Reforms to the subclass 457 visa commenced on 1 July.
How will the changes affect Australian businesses?
The changes will not adversely affect the majority of employers who are using the program appropriately. The changes will, however, strengthen the government’s capacity to identify and prevent employer practices that are not in keeping with the purpose of the subclass 457 program.
If the department has any concerns that an employer is not committed to training Australians, or a nominated position may not be genuine, then they may be requested to provide additional justification before a sponsorship or nomination can be approved.
Sponsors are also required to understand their new obligations.
How will the changes affect current subclass 457 visa holders?
There will be no adverse effects on existing visa holders. However, visa holders should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements if they plan to change employment, change their occupation or seek a further subclass 457 visa.
How will the changes affect subclass 457 visa applicants?
All subclass 457 visa applications lodged before 1 July 2013 but not finalised, will be subject to the new visa requirements. Your case officer will request further information if required.
All subclass 457 visa applications that are lodged after 1 July 2013 will be subject to the new visa requirements. The majority of subclass 457 visa applicants will not be affected by the changes.
In some circumstances further evidence to demonstrate claims for a subclass 457 visa may be required. Visa applicants should note the changes to the English language and skills requirements.
Are there changes to how subclass 457 applications can be lodged?
All subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications must now be lodged online. Paper applications are no longer accepted.
For more information on the changes please visit the department’s website.
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.
Last weekend, the department attended the
Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur and gave residents the opportunity to speak to our experts about migrating to Australian on a skilled visa. This opportunity presents itself again, specifically to anyone who lives in Singapore as DIAC will attend the expo in Singapore on May 11-12.
Our experts will be available to talk to you throughout the day about the different visa options available for living and working in Australia. They will also answer any questions about submitting an expression of interest through the SkillSelect website and will present each day from 1.15–2.00 pm.
When: May 11-12, 11.00 am to 4.00 pm
Where: Traders Hotel Singapore, 1A Cuscaden Road, Singapore
To register online or for more information, visit www.Workingabroad.net/exhibitions-and-events/singapore/
The Working Abroad Expo in Kuala Lumpur saw around 1000 attendees over the weekend of May 4-5. Many attendees found the information presented by our experts to be very valuable.
If you are unable to attend the expo in Singapore 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:
We recently invited people who ‘like’ us on Facebook to take part in a live chat about SkillSelect.
The SkillSelect team spent an hour on the event page answering over 100 questions and engaging with 1188 users, proving to be our busiest live chat so far. Posts about the live chat reached a further 15 632 people, more than half our audience on Facebook.
There were many great questions asked during the live SkillSelect chat. So for those of you who have not yet liked our Facebook page, we have provided a quick snapshot of some of the questions raised and our answers.
Q. If I get exactly 60 points for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, how long does it take for my Expression of Interested (EOI) to be approved (for invitation)?
A. Invitation rounds are currently held twice a month. If you have 60 points at the moment, then you stand a good chance of being invited in the next couple of rounds provided your occupation has not reached its yearly invitation ceiling.
Q. What does it mean by Associate Degree or Advanced Diploma? Are they the same as a Bachelor degree?
A. You should contact your assessing authority and ask them to confirm if your qualifications are of the recognised standard to an Australian Bachelor Degree. You may also find the following post on the SkillSelect Technical Support site useful regarding claiming points for educational qualifications, visit https://skillselect.govspace.gov.au/2013/03/07/points-for-educational-qualification/
Q. Is there any change taking place to the Skilled Occupation List in July 2013?
A. The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is reviewed annually. The current SOL was released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in June 2012 following advice from the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency. Consultation for the development of the 2013 SOL commenced in October/November 2012. The 2013 SOL is expected to be released by DIAC in mid-2013 and is expected to come into effect from 1 July 2013.
Q. Is there a minimum employment experience threshold needed to apply for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa through SkillSelect?
A. There is no minimum employment experience threshold for this visa type. However, some assessing authorities may require a certain amount of employment experience to achieve a suitable skills assessment. If you have skilled employment experience, you can use this to increase your points in the points test.
Q. Is it possible for SkillSelect to send an acknowledgement automatically when medical reports are accepted/ assessed successfully?
A. SkillSelect and e-Visa are two separate systems and processes. SkillSelect is the database for selecting intending migrants for an invitation and e-Visa is where you lodge your visa. If you want to find out about your medical results you should contact your case officer or send an enquiry through our contacts page on the website, www.immi.gov.au
Q. Why do applicants (from non-English countries) need 7 in each band for IELTS?
A. For points tested visas it is a threshold requirement that a person have at least ‘competent English’, which is a minimum of six in each of the four components of the IELTS test.
To be awarded points for higher English language ability all applicants, regardless of citizenship, must demonstrate their level of competency by sitting an English language test such as IELTS as proof of their language competency.
As well, some skills assessing authorities require higher English language levels for certain occupations. You can confirm this with your relevant assessing authority.
More questions and responses are available on the department’s Facebook live chat page.
We’d like to hear from you on what topic you would most like to read from us next. Complete the poll below andthe topic with the highest number of responses will be the feature of our next post. Stay tuned!
Which of the following topics would you like to hear more about in our next blog?
- English language requirements (13%, 36 Votes)
- Skills assessments (14%, 40 Votes)
- How State and Territory Government nomination works in SkillSelect (25%, 70 Votes)
- Employment and qualifications in SkillSelect (27%, 77 Votes)
- EOI information and statistics (21%, 59 Votes)
Total Voters: 281
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.
We’re always trying new ways of communicating with the public about our migration programs. So this week our 457 policy team is opening up the migration blog to any questions you have about the 457 visa and temporary skilled migration to Australia.
While we can’t provide advice about individual cases, any other questions about the program no matter how specific or broad are welcome.
Here are some examples to stimulate ideas:
- Why do we have temporary migration to Australia?
- How do market rates work?
- What happens if I get fired while on a 457 visa?
- Why do I need to get health insurance while on a 457 visa?
We are looking forward to your questions.
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