Australia Immigration Updates July 2010

Australia Immigration Update July 2010

The suspension on a number of visa classes was lifted from 1 July 2010; Applications can now be made again under Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent, Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored, Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored.

Department of Immigration has defined new Australian General Skilled Migration Occupation Lists as follows:

General Skilled Migration Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL)

Applicants must have a nominated occupation which is on the SOL applicable to their circumstances at the time they apply:

  • the SOL in existence prior to 1 July 2010 in ASCO code (schedule 1) – applies only to General Skilled Migration (GSM) applicants who lodged their application prior to 1 July 2010.
    See: Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 1 (197KB PDF file)
  • the SOL in existence prior to 1 July 2010 in ANZSCO code (schedule 2) – applies to GSM applicants who are eligible for transitional arrangements and who lodge their application before 1 January 2013.
    See: Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 2 (169KB PDF file)
  • the State and Territory SOL (schedule 4 ) – relevant only for GSM applicants who are nominated by a State or Territory government agency under a State Migration Plan.
    See: Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 4 (236KB PDF file)

Australia immigration numbers have changed from the previous 400 occupations to the current 183 occupations. Australian Immigration Minister Chris Evans says that that the changes will help provide the skilled workers needed by the Australian. The Australia Government says that the list includes managerial, professional, technical and trade occupations. Australian Immigration Minister Evans also had the following to say:

‘The government’s reforms to the skilled migration program are delivering the workers our economy need to the regions where there is real demand.’

‘We have already seen the rate of employer and state-sponsored skilled migrants increase from 29 per cent in 2007–08 to 55 per cent this current year.

‘And the latest figures illustrate businesses are already using the new system to recruit the skilled workers they need to meet demands in Western Australia and Queensland.’

Western Australia and Queensland has seen increases in the percentage share of skilled migrants emigrating to these particular states:

  • 12 per cent of permanent immigrants emigrated to Western Australia in 2004–05. In the period 2008–09 it had gone up to 16 percent.
  • There has also been an increase in the percentage of skilled workers migrating to Western Australia under the employer sponsored program. The percentages have gone up from 16 percent in 2007–08 to 24 percent in 2008-09.
  • Immigration to Queensland increased from 17 per cent in 2004–05 to 20 per cent in the period 2008–09.

Australian Immigration Minister Evans also had the following to say:

‘The government’s reforms are not just bringing in the skilled migrants Australia actually needs but the demand-driven focus means migrants are increasingly working in the occupations and regions that will most benefit the Australian economy.’

‘The Labor Government recognises the special needs of the growing Western Australia and Queensland economies. The reforms to the skilled migration program are delivering tangible results for employers both big and small.’

Australian Immigration has transitional arrangements that may benefit former and current overseas students at the time the changes were announced on 8 February 2010. If you do not come under the transitional arrangements you will need to apply under the independent immigration scheme or on the basis of employer nomination.

For more details on latest developments and updates on Australia’s immigration policies check the Department of Immigration website at

Australian Employer Sponsored Visas

Australian Employer Sponsored Visas – Proposed Changes

Australia is proposing changes to immigration laws to be able to limit certain occupations    Currently there are no specific limits on particular occupations and the new Act is not in force.

See the full details below.

Employer Sponsored Workers

Engineers in new Australian SOL

The new Australian Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been released on 17 May 2010.

The new SOL list is proposed to take effect from 1 July 2010.

Minister’s announcement of new Skilled Occupations List – 17 May

On 17 May 2010, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced the list of occupations included in the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL). The introduction of a new list of occupations is part of a package of reforms that reflects the Government’s commitment to a labour market demand-driven Skilled Migration Program.

Go to the link below to download a copy of the new SOL and fact sheets providing details and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

The new list is specific to the general skilled migration (GSM) program and does not apply to employer-sponsored permanent or temporary visas. People with occupations not on the new SOL may be eligible for other migration visas, such as employer or state/territory sponsorship.

The fact sheets include special provisions which current applicants should read.


Contact a licensed migration agent for Australian immigration advice concerning visas.

Australian Visa Applications Stopped Temporarily

Applications for Australian general skilled migration (GSM) visas in some subclasses have been stopped temporarily.

The following announcement was made on May 7, 2010

Temporary suspension of Certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) Applications (Subclasses 175, 176 and 475 Only)

The Australian Government has decided to temporarily suspend the acceptance of certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applications. This temporary measure will begin on 8 May 2010 and is expected to remain in effect until the end of 30 June 2010.

The temporary suspension applies only to primary (main) applicants for the following visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent (Migrant) visa
  • Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) visa
  • Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa.

This means you cannot apply for these subclasses of visas only from now to 30 June 2010.

This temporary suspension of applications will allow the introduction of changes to immigration laws and the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

Go to the link below to download fact sheets providing details and answers to Frequently Asked Questions.



Contact a licensed migration agent for immigration advice.

People considering applying for Australian general skilled migration (GSM) visas, in the subclasses that have been stopped temporarily, should delay any preparation steps which involve paying money.

New Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – MODL and CSL out…

A streamlined Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will be part of the changes to the Australian skilled migration program. The Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) is to be scrapped immediately and the Critical Skills List (CSL) phased out…
Here is the statement for the Australian Minister of Immigration Chris Evans.

Migration reforms to deliver Australia’s skills needs

Monday, 8 February 2010

The Rudd Government is reforming the permanent skilled migration program to ensure it is more responsive to the needs of industry and employers and better addresses the nation’s future skill needs.

The reforms will deliver a demand rather than a supply driven skilled migration program that meets the needs of the economy in sectors and regions where there are shortages of highly skilled workers, such as healthcare, engineering and mining. The major reforms to the skilled migration program are:

20 000 would-be migrants will have their applications cancelled and receive a refund.

All offshore General Skilled Migration applications lodged before 1 September 2007 will have their applications withdrawn. These are people who applied overseas under easier standards, including lower English language skills and a less rigorous work experience requirement. It is expected about 20 000 people fall into this category. The department will refund their visa application charge at an estimated cost of $14 million. Average applications cost between $1500 and $2000 and most contain more than one person.

The list of occupations in demand will be tightened so only highly skilled migrants will be eligible to apply for independent skilled migration visas.

The wide-ranging Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) will be revoked immediately. The list is outdated and contains 106 occupations, many of which are less-skilled and no longer in demand. A new and more targeted Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be developed by the independent body, Skills Australia, and reviewed annually. It will be introduced mid-year and focus on high value professions and trades. The Critical Skills List introduced at the beginning of 2009 which identified occupations in critical demand at the height of the global financial crisis will also be phased out.

The points test used to assess migrants will be reviewed to ensure it selects the best and brightest.

Potential migrants gain points based on their qualifications, skills and experience, and proficiency in English. The current points test puts an overseas student with a short-term vocational qualification gained in Australia ahead of a Harvard-educated environmental scientist. A review of the points test used to assess General Skilled Migration applicants will consider issues including whether some occupations should warrant more points than others, whether sufficient points are awarded for work experience and excellence in English, and whether there should be points for qualifications obtained from overseas universities. The review will report to Government later this year.

Certain occupations may be capped to ensure skill needs are met across the board.

Amendments to the Migration Act will be introduced this year to give the Minister the power to set the maximum number of visas that may be granted to applicants in any one occupation if need be. This will ensure that the Skilled Migration Program is not dominated by a handful of occupations.

Development of state and territory-specific migration plans.

Individual state and territory migration plans will be developed so they can prioritise skilled migrants of their own choosing. This recognises that each state and territory has different skills requirements. For example, Western Australia may have a shortage of mining engineers while Victoria may have a requirement for more architects. Under the new priority processing arrangements, migrants nominated by a state and territory government under their State Migration Plan will be processed ahead of applications for independent skilled migration.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said the new arrangements will give first priority to skilled migrants who have a job to go to with an Australian employer. For those who don’t have an Australian employer willing to sponsor them, the bar is being raised.

‘There are plenty of occupations where there is an adequate supply of young Australians coming through our schools, TAFE colleges and universities to take up new job opportunities. They must be given the opportunity to fill these vacancies first,’ Senator Evans said.

‘But there are some occupations where there will be high demand for skills. Hospitals can’t go without nurses, country towns can’t do without a local GP and the resources sector increasingly needs skills.

‘These latest changes will continue reforms already implemented by the government and result in a more demand-driven skilled migration program that attracts highly skilled migrants to Australia to work in areas of critical need.’

The government recognises that the changes will affect some overseas students currently in Australia intending to apply for permanent residence.

Those international students who hold a vocational, higher education or postgraduate student visa will still be able to apply for a permanent visa if their occupation is on the new Skilled Occupations List. If their occupation is not on the new SOL, they will have until 31 December 2012 to apply for a temporary skilled graduate visa on completion of their studies which will enable them to spend up to 18 months in Australia to acquire work experience and seek sponsorship from an employer.

The changes will in no way impact on international students coming to Australia to gain a legitimate qualification and then return home.

Visa Processing Times for Australia

Visa waiting times under Australia’s new visa priority rules mean longer waiting periods for those not sponsored or occupations not on the Critaical Skills List CSL

The visa processing times for Australian visas will change due to new priority rules announced by the Australian immigration department (DIAC) on September 23, 2009

Visa applicants without sponsorship and not on the CSL are likely to have more than two years to wait for assessment of their visa applications.

Sponsorship – Get High Priority for Australian Migration

Migrants with a sponsor get priority when applying for a general skilled migrant visa to Australia. You can be sponsored by States or companies. Save time, reduce worry and reduce the cost of migration  by finding a sponsor.

See the priority for visa application assessment and details on the various Australian DIAC lists from the tribus lingua Migration Information blog

Project Australia provides a wide range of ways you can find an employer to sponsor your migration. Employer sponsorship has two great things going for it:

  • it gives you priority in the visa process
  • it gives you a job when you arrive in Australia

Sponsorship is worth a lot of money to you. It is not easy to make happen but is well worth having a crack at. (translation = it is not easy to achieve, but it is so valuable you should try very hard to get an Australian sponsor)

An obvious source for a company sponsor is to get a job with one of the many Australian owned international engineering or construction companies

State and Regional Sponsorship

Each State and Territory and some of the regions have sponsorship schemes. Here are a list of  some of the links to the sites to provide additional information.

Get yourself a sponsor. Sponsorship reduces the waiting and takes a large part of the uncertanty out of migration. It removes the greatest financial risk of migrating to Australia, landing a job after arrival. Search the State and Territory sites for their schemes and /or look for a company sponsor.

Go to the top of the migration waiting list – find an Australian sponsor.

IELTS English Test Cheats Caught in Australia

Migrant students doing IELTS English tests in Australia were caught cheating on IELTS English exams according to this article from the Sydney Morning Herald..


 Why take the risk of paying large amounts of money and getting caught cheating?

From the Migrate Australia Course you can learn how to improve your Engish and obtain a wide range of resources to help you get started and land a job in Australia.

 Don’t get caught out wasting money. Look for good honest value.


Get free information to help you with the IELTS English test from the Migrate Australia Course..




ASCO Codes – Australian Occupations for Migration

ASCO – the Australian Standard Classification of Occupations  must be understood by migrants. Not every occupation is listed in the ASCO.

If your job is not included in the codes list, what do you do?

Two web sites provide ASCO information to help you decide the occupation to nominate for qualification assessment and a general skilled migrant visa application.

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship web site has the Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI)  page. This page tells you the eligibility requirements for each ASCO occupation category, the assessing authority and skilled occupation information such as points, MODL, ENSOL and SOL.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)  website provides more detailed descriptions of typical tasks for an ASCO occupation code. This information provide a definition of the occupation.

The ASCO definitions are limited to the basic disciplines such as electrical, mechanical, civil and chemical. There are few industry type definitions such as power, transport, water or railway engineers.

If you cannot find your occupation in the ASCO definitions, consider the basic ebgineering skills you use in your industry. If you call yourself a railway engineer, what do you really do.?If you are involved with rolling stock, you probably fit within the general tasks of a mechanical engineer. If you are involved in design of tracks ,your occupation is probably closer to a civil engineer.

If all else fails you can try as an engineer (nec). If you do this, you may find yourself not on any of the occupations in demand.

Study the ASCO occupation task descriptions to identify where your job fits in the ASCO classification coode system. Selecting the most appropriate occupation can improve your opportunities for a successful qualification accreditation and visa application. An accredited migration agent can assisst you to make the best decision.

For more information:

Project Australia

MODL, CSL, SOL and ENSOL – Australian Migration Lists

MODL, CSL, SOL and ENSOL -  Australian visa application times are determined by these occupation in demand lists. What are they and how do they affect your visa application?

  • MODL – Migration Occupations in Demand
  • CSL – Critical Skills List
  • SOL – Skilled Occupation List
  • ENSOL – Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List

For further information go to the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page -

On January 1, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced a new list of occupations, which is known as the Critical Skills List (CSL). This is in addition to the Skills Occupation List (SOL) and Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). The purpose of the introduction of the CSL was to place weight on the skills that are in acute shortage in Australia and give these applications further priority in processing.

Changes affect visa application processing time

On March 19, DIAC announced new procedures for visa application processing for skilled migration. The order of priority for processing of visas is:

  • employer sponsored permanent migrant applications
  • state/territory nominated visas,
  • CSL occupation.
  • MODL occupation
  • family sponsored and independent applications receive the least level of priority.

Migration agents have reported seeing the difference in processing time now. The demand for Accountants (Degree, ICASL, CIMA qualified), Engineers (Degree level), and Computer professionals (specialist software skills) is acute. There is a noticeable difference in processing times reported from the previous era, if you belong to either State nominated or CSL category visas.

Trades (technical) occupations were taken off the CSL category  due to the current economic trend where less demand is created for jobs at technical level.

In these turbulent economic times we can expect more changes to migration requirements in Australia. It is important to seek advice from a registered migration agent who should be able to provide you with current advice. Refer to the following Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) web page for further information on migration agents. You do not need to use a migration agent to apply for any visa. However, if you choose to use a migration agent, you should use a registered migration agent.

Is your occupation an occupation in demand for Australia and included on the SOL, MODL, CSL or ENSOL lists?

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