Migration Expert Australia has clarified new sweeping changes to the skilled migration program announced by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship on 8 February 2010 on their website:
The major changes announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans include:
– An immediate end to the Migration Occupations on Demand List (MODL);
– The scrapping of the Critical Skills list (CSL) to be implemented in April or May 2010;
– A new Skilled Occupation List (SOL), which is expected to be a “cut-down” list for only the most urgent occupations to be released in mid 2010;
– Review of the points test system of evaluating work visa applications; and
– Cancellation and refund of off-shore work visa applications made before September 2007.
The most pressing concern for many visa applicants is the “purging” of off-shore visa applications made prior to September 2007. There are approximately 20,000 people who will have lodged their work visa application before September 2007, who will now lose that application and be required to start the process again from the beginning, provided they are able to meet the current requirements.
The Australian Government has promised to refund the visa application fees for all applications affected by this particular change, though it provides small comfort for those people who have been waiting 3 years or more for an outcome to their application.
The removal of the MODL is another immediate change that will impact those that are currently making their work visa application. Previously, people with an occupation on the MODL received an additional 15 points towards their points-based assessment. People preparing their work visa applications currently will need to re-assess their ability to meet the required pass mark in order to lodge a valid application.
The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) have not yet revealed how visa applications lodged after February 8, and before the new SOL list is released, will be handled. Migration Expert cautions prospective visa applicants against making assumptions in regards to how and when their visa applications will be handled if lodging before the new SOL is introduced.
Other changes such as the review of the points system, and the new SOL are scheduled for later in the year, and DIAC are yet to provide specific information in relation to the changes. There is a potential that many more applications could be affected by these changes.
Migration Expert Australia will provide clients with additional information as DIAC releases further details. Anyone with questions or concerns about their work visa to Australia is encouraged to arrange a consultation with our Registered Australian Immigration Consultants.
For further information and advice on visas and travelling or migrating to Australia, contact Migration Expert by visiting http://www.migrationexpert.com/australia
For information about work visas to Australia and the Online Work Visa Eligibility Assessment, please visit http://www.migrationexpert.com/australia/visa/work_visa_australia.asp
About Migration Expert:
Migration Expert is an online provider of visa and immigration advice and services. The Company has been operating since 2002 when it began its Australian visa services and has since helped people from all over the world apply for visas to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.