When planning to migrate to Australia, you will need to organize everything, including finding the appropriate accommodation in any city across the country. Part of the decision making is whether to buy or rent a property. This may not be a tedious task for you as Australia has the highest number of liveable cities in the world.
The new fiscal year has arrived with changes announced and taking effect on the 1st of July 2015. The following changes to both the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) will affect all applicants wishing to migrate to Australia henceforth.
The following occupations have been moved from the SOL to the CSOL; therefore, these occupations now require state sponsorship.
English language average test scores are now accepted for employer sponsored visa subclass 457 applications. For example, an overall band score of 6 in IELTS will now be accepted for 457 visas – previously, a minimum of 6 in each band (Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking) was required.
This change will lessen the enormous frustration of applicants taking the test repeatedly to get a minimum score in each band in a single sitting.
A study conducted by the Migration Council of Australia (MCA) claims that an increase in migration intake is critical to Australia’s future prosperity.
MCA is an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit body established to enhance the productive benefits of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs.
The department has announced that it will accept test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) as alternative English tests for visa applications lodged on or after 23 November 2014.
These tests will be applicable for Australian visa applications including Skilled Migration and Business Innovation & Investment Programs.
The Occupational Ceilings for the 2014-15 year have been announced. Changes to the number of places allocated to Engineers, IT Professionals, Accountants, Teachers, Constructions Trades, and Chefs were substantial.
What is an Occupational Ceiling?
An occupational ceiling is the total number of invitations issued by the Australian Immigration Department for a particular occupation under the skilled migration program for an entire financial year.
Good news, South Australia had reopened its state sponsorship for skilled migrants. Started on 1 July 2014, many occupations had been relisted as highly available in the state. Even more interesting, the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) requirement for some occupations in the list became lower.
Update on Occupations List
Fortunately, no occupations have been removed from SOL and CSOL. However, new occupations have been added.
Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
The Skilled Occupation List identifies occupations which do not need sponsorship by a state or territory government agency for the applicant to qualify for migration to Australia.
The Abbott government will limit the number of foreign accountants who will be able to get permanent visas from almost 10,000 to about 5,000 starting 1st July 2014. The Australian media has reported that this came after the Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency (AWPA) refused a proposal from the Department of Employment to have accountants removed from the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
To provide more protection on Australia’s borders, the Australian Government announced a new reform that will form a new agency which will be consisted by the combined effort of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service. The new single front-line agency will be known as the Australian Border Force.