YOUR AUSTRALIA VISA UPDATE

Your Australia Visa update is a way to keep informed with some of what's new in the world of Australian Visas and migration to Australia.

CHANGES JULY 2009

Increased English Language Skills

Trades People applying under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa overseas you will be required to meet increased English language skills.

Rather than passing a test to show that you have vocational standard of English you will need to show a competent level of English under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test.

This will bring the trade related occupations in line with other occupations on the Skills Occupation List

Temporary Skilled Overseas Workers (sub class 457) Visa

  • Those on the sub class 457 visa will see the minimum salary level increase by 4.1 per cent from 1st July. This is in line with the average employees' total earnings.

  • Subclass 457 visa applicants need to meet specific skills requirements before their visa can be granted.

  • Initially under a pilot scheme, the skills assessment processes is to be improved to confirm skills claimed by applicants. They will undertake more extensive skills assessments of some trade occupations.

  • Employers of temporary skilled overseas workers to show they have a strong record of and demonstrated commitment to employing local labour and non-discriminatory employment practices.

Increase in Visa Application Charges

The majority of visa applicatyion charges have been increased by 20% and then rounded to the nearest $5 For example:-

  • The first instalment application fee for a skilled independent visa has increased from $2105 to $2525

  • Student visas will increase from $450 to $540.

Changes to Same Sex Discrimination

Same-sex and opposite-sex de facto couples and their children will be eligible to apply for all subclasses of visa which allow spouses and dependents. This is no longer restricted to opposite sex couples.

Changes to the 410 retirement visa

This will allow subclass 410 retirement visa holders to:-

  • Apply for a visa which is valid for 10 years.

  • Removes the 20-hour a week work restriction.

Contributory Parent visas and split applications

Changes are to prevent contributory parent visa applications being made by one parent and then (once they have qualified as being lawfully resident in Australia) sponsor their spouse under the partner visa category, with a much smaller visa application.

Those arriving on a contributory parent visa will not be able to sponsor their partner for five years.

http://www.immi.gov.au/legislation/amendments/2009/090701/lc01072009-02.htm

source www.immi.gov.au/legislation/amendments

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