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 aiming to have half the state's population living outside the southeast by 2043. The population of Queensland is expected to double up to about eight million in the next 30 years. According to the premier, it is a no brainer to look to the regions to accommodate that growth. The governments would work with councils to influence where immigrants and refugees go. The proposal is expected to increase Queensland's migration intake. Mr. Newman has also promised to focus on infrastructure projects in the regions to help support his growth plans.   If you are interested Australian visas contact 2Oceania team for information ... 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 ageing. 9% of Australian employees are over 60 and 17% are aged 55 or more. There are also skills shortages in 'key growth industries' such as 'mining services, engineering, infrastructure and health services'.   Mr Willox also predicts an upturn in the Australian housing construction sector as the global economy continues to recover in 2014 and 2015 which will lead to further skills shortages. There will also be severe skills shortages in the mining sector which is expected to grow strongly, he says.     Skills shortages increasing   Mr Willox writes that Ai Group surveys of industrial employers ... 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 who are sponsored by Australian citizens will not be affected by the change to family stream visa processing priority. These applicants will have their applications processed as normal. DIBP also noted that there is no exception for affected family members facing compelling or compassionate circumstances.   Applicants under Family Stream sponsored by an IMA who holds a permanent visa are advised to carefully consider whether they want to continue with their application, because the application will not be processed for several years due to the lowest processing priority. Their visa application charge will not be refunded if they ... 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 400 people who have applied but have not yet had their applications approved. There is currently a nine-month waiting period before an applicant can receive an 888 visa but Mr Morrison says that he wants to cut this for fear that wealthy poeple will take their money elsewhere. 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 (5th) have also been ranked in the top ten.   The annual EIU survey takes many aspects of living into account to assess the city's liveability. It scores cities on political and social stability, crime rates and access to quality health care, as well as the diversity and standard of cultural events, the natural environment, education, and the standard of infrastructure, including public transport.   According to the 2013 EIU's report, Melbourne was given perfect scores for health care, education and infrastructure. The top places are said to be "mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population ... 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 Canada, the United States of America and the United Kingdom. For more information please refer to Department website or alternatively give me a call http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/new-visa-charges-1july2013/ More »

Changes to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)


Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced changes to the 485 Post-Study Work visa which will allow some graduates with advanced degrees to remain in Australia for up to four years after completing their courses. The 485 visa was introduced in 2007 and allowed graduates to stay and work in Australia for 18 months after graduation. From 23rd March a new regime has been introduced. Now, some graduates who were granted their first Australian study visa after November 5th 2011 will be able to apply to stay for longer. Graduates with bachelors' degrees can now stay for up to two years, those with a master's degree can stay for two or three years and those with doctorates can stay for four years. 485 visa now split into two streams The 485 visa has now been split into two streams, the Graduate Work Stream and the Post-Study Work Stream. Applicants for both streams will have to meet the following criteria - Must not have previously held a 485 or 476 visa - Be proficient in English to the 'competent' level - Be able to prove that you are of 'good health' - Studied at a qualifying Australian institution in Australia for at least 16 months finishing within the last six months. The Graduate Work Stream is for graduates who have gained a qualification qualifying them to work in an occupation which is on the Australian Shortage Occupation List. To qualify you must: - Have a degree in a subject closely linked to ... More »

Skilled Migration Processing Update


DIAC has issued an update on Skilled Migration allocation and processing on its website, including the following processing priority groups and order of processing: •    Priority Group 1 RSMS applications •    Priority Group 2 ENS applications •    Priority GrouDIAC has issued an update on Skilled Migration allocation and processing on its website, including the following processing priority groups and order of processing: Priority Group 1 RSMS applications Priority Group 2 ENS applications Priority Group 3 Applications nominated by a State or Territory Government for an occupation specified on that State Migration Plan (SMP), with the following order of processing:    a) Lodged from 1 July 2012 through SkillSelect (Subclasses 190, 489)    b) In this priority for other General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas (Subclasses 176, 475, 487, 886) Priority Group 4 Applications with nominated occupations on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) Schedule 1, with the following order of processing:    a) Lodged from 1 July 2012 through SkillSelect (Subclasses 189, 489)    b) Within this priority for other GSM Subclasses (175, 176, 475, 487, 885, 886) Priority Group 5 All other applications, which include the following:    a) For a State or Territory Sponsored visa ... More »

Processing Times and Priorities for the Onshore Partner Program


The onshore Partner visa program is experiencing strong demand, and as a result, the current average processing time for subclass 820 applications is around 13 months from lodgement. This is an average processing time and the actual processing time for each application may vary significantly. To ensure that your application is processed as quickly as possible only lodge your application when it is complete. Please undertake health and character checks before you lodge your application and supply the department with a completed 'Form 80'. Generally, applications are considered in date order but some applications will take longer to finalise than others. Applications which will be prioritised include those which have been remitted following successful review or Ministerial Intervention, and applications which have special circumstances of a compelling or compassionate nature. Applications which may be decided more quickly include those involving family violence, and those which are 'assessment ready' at lodgement. The time to decide assessment ready applications will vary due to a number of factors, including the need for further investigation or external checking, the large proportion of applications which are assessment ready and the need to progress other applications in a fair and timely manner. Applications which are 'assessment ready' are automatically identified as such by the department when we receive them. There is no need to contact ... More »

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