australia; and others who meet special eligibility criteria.
The government established the inquiry, which will issue its final report next March, in a deal to secure Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm’s support for the reintroduction of temporary protection visas for asylum seekers.
In its issues paper, the Productivity Commission canvasses two options to introduce an “immigration fee”: setting a price, with the size of the intake dictated by demand; or setting a cap on the intake and allowing demand to dictate the price of entry.
The commission notes there are also middle ground options such as allowing a capped number of places to be allocated via a tender process. The United States – whose immigration program is less skills-focussed than Australia’s – uses a “diversity lottery” to allocate up to 50,000 places a year to applicants from countries with low rates of immigration to the US.
The inability of many hopeful immigrants to pay upfront could be addressed by allowing them to borrow against future expected earnings or by introducing a loans program.
The commission notes that introducing a price-based system could lead to some loss of government control over Australia’s immigrant intake and could change the composition of those who apply to migrate to Australia.
Senator Leyonhjelm said that a fee-based immigration system had been backed by Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker. Senator Leyonhjelm nominated $50,000 as a possible amount for entry to Australia.
“This would make a substantial financial contribution to the Australian budget and I hope that would lead to lower taxes,” he said.
Businesses needing skilled migrants could pay the fee or governments could waive the fee for particular professions or trades, he said.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said that the proposals were not government policy when releasing the inquiry’s terms of reference earlier this year.
“The government is keen to see the Productivity Commission analyse these issues thoroughly, however there are no plans to make significant changes to the migration program,” he said.
Australia uses a mix of qualitative factors (such as skills) and charges in its immigration process, he said.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox, said that “skilled migrants should remain the primary source of new entrants”.
Australian Council of Trade Unions President Ged Kearney said: “We are concerned the Productivity Commission’s inquiry is focused on allowing only those rich enough to migrate regardless of fulfilling the current requirements, including filling skills shortages.”
The Productivity Commission will release a draft report in November and hold public hearings before it hands its final report to government next March.
Restaurant & Catering Australia has welcomed new training and product development arrangements for the vocational education sector announced by the Australian government this morning.
R&CA CEO, John Hart says that the announcement serves as a welcome step in addressing the needs of the tourism and hospitality sectors.
“The [hospitality] sector is currently experiencing a shortfall of 35,800 jobs, with this number expected to increase to 56,000 by the end of 2015. Additionally, employment in the cafe, restaurant and takeaway food services sector is projected to grow more than 43,700 jobs or 8.5 percent to November 2018,” says Hart.
Hart says that this rate of employment growth is expected to be higher than any other industry in the Australian economy and it is estimated that Australia will require an additional 2.5 million people with Vocational Education Training (VET) qualifications; 1.7 million of which will need to be qualified at Certificate III level or above.
“The new model supporting industry reference committees will more closely align the skill needs of industry with the training that is delivered through the vocational education sector,” says Hart
“Changes to this structure and authorising environment through the Australian Industry Skills Committee will help to provide the necessary skilled staff required to deliver quality customer experiences well into the future.”
Hart says today’s announcement is recognition that skilled staff in the tourism and hospitality industry is necessary for the economic growth of the country.
“Waiters, cooks, chefs and café and restaurant managers are the most in-demand occupations in the sector and will continue to be well beyond 2015.
“’Australia’s system of competency standards and qualifications-based learning is world renowned; this change to the development process will strengthen that reputation even further.
With the announcement of the recently concluded China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (CHAFTA) between Australia and China, followed by the Labor Party’s Asian Century White Paper and the Liberal Party’s New Colombo Plan, few could fault Canberra for not taking trade with China seriously.
Australia has set the structural framework to open and accelerate trade links, and established a platform to produce a new wave of China-literate and bilingual talent into the local workforce.
But inevitably the future face of business in China will not just be the Australian participants of prestigious student exchange programs. Chinese international students studying in Australia could ultimately play a decisive role in fulfilling Australia’s regional trade ambitions under the new FTA agreement. But haigui, orreturning sea turtles as they are known in Mandarin, who have studied in Australia are too often overlooked as a short-term commodity rather than as an investment for the future.
Each year Australia effortlessly supplies an enormous cohort of potential trade envoys to the region, including China, and with no cost to the Australian taxpayer.
Now that trade liberalisation will open new markets in China for Australian goods and services, it is international students returning to China who are best placed to connect Australia with the market for live cattle, milk, and other products over the coming years.
Connecting Australian farmers and other companies to the local market in China is no easy feat. China is ranked 128 in the world by the World Bank Group for starting a business and the Chinese Government has tightened regulations for foreign companies operating in China in recent years.
A white face and broken Mandarin are a meek force to navigate the labyrinth of bureaucratic paperwork and regulatory requirements, not to mention negotiating, and coordinating logistics under a diversely different — and at times archaic — model of doing business.
Australian entrepreneurs and companies need local partners in China who they can trust. Returning international students who are bilingual and familiar with the Australian way of life will help to tick that box.
Returning Chinese students also typically possess extensive family business connections, access to capital, and they are already beginning to absorb important posts previously occupied by well-paid expatriate workers.
But little investment is made into integrating international students into Australia’s regional trade strategy and to stay connected. In fact, scores of international students return to China every year sombre about the lack of professional opportunities and experience Australia provided them.
Australian employment policies and norms discriminate against international students from gaining vital internship experience. Australian universities also provide little support for connecting international students with employment opportunities in Asia.
Unless returning international students work for an Australian company in their home country, they quickly lose connection with Australia.
Australian companies with operations in China should be opening their doors to international students for short-term internships in Australia before transferring talent to their offices in Asia. International organisations with a branch in Australia, including KPMG, could introduce a similar program for talent identification and training.
Government funding could be also be allocated for international students to participate in entrepreneurial incubator projects. These projects provide training, mentoring and foster new trade channels between Australia and the region.
Further investment is then necessary to ensure that international students in Australia are better integrated into Australian society. An isolated experience studying abroad in Melbourne or Sydney does not augur well for promoting bilateral understanding or developing future trade and people-to-people connections.
Organisations such as the Australia China Youth Association play an important role in fostering social and cultural integration in universities and there is far more potential to link Chinese students with young Australians learning Mandarin.
Abroad, we must encourage returning international students to stay engaged with networks including the Australia Chamber of Commerce, the Australia China Young Professionals Initiative, alumni associations and Embassy events.
Trade is unequivocally a two way street, and if Australia is to truly realise its economic potential under the new free trade agreement, we can’t afford to lose these connections and squander the sizeable pool of talent returning to China.
Source: Business Spectator
Australia’s multicultural landscape is as diverse as ever following the release of 2011 Census of Population and Housing data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).New Census data has revealed that almost a quarter (24.6 per cent) of Australia’s population was born overseas and 43.1 per cent of people have at least one overseas-born parent.
The United Kingdom is the leading country of birth for the overseas-born population (20.8 per cent). It is followed by New Zealand (9.1 per cent), China (6.0 per cent) and India (5.6 per cent).
The number of people born in India has experienced the largest growth with an increase of 148,261 people since the 2006 Census, followed by China (112,379) and New Zealand (93,934).
The largest decreases were seen in the birth countries of Italy (13,729 people) and Greece (10,050). 2011 Census Executive Director, Andrew Henderson, said these results highlight the cultural diversity of Australia’s population.
“Multicultural communities across the country worked very hard with the ABS during the Census to ensure we captured a full and accurate picture of Australia’s diversity,” Mr Henderson said.
“Multiculturalism plays a big part in who we are as a nation and we thank all community groups for their participation in the Census, and helping to create a brighter future for all Australians.”
Mr Henderson encouraged everyone to go online and look at the snapshot of Australia captured by the Census.
“Census data is available freely online and can be used for a variety of purposes across a wide range of sectors, and even by individuals,” Mr Henderson said.
“All Australians can go online and see what Census data says about their community, and the place they call home.”
Data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing is now available from the ABS website. Visit www.abs.gov.au/census.
MORE Australians are born overseas than ever before with 6.6 million residents currently living here arriving from other nations, the highest proportion of the population in 120 years.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today shows Australians born outside the country now represent 28 per cent of the population.
“Australia traditionally had a high proportion of migrants, but we’ve now hit a peak not seen since the gold rushes of the late 1800s,” ABS spokeswoman Denise Carlton said.
“Overseas migration has been a large contributor to the total Australian population growth for several years — it has consistently been the main driver since 2005-06, contributing more than 50 per cent of population growth in Australia. “While the largest migrant groups were people born in the United Kingdom and New Zealand — with a total of over 1.8 million Australian residents being born in those two countries, the next two most common birth places were from the Asian region.
“These were China and India, with around 450,000 and 400,000 people respectively.”
The figures for both countries doubled and tripled over the past decade.
Domestically, people moving to QLD, Victoria and WA continued to outweigh those leaving while there were net losses in residents in every other state and territory.
The mirrors in the Spiegeltent have been polished. The contortionists set to bend across its stage are limber. International guests from Belgium, Shanghai and beyond are streaming through Customs. The street art-covered labyrinth has been erected. The 2015 Sydney Festival is ready to go.
Sydney’s 39th annual festival of art and culture (and plenty of big things children can play on) kicks off Thursday morning when the Festival Village – now with two Spiegeltents – opens its doors. During the day, festivalgoers at the Hyde Park hamlet will be able to walk all over a two-storey maze designed and constructed by Irish street artist Maser and relax in the City of Sydney’s lawn library. At night they can catch sword-swallowers at Limbo and hit the bars and food stalls for a Grand Royale with Cheese (not a burger but an ice-cream).
The Village is not the only Sydney Festival venue springing to life for opening day (want to swing through a waterfall? You can do that at Darling Harbour from 9am), but it is the festival’s centre, expected to draw 10,000 visitors per day. And the festival is ready for them.
The festival will be Sydney’s first major public event since the city’s New Year’s Eve celebrations. Crowds for the fireworks were estimated to have been smaller than in 2013, leading some to ask whether Sydneysiders had been shaken by the Martin Place siege and heightened terror alert level. But police point out that high-profile viewing areas that night, such as the Sydney Opera House, were at capacity from early afternoon.
Festival organisers said punters appear undeterred: they expected to exceed the 124,000 tickets sold in 2014. Executive director Chris Tooher said that sales at the beginning of the week were at 64 per cent of the final target, ahead of the same time last year. It will be weeks before numbers on the free, unticketed events are known.
Many of the festival venues have private security and Tooher said organisers were working closely with police and other authorities to ensure safety at the Domain and Hyde Park.
Visa applicants are concentrated in mining, manufacturing, construction and education.
Companies would be allowed to bring employees to Australia for up to a year without applying for 457 skilled worker visas under a migration-rule revamp being considered by the government.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is proposing a new temporary entry visa for foreign workers that would not require the candidates to pass language or skills requirements. Nor would employers have to prove they cannot find an Australian to fill the position.
The proposed “short-term mobility” subclass of visas would be available for “specialised work which may include intra-company transfers and foreign correspondents”, says a proposal paper obtained byThe Australian Financial Review.
Fly-in, fly-out commuters, global partners or specialists who need to provide short periods of work or consultation to a company would be covered. The visa would allow for multiple entries.
The paper is part of a review announced in October and billed by the Abbott government as the biggest re-examination of skilled migration in 25 years. The government wants to cut red tape and give companies more flexibility to grow and compete for talent. But the changes would upset unions, which are mostly hostile to foreign labour.
Skilled migration researcher Bob Birrell said the government would be picking a big fight with white-collar unions and professional groups by allowing global companies greater scope to bring people in for short-term appointments.
“There are already significant problems with graduate employment in professions such as dentistry, computer science, medicine and engineering,” he said.
“Liberalisation such that being mooted is going to crash head-on with that situation. The government is going to have some angry professional associations on its hands.”
A short-term mobility category would replace the existing category 400 visa, which allows skilled or specialist entrants to work for up to six weeks.
There were 4587 visas of this type granted when it was first offered in 2012-13. That jumped to 32,984 in 2013-14. Applicants are concentrated in mining, manufacturing, construction and education.
Employer groups have been pushing for a less onerous visa than the 457 to allow them to bring in specialists for shorter-term projects. They say the six weeks offered under the 400 visa is too short and the department often redirects applicants to 457 visas.
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said with unemployment at a 12-year-high of 6.3 per cent, the focus should be on employing and training locals.
“The review of Australia’s skilled migration system must strengthen requirements for employers to advertise jobs locally before recruiting workers from overseas, not make it easier for companies to bypass Australian workers, university graduates and apprentices,” she said.
Mark Glazbrook, the managing director of Adelaide-based Migration Solutions, said the extended mobility visa would be eagerly welcomed. “The current policy settings and regulations are quite strict and don’t allow a lot of flexibility where there’s very specialised or unique work to be done,” he said.
“If you consider a big international- based company with Australian operations, if they have a specialised piece of equipment that’s in Australia and no one knows how to install it, they want to be able to bring someone, possibly on multiple occasions, on a genuinely temporary basis.”
The existing employer-sponsored 457 visa would be absorbed into a new “temporary-skilled” category, according to the proposal paper. It would continue to require candidates to meet English language, skills and labour market tests.
There would also be “permanent-independent” and “permanent-skilled” subclasses.
The “permanent-independent” subclass would be for “highly skilled individuals to independently apply for permanent residence to work in Australia”. It would replace existing distinguished talent visas.
Applicants in the permanent-skilled category would have to prove they are filling a genuine vacancy in the local labour market. This category would subsume the existing 186 and 187 visas.
“Competition for migrants amongst growth countries such as China and India, as well as our traditional competitors, will require that our skilled programs are no longer designed to passively receive migrants, but are designed to aggressively target ‘talented’ migrants in a highly competitive environment,” the paper says.
Australian Mines and Metals Association director Scott Barklamb said Australia would benefit from “mobile, highly skilled professionals who temporarily live and work where their specialised skills are most in need”. “Australians working in the resource sector often have opportunities to work and live temporarily all over the world and the Australian industry must similarly benefit from global engagement.”
In a submission to the government, Master Builders Australia said: “Some projects are shorter duration – for example three months – and going through the time-consuming and costly process of applying and securing 457 visa holders is not flexible enough.”
The “genuine-temporary-entrant” test that has been applied to student visas would be used for the short-term mobility subclass to prevent rorting.
The short-term mobility subclass would include a visa valid for three months or a year. Candidates for the shorter visa could be bought in at the invitation of an Australian company.
For the visa to be valid for up to 12 months, candidates would require a “statement of guarantee or undertaking from the Australian organisation detailing salary and any employment conditions reflective of the Australian standard for the duration of the stay must be provided”.
There is also a review of the integrity of the 457 visa system, the significant investor visa program and an inquiry into the Business Innovation and Investment Program.
The government said it would be premature to comment during the consultation period. A spokesman said the proposal paper was drafted by the department, not the government.
Dr Birrell said: “The main proposal is to free up temporary migration by creating a new set of visa subclasses for people coming in for less than a year,” he said.
“The implication is that this would not include the rules and regulations currently governing the 457 visa, including some labour market testing.”