TOEFL and Pearson to be Accepted for English Testing from November 2014


The Department of Immigration has announced that the TOEFL and Pearson tests of English language ability will be accepted for immigration purposes from November 2014.   Currently, only the International English Language Testing System IELTS and Occupational English Test (OET) are accepted for the purposes of applying for General Skilled Migration and Permanent Employer Sponsored ENS/RSMS visas.   From November 2014, the following tests will also be accepted:   -          Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) -           Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)   TOEFL iBT The TOEFL iBT is taken via the internet. There are more than 50 test dates each year, and there is a wide   More »

Outlook bright for strong Queensland economy


Another independent report has confirmed Queensland is set to be the fastest growing state economy in 2014-15, Treasurer Tim Nicholls said today.    Mr Nicholls said the Deloitte Access Economics Business Outlook: December 2013 estimated Queensland’s economy will grow at 3.6 per cent this financial year and next.  “That puts Queensland well ahead of the national economy which Deloitte estimates will grow at around 2.5 per cent,” he said.  “The report paints an optimistic picture for some of our key business sectors.  “The report forecasts Queensland will have the fastest growing retail turnover of all Australian states both this financial year and in 2014-15.  “It’s also painting a bright future for the construction industry with strong   More »

Accountants May Be Removed from Skilled Occupations List


The Australian Government is considering removing Accounting occupations from the Skilled Occupations List.   If the Government decides to remove accountants from the SOL, this will have a significant effect on many applicants for skilled independent and graduate temporary subclass 485 visas. Many of these prospective applicants are international students.   The decision has not yet been finalised, but discussions are underway with the accounting professional bodies and other interest groups to justify accountants continuing to be included on the Skilled Occupations List.   The change would come into effect from 1 July 2014.   Effect of Removal of Accountants from Skilled Occupations List   If the accounting occupations are removed from the Skilled Occupations List, this will have a significant effect   More »

Australia to Fast Track Visa Processing for Migrants Moving to regional Queensland


Immigrants and refugees who agree to settle in regional Queensland could have their visa application fast-tracked, according to a proposal by the Queensland government's premier Campbell Newman. The premier has discussed with the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison about a plan with several strategies to fast-track Australian visa applications in return for driving growth outside Queensland's booming south east to alleviate pressure. The proposal is part of Mr. Newman's plan and was first raised in last year's Queensland Plan summits. About 100,000 overseas migrants come to live in Queensland each year. Currently about 65 percent of the state's population live in the southeast, taking in Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine coasts. By introducing the proposal, the Newman government is   More »

Australian industry lobbies for increase in immigration


The Australian Industry Group, (Ai Group) a pressure group that lobbies on behalf of Australian industry, has called on the country's Coalition government to raise the number of immigrants admitted each year from 190,000 annually to 220,000 with immediate effect. The Chief Executive of Ai Group, Innes Willox, has written to the Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison urging the government to increase skilled immigration in particular.   In his letter, dated 19th December 2013, Mr Willox says that immigration is necessary 'to support positive growth in our population and especially in our adult workforce, due to relatively low rates of natural population growth'.     Deepening impacts:   He says that Australia is facing 'deepening impacts' from the fact that the native work force is   More »

Lowest Processing Priority for Family Stream Visa Applicants Sponsored by Illegal Maritime Arrivals


The Australian government now sets the lowest processing priority for visa applications under family stream sponsored by permanent visa holders who arrived in Australia as illegal maritime arrivals (IMAs), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) announced.   According to new processing priorities within the Family stream of the migration programme issued by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on 19 December 2013, the lowest processing priority will now be given to family stream visa applications sponsored by permanent visa holders who arrived in Australia as an IMA.   This means these applications will only be processed after all other visa applications under Family Stream have been processed, which may take up to several years of waiting time.   According to the announcement, applicants   More »

Australian immigration to fast track 'special investor' visas


The new Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison has said that he wants to fast-track 400 wealthy visa applicants for permanent residence. The 400 have applied for subclass 888 Significant investor visas and Mr Morrison believes that, between them, they have about AUS$2bn to invest in the Australian economy. He also says that he wants to 'reboot' the Significant Investor Visa so that it creates more Australian jobs.   The Significant Investor Visa was established in November 2012 by the previous Australian Labor government to try to attract international investment into Australia. So far, 28 Significant Investor visas have been granted. To qualify, applicants must have at least AUS$5m to invest in Australia. The investments must be made in investments approved by the Australian government.   There are another   More »

Melbourne Remains the Most Liveable City in the World


Melbourne has made it three straight years to be named the most liveable city in the world as revealed by the 2013 Global Liveability Survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).   Melbourne has beaten 139 other cities around the world covered in the Global Liveability Survey to rank the first position for the third time since 2011 with a score of 97.5, closely followed by the Austrian capital, Vienna. Vancouver, which dominated the index for almost a decade until 2011, holds the third position.   Australian cities have secured four of the top ten rankings for the world's most liveable cities, with Adelaide, Sydney and Perth ranking fifth, seventh and ninth respectively, highlighting some of the best cities to live in Australia. Three Canadian cities including Vancouver (3rd), Toronto (4th) and Calgary   More »

More changes to Main applicant visa application charge


Following to the previous increase in the visa application fees, Department of Immigration has announced that from 1st Sep 2013 , main applicant visa application charges will increase by 15%. For example, GMS Subclass 189 will rise from $3060 to $3520. For more information please give us a call or refer to Department of Immigration website More »

Changes to Australia’s visa application charge structure


Department of Immigration has announced new visa application Fee from 1 July 2013. Under the proposed changes the Visa Application Fee will be made up of: -*First instalment • A base application charge: $3060 • An additional applicant charge for Second Applicant (such as spouse): $1530 • An additional applicant charge for any Applicant under 18 years old (such as children): $765 -*Second instalment In addition, for some visas you might also have to pay a further visa application charge. This can be paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. This second instalment will not be required if your application is refused. -*Why is the department introducing new charges? The pricing restructure will bring Australia's visa pricing in line with similar countries such as   More »

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