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IMMagine Australia Blog

Migrating is more than just filling in forms and submitting paperwork, its a complex process that will test even the most resilient of people. 

Understanding Australia is paramount to your immigration survival and to give you a realistic view of the country, its people and how we see the world, read our regular blogs. Often humorous, sometimes challenging, but always food for thought.

No qualifications? No worries!

Posted by Anka on Nov. 20, 2013, 10:40 a.m. in Immigration

Can people with no qualifications apply for an Australian visa as skilled migrants? This is a question that we come across reasonably often. Most prospective applicants would assume that the answer is ‘No’. In reality, the answer is a qualified ‘Yes’.

We can distinguish two different pathways for a person with no formal qualifications to enter Australia as a skilled migrant. These pathways relate to certain visas under the General Skilled Migration (Subclasses 189, 190 and 489) and Employer Sponsored Migration (Subclass 457) programs.

The difference between the two pathways is that general skilled migration visas do not rely upon applicants holding an offer of employment in order to be eligible for these visas whereas the employer sponsored migration (as the name would suggest) requires applicants to hold an offer of skilled employment.

1) General Skilled Migration (GSM)

For the purposes of a General Skilled Migration application (i.e. points-tested visas) to Australia, there are broadly three groups of occupations for which it is possible to obtain a positive skills assessment even with no formal qualifications. These are senior managers, IT professionals and certain trades occupations.

The first group is assessed by the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) and it is possible to obtain a positive outcome by demonstrating a consistent work history and career progression to senior manager level. Professionals at this level must be delegating to 3 or more managers across a range of functional areas who themselves delegate to their own subordinates. Relevant qualifications are considered by the AIM but they are not essential.

IT professionals need to go through the Australian Computer Society (ACS) for their skills assessment. Applicants with no qualifications or non-IT related qualifications are required to undergo a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) and may need to demonstrate up to 8 years of highly relevant work experience in their specialised field in order to get a positive result. The catch is that the work experience put forward to meet the ACS requirements does not count for points in the GSM points test. This puts IT professionals with no qualifications in a difficult position as they are unable to claim any work experience in the points test and therefore need to rely on other factors such as age, English, sponsorship and perhaps partner skills to reach the selection threshold.

Finally, applicants from certain countries nominating certain trade occupations are able to apply for an assessment of their skills with no formal qualifications. Such applicants are recommended to have at least 5 years of work experience in their trade to have a realistic chance of being successful in the assessment but this is not a hard and fast rule. The assessment of these applicants in designated occupations from designated countries involves a paper application plus a technical interview or a practical assessment. If the paper application is not successful, it is not possible to attend the technical interview or undergo the practical assessment.  A further advantage of these applicants from designated countries is that they are awarded an Australian trade qualification upon a successful assessment if they are not nominating a trade which is subject to licensing in Australia. This in turn allows them to claim qualification points in their visa application which strengthens their position further. 

2) Employer Sponsored Migration

A more relaxed qualifications regime governs the 457 visa program. This program is for employers wanting to fill skill shortages in their businesses with overseas applicants. For the purposes of a 457 application, all of the occupations in the above three groups plus many others for which the entry-level requirements can be met through work experience are able to be nominated even when the applicant has no formal qualifications. As an example, the occupation of Marketing Specialist normally requires a degree. However, for a 457 application, five years of work experience can be put forward instead of a degree. This is also the case for many other managerial or professional occupations. 

It must be noted, however, that there are certain occupations for which no amount of work experience can substitute for formal qualifications. As a rule of thumb, any occupation that requires registration in Australia will require formal qualifications. This includes all healthcare occupations, teachers, architects, legal professionals and electrical trades to name some obvious examples. There are also several other occupations in the fields of Accounting, Engineering and Science for which formal qualifications are essential. 

The 457 visa offers a path to permanent residence in that holders who have completed two years of work experience for their employer on this visa can be nominated for a permanent visa. For these so-called transitional applicants, no skills assessment is required at the permanent visa stage which effectively means a pathway all the way to permanent residence for certain applicants with no formal qualifications.

If you have substantial work experience in one of the above fields and wish to find out if you could qualify for migration to Australia, please contact us on: info@immagine-immigration.com.

 

Forthcoming seminars:  South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming November and December. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 21 November at 7 pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 22, 23, 24 November, 2, 3 and 4 December at the Michelangelo Hotel.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 25 November at 7 pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 26 and 27 November at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 November at 7 pm at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel 

Consultations will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel

 

Kane Downs to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 7 December at 2 pm at the Orchard Hotel

Consultations will be held from 8 to 13 December at the Grand Pacific Hotel 

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation, there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com.


So what does dual citizenship mean in practice?

Posted by Anka on Nov. 13, 2013, 2:50 p.m. in Immigration

Dual or multiple citizenship is a concept that is often talked about but rarely understood in full. It refers to holding simultaneously two or more citizenships from different countries. 

Citizenship can be acquired in many different ways depending on the laws of the country in question: by birth, by descent, by registration, by naturalisation, by marriage, by grant, by application etc.

As citizenship requirements vary from one country to the other so do the rules around whether citizens are allowed to hold dual or multiple citizenship.

Broadly speaking, there are three main approaches to dual or multiple citizenship. Some countries allow dual or multiple citizenship without any restrictions although it may be necessary to obtain permission from the home country first. These include Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the UK, France, Italy, Sweden, Portugal, Brazil, Argentina and South Africa. 

Others simply don’t recognise or allow dual citizenship at all. Amongst these countries are Denmark, Estonia, China, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.

A third group of countries fall somewhere in between. They either don’t officially encourage dual or multiple citizenship or only allow it under certain circumstances. This group of countries includes the USA, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Pakistan and Thailand. 

Australia has allowed dual or multiple citizenship since 4 April 2002. Before this date, Australians who voluntarily acquired citizenship of another country automatically lost their Australian citizenship. Interestingly, this rule did not work the other way around as non-citizens who became Australians could keep their original citizenship.

Today, the Australian government actively encourages permanent residents to take up Australian citizenship as a way of making an ongoing commitment to the country and becoming formal members of the Australian community. Perhaps this is why citizenship application fees are lower than the fees payable to obtain a Resident Return Visa (i.e. to renew one’s permanent residence)!

In Australia, only citizens are able to vote, stand for office and work for the federal government and the defence force. However, those who also have citizenship of another country are prevented from becoming members of either house of the federal parliament.

In addition, an Australian permanent resident may lose their residency rights if they are away from Australia for an extended period of time. By contrast, a citizen is free to return to Australia at any time even if they have been away for many years. The fact that Australian permanent residence may be lost is another reason why some individuals choose to become citizens. 

Quite apart from all of the above, how does it work in real life if a person has two citizenships and consequently two passports? Let’s take the example of a person who holds an Australian passport as well as a South African passport.

Well, firstly Australia expects its citizens to enter and exit the country using their Australian passport. This means that when you are at passport control and customs, you would present your Australian passport. South Africa has the same rule. In fact, it’s against the law for a South African over the age of 18 to enter the country using a foreign passport.

In cases where a person is not in possession of their Australian passport and had to travel to Australia urgently, they can be issued with what’s called an Australian Declaratory Visa (ADV). An ADV is actually not a visa. It is an administrative document that is issued to Australian citizens who hold a foreign passport if they have an emergency or compelling reasons for having to travel to and enter Australia on their foreign passport.

This sounds all very straightforward but it could very quickly get tricky. If you were an Australian and South African dual citizen and you were travelling from Australia to South Africa, you would present your South African passport to the airline for check-in as you would be looking to enter South Africa on this passport. However, when you go to customs and passport control, you would present your Australian passport as you are an Australian citizen exiting the country. The opposite would be the case in South Africa as the airline checking you in would need to see your Australian passport to know that you are able to enter Australia freely. Confused yet? 

In one of our blog posts some weeks ago, I wrote about the Henley Visa Restrictions Index and how some passports allow holders to access a greater of number countries on a visa-free or visa on arrival basis. 

Looking strictly at numbers, one could easily see that the Australian passport allows holders visa-free or visa on arrival access to more countries that the South African one. This, however, can be deceptive as requirements vary from country to country and it is up to the holder to verify which of their two passports will afford them better entry conditions to a particular country.

For instance, if an Australian and South African dual citizen wanted to visit Turkey, they would be better off using their South African passport as they would be able to enter Turkey visa-free while an Australian would need to obtain and pay for an eVisa before travelling.

Finally, it is also worth being aware of what is called the Master Nationality Rule. This says that countries cannot provide diplomatic assistance to their citizens if they are in a country of which they are also a citizen. Going back to our example, when a dual Australian and South African citizen is in South Africa, Australia has no right to claim that person as its national or intervene with the South African government on that person’s behalf.

It is therefore very important for dual or multiple citizens to educate themselves on their rights and obligations in each of their countries of citizenship. This may include military service, tax, having to hold an exit permit to depart, inheritance, voting and other civic obligations, property rights to name a few.

In today’s interconnected world where significant numbers of individuals leave their countries of birth to settle in another country, we are likely to see more and more people holding dual or multiple citizenship. In some countries like Singapore and Indonesia, there is currently a debate on whether this should be allowed and we can expect the conversation to spread to other countries whose citizens are not allowed to hold another citizenship. 

If you want to become an Australian one day, you will need to start off by becoming a permanent resident first. Why don’t you contact us for an assessment of your eligibility or better yet come and see us in one of our seminars this November and December?

 

Forthcoming seminars:  South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming November and December. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 21 November at 7 pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 22, 23, 24 November, 2, 3 and 4 December at the Michelangelo Hotel.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 25 November at 7 pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 26 and 27 November at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 November at 7 pm at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel 

Consultations will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel

 

Kane Downs to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 7 December at 2 pm at the Orchard Hotel

Consultations will be held from 8 to 13 December at the Grand Pacific Hotel 

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation, there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com.


Queensland and Western Australia welcome applications

Posted by Anka on Nov. 6, 2013, 12:09 p.m. in Immigration

Queensland and Western Australia have recently released their new lists of occupations eligible for state sponsorship.

A large number of occupations have been added to both lists and Queensland in particular has only taken off a very small number of occupations.

The Queensland Government maintains two separate lists for the purposes of state sponsorship. One is for the permanent Subclass 190 visa and the other for the provisional Subclass 489 visa which is aimed at promoting the settlement of new migrants in regional areas of Australia. Sponsorship under Subclass 190 is worth 5 points while support from a state towards a Subclass 489 visa adds 10 points to an Expression of Interest (EOI). All parts of Queensland with the exception of the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast are eligible for settlement under the 489 visa. Holders of Subclass 489 visas are able to transition to permanent residence once they have lived in a regional part of Australia for two years and worked full-time (or equivalent) for 12 months.  

The following is a selection of some of the occupations added to the new Queensland lists:

 

Supply and Distribution Manager (Logistics only)

External Auditor

Child Care Centre Manager (489 only)

Early Childhood Teacher (489 only)

Health Information Manager

Construction Project Manager (489 only)

Engineering Manager

Chemical Engineer (489 only)

Electrical Engineering Draftsperson (489 only)

Electrical Engineering Technician (489 only)

Electronic Engineering Draftsperson

Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson

Enrolled Nurse (489 only)

Telecommunications Engineer (489 only)

Telecommunications Network Engineer (489 only)

Chef (489 only)

Automotive Electrician (489 only)

Motor Mechanic (General) (489 only)

Fitter (General)

Fitter-Welder

Metal Machinist (First Class) (489 only)

Panelbeater (489 only)

Electronic Equipment Trades Worker (489 only)

Hairdresser (489 only)

 

Queensland has also standardised and reduced the amount of work experience that applicants need to demonstrate. Two years of post-qualification work experience is now required from all applicants while previously this ranged from 2 to 7 years depending on the occupation. For sponsorship under Subclass 489, exemptions from the work experience requirement are available to those with an offer of employment in Queensland or a Ph.D. in their field. 

There are a total of 86 occupations available for sponsorship under Subclass 190 while 151 occupations (some in common) can be sponsored under Subclass 489.

The complete lists can be found at:

http://migration.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/pdf/occupation-list-190-visa.pdf and

http://migration.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/pdf/occupation-list-489-visa.pdf

 

Western Australia has also made quite a few additions to its list while taking off a number of occupations. The list can be used by applicants for Subclass 190 as well as 489 visas. All of Western Australia, with the exception of Perth and the surrounding areas, is eligible for settlement under the 489 visa.

Some of the occupations now eligible to be sponsored by Western Australia are:

 

Urban and Regional Planner

Structural Engineer

Master Fisher

Agricultural Consultant

Agricultural Scientist

Medical Radiation Therapist

Dentist

Computer Network and Systems Engineer

Psychologists (nec)

Translator

Automotive Electrician

Diesel Motor Mechanic

Sheetmetal Trades Worker

Pressure Welder

Electrician (Special Class)

Electrical Linesworker

Baker

Pastry Cook

Veterinary Nurse

 

By contrast, a number of occupations including the following have been taken off the list for Western Australia:

 

Café or Restaurant Manager

Hotel or Motel Manager

Accountant (General)

Training and Development Professional

Electronics Engineer

Environmental Research Scientist

Vocational Education Teacher

Architectural Draftsperson

Building Associate

Electronic Engineering Draftsperson

Electronic Engineering Technician

Motor Mechanic (General)

Metal Fabricator

Toolmaker

Bricklayer

Floor Finisher

Telecommunications Technician

Cook

Hairdresser

Cabinetmaker

Boat Builder and Repairer

Community Worker

Program or Project Administrator

Real Estate Representative

 

It’s also worth noting that Western Australia offers sponsorship to certain occupations which are on a secondary list of eligible occupations. To qualify, applicants require an offer of employment in Western Australia in one of the eligible occupations. These include Production Managers, Childcare Centre Managers, Facilities Managers, Environmental Engineers, Food Technologists, Secondary School Teachers, ICT Security Specialists, Network Administrators, Network Analysts, Rehabilitation Counsellors, Vehicle Body Builders, Electronic Instrument Trades Workers and Gardeners.

Western Australia has a large and varied list with a total of 126 occupations eligible for permanent or provisional sponsorship. A further 61 occupations can be nominated, as noted above, with an offer of employment in the state.

Applicants seeking sponsorship from Western Australia do not need to meet any work experience requirements. This means that Western Australia is a very attractive option for new or recent graduates with solid qualifications and good English language skills who may not necessarily require points for work experience to reach the pass mark.

A complete list for Western Australia can be found at:

http://www.migration.wa.gov.au/skilledmigration/Pages/Occupationsindemand.aspx

In summary, state sponsorship lists are very dynamic and their composition regularly changes throughout the year. As we are still only within the second quarter of the migration year (running from July to June), there are a large number of places available and it is a great time to apply.

If you believe you meet the requirements for an occupation on one of the lists or simply want to find out if you qualify for migration to Australia, please contact us on info@immagine-immigration.com.

 

Forthcoming seminars: South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming November and December. Our seminars are presented by members of our team of registered migration agents who have many years of industry experience. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 21 November at 7 pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 22, 23, 24 November, 2, 3 and 4 December at the Michelangelo Hotel.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 25 November at 7 pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 26 and 27 November at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 November at 7 pm at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel 

Consultations will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel

 

Kane Downs to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 7 December at 2 pm at the Orchard Hotel

Consultations will be held from 8 to 13 December at the Grand Pacific Hotel 

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation, there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com.


The new Immigration Minister speaks

Posted by Anka on Oct. 29, 2013, 11:59 a.m. in Immigration

The new Minister of Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison delivered a keynote speech at last week’s Migration Institute of Australia conference in Canberra.

This was one of Mr. Morrison’s first substantial speeches since taking up his new role and provides a number of indications as to the new government’s approach to migration issues.

At the start of his speech, the Minister asserted there is no doubt that immigration has shaped the Australia we know today. He said, "It has made us a stronger Australia and it will make us a stronger Australia in the future" and expressed his optimism in the future of Australia as an immigration nation. 

Mr. Morrison pointed out that one in four Australians were born overseas and one in five have at least one parent born overseas. Australia is clearly one of the most multi-ethnic societies in the world.

He emphasised that a commitment by policymakers to the economic participation of migrants at all levels has been the basis of Australia's experience and indeed success as an immigration nation over time. He reiterated the present government’s commitment to valuing the involvement of migrants in the Australian economy.

In relation to skilled migration, the Minister had the following to say:

"We want to bring people to Australia who add value – who have a real go and make a contribution to our society. It's very much the principle of a fair go for those who have a go. A key reason for our success which continues to set us apart from other countries is that we receive migrants principally and strongly in our skilled migration programme. This programme will continue to be the key driver of our immigration future."

He recalled that the permanent skilled entry to Australia is made up of the points-tested general skilled migration visas (applicants for these visas do not require an offer of employment in order to be eligible) and the demand-driven employer sponsored visas (which as the name suggests requires applicants to have offers of employment in Australia). More than two-thirds of permanent migrants to Australia are admitted under one of these two groups of visas. He stated that the Coalition government is committed to maintaining this proportion of skilled migrants.

The Minister explained that general skilled migration ensures the broader availability of a pool of skilled workers to fill shortages in the economy where they develop and cannot be filled from within the Australian workforce.

Mr. Morrison also talked at length about the 457 visa program, which is designed for employers to be able to sponsor overseas workers on temporary work visas. The 457 program has received a lot of criticism recently in the media and pressure from unions led the previous government to introduce a number of restrictive changes on 1 July 2013.

He noted that the 457 visa has been a mainstay of Australia's skilled migration programme since its inception in 1996. It is a flexible programme which responds to the economic cycle in line with employer demand. 

In relation to the issues that have been raised in relation to the 457 programme, Mr. Morrison said:

“There is an existing temporary labour market within Australia and the role of the government is to ensure we have the appropriate controls and processes around those programmes to prevent against abuse, to ensure the ongoing integrity of that programme and also to ensure that those who are migrants in that situation are not vulnerable themselves.  The answer to that is not more regulation to tie business or practitioners up in more union red tape but to have more effective enforcement methodologies and practises and resources.”

Finally, the Minister touched upon the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) which was announced in May 2012, launched in July 2012 but has yet to deliver the outcomes expected from it with regard to attracting high-value investors to the country. He pointed out that this has not been due to lack of interest as there have been more than 400 expression of interests lodged for this visa with 279 people being invited and 171 applications being lodged as a result.

However, processing of the SIV has been painfully slow and in its first nine months, only one visa was granted. The new government is planning a relaunch of the SIV and is promising quicker and more efficient processing to ensure that high-value investors interested in migrating to Australia do not get cold feet due to processing delays.

At this point in time, the new government has not introduced any changes to the migration regulations. However, it has reiterated its commitment to the success of Australia’s immigration program and an expectation has been created in relation to the streamlining of 457 and SIV processing. 

An imminent issue that the government will need to address very soon is Labour Market Testing for nominations made for a 457 visa which will come into effect automatically in November following the changes introduced by the previous government in July. The list of occupations that will be subject to this requirement is yet to be released and the government has even intimated that it might scrap the requirement altogether. How the government chooses to handle this first test will very much serve as one of the early indicators of their approach to visa-related issues.

 

Forthcoming seminars:  South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming November and December. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 21 November at 7 pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 22, 23, 24 November, 2, 3 and 4 December at the Michelangelo Hotel.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 25 November at 7 pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 26 and 27 November at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 November at 7 pm at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel 

Consultations will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel

 

Kane Downs to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 7 December at 2 pm at the Orchard Hotel

Consultations will be held from 8 to 13 December at the Grand Pacific Hotel 

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation, there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com.


The lure of an Australian passport

Posted by IMMagine-Team on Oct. 18, 2013, 12:13 p.m. in Immigration

Those keen travellers amongst you may already be aware that the Australian passport is one of the best in the world in terms of the number of countries it allows holders to visit visa-free or subject to being able to obtain a visa on arrival.

Henley & Partners, a global consulting firm, publishes a Visa Restrictions Index every year which is a worldwide ranking of countries according to the travel freedom that their citizens enjoy. The ranking takes into consideration the countries that can be visited visa-free as well as those that can be accessed by obtaining a visa on arrival. According to the 2013 ranking, the Australian passport ranks an equal number 6 in the world together with Singaporean and Greek passports.

The ranking reveals that Australians are able to visit 167 countries and territories in the world without having to organise a visa in advance. Given that the Index is compiled on the basis of 219 destinations (countries and territories) throughout the entire world, this means that more than ¾ of the globe is open to Australian passport holders to visit with few hassles. 

The number 1 spot in the ranking is occupied by Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom this year with a score of 173 while Denmark was the sole number 1 scoring 169 in the 2012 ranking. A comparison of the 2012 and 2013 rankings show that it is not unusual for countries to move up or down a few steps between different years but the most desirable passports (55 countries in the top 20 of the ranking) of the world tend to remain fairly stable and offer visa free or visa on arrival access to more than 140 destinations around the world. The difference in the scores of the number 1 countries above and the number 10 country (Liechtenstein) is only 14. Out of the countries in the top 10 spots (28 in total), 20 are EU/EFTA countries with the rest being made up of the USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, South Korea and Malaysia.

At the other extreme, the ‘worst’ passports in the world in terms of travel freedom have also been fairly consistent from 2012 to 2013 with the bottom spots being occupied by passports of Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Pakistan, Palestine, Eritrea and Nepal offering hassle free travel to only 28-37 countries and territories.

The middle ground is made up of a large number of passports that allow relatively hassle free travel to around half the countries in the world. These passports include Mexico (23rd with a score of 132), Mauritius (30th with a score of 123), Serbia (37th with a score of 104) and South Africa (42nd with a score of 94) amongst others. 

Some of our clients from South Africa always mention how hard it is to travel to many countries, and the report confirms this particularly in comparison with Australia with the difference in the scores being almost twofold. As noted above, the Singaporean passport is on a par with the Australian one, equal 6th in the world. 

You can view the full Visa Restrictions Index at:

https://www.henleyglobal.com/fileadmin/pdfs/visarestrictions/Global%20Ranking%20-%20Visa%20Restriction%20Index%202013-08.pdf

Of course, there are many reasons apart from travel freedom for obtaining Australian citizenship. It’s a way of participating more fully in civic life in Australia and the taking up of citizenship by permanent residents is actively encouraged by the Australian government. Most migrants with a permanent visa become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship once they have lived in the country for 4 years.  

 

Forthcoming seminars: South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming November and December. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

South Africa

 

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 21 November at 7pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 22, 23, 24 November, 2, 3 and 4 December at the Michelangelo Hotel.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 25 November at 7pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 26 and 27 November at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 28 November at 7pm at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel 

Consultations will be held on 29 and 30 November at the Newlands Southern Sun Hotel

 

Kane Downs to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 7 December at 10.30am at the Grand Pacific Hotel

Consultations will be held from 8 to 13 December at the Grand Pacific Hotel 

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation, there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com


Migrate to the most liveable city!

Posted by IMMagine-Team on Sept. 17, 2013, 10:05 a.m. in Immigration

Changes to the Victorian State Nomination List

The Victorian State Government has made a number of changes to its list of occupations eligible for state nomination. The changes are effective as of 10 September 2013. However, applications in occupations that have been removed from the list will continue to be accepted until 24 September 2013.

The Victorian Government updates their list twice a year based on labour market trends and current occupational shortages.

On this occasion, the following occupations were removed from Victoria’s list:

- Accountant (General)

- Carpenter

- Carpenter and Joiner

- External Auditor

- Joiner

- Plumber (General)

- Surveyor

The occupations added to the list were as follows:

- Child Care Centre Manager

- Health Information Manager

- Metal Machinist (First Class)

- Nuclear Medicine Technologist

- Physicist (Medical Physicist only)

- Primary School Teacher (with specialisation in languages)

In addition to the above, some changes were made to the specific requirements that need to be fulfilled in relation to number of the occupations which have remained on the list. These include Research and Development Managers, Chemists, Mathematicians, Statistician and Hotel or Motel Managers. The Victorian Government also clarified that applicants nominating an occupation that requires registration in Australia will need to provide evidence of their registration with the relevant body in order to be considered.

The Most Liveable City in the World: Melbourne

It is not surprising that Victoria, and in particular, Melbourne continue to be in high demand for overseas migrants. In August 2013, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) released their updated Global Liveability Survey which named, for the third consecutive year, Melbourne as the best city in the world to live.

Melbourne was followed in the ranking by Vienna, Vancouver and Toronto while the top 10 also featured other Australian cities, Adelaide, Sydney and Perth at number 6, 7 and 9 respectively. The EIU ranking’s top spots are occupied by mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density. This means low crime rates, good infrastructure, health services and education opportunities as well as high availability of cultural and recreational activities. 

Melbourne is a multicultural city with a vibrant arts scene complemented by its renowned café and culinary culture. Having been selected the world’s most liveable city for the third year in a row, Melbourne continues to attract large scale migration with a significant percentage of permanent migrants to Australia choosing to make Victoria home. According to figures provided the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), more than 300,000 new migrants have settled in Victoria in the last 5 years.

Forthcoming seminars :  South Africa and Singapore  

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming October. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 3 October at 7pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16 October in Auckland Park.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 7 October at 7pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on8 and 9 October at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 10 October at 7pm at the Commodore Hotel

Consultations will be held on 11 and 12 October at the Commodore Hotel

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore

Seminar will be held on Saturday 5 October at 2pm at the Holiday Inn, 11 Cavenagh Road

Consultations will be held from 6 to 11 October at the Holiday Inn. 

 

Kane Downs to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth on ruth@immagine-immigration.com


Australia has a new government

Posted by Kane on Sept. 13, 2013, 3:52 p.m. in Immigration

On Saturday 7 September, the people of Australia voted in a new Federal government. After six years under the Labor government, the Liberal/National coalition government now holds power in Australia following a landslide victory. 

The last six years under the Labor government have seen a big change in the policies in the skilled migration program. We have seen a dramatic reduction of the number of occupations on our skills shortages list, a new points test, an increase in the age limit, and states playing a bigger part in the selection process of bringing skilled migrants into Australia.

I have received a number of emails from clients and potential migrants asking if the change in government will affect their chances of successfully migrating to Australia. Many are concerned that the Tony Abbott-led Coalition government will be tougher on migrants. This is probably due to their outspoken views on the handling of illegal immigrants coming by boat to Australia. Both of the major parties have indicated they will be tough on those who are arriving by boat without a visa to act as a deterrent to those making dangerous boat journeys, mainly organised by people smugglers. But these views should not be taken as to be representative of the government’s views on the skilled and family migration programs. 

So where does the new government stand on migration to Australia?

Policies regarding skilled and family migration are not mentioned under their plan so these are unclear at this point. However we can use, as a guideline, the traditional stand of a Liberal government and recent comments by the-then-Opposition Immigration Spokesperson Scott Morrison in order to obtain an indication as to where their sentiments lie.

Traditionally tough on those arriving by boat, the coalition government has long maintained that immigration is integral to the growth of our country. Prior to the Labor government, Australia had a strong migrant program that encouraged those with a wide variety of skills to settle and help build a strong economy. The Coalition has always been friendly to business groups whereas the Labor party has traditionally been a champion for the working class and more closely aligned to the interests of the trade union movement, aimed at protecting jobs for Australians.

Earlier this year, the Labor government tightened the criteria for those applying under the temporary work 457 visas due to pressures from unions who were concerned that foreign workers were ‘stealing’ jobs from Australian employees. The changes created tension between the government and senior business figures who maintain that business owners always seek to employ Australian workers first but simply cannot find anyone skilled enough to fill their needs, hence their need to find employees from overseas. 

The Immigration Opposition Spokesman Scott Morrison has recently stated:

"Until this year, our skilled migration program enjoyed bipartisan support. Labor’s attack on skilled migration through the measures introduced to choke the 457 skilled migrant program with union red tape is at odds with this approach.

But it’s not just the measures that Labor forced through the Parliament, it was their rhetoric.

Labor’s rhetoric on the 457 changes was blunt, unsophisticated and anti-migrant; crudely blaming migrants for taking away Aussie jobs.

The Liberal Party has not and will not subscribe to this view.

It is false.  It is insulting.  It is unacceptable and it is against our national interest."

The coalition has traditionally the interests of business at heart and is sympathetic to their needs rather than those of the Labor unions when formulating policies.

A recent example of a change in policy as a result of a change in government from Labor to Liberal was in the state of New South Wales. Although State and Federal Governments are different, generally the political sentiments are closely aligned. Under the Labor government, the occupations that were available for sponsorship in NSW were limited and had strict criteria that needed to be met before any one was considered for sponsorship. When the Liberal government came into power, NSW suddenly “liberalized” their policies, with more occupations added to the skilled occupations list and the requirements for many occupations relaxed.

Whilst the policies for skilled and family migration are yet to be released by the new government, it seems to be a promising time for those who are looking to move to Australia. We do not expect to see any changes to skilled migration policy in the immediate future so those who do qualify for migration now will still qualify under the current schemes. Any changes that do occur will be announced, usually with enough notice to make arrangements in the event the changes significantly affect one’s eligibility.

I will leave you with some further comments from the Hon. Scott Morrison from earlier this year that gives some indication as to the new government’s views on skilled migration to Australia and what we should expect in the near future. An extract is below:

"… I am optimistic about our future as an immigration nation.

I am optimistic because immigration has been our past and has forged our present. That optimism is rooted in the reality we have built together as a nation.

This has always been a place of the fair go for those who have a go.

We are an immigration nation but that experience does not simply date back sixty years.

We are all of us migrants, whether our ancestors came to these shores in 1788 or 2008. Whether you are a first generation Australian or a tenth generation Australian, we all share equally in the legacy…

… The Coalition has long believed Australia’s migration programme is fundamentally a nation building initiative. We don't have an immigration programme because we're lonely, and neither is it a welfare programme….

… Australia’s success as an immigration nation is based fundamentally on our commitment to the economic participation of migrants at all levels.  We have always valued the involvement of migrants in our economy."

 

If you are interested in finding out more about Australia, the lifestyle and how you will qualify, we will be presenting seminars in South Africa and Singapore this coming October. Please visit www.immagine-immigration.com/seminars to book your place. 

 

Forthcoming seminars :  South Africa and Singapore  

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 3 October at 7 pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16 October in Auckland Park.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 7 October at 7 pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on 8 and 9 October at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 10 October at 7 pm at the Commodore Hotel

Consultations will be held on 11 and 12 October at the Commodore Hotel

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 5 October at 2 pm at the Holiday Inn, 11 Cavenagh Road

Consultations will be held from 6 to 11 October at the Holiday Inn. 

 

Kane Downs to present the Singapore seminar.

 

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth: ruth@immagine-immigration.com


IMMagine Australia Immigration welcomes Anka Sahin

Posted by Myer on Sept. 10, 2013, 2:33 p.m. in Immigration

As announced on our blog two weeks ago, we welcomed a new staff member, Anka Sahin, into our team recently. Anka is a very experienced immigration professional who brings with him extremely valuable skills across a wide variety of individual and corporate visa applications. He also has an interesting personal story in relation to immigration which he has offered to share.

This is what Anka says:

“I have been working in the immigration industry since 2005. In addition to being a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0640984) in Australia, I am also a Licensed Immigration Adviser (IAA 200800332) in New Zealand. I was the first immigration professional in the world to hold a license to practise in both New Zealand and Australia. During my time in the industry, I have assisted thousands of potential migrants from the UK, the Netherlands, South Africa, India, Ireland, Germany, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, United States, China, Brazil and many other countries.

Prior to committing myself to a career in immigration, I worked for the European Union in development-related projects and taught English both overseas and in New Zealand at various schools.

As a migrant myself (twice over!), I have a good understanding of the dynamics and challenges of making the move to a new country. My wife and I originally moved to New Zealand in 2004 as she was offered a Ph.D. scholarship. I had a student visa myself as a dependent and was not able to work. Without a work visa, finding a job relevant to my qualifications or previous work experience proved difficult and it appeared that obtaining permanent residence in New Zealand might not happen for us.

Just as we were about to give up, in a meeting with a New Zealand immigration adviser, I was referred to an Australian migration consultant who, after reviewing my qualifications and work experience, quickly advised that I could look at applying for a General Skilled Migration visa as a Translator. She further explained that having a permanent Australian visa with no conditions entitles a person to obtain a residence visa to New Zealand upon entry with no further application required. With her invaluable support and guidance, I completed my skills assessment and we put together our documentation and lodged an application. Our relief was immense when the application was approved within five months of lodgement. This meant that we could go over to Australia to ‘activate’ our visas and then come back to New Zealand and be stamped with a residence visa upon entry. It truly was two birds with one stone. 

I often share this story with intending migrants because it clearly demonstrates how much difference good advice and guidance from an experienced migration consultant can make to one’s life. If it weren’t for my agent, I would have continued to seek employment in New Zealand unsuccessfully and residence would have remained a dream for us. I am now a New Zealand citizen and live in Australia as a permanent resident.  It is all thanks to my agent who had the knowledge and foresight to provide me with the right solution to the migration issue that I was facing at the time.”

As far as Anka’s academic background is concerned, he was born in Turkey, completed a BA degree at Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand before obtaining his MSc degree in International Relations at METU, Ankara, Turkey. He has other qualifications in teaching English to adults and is accredited with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters in Australia. He has visited more than 70 countries in all six continents and speaks English, Turkish, French and Spanish.

We are very pleased to welcome Anka to the IMMagine Australia team.

Tags: migration | IMMagine

New occupations added to South Australia list

Posted by Myer on Sept. 4, 2013, 2:30 p.m. in Immigration

New occupations added to South Australia list

South Australia have added the following two occupations to their State Nominated Occupation List (SNOL) from 2 September 2013:

•    Procurement Manager 133612; and

•    Registered Nurse (Paediatrics) 254425. 

In addition, the 11 ICT occupations that South Australia have on their list have been reclassified as having ‘high availability’. These occupations were previously subject to special conditions which effectively meant that they were only open to South Australian international graduates who fulfilled certain additional criteria.

It is worth noting that places are limited for these occupations and it would be a good idea to apply now if wanting to secure a place. The IELTS requirement for all ICT occupations is 6.5 in each band. 

Some of the above IT occupations and certain engineering occupations are very close to reaching the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) national ceiling and DIAC have made a limited number of places available for State and Territory nomination for the rest of the 2013/14 program year. This is for all states and territories in Australia. Once South Australia has reached the state quota in an occupation group listed below, Immigration SA will be unable to nominate any more applicants (including SA international graduates) for the remainder of the 2013/14 program year.

The six occupation groups with a limited number of places available for SA state nomination are:

• 2331 Chemical and Materials Engineers

• 2611 ICT Business and Systems Analysts

• 2334 Electronics Engineers

• 2633 Telecommunication Engineering Professionals

• 2339 Other Engineering Professionals

• 2613 Software and Applications Programmers

Due to the limited number of places, Immigration SA will prioritise applications who meet all Immigration SA eligibility requirements as follows:

1. Currently employed in a skilled occupation in SA

2. An international Graduate of SA 

3. High calibre offshore or onshore applicants (Immigration SA will take into account: DIAC points, qualifications, work experience and English level when assessing an application for these occupation groups).

Please note that for occupations subject to a DIAC occupation ceiling management process, Immigration SA reserves the right to process applicants by merit rather than by date submitted.

 

Forthcoming seminars :  South Africa and Singapore  

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 3 October at 7pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16 October in Auckland Park.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 7 October at 7pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on8 and 9 October at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 10 October at 7pm at the Commodore Hotel

Consultations will be held on 11 and 12 October at the Commodore Hotel

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 5 October at 2pm at the Holiday Inn, 11 Cavenagh Road

Consultations will be held from 6 to 11 October at the Holiday Inn. 

 

Kane Downs to present the Singapore seminar.

 

To book for the free seminar please go to our website >>

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation there is a charge – to book consultations, please contact Ruth.


New sponsorship opportunities in Canberra

Posted by Myer on Aug. 30, 2013, 11:04 a.m. in Immigration

It is a common misconception that obtaining sponsorship from a State or Territory in Australia will be difficult unless one is an Engineer, Nurse, IT Specialist or a Tradesperson with skills in demand.

Yet, this is not entirely accurate. Skill shortages in Australia vary from State to State and from region to region. Given the large number of occupations that are eligible for migration to Australia with sponsorship from a State or Territory, it is not surprising that there is often at least one and, in most cases, several States that are prepared to sponsor applicants in particular occupations.

Of all the States and Territories, the ACT have the largest list of occupations that are eligible to apply for sponsorship ranging from Antique Dealers to Hotel or Motel Managers, Actors, Journalists, Fashion Designers, Social Workers, Safety Inspectors and Insurance Agents. In addition, the ACT is the only State/Territory in Australia that offers sponsorship to certain occupations which include, but are not limited to, Corporate General Managers, Procurement Managers, Travel Agency Managers, Actors, Authors, ICT Trainers, Multimedia Designers, Archaeologists, Divers, Plastics Technicians and Fire Protection Equipment Technicians.   

The ACT have just released their 2013-2014 Occupation List which is effective 1 September 2013. It is worth noting that the list includes a number of occupations such as Construction Project Manager, Child Care Centre Manager, Journalist, HR Adviser, Public Relations Professional, External Auditor, ICT Support Engineer, Chef and Insurance Agent which were previously closed to all applicants apart from those with ongoing employment in Canberra. 

These occupations, plus many others, are now open to new nomination applications. A number of occupations are listed as being ‘limited’ which means that the demand for workers in these occupations in Canberra is not as high as in those occupations listed as being ‘open’. It is however still possible for overseas applicants to nominate a ‘limited’ occupation so long as they can meet a number of additional criteria including the most important one of being able to demonstrate personal research into recently advertised positions relevant to their nominated occupation and a commitment to Canberra.

To view the ACT state sponsorship list please click here >>

 

A Warm Welcome to Anka Sahin!

We are very pleased to be able to extend a warm welcome to a new staff member, Anka Sahin to our team of registered migration agents.

We will be sending out a blog next week with some background about Anka.  

 

Forthcoming seminars :  South Africa, Singapore and Malaysia  

South Africa

Johannesburg:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 3 October at 7pm at the Michelangelo Hotel

Consultations will be held on 4, 5, 6, 14, 15, 16 October in Auckland Park.

 

Durban:

Seminar will be held on Monday 7 October at 7pm at the Riverside Hotel

Consultations will be held on8 and 9 October at the Endless Horizons Boutique Hotel.

 

Cape Town:

Seminar will be held on Thursday 10 October at 7pm at the Commodore Hotel

Consultations will be held on 11 and 12 October at the Commodore Hotel

 

Myer Lipschitz to present the South African seminars.

 

Singapore:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 5 October at 2pm at the Holiday Inn, 11 Cavenagh Road

Consultations will be held from 6 to 11 October at the Holiday Inn. 

 

Kuala Lumpur:

Seminar will be held on Saturday 12 October at 11am at the DoubleTree Hilton, 348 Jalan Tun Razak

Consultations will be held on the afternoon of 12 October as well as the whole day 13, 14, 15 and 16 October at the DoubleTree Hilton. 

Kane Downs  to present the Singapore and Malaysia  seminars.

 

To book for the free seminar please go to our website >>

Seminars are free to attend.  Should you wish to book a consultation there is a charge – to book consultations please contact Ruth.