Australia alters migration programmes
Expats looking to emigrate to Australia should be aware that the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have made changes to a number of the country’s migration programmes.
The changes which came into effect at the start of August has seen amendments made to the in demand occupation lists. One of the most important changes is the alteration of the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) – which features the occupations that all applicants applying for a federal skilled Visa must have experience or skills in.
The occupations of Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (various), retail Pharmacist and hospital pharmacist have all been removed from the list.
Changes have also been made to the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) which features occupations for applicants who are nominated by a territorial government or State. The jobs removed from this list are Anatomist and Physiologist. However, seven new jobs were added to the lists which are; Archaeologist, Kennel Hand, Procurement Manager, Nutritionist, Registered Paediatric Nurse, Intellectual Property Lawyer and Hydrographer.
As well as the changes made to the two lists there has also been some changes made to the price of temporary Visa fees. From the 1st of August the application fee for a Tempoary Work 457 Visa increased from $85 Australian Dollars to $330 Australian Dollars. A hefty hike but one that the government says reflects the real cost of processing and administering nominations.
The 457 visa system also saw changes with the system now expected to put a greater emphasis on an applicant’s English language skills. Restricted terms for business start-ups sponsorship is now in force and visa holders must now start work within 90 days of arriving in the country or face being deported.
Elsewhere, a new online eVisitor (subclass 600) Visa has been introduced that will replace the Tourist (subclass 676) visa, the Sponsored Family Visa (679) and Business Short Stay Visa (456). If you have one of these Visas, it will still be valid for the period you were given when the visa was granted.