Skilled Migration to Australia- Recent Changes in Migration Policy

 

turbulent day for migration agents and visa applicants around the world, with the most unexpected news flashes related to subclass 457, Australian citizenship and General Skilled Migration Occupation Lists.

In my fifteen years of experience as a Migration Consultant for Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program, sudden changes have been a part of the immigration policy updates from time to time. We’ve witnessed the large scale changes like the Cap & Cease in 2010 when applications under review with the Australian Immigration Department, now known as the DIBP, were announced to a sudden suspension. The Trades Recognition Australia, too, expunged the TRA application policy returning all the applications under review in 2007.

The unforeseen and abrupt changes usually imply an overhaul in the immigration policy. More often than not, such changes are directed at curtailing the abusage of the existing migration policy and aimed at plugging the loopholes with more stringent visa norms.

I would look at some of the changes as ‘planned changes’, such as the following that will come into effect from 1 July 2017 and later for the General Skilled Migration program:

  • The maximum age for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa to be reduced from 49 to 44.
  • The review and likely revision of occupation lists for the year 2017-18.
  • The revised criteria and occupations for the State Migration Plans.
  • Occupation Ceilings to be imposed by the DIBP for the year 2017-18.
  • Changes to the visa application fee schedule.
  • The abolishment of subclass 457 visa from March 2018 and replacement of a new temporary work visa called the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa with effect from March 2018.

The following changes with effect from 19 April 2017, however, were a bolt out of the blue, taking prospective migrants and visa aspirants by an unpleasant surprise:

  • An acute reduction in the list of occupations eligible for subclass 457 visa.
  • The replacement of the SOL with the MLTSSL [Medium and Long-term Strategic Skilled List].
  • The replacement of CSOL with of an STSOL [Short-term Skilled Occupation List] currently being referred to as the ‘Combined List’] which to be used for employer-sponsored and state nominated visas.
  • The dismissal of a whopping 200 occupations from the STSOL.
  • Classification of 24 Occupations as ‘rural occupations’ which would be available for subclass 489 visa only.
  • Changes in the eligibility criteria for the Australian citizenship.

Interestingly, amidst all the reshuffling, Australia’s Permanent Migration Programme for the year 2017-18 has been announced to remain at a ceiling of 190,000 places, as in the previous years. What this potentially means is a shift in the intake of eligible applicants, with perhaps more migration opportunities becoming available for applicants for subclass 489 and regional sponsorships.

As opposed to the mythical beliefs about the cut back in the migration opportunities in times to come, the new policy would be focussed on bringing in the skilled workforce for meeting the genuine skills shortages which continue to remain critical despite the inflow of skilled workers over the years.

Migrating to Australia becomes Easier

 

With the recent changes in the occupations list, prospective migrants have a great advantage now.

With the introduction of STSOL, future migration prospects for a number of candidates have upped. Since there is a Short-Term Skilled Occupation List now,  means that there will be timely revisions to occupations and ones which have been closed for a while might just open in the next update. This also means that new occupations could be listed in the very near future.  All major occupations are already a part of this list offering you a vital scope.

Additionally, the process of resettlement will be expedited. Your expected wait time for a final call on your visa is expected to be much less, saving you plenty more time to plan your move. Nominations too in this case are rapid.

However, if you are unsure, you are urged to finalize your migration plan soon as the changes to occupations are going to be quicker than before leaving us together with no opportunity to waste any time.

CAANWINGS being the most renowned name in Skilled Migration to Australia would assist you through the entire process of resettlement. In addition to your entire application progress being monitored by her, you will have the benefit of being represented by a migration consultant of unmatched repute and sound acumen for the Australian Immigration law.

You are encouraged to follow the links below for a glimpse into the experiences of our clients who are now happily settled in Australia on a permanent basis with families: http://www.caanwings.com/testimonials.html.

source: http://diamondsodhi.com/

 

Skilled Migration to Australia- Recent Changes in Migration Policy

18 April 2017, was a turbulent day for migration agents and visa applicants around the world, with the most unexpected news flashes related to subclass 457, Australian citizenship and General Skilled Migration Occupation Lists.

In my fifteen years of experience as a Migration Consultant for Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program, sudden changes have been a part of the immigration policy updates from time to time. We’ve witnessed the large scale changes like the Cap & Cease in 2010 when applications under review with the Australian Immigration Department, now known as the DIBP, were announced to a sudden suspension. The Trades Recognition Australia, too, expunged the TRA application policy returning all the applications under review in 2007.

The unforeseen and abrupt changes usually imply an overhaul in the immigration policy. More often than not, such changes are directed at curtailing the abusage of the existing migration policy and aimed at plugging the loopholes with more stringent visa norms.

I would look at some of the changes as ‘planned changes’, such as the following that will come into effect from 1 July 2017 and later for the General Skilled Migration program:

The maximum age for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa to be reduced from 49 to 44.
The review and likely revision of occupation lists for the year 2017-18.
The revised criteria and occupations for the State Migration Plans.
Occupation Ceilings to be imposed by the DIBP for the year 2017-18.
Changes to the visa application fee schedule.
The abolishment of subclass 457 visa from March 2018 and replacement of a new temporary work visa called the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa with effect from March 2018.

The following changes with effect from 19 April 2017, however, were a bolt out of the blue, taking prospective migrants and visa aspirants by an unpleasant surprise:

An acute reduction in the list of occupations eligible for subclass 457 visa.
The replacement of the SOL with the MLTSSL [Medium and Long-term Strategic Skilled List].
The replacement of CSOL with of an STSOL [Short-term Skilled Occupation List] currently being referred to as the ‘Combined List’] which to be used for employer-sponsored and state nominated visas.
The dismissal of a whopping 200 occupations from the STSOL.
Classification of 24 Occupations as ‘rural occupations’ which would be available for subclass 489 visa only.
Changes in the eligibility criteria for the Australian citizenship.

Interestingly, amidst all the reshuffling, Australia’s Permanent Migration Programme for the year 2017-18 has been announced to remain at a ceiling of 190,000 places, as in the previous years. What this potentially means is a shift in the intake of eligible applicants, with perhaps more migration opportunities becoming available for applicants for subclass 489 and regional sponsorships.

As opposed to the mythical beliefs about the cut back in the migration opportunities in times to come, the new policy would be focussed on bringing in the skilled workforce for meeting the genuine skills shortages which continue to remain critical despite the inflow of skilled workers over the years.

IELTS vs PTE

From Instant IELTS to PTE Instant Testing If you are looking for an English Test Preparation Coaching Centre you may have to walk through a plethora of Coaching Centers from the ones in Air Conditioned Multi-storied Buildings to cramped up rooms in STD cum Fax cum Photostat Shops.

And if you ever began to get lured by anything that says: “Get an IELTS Band of 6.0 in 30 Days” or “We guarantee 7 Bands in IELTS or Money Back” or even an advertisement with a couple of dozen IELTS achievers-Think Again.

Firstly, IELTS or any other English Test Coaching, for that matter, is not a monthly diet plan a center puts you on and you walk away with the desired score at the end of the month. Nor is the money ever back for coaching that promises of Money-Back-Guarantee. And above all, an array of pictures or names of those who scored 7 Bands or higher may be a few dozen out of the hundreds or thousands who did not get a score worthy of display. Or simply those may be the scores of people whose linguistic abilities may be far better than yours.

In this part of the world where I live- Punjab, amusingly IELTS is regarded more as a ‘qualification’ than an English proficiency test for those seeking to go abroad. Here a matrimonial resume with IELTS score is sure to get a serious re-consideration by the bride-seeker. For the youth at large, IELTS preparation is a “Must-Do” on their checklist of vocational chores even before they can think of a specific reason as to why they need to sit for the test.

The self-proclaimed band of Trainers on the other hand further adds to the miserable numbers. With functional English skill level, Trainers swarm the job market as un-certified Trainers [the “un” not being a serious concern at all] and those who manage a proficient level in the test themselves are regarded as “Gurus” who can bless each of the students with the “mantra” for 7 bands.

So, the ‘buzz-word’ is IELTS [and prizes for those who can pronounce it correctly]. The test has emerged more as a fad in the region for over a decade now. The only competition to the test has been the test itself. Students struggle to crack the code for scoring better through IELTS-IDP or IELTS-British Council. One even goes as far as driving down from Delhi or flying down from Melbourne to Jalandhar in pursuit of a favorable marking or a band score. Myths and fallacies cloud this increasingly popular test that has been riding its luck for years now.

In an interesting revelation made in an article by The Pie News, the UKBA found out in June 2012 that around a fifth of applicants were said to have insufficient English despite having an approved English language test certificate. The majority of those interviewed were from India and Pakistan. I would take the liberty to presume here that the approved English test referred to was none other than IELTS. That brought me to seriously wonder about the standardization of this standardized test.

Some test takers have been heard complaining about not getting a score in the “Speaking” and “Writing” section in consistence with the other two sections “Reading” and ‘Listening”. While a lot can be attributed to the individual factors, I do seem to trace a pattern involving the “human factor” in the assessment, as both the Speaking and Writing sections, can be subject to the discretionary approach of the examiner. With this in mind, would IELTS be regarded as a test for unbiased and fair evaluation?

Pearson Test of English [PTE] Academic seems to be parallel to the IELTS test offering students a choice now. The test promoters appear to be very enthusiastic about the improved efficiency in booking the test, flexibility in the availability of test dates, single sitting test completion, faster test results and much more. The promoters of IELTS, on the other hand, apprehend that the PTE test being computer based might be a dampening factor as basic computer literacy is a pre-requisite for taking the test. But with keyboard familiar youth [thanks to the chatting and texting frenzy on hi-fi keyboard based phones these days] I wonder if this would stand tall in its way. Whether the test is going to be as commercially viable and popular as the IELTS remains to be seen but what is evidently clear is that the test is expected to be a fairer measure of one’s English proficiency.

PTE Academic is a fun way of taking an English proficiency test and a break from the monotony of the IELTS test. The activity-based test is better equipped at assessing the proficiency of the test taker without the prejudices or intimidations of the examiners. Apart from the fringe benefits for the test -takers like lesser duration tasks, MCMAs, complimentary copies of test scores and a variety of the tasks, the test would perhaps be more reliable and free from ‘human biases’. PTE Academic certainly appears to be the improved version of other available standardized tests. The uniqueness of this test lies in it being able to effectively assess the communicative and enabling skills of the test takers while giving equal impetuous to oral fluency and written discourse rather than focusing merely on grammar, punctuation, vocabulary and spelling.

While PTE Academic is globally recognized by the DIAC, UKBA and the US the test is yet to gain certification for Canada and New Zealand. Nevertheless, a breakthrough has been made and the newly devised test is sure to give IELTS a serious run for the money

Australia Migration for Bank Managers

BANK & BRANCH MANAGERS OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS

FINANCIAL INSTITUTION BRANCH MANAGER
[ANZSCO: 149914]

Financial Institution Branch Manager has been a popular occupation for those working with Banks, Financial Institutions and even Bancassurance/Insurance companies for that matter, for Skilled Migration to Australia.

This occupation continues to remain on the Australia’s CSOL for the last many years, owing to the persistent demand for applicants at a managerial level within the financial sector. However, this occupation is not listed on the SOL, which means that applicants nominating this occupation must seek a nomination/sponsorship [under subclass 190 or 489] from a state that lists this occupation on their state migration plan, in order to be eligible to submit a visa application with the DIBP. The option of applying independently under subclass 189 or routeing this application through a relative sponsorship is not available for this occupation. Read More

Is it compulsory for the spouse to take IELTS for Skilled Migration to Australia?

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The spouse of the primary applicant, as well as any migrating dependent above the age of 18 years, must demonstrate they have at least functional level English proficiency as one of the requirements for the Skilled Migrant visa to be granted. Taking the IELTS or another acceptable English proficiency test is one of the ways of establishing the English proficiency where the applicant is expected to achieve a score of at least 4.5 bands in the test to prove Functional level English. Spouses and dependents of applicants who can demonstrate that they have completed a post-secondary level qualification or a degree with English as the medium of instruction and examination are understood to be having Functional level English and thereby exempted from the test. Another alternate to taking the test is, paying the Adult Migrant English program fee to the DIBP and taking the classes upon reaching Australia. Therefore, while having functional English proficiency is mandatory for the spouse and dependents of applications for Skilled Migration to Australia, taking IELTS/PTE/TOEFL or other acceptable English proficiency test may not be mandatory.