Did you know the department has a new website?
The new website is available at the same address at immi.gov.au and contains all the information you need for visiting, studying or migrating to Australia.
The new site includes:
- a ‘Find a Visa’ tool to search for the visa that best suits you
- webpages for each Australian visa, with lodgement options, pricing, conditions, entitlements and eligibility on a single page
Videos on how to use the online tools are also available. Here is a video for students.
There is also a video about migrating to Australia.
So you can obtain information at a time and place convenient to you, we have made the site accessible for smart phone and tablet users.
If you have links or bookmarks for the previous site, you will be redirected to the new site. These redirects are temporary and we ask that you update any links or bookmarks as soon as you can.
You might be interested to know our 2012–13 annual report has been published and is available online. The annual report features information about the work of the department, and includes a section on this very blog! Page 12 onwards provides a top-level summary of Australia’s major achievements relating to migration.
One achievement worth mentioning was the successful delivery of the 2012–13 migration programme, which delivered an outcome of 190 000 places—exactly on target with planning levels and illustrating effective programme management and service delivery.
Delivering a migration programme with such precision is a great accomplishment and in practical terms you may be interested in how this is achieved. A significant amount of programme planning and management is involved to ensure that resources are allocated throughout the department to deliver each component of the migration programme.
In tandem with this, departmental staff in six offices throughout Australia and in 42 offices overseas balance priorities to ensure a visa is granted for every place available in the programme. The complexities involved can’t be overstated and demonstrate the department’s strong programme management and service delivery capabilities.
The SOL is a really useful tool for giving people who want to migrate to Australia a clear idea of just what skills are in short supply here over the next three to five years. You can check if your skills are needed in Australia by referring to the current list on the department’s website.
What is the SOL and what does it do?
The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is a list of skilled occupations that deliver high value skills needed by the Australian economy. The SOL only applies to independent, that is non-employer sponsored or State/Territory government nominated skilled migration. It aims to meet medium- to long-term skills needs of high value occupations, rather than immediate short term shortages. This means your occupation must be on the SOL if you are applying for:
• points based skilled migration independently (not nominated by a State or Territory government);
• Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate visa in the graduate work stream); or
• family sponsored stream of the Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa.
Who updates it, and how?
Every year, the SOL is reviewed and re-examined by the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) and as a result of this review, the SOL is updated on 1 July. When AWPA reviews the SOL, it uses a combination of macro-economic data, labour market data and consultations with relevant industry bodies to identify occupations where independent skilled migration is a sensible approach to help ensure a good match between supply and demand for skills in the medium and longer term. This year’s review included submissions from unions, peak industry associations, industry skills councils and a range of professional associations.
When providing advice as to what occupations should be included on the SOL, AWPA takes into account factors such as an occupation’s skill level, the lead time necessary to develop the required skills, whether the skills are deployed for the use intended and the economic impacts of a skills shortage in particular occupations.
AWPA advised the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship on the 2013 SOL, including some changes, which you can see here
Are there options available if my Nominated Occupation isn’t on the SOL?
If you don’t have an occupation on the SOL, you may be eligible for State and Territory nomination or employer sponsorship. Employers, as well as States and Territory governments, have access to a wider range of occupations on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). We’ll have a look at the CSOL in my next blog post.
More than 2000 residents attended the recent Working Abroad expo in Singapore, with DIAC presentation sessions proving popular throughout. Many Singapore residents spoke to our experts about migrating to Australia on skilled visas and submitting expressions of interest through SkillSelect.
There was a variety of nationalities attending the May 11-12 expo, including both Singaporeans and an array of third party nationals. Most residents who attended were nursing, engineering and IT professionals. Migrants who hold such professions are highly sought after as they are able to assist in filling skill shortages in the Australian labour market.
Overall, the expo was a success for the department, with staff helping highly skilled potential migrants better understand the SkillSelect process and the options available for skilled migration.
There has never been a better time for eligible skilled migrants to come to Australia though SkillSelect, with short processing times for successful applicants.
To find out if your occupation is in demand, check out the SOL/CSOL on: www.immi.gov.au/skilled/sol/
If you have an occupation Australia needs and you can meet the visa requirements, log into SkillSelect today and tell us about yourself and what you can bring to Australia’s workplace at: www.skillselect.gov.au.
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.