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.
Established in 1999 between the governments of Australia and China, the ADS scheme is a bilateral tourism arrangement which provides streamlined travel opportunities for Chinese tourists to undertake leisure travel in groups to Australia.
ADS continues to be popular for first-time Chinese travellers to Australia and record numbers are using the scheme. In 2012–13, a total of 163 894 tourists travelled to Australia under the scheme, an increase of 19 per cent from the previous program year.
China is Australia’s second largest, and fastest growing, tourism market. More than 411 000 tourist visa applications were lodged by Chinese citizens in 2012–13, a 22 per cent increase from 2011–12.
Calling all students
Have you recently completed an English language test?
If so, we’d like to hear from you.
Fill in our short survey and let us know about your recent experience with English language tests. You can find the survey here www.surveymonkey.com/s/RG83W23 If you have any difficulties with the link please copy and paste it into your web browser.
Your feedback is important to us and will help inform the department’s review of its expanded English language testing arrangements for students.
The survey will remain open until 5pm AEST 20 May 2013.
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/
Australian visa holders are giving employers, education providers and other third parties evidence of their visa status quicker and easier thanks to VEVO Email— a new tool that enables visa holders to email their details to a third party directly from VEVO.
Visa Entitlement Verification Online or VEVO is a free online service that gives visa holders, employers and other registered organisations access to visa entitlements and status information 24 hours a day.
Australian authorities no longer require visa holders to have a visa label in their passport, with VEVO now the preferred method for checking work, study and residence entitlements of visa holders.
VEVO helps millions of visa holders and organisations find and check visa details every year. And now that most visa holders need to pay a visa evidence charge for a printed visa label, more and more people are logging on to VEVO. This year we have seen a 36 per cent rise in visa holders using VEVO to check their entitlements.
Throughout this year, we are improving VEVO so it continues to meet the needs of visa holders and organisations, quickly and effectively. In March 2013, in addition to introducing VEVO Email, we made changes that allow users to see if a visa holder is currently in Australia or overseas. This is important because entitlements for the holders of some visas, such as student visas, can change according to whether they are in Australia, or yet to enter the country.
Following user feedback, we’ve also extended the VEVO password expiry time from 28 to 90 days, which will help users keep track of their password.
Later in the year, organisational users will also be able to manage their own VEVO account, making it easier for them to use VEVO at any time, as they will no longer need to wait for service centre support during standard office hours.
Watch our latest video about checking your details using VEVO.
Visit VEVO online to find out how VEVO can help you.
VEVO—anywhere, anytime, online.
Choosing a visitor visa to suit your circumstances will become easier from March 23, with the introduction of changes that are part of the Australian Government’s visa simplification and deregulation project.
Visas that will no longer be available from March 23 are:
- Business (Short Stay) (subclass 456) visa
- Sponsored Business Visitor (Short Stay) (subclass 459) visa
- Tourist visa (subclass 676) visa
- Sponsored Family Visitor (subclass 679) visa
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (Business—Long Validity) (subclass 956) visa
- ETA (Business—Short Validity) (subclass 977) visa
- ETA (Visitor) (subclass 976) visa
- Medical Treatment visa (Short Stay) (subclass 675) visa
- Medical Treatment visa (Long Stay) (subclass 685) visa
People who would have previously applied for one of the above visas can choose from the new simplified visitor visa group:
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400) visa
- Visitor (subclass 600) visa
- Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) (subclass 601) visa
- Medical Treatment (subclass 602) visa
- eVisitor (subclass 651) visa
These changes have not removed pathways. If an applicant is genuinely eligible for a visitor visa before March 23, they will remain eligible for a simplified visa after that date.
As part of these changes, there is now a clearer separation between work and business visitor activities. The new Visitor (subclass 600) visa, the ETA (subclass 601) visa and the eVisitor (subclass 651) visa will have a ‘no work’ component but will allow business visitor activities to be undertaken such as:
- making a general business or employment enquiry
- investigating, negotiating, entering into, or reviewing a business contract
- an activity carried out as part of an official government-to-government visit
- participating in a conference, trade fair or seminar in Australia unless the person is being paid by an organiser for participation.
A business visitor cannot undertake work for an organisation or person based in Australia and cannot sell goods or services directly to the general public.
Transitional arrangements for existing visa holders
If you are a holder of one of the existing visas, you do not need to do anything. Your current visa will remain valid until the visa expiry date. Current visa holders can check their visa expiry date using VEVO.
For more information see: www.immi.gov.au/visas/visitor-visa/
International Women’s Day is celebrated around the globe on March 8 every year. The day first emerged from the activities of labour movements at the turn of the 20th century in North America and across Europe. Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike.
Unfortunately, across the globe, many women are still disadvantaged and discriminated against as a result of their gender. We know that in many countries women and girls are still less likely to receive a good education or proper healthcare and are more likely to be unemployed and to live in poverty.
Around the world, women continue to experience violence, especially at home. UN Women estimates that at least one in three women around the world has been beaten or abused in their lifetime. Days such as IWD are not only a celebration of the improvements in women’s rights, but also a sobering reminder that life for some women is clouded by violence or inequality.
Recently, the department made some positive changes to further support women who are migrating to Australia as a partner but have been victims of family violence. Under the new arrangements, applicants are able to provide a wider range of more accessible evidence, lessening the burden for this vulnerable group.
The department also offers visas to some of the world’s most vulnerable women through the woman at risk subclass as part of the humanitarian program. This visa gives women and their children who are in danger of victimisation, harassment or serious abuse because of their gender, a chance to migrate and participate in a strong society which values the safety, education and equality of women.
New post-study work arrangements are being introduced in early 2013 for eligible international students who graduate with an Australian Bachelor’s, Master’s or a Doctoral degree.
The new post-study work arrangements will be built as an additional stream in the existing temporary skilled graduate (subclass 485) visa. The subclass 485 currently allows international students who graduate with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation that is in demand to remain in Australia for an additional 18 months.
From early 2013, the temporary skilled graduate (subclass 485) visa will be renamed the temporary graduate (subclass 485) visa. You may apply for the temporary graduate visa through either the new post-study work stream (the new arrangements) or the graduate work stream (the existing subclass 485 arrangements) provided you meet the specific eligibility requirements.
The post-study work stream of the subclass 485 will be for international students who lodged their first student visa application after the introduction of the genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE) on 5 November 2011. If you do not meet this requirement, you may still be eligible for a temporary graduate visa through the graduate work stream.
The introduction of new post-study work arrangements for degree level graduates in Australia was a key recommendation of the Strategic review of the student visa program 2011, conducted by the Hon Michael Knight AO.
We have recently published updated information on our website with details about how the new arrangements will work and what the particular eligibility requirements will be. You can view this information here.
More important information about the new post-study work stream of the subclass 485:
To be eligible for the new post-study work arrangements, you must graduate from an Australian educational institution with a Bachelor’s, Master’s and/or Doctoral degree. You may qualify for the new arrangements using any combination of eligible degree level qualifications.
The study used to complete this qualification must have been at Bachelor level and above and must meet the Australian study requirement.
The Australian study requirement
Regardless of whether you are applying under the new post-study work stream or the graduate work stream, you must meet the Australian study requirement in the six months before making your subclass 485 application. The Australian study requirement is defined as study in Australia in a registered course for a period of at least two academic years. The course must be conducted in English and must be completed in no less than 16 calendar months.
We have developed a fact sheet with information on how the Australian study requirement is assessed for the purposes of applying for a temporary graduate visa. This new fact sheet can be found here.
Are the new arrangements linked to skilled migration?
The new arrangements are not linked to skilled migration and do not provide a pathway to permanent residence. Therefore applicants under the new post-study work stream will not be required to nominate a skilled occupation or submit a skills assessment. Applicants under the graduate work stream of the subclass 485 will still be required to nominate a skilled occupation and submit a suitable skills assessment.
It is important to note that student visas and the graduate work visa are temporary visas and there is no guarantee that, on the basis of having held one of these visas, you will meet the requirements for grant of another visa.
Under the new post-study work arrangements, the duration of the subclass 485 visa you are granted will depend on the qualification that you have used to qualify for the arrangements.
Graduates who have completed a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s by coursework degree or Master’s extended degree may be eligible to apply for a two year post-study work visa. Graduates who have completed a Master’s by research degree or a Doctorate may be eligible to apply for a three or four year post-study work visa respectively.
Other graduates may be eligible to apply for an 18 month subclass 485 visa through the graduate work stream.
This guest post was written by the Attorney-General’s Department.
Are you travelling to Australia this summer? Did you know that emergency services in Australia have an emergency telephone warning system they may use to warn people if there is a disaster nearby?
Emergency Alert sends voice warnings to landline telephones and SMS text warnings to mobile phones based on the physical address of the owner and the location of some mobile phones at the time of an emergency.
If you are an international visitor to Australia (using global roaming on your phone) and you’re in an area threatened by a bushfire, cyclone, flood, or any other kind of disaster, you may receive a telephone warning from emergency services advising you of the emergency and what you should do next. This will depend on the networks with which your mobile phone provider is affiliated in Australia.
Do not rely solely on receiving a telephone warning—emergency services in Australia have a number of ways to warn communities of a disaster, and an Emergency Alert warning may not always be used. Be aware of conditions and seek further information from radio, TV, and emergency services websites.
Remember, for urgent Police, Fire or Ambulance assistance in a life threatening or emergency situation, call Triple Zero (000).
Further information about Emergency Alert, including fact sheets and DVD videos in other languages, is available from www.emergencyalert.gov.au
We’ve recently published the latest working holiday maker visa program report. The report contains interesting background information about the program and up-to-date statistics on the numbers of visas granted both by year and country of citizenship as well as statistics about the total number of visa holders in Australia.
As at 30 June 2012, there were 132 107 Working Holiday visa holders in Australia, which represents a 22.3 per cent increase since the previous program year.You can also find the latest visa grant statistics about the new Work and Holiday arrangement with Argentina.
The Migration and Visa Policy Division (which publishes this blog) produces a wide range of regular reports. In addition to the reports available for the 457 program, there are now regular publications available for the student visa program, and the June 2012 visitor visa program quarterly report is now published.
Aside from temporary visas, the department produces a variety of publications on different aspects of the work we do and the services we provide. For more information check our website at www.immi.gov.au/media/publications.htm