Working Abroad is one of the largest international recruitment exhibition companies and the department will present on Australia’s skilled migration policies and SkillSelect.
Our experts will talk about the different visa options available for living and working in Australia and will also be available to answer any questions about submitting an expression of interest through the SkillSelect website.
When: May 4-5 from 1.15 pm to 2pm each day
Where: Shangri-La Hotel, 11 Jalan Sultan Ismail, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
To register online or for more information, visit www.workingabroad.net/exhibitions-and-events/kuala-lumpur/
If you are unable to attend the Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur then you can learn more about SkillSelect by visiting www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/
Remember, there is no better time to express your interest through SkillSelect, so read about our top 10 tips here migrationblog.immi.gov.au/category/skills-australia-needs-events/
By any measure the size of our skilled migration program is impressive. Last year almost 130 000 skilled visa holders settled in Australia—accounting for more than 60 per cent of all permanent places. Taking a longer term view, almost one million skilled visas have been issued in the past decade.
In a country of only 22 million, numbers of this scale have wide-ranging impacts. Part of our remit is to look beyond these facts and figures to examine how well new migrants are settling into our society. One way we do this is through the Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants (CSAM), a survey the department commissions to report on the labour market integration of recently arrived migrants.
See: CSAM Fact Sheet
The good news is that latest findings from this survey are positive, indicating skilled migrants outperform the typical Australian.
For instance, at the six month stage, unemployment among skilled migrants sits at about five per cent, a figure on par with the national average. Given the dual challenges of competing for work in an unfamiliar labour market and adjusting to a new society, this is not a bad result.
An additional six months in Australia sees further improvement. Unemployment among the skilled cohort falls to about two per cent, the proportion in skilled work increases from 68 per cent to 73 per cent and average earnings increase by $4000per year.
Employment outcomes of skilled migrants and general population, six and 12 months after arrival/grant of visa
Moving from the general to the more specific, the CSAM also reveals three tiers of performance among different categories of skilled migrants.
In this category are onshore skilled independents, who are former international students who were accepted as skilled migrants at the end of their studies. Their relative youth makes them less competitive against older more experienced workers for well paying, highly skilled jobs. As a result many are either entering the professional labour market in entry level positions or are taking on less skilled work until something better comes along.
Those sponsored for skilled migration by state governments or family members fall into this group. As they are generally older and more experienced than onshore skilled independents they are more likely to be found in skilled work and earn $8000 more per year on average.
Given that their visa conditions require sponsorship in a full-time skilled job, it is reassuring, but hardly surprising that employer sponsored migrants appear in this category. Also featuring in this elite group are offshore independents. Their appearance is a pay-off for their qualifications, more extensive work experience, and the fact they don’t get any concessions in the General Skilled Migration points test, unlike state and family sponsored. These outcomes clearly support recent skilled migration reforms which gave emphasis to employer sponsored categories and highly skilled independent skilled migrants with workforce experience.
Employment outcomes by skill category at 12 months
Never let it rest…
While the CSAM provides evidence that support recent skilled migration reforms, it does reveal a diversity of employment outcomes. In a wider context the needs of the Australian labour market are continually changing and the global competition for skills is increasing. For these reasons there is an ongoing need to make continued use of this survey.
Until your good is better, and your better is your best
This will ensure that our skilled migration program and the range of policy tools such as the points test, the skilledoccupation List and SkillSelect which help in deciding its size and composition are delivering the workers Australia needs.
See:CSAM Cohorts 1 to 5 Report
This guest post was written by the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Standing in honour of all those who have migrated to Australia is the Welcome Wall. Located at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney, the 100 metre bronze panelled wall currently has more than 25 000 names inscribed on it, representing 206 countries.
It is a powerful monument and a place to record personal data, share stories and create Australian social history. It is a national project and people who have arrived anywhere in Australia or live anywhere in Australia can have their name added. The Brown Family and the Semathini Family have recounted their migration story and shared their reasons for wanting their names inscribed on the Welcome Wall.
Twice a year the museum unveils the new names with a special ceremony. It’s an emotional event where you can learn about the migrants and their stories. Last year, 61 former British child migrants from the Fairbridge Farm school who served in the Australian Defence Force were honoured. The isolated, rural Fairbridge Farm school operated child migration schemes for underprivileged British children near Molong in New South Wales from 1938 until 1974, during which time about 1000 boys and girls attended the school. Parents were persuaded to sign over legal guardianship of their children, on the promise of a better life in Australia.
Since 1945, more than seven million people have travelled across the seas to live in Australia—making it one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. In Australia today, one in four people was born overseas or has a parent who was born overseas.
The Welcome Wall tells stories of people who struggled against poverty and those who struck it rich. There are stories of involuntary migrants such as convicts from the First Fleet, unaccompanied migrant children in the Big Brother Movement, post-war refugees and migrants of more recent arrivals choosing modern Australia as a place to settle.
To find out more about the Welcome Wall visit welcomewall.anmm.gov.au
Did you know that Australia is the only country in the world that has a pre-migration skills assessment scheme?
A skills assessment helps you find out if you have the necessary skills and qualifications to work in your nominated occupation in Australia.
The skills assessment scheme has achieved encouraging results for skilled migrants in the Australian labour market. The Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants shows that more than 90 per cent of offshore skilled migrants who migrate with a satisfactory skills assessment are in skilled employment within six months of arriving in Australia.
If you want to apply for an Australian points tested skilled migration visa, you will need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be invited to apply for a visa.
Before you submit an EOI, you will have to obtain a satisfactory skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation. The Skilled Occupation List provides a complete list of the relevant assessing authority for each occupation on the list, as well as contact details for these authorities.
You should undertake a skills assessment before you submit your EOI so that you don’t spend your time and money on a visa application that may not meet the necessary requirements.
A skills assessment should not be confused with licensing or registration. A skills assessment helps you to determine whether your skills and experience is relevant to Australian standards in your nominated occupation while registration or licensing means you hold a license or registration and have permission from the relevant authority to practise in Australia.
If you wish to apply for an employer sponsored visa, you will need to provide evidence of Australian registration or licensing of your occupation to prove that you are eligible. For example, to work as a plumber in Australia, you must be registered with or obtain a licence from a local authority in the state or territory where you want to practise as a plumber. In some cases, a successful skills assessment is also required in addition to meeting the licensing and registration requirements.
You can check if your occupation requires registration or licensing by visiting the Australian skills recognition information page and selecting your occupation. The department does not give advice about skills assessments or registration and licensing requirements. We process visa applications according to the information and documents you provide.
For information about skills assessments, contact the relevant assessing authority. For questions relating to licensing and registration, contact the relevant registration body in your state or territory.
More information about the skills assessment process is available on the department’s website.
With the government soon to announce the 2012–13 Migration Program, it is timely to explain how the government plans for and determines the program’s size and composition.
There are more people wanting to migrate to Australia permanently than the country can accommodate. To manage the number of people granted the privilege to call Australia home, the government sets annual migration program planning levels (See Factsheet 20 on the department’s website for more information). The planning levels set the size and composition of the intake of permanent migrants and are informed by a number of factors that include:
- immediate and forecast long-term social, demographic and economic trends and government policies with respect to migration and population
- expected demand for skilled labour in key occupations and industries over the medium-to-long-term
- estimated demand for places within the family stream, in particular the partner and child categories
- the net gain of population through immigration and emigration as measured by what is known as net overseas migration.
Each year the department conducts nation-wide consultations to seek the views of the Australian public, state and territory governments, unions, peak industry groups, community groups and other key stakeholders. The input gathered during these consultations, as well as considerations arising out of the factors listed above are used to inform the department’s submission to government on the size and composition of the Migration Program for the following year.
Keep an eye out for part two of this blog, which will elaborate on the important role permanent migration has played in the growth and evolution of Australian society, as well as provide an overview of the 2012–13 Migration Program.
Every year the Australian Government sets the number of places, otherwise known as planning levels, in the permanent migration program. The number of places allocated takes into account the current economic climate and feedback from consultations with the Australian community.
Within the skill stream of the permanent migration program, there are a number of different visa categories targeted to meet the diverse needs of Australia’s labour market. The government also allocates annually a set number of visa places to each of the following categories:
- skilled independent
- skilled Australian sponsored
- employer sponsored, and
- state and territory sponsored
The planning levels can be varied by the government in response to economic and other factors. Delivering the migration program requires careful management. This is where it’s important to understand the relationship between the planning levels and priority processing arrangements for skilled migration visa applications.
Priority processing is a tool, available to government, to assist managing the order in which applications are granted. We have blogged previously about the government’s priority processing direction, where visa applications are placed in one of five priority processing groups.
Applications in priority group 1 are allocated before applications in priority group 2, and so on, until the set planning level for each specific skilled visa category is met.
In the situation where set annual planning levels are met in a particular skilled migration category within a 12 month period, the department is obliged to temporarily suspend allocating applications in this category until the next program year, irrespective of where applicants are placed in the priority processing direction.
For example, in this (2011-2012) program year there has been a lower number of applications lodged under a state migration plan (priority group 3) than anticipated when government originally set the planning levels. To meet the set levels for this part of the program we have allocated some of the priority group 5 applications in greater numbers.
These are the priority group 5 applications that were lodged by onshore and offshore applicants who were nominated by a state or territory government before state migration plans were introduced. These applications are placed in priority group 5 as they do not have a nominated occupation on the skilled occupation list.
It may also be necessary to limit the allocation of visa applications in the skilled Australian sponsored categories this program year, because there are only a few places remaining in this visa category. We will continue to update the allocation dates for skilled visa applications on the department’s website and encourage applicants to regularly check the page, which is updated fortnightly. We have also updated information on our website about the processing of priority group 5 applications.
If you have any questions or comments please post below.
New web page for Student visa holders who were affected by the skilled migration reforms announced on 8 February 2010.
There is a new web page for current and former Student visa holders who held a Student visa on
8 February 2010, when the Australian Government announced the skilled migration reforms.
The new web page can be found here.
Increasingly in the years leading up to the reforms, the composition of the skilled migration program was being determined by those who wished to apply, rather than by labour market demand. A series of reforms were necessary to reposition the program as demand driven and able to respond better to Australia’s skilled labour needs.
One of the key changes was the withdrawal of the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) and the introduction of a new Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The SOL is a list of occupations that are eligible for independent, or unsponsored, skilled migration. The new SOL consists of 192 occupations, down from more than 400 on the old list, and delivers a skilled migration program that is tightly focused on high value skills that will assist in addressing Australia’s medium to long term skill needs.
When these reforms were announced, the Australian Government also announced generous transitional arrangements for those who held Student visas when the changes were announced. The new web page includes information about these transitional arrangements, as well as other information about extending a Student visa, and also information about the skilled migration program. We plan to expand the page with further information in the coming months.
It is important for students to be aware that the Student visa program and the skilled migration program serve different purposes. A Student visa allows a person to come to Australia and study for a specified period. On the other hand, the skilled migration program has an economic focus. It is designed to meet the needs of the Australian labour market and strengthen the whole economy. Because of this, the requirements for skilled migration may change depending on the economic circumstances of the time, and that is why students should study a course based on their academic interests, rather than to achieve a particular migration outcome.
Student visas are temporary visas, so students should be mindful of their visa expiry date so they can consider their options early. It takes time to apply for another visa, and if a person is unable to obtain another visa they must depart Australia before their Student visa expires. There can be serious consequences for overstaying a Student visa and becoming unlawful, including being unable to return to Australia for up to three years.
Some students might be thinking about lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect when their student visa expires. An EOI is not the same as a visa application. It is an indication that a person would like to apply for a skilled migration visa, rather than an application itself. A Bridging visa will not be granted after submitting an EOI. If a person is not invited to apply for a skilled migration visa before their existing visa expires, they will need to obtain another visa or depart Australia.
Changes to partner visas
From 1 January 2012, the discretionary Assurance of Support (AoS) requirement was removed from partner visas. This change complemented other 1 January amendments to social security legislation that affect eligibility for welfare payments.
The change means that an AoS will not be required for partner visa applications made on or after 1 January. The change also applies to any partner visa applications still before the department or the Migration Review Tribunal on or after 1 January.
The amendments affect the following visa subclasses:
Partner temporary visa (subclass 309)
Partner permanent visa (subclass 100)
Partner temporary visa (subclass 820)
Partner permanent visa (subclass 801)
Prospective Marriage visa (subclass 300).
Information for those who have already had an AoS accepted by the Department of Human Services (DHS)
The Department of Human Services (DHS) is responsible for administering the AoS program. If you would like more information about the status of an AoS that was accepted by DHS prior to 1 January, please contact DHS through their AoS enquiry line on 132 850.
DHS advises the AoS will be enforced by DHS in situations where the AoS affected partner visa was granted prior to 1 January. DHS has advised that in all other partner visa cases, the AoS will be cancelled.
Further information about the AoS amendments are available on our website at: www.immi.gov.au/legislation/amendments/2012/120101/lc01012012-01.htm
Additional information about the AoS is available on DHS’ website at: www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/Centrelink/assurance-of-support
Hello, happy New Year and thanks for your interest in migration. For those of you who have engaged with us previously, welcome to a slightly changed Migration Blog. As some may remember, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) first entered the blogosphere in June 2011, with the Skilled Migration Blog.
After great success over the past seven months, we’ve decided to expand the blog to include a much broader range of topics relating to migration. Family, Students, Working Holiday Makers as well as a host of other visa categories are very important parts of the overall Migration Program and will be explored on these pages in the future. We will also take the opportunity at various times to publish some of our research. Including the small name change, we’ve also changed our domain to: http://migrationblog.immi.gov.au
I encourage you to engage with blog posts. Ask questions and share content if you find the information interesting and informative. Hopefully our blog continues to grow and provide another avenue for anyone interested in migration to participate.
Cheers Peter Speldewinde, Acting First Assistant Secretary, Migration and Visa Policy Division
In August we published information on this blog about the processing of general skilled migration applications, and new information available on the department’s website to assist applicants.
The new webpage has been very popular, and it’s great to see it being used by people to check the progress of their visa applications.
That earlier post also explained why skilled migration applications are processed in a particular order (in technical terms, the order set by a Ministerial Direction on processing priority) and that we expected to see progress for applicants who had been waiting the longest for their visas to be processed.
Today’s update is to let you know that shortly we will begin to allocate applications in the Priority Group 5 category to case officers. The oldest applications made in Australia will be processed before those made outside of Australia. We have published detailed information about how the processing of these applications will happen on our website.
While we can’t tell every applicant exactly when their case will be allocated, this progress is positive news for all applicants. When your application is allocated to a case officer, the department will contact you. If you haven’t heard from us, you should keep checking the department’s website for updates to the allocation dates for general skilled migration visas.
The number of Priority Group 5 applications processed will depend on how many applications are lodged in higher priority groups and other factors including any change in the size of the Migration Program, so we can’t give you an exact timeframe when all applications will be processed.
Please continue to check the department’s website for information about the date of lodgement that applications are currently being allocated to case officers.