Archive for the Category »Australian Visas «

MyVisaManager Australia Migration specialists

MyVisaManager

There is a saying that nothing is permanent in this world except change! If not in all strata’s of life, this is 100% true for Australian migration rules where changes are more frequent than any other immigration policy, especially if you compare the Australian migration policy changes with its NZ neighbour. It’s not always easy even for the professionals to keep up with all the changes, for example, since 2010 there are three major policy changes around Skilled Migration Scheme. As professional, registered migration agents, we have assisted our UK clientele with updated information, taking them through choosing the right occupation from the approved occupations list. In the last year, we have assisted Plumbers, Teachers, Nurses, HR Advisers, Marketing Specialist, Actuary, Accountants, Cartographer, Environmental Research Scientist, Engineers etc. the list can go on. What we feel proud of is our settled clients in Australia, still sending referrals and likes on our Facebook . Thanks to our clients and dedicated staff whose main focus is to provide friendly, accurate and highly professional advice to people interested to move down under.

Migration can be potentially one of the biggest, most important decisions you make in your life. Starting a new life in a new country is a challenge, and finding a job is an important step in this journey. You need trusted professionals whom you can rely on to help you to turn your dream into a reality.

MyVisa Manager’s licensed advisers have extensive experience helping a diverse range of clients come from all corners of the world including the United Kingdom, South Africa, India, Fiji, China, South Korea and the Middle East – even far-flung and exotic places like Kazakhstan and Nepal!

Our advisers are licensed and adhere strictly to the Code of Conduct of the immigration authorities of New Zealand (IAA) and Australia (MARA). We work closely with each and every one of our clients to ensure they have the best possible chance of migrating to Australia or New Zealand. We also provide assistance to job-seekers to help you get started on your journey.

Insure this major life decision – use MyVisa Manager’s expertise to manage your risk. For a free assessment of your eligibility click here, or for more comprehensive report click here, no matter what type of report you prefer, our dedication to your inquiry will be reflected in our advice.

Your success is our success!

 http://www.myvisamanager.com

Australia Migration SkillSelect news

TMISome SkillSelect quotas are being reached
SkillSelect is approaching the end of its first year in operation. Implemented in July 2012 it incorporated several major changes to Australia’s General Skilled Migration program management. These included the implementation of Quotas for applications from each Occupation Group and the number of applicants sponsored by each State. As the end of the year approaches we are starting to see some of these quotas being filled.

By February, three occupations groupings had reached their quota, with others nearing capacity, once reached no more invitations will be issued to applicants from those groups. NSW has been the first state to announce it has reached its annual quota and will not be accepting further applications for sponsorship until July 2013.

So what happens if you have already completed an Expression of Interest (EOI)? Your Expression of Interest will remain valid for 2 years, following the date it was submitted. Next year’s occupation quotas will be set to commence on 1 July 2013. At this time all eligible EOIs will be considered, for each round of invitations, in relation to its overall ranking within the EOI pool.

Can I still submit an Expression of Interest if my occupation groups quota has been reached? You can still submit an EOI, however, it cannot be considered until there is a quota available for that occupation. Individuals are selected for invitation from the EOI pool based first on a higher points score. Expressions with the same lower points score will be selected based on their lodgement date. Therefore, tactically it may be sensible for individuals, especially those with lower points scores, to lodge their EOIs. If not already obtained you will not be able to receive State sponsorship until the occupation quota re-opens.

Taylor Made Immigration
Taylor Made Immigration provides Visa and Migration Services to individuals and families wishing to travel to or live and work in Australia. Tee Taylor, registered migration agent at Taylor Made Immigration will provide you with a user friendly and personal service, with professional management of your visa application process.

All Australian visas come with selection criteria and conditions that must be fulfilled in order for a visa to be granted. Our professional services begin with listening to your long term aims and by assessing your individual circumstances and qualifications. We then provide advice about which visa/s you are eligible for, and best suit your needs.

Taylor Made Immigration will assist you with each stage of the visa application, including the completion of the necessary forms and advising on the documentation required to support your application. In addition we provide DIAC with a comprehensive submission detailing how your application and the supporting evidence address the relevant legislation and policy specific to your visa and circumstances. We liaise with DIAC on your behalf whilst the visa application is under consideration until a decision has been made.
We recognise that each and every visa application is unique. At Taylor Made Immigration we will provide you with a personal service, taking into consideration your individual needs and circumstances.

TeePhotoTiawanna Taylor
A UK Expat, Tee lived and worked in a number of countries before settling in Australia. Being a migrant herself places Tee in a position to better understand some of the concerns and stress that can arise during the visa application and migration process. Tee has been an active member of Poms in Oz since 2009.

Tiawanna (Tee) Taylor is Registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA)
MARN Registration Number 1279203
Tee@TaylorMadeImmigration.com
Website: www.TaylorMadeImmigration.com

Australian union lobbying to have Australian Jobs clause inserted in EMA’s

An Australian Union is seeking to create legally binding agreements that would require employers to advertise jobs to try and find Australian workers and Australian residents before being allowed to recruit international workers to come to Australia on temporary work visas.

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is lobbying to have an ‘Australian Jobs’ clause inserted into Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs). EMAs were introduced by the Australian federal government in 2011. They are intended to prevent infrastructure projects from being delayed by skills shortages. They allow project managers on infrastructure projects worth AUS$2bn and which employ 1,500 people or more to apply for sufficient 457 temporary work visas to complete a project.

There are currently 14 Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs) under consideration by the Australian government. Negotiations between interested parties; employers, the Australian government and unions, are due to begin within three months. If the EMAs are made, then employers will be able to apply for thousands of Temporary Business (Long Stay) visas, better known as 457 visas. These visas allow their holders to stay in Australia for up to four years. They are entitled to bring family members with them.

The union says that the ‘Australian jobs’ clause would enable the union to seek redress from a court where a company fails to make efforts to find Australian workers before offering positions to overseas workers. It is already a requirement that companies should take steps to find Australian workers before applying for an EMA. This requirement was negotiated by unions.

Now, the MUA’s general secretary in Western Australia, Chris Cain is seeking to reinforce the requirement for employers to try to find Australian workers. He says that employers should sign a memorandum of understanding before the EMA could be granted which would allow the unions to sue the employer in court where the required checks had not been made.

Mr Cain says that the Australian jobs clause would also allow the union and Australian workers to seek redress from Fair Work Australia, which is Australia’s independent workplace relations tribunal. Mr Cain told the West Australian newspaper ‘What it means is that people in Australia who have qualifications to do a job will get the job over foreign workers.’

The Australian Mines and Metals Association (AMMA) says that the union’s proposal would not help protect jobs and might create tension in relationships between employers and unions. AMMA’s chief executive Steve Knott said employers did not use migrant labour unless they had to because it was an expensive option. A recent AMMA report suggested that applications for 457 visas cost employers between AUS$7,000 and AUS$65,000. Mr Knott said that employers needed the security of EMAs to help reassure financial backers that labour shortages would never interfere with projects.

Mr Knott said that he had seen research which predicted that there would be a shortage of 90,000 skilled workers in Australia by 2015.

Call for long stay visas for foreign farm workers

RURAL leaders have appealed to the federal government for a special long-stay visa for foreign farm workers to ease the critical shortage of farm labour.

As the booming agricultural sector prepares to double production to become a food bowl for Asia, National Farmers Federation president Jock Laurie yesterday called on the Gillard government to make the contentious 457 skilled entry visa, used by the mining industry to bring in longer-stay temporary workers from Asia, more suited to farm work.

The agricultural sector had recovered after shrinking during the decade-long drought but had lost many of its young people to the cities and skilled workers to better-paid mining jobs, he said.

He said the desperate shortage of workers was coming to an unprecedented head during the grains harvest, now under way across eastern Australia, making the need for action urgent.

 

In rural centres such as the rich cotton and wheat bowl of Moree in northern NSW, more than one-third of the labour on farms and in contract harvesting teams this year is being provided by young foreign workers from Ireland, France, Scotland, Denmark and Germany.

Most are in Australia on working holiday or 417 “backpacker” visas, which restrict their farm work to six months on any one rural property and to two consecutive years before their return to Australia is blocked.

German solar panel installer Hannes Rinkl, 26, is employed on the 18,000ha Boonaldoon station, west of Moree, and would love to return for six months’ work every year. But this is his second year harvesting grain and irrigating cotton farms in rural Australia on a working holiday visa and, despite his own wishes and a farm manager keen to keep him longer, the current visa restrictions will force him to leave early next year.

“I can’t get a permanent visa because tractor driving doesn’t count (as a priority skill),” Mr Rinkl said this week.

The harvest contractor working alongside Mr Rinkl, driving a tank-like giant green header on 16-hour shifts, is also a new foreign arrival: Craig Nicol, 20, is a farmhand from the Scottish Highlands well-used to farm machinery.

Employed by a cropping contractor from western Victoria, Nicol plans to work from October to February harvesting wheat, barley, chickpea and canola crops stretching south from Queensland to Victoria. It means all-night shifts, seven days a week, but Mr Nicol is earning $30 an hour and saving $15,000 in four months.

“It’s not a holiday; it’s really all about work,” Mr Nicol said.

“But I get to see the world.

“I’m doing something I like and there is a lot more money in it here than at home.

“I’m not sure yet if I would like to come back again next year.

“Leaving home has been hard and the phenomenal scale of things here has been a culture shock, but I’d like to know I had the option (because) it’s a pretty big thrill to be driving a header with a 45-foot front.”

The NFF wants the Gillard government to expand the scope of the 457 temporary longer-entry visas to include farm workers such as Mr Rinkl and Mr Nicol who have been farm-trained to drive expensive and sophisticated harvest machinery but lack formal technical qualifications currently required for a 457 visa.

This would allow young workers, often with trade or farm backgrounds from stressed countries such as Scotland, Ireland and France who are streaming into isolated rural centres for plentiful farm jobs, to convert from a 417 visa to a longer-stay 457 visa if the farm employer backed their application.

Mr Laurie fears the unions are putting intense pressure on the government not to extend the scope of 457 visas to less-skilled foreign workers while national unemployment hovers above 5 per cent. Yesterday’s official labour force survey showed the jobless rate holding steady at 5.4 per cent for the second consecutive month.

“The unions often say they don’t want unskilled workers coming here from other countries,” Mr Laurie said. “But a lot of Australians don’t want to move into remote areas like Moree, while we know many of these young people from overseas have got experience in farming, the basic skills to drive this expensive machinery, and can step straight into these jobs – and most of all, want to work here.”

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said the government’s first priority was always to ensure jobs for Australian workers, while recognising some sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, continued to face labour market pressures.

He said that while the 457 visa program was an uncapped, demand-driven program designed to address genuine labour shortages where no appropriately skilled Australians were available, it was available only to skilled farm occupations backed by recognised qualifications.

“Of course we recognise that skill shortages pose major challenges to regional Australian businesses, with significant implications for the viability of towns and local economies, and the government is committed to supporting regional communities to address these issues,” he said.

“It remains open to farmers to use the Labour Agreements program, which facilitates the temporary entry of skilled and semi-skilled workers where there are domestic shortages and the 457 program does not suit.”

Farmers such as Maryan Hunter of Garah, in northern NSW, who have tried to keep backpackers longer by applying to convert a 417 visa to a longer-stay 457 visa, have already been knocked back by the Immigration Department.

She says a labour agreement negotiated through a union, as suggested by Mr Bowen, is totally unsuited and irrelevant to a family farm.

Ms Hunter said yesterday the main reasons for her farm-sponsored application being rejected were red tape requiring set employer training budgets to be dedicated to unsuited TAFE training courses and the farm worker’s lack of relevant qualifications that were included on the government’s eligible list.

“That’s why we have got together in this Moree Plains region and formed a working party to lobby government,” Mrs Hunter said. “We just hope the government and the Immigration Department listen because something has to change quickly if we are going to find and keep enough good workers.

“This is not about cheap labour but about continuity of labour; it is these backpackers who we have trained up who are making our life out on our big farms around Moree so much better. They want to work and are willing, and their wages often return to the town.”

Another option being explored is for farm regions to apply for special Regional Migration Agreements.

Tourism industry opposes whv fee increases

Australia’s tourism industry will argue strongly against the Government’s plans to apply a 28.6% increase to the Working Holiday Visa fee as outlined in last month’s Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook.

With around 30 of the most significant youth and backpacker products across Australia represented by the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), the organisation will spearhead the issue on behalf of the industry with a joint letter to the Treasurer.

“The youth and backpacker segment of the tourism industry has been hit hard over recent years, suffering from the impact of the high Australian dollar, fierce international competition from other destinations, and the changing nature of youth travel which has seen more young people sticking to capital cities and minding their budgets,” ATEC board member and Director of Global Gossip, Peter Ovenden said.

“While uptake of the visa has held, the industry has seen clear signs of a contraction in this important sector, with youth travellers now spending less time in Australia and travelling far less to regional parts of the country. We cannot afford to give these travellers yet another reason to reduce their spending – or, worse yet, decide not to visit at all.”

Mr Ovenden said yesterday’s Overseas Arrivals figures released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics showed a continuing and worrying negative trend in arrivals from the UK and Eurozone, a significant cohort of which is the youth traveller.

“The 5.1% decrease for the September quarter from the UK and other countries in the Eurozone is reflective of some of the ongoing pressures from the GFC and it is the youth market which has the potential to offset the decreases from these markets.

“It is imperative we reinforce these markets as much as possible.  An Australian ‘escape’ is a highly desirable alternative for young travellers facing difficult domestic economic pressures, so we should be doing our utmost to encourage them to choose Australia.

“The WHV has long been one of the great drawcards for young people visiting Australia giving them the opportunity to work in order to subsidise an extended Australian holiday and this has given us a real competitive advantage against our global rivals for the youth sector.

“Analysis undertaken by ATEC this year identified that backpackers, and working holiday makers in particular, spend considerably more than the average international visitor, staying around 8 months and spending over $13,000 each.

“Minor adjustments to the program such as extending the ‘regional working’ category, reducing financial requirements and allowing multiple visa opportunities, which ATEC has also advocated for, could increase the spend of these visitors by around $700 million over a 10-year period.”

Since 2005, the WHV fee has doubled in cost and, when expressed in source country currencies, has tripled for youth travellers from the United Kingdom and increased by 2.5 times for the Europeans.

“The competitiveness of the structure of our WHV program is poor when compared to our major global competitors and continual increases to the visa cost have compounded to put significant pressure on the sector over a long period.

“These visitors are important for our industry and our economy, contributing to our short-term labour needs, particularly in regional and remote parts of Australia, and contributing significantly to our tax system.

Call for more Asian backpackers to be granted working holiday visas

THE tourism industry is leading a push to allow more young Asian backpackers to come to Australia to work.

The call comes as the number of working holidaymakers from traditional sources, such as the UK, Europe and the US are dropping off.

Tourism and Transport Forum deputy chief executive Trent Zimmerman said more countries should be eligible for working holiday-maker visas to better reflect the focus on Asia.

“WHM visas are not available to the massive markets of China and India, or to our near neighbour the Philippines, which boasts an outstanding service culture,” he said.

“In addition, while we welcome the recent announcement that the cap for WHM visas in Indonesia has been lifted to 1000, just 100 WHM visas are available to Malaysians and 500 to Thais.

“These should be expanded dramatically without a reciprocal requirement.”

Mr Zimmerman said the age limit should be removed and backpackers who worked in tourism and hospitality in regional areas should be able to apply for a 12-month visa extension.

He said young travellers provided a flexible and mobile source of labour for the tourism and hospitality sectors, where there were already 36,000 job vacancies, many in regional areas. “With many of our traditional WHM markets experiencing weak economic conditions, raising the barriers to entry will discourage visitation and reduce the dispersal of backpackers, impacting negatively on tourism businesses struggling to find staff,” he said.

Tolga Country Lodge co-owner Gina Crameri said there was no need for more farm workers but there was a need to fill shortages in the tourism and hospitality sectors in many rural and regional areas.

“Finding chefs and other good staff is a problem,” she said.

Accor Hotels group chief operating officer Simon McGrath said the scheme was important for Accor, which had 12 hotels in the Far North with more than 700 workers, to attract staff, particularly in regional and remote areas.

“It is disappointing that visa charges have been increased substantially, but this would be compensated by an opening up of the scheme and a general relaxation of visa requirements, particularly for the rapidly emerging China and India markets,” he said.

A response to the proposals is being sought from Immigration Minister Chris Bowen.

Australian visa application charges set to rise

The Australian government is proposing to increase the Visa Application Charges (VAC) for several visa subclasses that provide permission to work and are in high demand according to the government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook. If approved, the new fees would take effect on January 1, 2013.

The proposed changes to visa charges are as follows:

  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Business (Long Stay)) currently AU$350  Proposed VAC AU$455
  • Skilled Graduate visas currently AU$315  Proposed VAC AU$1,260
  • Working Holiday visa currently AU$280  Proposed VAC AU$360
  • Partner visas (for applications filed from within Australia) currently AU$3,060  Proposed VAC AU$4,000
    Partner Visas (for applications filed abroad) currently AU$2060  Proposed VAC Aprox AU$2,700
Australian govt simplifies temporary work visas

The government will make it simpler for people to apply for a specialist temporary work visa, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, announced last week.

‘The government is delivering on a pledge to simplify the application process by halving the number of specialist temporary work visa subclasses from 17 to eight,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘On 24 November, we will roll out a simplified specialist temporary work visa framework as part of the Government’s Better Regulation Ministerial Partnership: Simpler Visas.

‘This initiative seeks to make it easier for people to understand and engage with Australia’s visa requirements.’

‘Criteria across these visas have been standardised to provide a more consistent approach to requirements to reduce unnecessary complexity for applicants and decision makers.

‘People eligible for entry under current arrangements will remain so under the simplified specialist temporary work visa framework.

Specialist temporary work visas include religious workers, diplomats, visiting academics and entertainers.

The 457 visa program will be unaffected by the changes.

The Skilled and Business Migration program has been simplified under skilled migration visa reforms, including the introduction of SkillSelect, a consolidated skilled occupations list, and a reduction from 28 to 11 visa subclasses.

The government also plans to halve the total number of visa subclasses by 2015, having already reduced the number of work and skilled visa subclasses by 58 per cent this year.

Good news for potential migrants to Australia who have a disability

The government will act to ensure a fairer, more flexible and individualised approach to people wanting to migrate to Australia who have a disability or health issues, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, announced last week.

‘The government will now take into account all of the circumstances when assessing prospective visa applicants against the visa health requirement,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘A ‘net benefit’ approach will allow decision makers to consider the social and economic benefits an applicant and their family bring to Australia compared to the cost of their health care.

‘This will mean an individual’s health costs can be offset by the benefit their family will bring to Australian society.’

From 1 July, the government proposes to increase the Significant Cost Threshold – the level at which an applicant’s health costs are considered to result in significant health care and community service costs – from $21 000 to $35 000.

The government will also streamline health waivers for offshore humanitarian applicants who fail to meet the health requirement on cost grounds, bringing the offshore policy into line with onshore arrangements.

In order to maintain Australia’s health standards, people who want to migrate permanently to Australia must satisfy the health requirement.

‘Of course, the government’s priority is the protection of public health so we will continue to apply rigorous and consistent health screening procedures,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘People who are considered to pose a significant health risk to the community will not be granted a visa.’

Mr Bowen will consult on the detailed implementation of the reforms with key stakeholders in coming weeks.

Discuss migration and health issues on our forum @ www.pomsinoz.com

 

Working Holiday Visa numbers to increase

The Australian federal government is planning to increase the number of overseas workers coming to Australia on Working Holiday Visas (WHV) to tackle labour shortages in the tourism industry.

Martin Ferguson, the Federal Tourism Minister, acknowledged it was one strategy the government is pursuing to address the problem, pointing to Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent announcement about an increase in the number of working holiday visa arrivals from Indonesia.

“We are in the process of negotiating a range of other bilateral agreements with different countries to also enter into similar opportunities to bring additional holiday visa workers to Australia to assist especially the tourism industry,” he told a tourism industry breakfast in Brisbane.

He said the government was committed to fixing the labour shortage, also pointing to a 3 year trial to bring workers from Pacific nations and East Timor to Australia during the tourism industry’s peak season.

He said Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was still considering calls from a tourism employment round table event last year to extend the working holidaymaker visa to tourism workers.