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Australia Changes Skilled Entry

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Australia Changes Skilled Entry

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Australia has just introduced new criteria on which immigration and citizenship applications will be considered and merited.

ADRIENNE KING

Things are happening Down Under. Australia has just introduced new criteria on which immigration and citizenship applications will be considered and merited. These changes came into effect as of the 1st of January 2009. This should come as no surprise: Australia is renowned for its insistent policies on entry, and, with financial ambivalence in the air, the government has decided that a revision of regulation is needed to reflect the hoary economic climate. Ultimately, the old system was not responsive to labour market needs, and some skills previously unrecognised by the scheme will find benefit in these new legislative alterations.

Accompanying the changes will be a new list of occupations (The Critical Skills List) and a new collection of priority processing times for skilled visas in general. The revised programme is comprised of fifty-two occupations and fourteen computing profession specialists.

Processing will be merited in the following order:

1. Employer sponsorship
2. State of territory sponsorship
3. Occupation on the CSL
4. Occupation on the MODL
5. All other applications

Prioritisation of the former programme started with MODL applications, then state sponsorship, and processing times could have lasted anything up to nine months. Even more time-consuming was the General Skills Application, known to have taken up to fifteen months. Unfortunately, things haven't changed in this department. Future requests for General Skills Applications can, quite frustratingly, expect to wait even longer. Current applications, however, will not be affected by the new ruling.

Previously, the State and Territories have assumed their own restricted sponsorship lists, but they now have the freedom to award 500 applicants that are unlisted. This is providing, however, that the occupation is included in the Skilled Occupations List. The decision is based on a sudden change in demand for previously unacknowledged skills.

The announcement was made by the Immigration and Citizenship Minister, Senator Chris Evans, who has stated that the Skilled programme will be susceptible to further changes throughout the year, with all facets being reviewed on a frequent basis.

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