April 11, 2012

The changes to the permanent employer sponsored visas (ENS and RSMS) coming in on 1 July 2012 are quite significant. One of the main intentions behind the changes to the ENS/RSMS programs is to streamline the process of applying for permanent residence whilst holding a 457 visa.

People will be affected differently by the new changes depending on their circumstances. This article goes through the main winners under the new system.

ENS/RSMS Eligibility Streams

The requirements for ENS and RSMS vary depending on which “eligibility stream” you apply under from 1 July. To appreciate the impact of the changes, it’s important to have an understanding of the eligibility streams:

Temporary Residence Transition:

where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. Applicants in this category have a streamlined pathway onto permanent residence through ENS and RSMS from 1 July.

Direct Entry Stream:

for applicants who have not worked in Australia, or who have worked in Australia on a visa other than a 457 visa. Criteria for these applicants are higher – for ENS they must have a skills assessment and 3 years of work experience in their occupation, and RSMS applicants must get approval from a Regional Certifying Body and may also require skills assessment.

Agreement Stream:

for applicants whose employer has a Labour Agreement. Labour agreements are special arrangements individually negotiated with the Department of Immigration, and allow sponsorship in a wider range of occupations and are required for the “on-hire” or “labour hire” industry.

1. People on 457 visas in non-ENS occupations

There are many people on 457 visas who have been sponsored in an occupation which is not on the current ENS Occupations List.

Examples of such occupations include:

  • Cafe or Restaurant Manager
  • Customer Service Managers
  • Various IT specialisations
  • Intermediate service managers (eg
  • Divers and Diving Instructors
  • Farmers

People sponsored for 457 visas in these occupations are currently on a “road to nowhere” – they can stay in Australia on 457 visas, but have limited options in applying for permanent residence.

From 1 July 2012, there will be a single consolidated list of occupations which applies to 457, ENS and State/Territory Sponsored Skilled Visas.

As a result, people already on a 457 visa will be able to look at an ENS visa once they have worked with their employer on a 457 visa in their occupation for 2 years, even if their occupation is not on the current ENS list.

2. Applicants between 45 and 50 years of Age

The age limit for ENS and RSMS visas will increase from 45 to 50 from 1 July 2012.

As a result, applicants between 45 and 50 will be able to qualify for an ENS or RSMS visa without needing to show Exceptional Circumstances.

3. Applicants over 60 years on 457 visas

Under current arrangements, it is extremely difficult for applicants aged over 60 to obtain an ENS or RSMS visa. Under current DIAC policy, applicants must show that they will make a significant economic contribution to Australia and have a very high salary level ($213,000 or more).

From 1 July 2012, applicants who have worked for their employer for the last 4 years on a 457 visa and who have a salary of over $118,000 should be eligible for an exemption to the age requirement.

This will make it far more possible for applicants over 60 to qualify for migration under the Employer Nomination Scheme.

 

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

 

The Minister for Immigration has announced new processing priorities which apply from 14 July 2010 for General Skilled Migration and permanent employer sponsored visas.

These arrangements take account of the changes to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) that came into effect on 1 July 2010, as well as the revocation of the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) and the Critical Skills List (CSL).

Processing Priorities

There are 4 priority groups – from highest to lowest priority these are:

  • Employer Sponsored: RSMS and ENS are the highest priority
  • General Skilled applicants sponsored under a State Migration Plan
  • General Skilled applicants with an occupation on the new SOL
  • All other applicants

Processing Times

In addition, we also have indicative processing times:

ENS/RSMS:

  • ETA countries (Low Risk): 5 months
  • Non-ETA countries (High Risk): 7 months

State Migration Plan

  • Onshore: 6 months
  • Offshore: 12 months

New SOL:

Lodged prior to 1 July 2010:

  • Onshore: to be processed prior to 1 July 2011
  • Offshore: to be processed prior to 31 December 2011

Lodged after 1 July 2010:

  • Onshore: 18 months
  • Offshore: 18-24 months

Otherwise: to be processed after groups 1-3 are finalized

Exempt Visa Types

Not all skilled visas are subject to the new priorities. For instance, the following continue to be processed in the order received:

  • Skilled Graduate Subclass 4 js” type=”text/javascript”> 85 – 12 months
  • Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 – 7 months
  • Skilled Regional Subclass 887 – 5 months
  • Cases which have been refused and appealed successfully to the MRT (Migration Review Tribunal)
  • Subsequent entrants for Skilled Regional Sponsored and Skilled Graduate visas
  • Applications which clearly do not meet essential criteria and which are for refusal

Summary of Previous Changes

  • The Critical Skills List – introduced in January 2009 – has now been abolished and effectively replaced by a much shorter Skilled Occupations List which is now being used both to limit numbers of new applications and to prioritise applications already in the system.
  • Note that no State Migration Plans have yet been finalised. We understand that a number of states have completed their plans and are awaiting signature from the Minister of Immigration. As the government is currently in caretaker mode, ahead of the Federal Election on August 21, these may be a few months off coming into effect.
  • People who were sponsored by state or territory governments receive no priority due to this unless they are sponsored under a State Migration Plan. If the nominated occupation is not on the new SOL, the application would be at the lowest priority level – despite the fact that such applicants were previously at the highest priority level.
  • The changes are still positive for accountants – previously a minimum score of 7 in the IELTS test was required for priority to be given. Now, any applicant with a skills assessment as an accountant will be at least in priority group 3.
  • The indicative processing time for a Skilled Graduate subclass 485 visa is far longer than is reasonable. This type of visa is only valid for 18 months from the date of grant. On the positive side, the longer DIAC takes to process a 485 visa, the longer a student has to stay in Australia with full work rights.
  • People in the lowest priority group have reason to be concerned because the Minister has introduced a visa capping bill which would give him the ability to cancel visa applications from people meeting certain criteria (eg occupation). Given the number of people waiting for decisions on skilled visas, the Minister would be highly likely to exercise this power if the Visa Capping Bill is passed through Parliament.

 

 

 

 

July 8, 2010

 

 

From 1 July 2010 DIAC require overseas students to obtain OSHC for the proposed duration of their Student visa.

Where a student will be studying at more than one education provider, the requirement remains that the student must maintain health insurance for the duration of their visa. There cannot be a gap in the OSHC coverage.

If a student has already obtained OSHC for a 12 month period before 1 July they will not be asked to obtain further insurance. They will be expected to renew their policy when it expires.

Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) is intended to assist international students to meet the costs of medical and hospital care that they may need while in Australia.

A student visa can be granted up to the maximum duration outlined below:

Visa duration is 10 months or less – The visa will usually be granted up to one month longer than the duration of the course.

Visa duration is longer than 10 Months – The visa will usually be granted up to two months longer that the duration of the course.

Visa duration is longer than 10 Months and finishing at the end of the Australian academic year (October – December) – The visa will usually be granted up to March 15 of the following year.

For all students submitting applications from July onwards, we will calculate the visa length and issue a statement of fees which reflects an OSHC amount as per the information above.

The start date for the OSHC will be from the course commencement date

To assist students who are now preparing to make fees payment and request their CoE’s it is advised that you contact the relevant Education Counsellor to obtain a revised statement showing the correct OSHC fees. Please ensure that this is requested prior to the student preparing their fees payment through TT or Bank Draft.

In the case where payment is received without the additional OSHC amount, the outstanding fees will be required prior to the CoE being issued

IEAA help students to get their OSHC free of any additional service charge . Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Additional information can be found attached or at http://www.immi.gov.au/students/_pdf/oshc-faq.pdf

 

June 4, 2010

The Sydney Business School (SBS) of the Wollongong University will be touring Asia

 

 

The Sydney Business School (SBS) of the Wollongong University will be touring Asia, Latin America and Europe again this year as part of the QS Annual MBA Tour.

In July, SBS will be exhibiting in the following locations:

Location                       Date                      Time                     Venue

New Delhi                    10 July 2010         2-6.00pm              Hyatt Regency

Mumbai                        12 July 2010         5-9.00pm              Taj Lands End

Shanghai                      15 July 2010         5-9.00pm              The Longemont Hotel

Beijing                          17 July 2010         2-6.00pm              The Kerry Centre Hotel

 

Further information about the fairs can be found at www.topmba.com/mba-tour .

Please keep this in mind when approached by a student with an interest in SBS, as we would welcome their visit to our stand.

 


Student Testimonials

 

Abraham Nyilika

Geologist, BHP Billiton

Graduated 2009 – Master of Project Management

“My study at SBS has enriched my life, not only in terms of the knowledge I gained from my study but also from the contacts and friendships established with classmates from so many countries. The program has enhanced my planning and scheduling skills. These skills have not only become a key component of my role within BHP, but have allowed me to add real and practical value to the group.”

 

 

Peter Buckley

Operations Manager, Thomas & Coffey

Completing a Master of Business Administration

“The Sydney Business School was an obvious choice in my selection for a business school to complete a Master of Business Administration; for the quality of academic staff, international recognition of degree, flexibility of study and camaraderie among the MBA cohort.”