Category Archives: news

New Skilled Occupation List

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Under Legislative Instrument – IMMI 16/059 – F2016L00800, the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) which will come into effect 1 July 2016.



Occupations moved from SOL to CSOL

233611  Mining Engineers (excluding Petroleum)

233612  Petroleum Engineers

234912  Metallurgists

251311  Environmental Health Officers

251312  Occupational Health & Safety Advisers

411211  Dental Hygienists

411212  Dental Prosthetists

411213  Dental Technicians

411213  Dental Therapists


Occupations added to the SOL

251912  Orthotist or Prosthetist

25 2711  Audiologists

The more they change the more they remain the same

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Whilst the government are making big noises about significant changes to the sc457 process, in reality they are making minor changes that do not affect most people involved with sc457 visas. The most significant change is removing visa criteria which require provision of evidence of English language skill subclass 457 visa applicants who are already required to demonstrate such proficiency to obtain occupational registration or licensing (see Explanatory Statement the purpose of Migration Legislation Amendment (2016 Measures No. 1) Regulation 2016 – F2016L00523).

More worthy of note are the Student visa changes. As from 1 July 2016, the student visa categories are cut down to just two subclasses: sc500 (Student) and sc590 (Student Guardian).

This is effectively a return to the scheme in place more than 15 years ago when student visa decision making was discretionary. In those old days it was eventually found that there was no consistency and certainty in decision making. They found it necessary to then remove discretion and create the system we currently have.

However, now it seems discretion is back in vogue and we are back to where we were in the 1990s. Case officers (decision-makers) are to have a larger range of factors for decision makers to assess genuineness and the need for individuals to provide evidence of financial and English proficiency.

It usually takes about 10-12 years for memories to fade. I would not be surprised if in the future someone at the Department comes up with a great idea to remove discretion from student visa processing like they did in 2000. Back to the future!

New Zealander’s new pathway for Permanent Residence in Australia

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New Zealand citizens living in Australia will have a new pathway from 1 July 2017.

The conditions are (in general):


  • arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001;
  • arrived before 19 February 2016.
  • living in Australia for the past five years,
  • earned more than $53,9000 each of the five years, as evidenced by their Australian Taxation Office Notice of Assessments throughout their qualifying residence period,
  • pass mandatory health, character (criminal), and security checks.


There may be some exemptions to some criteria in exceptional cases, and there will be a easy-pay plan for the high Government immigration fees.

Visa Cancellation Numbers for Criminals Growing

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The Immigration Department now have greater powers to cancel visas of non-citizens. 580 people had their visas cancelled on character grounds in 2015. Approximately 60 per cent were New Zealand citizens.

Under the new law of section 501, those who fail the character test by way of having been sentenced to one year’s imprisonment will now have their visas mandatorily cancelled, the minister no longer looks at family ties or length of residency when making a decision to review cancellations.


The Minister stated “My message to the minority of people who travel to Australia and violate community standards is that they should consider themselves on notice; we will continue to target you by cancelling your visa and will remove you from Australia as soon as possible. … I don’t believe people think for a moment somebody who’s here as a guest in our country, who has murdered somebody or committed a sexual offence, that they should remain in our society… We’ve made a record number of cancellations in ­recent months.’’

The Minister has a zero-tolerance approach to criminals.

Engineers Migration

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Engineers Australia have modernised their assessment process to recognise people as Engineers when they obtain an Australian Master’s Engineering degree (after a non-engineering Bachelor’s degree overseas). Previously Engineers Australia would only recognise people with a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering. This new scenario opens up many opportunities for those studying Engineering at a Post-graduate level in Australia.


Who says engineers don’t innovate?

Work and Holiday

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The Minister for Immigration has announced that the Slovak Republic and Slovenia are the latest countries to have a work and holiday visa arrangement with Australia, joining a number of other countries including Argentina, Bangladesh, Chile, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Thailand, Turkey the United States and Uruguay.

Australia – quality of life

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Australia has been ranked as the second-best country in the world for its quality of life by a UN report that assessed economic, education and life-expectancy data.

The top three rankings, Norway, Australia and Switzerland, are unchanged from a year ago.

The score was calculated by crunching data on what the UN says are the “three basic dimensions of human development”. They are: life expectancy at birth, mean and expected years of schooling and standard of living, which is measured by gross national income per capita.
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This is the Best time to be an Australian

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In 2016, the Government will introduce a new Entrepreneur visa to attract innovators to Australia.  The new visa assists highly educated and talented foreign students to remain in Australia.  Graduates with science, technology, engineering, ICT, and mathematics qualifications will benefit from the visa. A new pathway to residence will be available for graduates with specialised doctorate level and Masters-by-research qualifications.