Australia among the top 10 nations for Quality of life and Citizenship

The latest survey by US News and World Report reiterates the status of Australia as one of the best nations for immigrant aspirants. In this survey, Australia has been ranked among the 10 nations globally for Quality of life & Citizenship.

Australia has always been an attraction for individuals seeking PR Visa and Citizenship in an advanced nation. It has time and again proved to the best nation for obtaining Permanent Residency status.

The US News and World Report hold a survey annually. This is into 80 nations globally and interviews 20,000 plus citizens. The survey ranks the nations based on several parameters of human life. The Land of Kangaroos is, in fact, the 3rd best nation globally for a comfortable retirement, as quoted by the SBS.

The Land Down Under is ranked 7th globally for Quality of life and 8th for Citizenship. This demonstrates its position as a favoured nation for immigrants for PR Visa and settlement.

The top ranking is also vital to understand specifically when we discuss the latest immigration policies and stance of the Australian Government.

The federal Australian Government has attempted streamlining the immigration process. It has also taken some tough decisions in this regard. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that the nation continues to remain a top overseas destination for PR Visa. It is clear from the latest ranking that large numbers of individuals continue to prefer Australian Citizenship.

 

Mid-year update to the Immigration South Australia occupation lists

Mid-year update to the Immigration SA occupation lists

Immigration SA has conducted a mid-year review of its occupation lists – the State Nominated Occupation List (SNOL) and the Supplementary Skilled List (SSL), with some limited changes as a result (Note: the lists undergo greater change at each new program year).

Changes will take effect on the afternoon of 11 February 2019. Four occupations have been changed to 489 provisional visa only for offshore applicants and this change is effective immediately.

Occupations added to the SNOL for the remainder of the 2018-19 program year

ANZSCO Occupation Additional Requirements Skills Assessment Authority
323299 Metal Fitters and Machinists nec Competent English TRA
323313 Locksmith Competent English TRA
351211 Butcher or Smallgoods Maker Competent English TRA

 

Occupations on the SNOL with “Special conditions” status to be removed

(and therefore accessible to more offshore applicants).

ANZSCO Occupation Any other changes to existing requirements?
149212 Customer Service Manager No
234112 Agricultural Scientist No
252711 Audiologist No
254415 Registered Nurse (Critical Care and Emergency) No
254418 Registered Nurse (Medical) No
254424 Registered Nurse (Surgical) No
254425 Registered Nurse (Paediatrics) No
312311 Electrical Engineering Draftsperson No
312312 Electrical Engineering Technician No
323214 Metal Machinist (First Class) No
411713 Family Support Worker No
612115 Real Estate Representative Yes – increase in English requirement to “Proficient Plus English (or Superior overall)”.

Please note that many of these occupations will be reinstated at “Low Availability” due to the small number of places available.

Occupations on the SSL with the restriction on offshore applicants lifted

(i.e. High Points and Chain Migration pathways available again):

ANZSCO Occupation Any other changes to existing requirements?
132211 Finance Manager No
241213 Primary School Teacher Yes – see below under “Other changes”
511112 Program or Project Administrator No

English level changes

ANZSCO Occupation SA List Reduced/ Increased New English requirement (Minimum)
ANZSCO 121 grouping All Farm Manager/ Grower occupations* SNOL & SSL Reduced Competent English
224112 Mathematician SNOL Reduced Competent Plus English (or Proficient overall)
612115 Real Estate Representative SNOL Increased Proficient Plus English (or Superior overall)

* Immigration SA does not offer nomination for the occupations of Cotton Grower and Sugar Cane Grower on either the SNOL or SSL.

Visa subclass availability (please note this change is effective immediately)

 

241111

 

Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher  

SNOL

 

 

 

 

Introduction of requirement: “Offshore applicants Provisional 489 visa only” (previously the 489 or 190 visa was available)

 

241213

 

 

Primary School Teacher

 

 

SSL

 

 

241311

 

 

Middle School Teacher

 

 

SSL

 

 

241411

 

 

Secondary School Teacher

 

SSL

Other Changes

ANZSCO Occupation(s) SA List Change
391111 Hairdresser SNOL Removal of the requirement that if qualification was obtained in Australia, this must have been achieved in South Australia.

 

Full details of the changes to occupations and requirements are available to view here.

What changes can you see in Australian immigration in 2019?

There have been quite a few changes in the Australian immigration scene in 2018. Scott Morrison, PM of Australia, announced the slashing of immigration numbers. On the other hand, more opportunities for immigrants in regional areas were created.

Here are the changes that you can see in Australian immigration in 2019:

  1. Pathway to PR created for low-skilled immigrants

The Australian Govt. has signed the DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreement) with Northern Territory and Victoria. The DAMA will lower the English, income, and skill level requirements for migrants working in the regional areas of these two states. The Agreement will also offer a pathway to PR for these migrants.

  1. New Parent Visa

Australia will make available a new temporary sponsored Parent Visa in the first half of 2019. This Visa will allow parents of Australian migrants to live in Australia for up to 5 years. Applicants would be able to choose between a 3-year Visa and a 5-year Visa. The 3-year visa would cost $5,000 while the 5-year Visa would cost $10,000. The new Parent Visas would be renewable for up to 10 years. Migrants, however, would only be able to sponsor one set of parents.

  1. New sponsorship framework for Partner Visas

The Australian Govt. passed the Migration Amendments Bill (Family Violence and Other Measures) in November 2018. The Bill put into place a new sponsorship framework which will now make applying for a Partner Visa a two-step process. The sponsor in Australia will first need to submit a sponsorship application. The Partner Visa can only be lodged after the sponsorship application is approved. The processing time for the sponsorship application will be around 12 weeks.

  1. New Entrepreneur Visa in South Australia

South Australia will launch a new Entrepreneur Visa which does not have any investment requirement. Unlike other Business and Innovation Visas, this Visa will not require the applicants to have any capital outlay. Applicants would be able to come to Australia under the Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) and also include their family in their application. The validity of the Visa would be up to 3 years.

  1. Reduction in immigration numbers

Scott Morrison, PM, has announced a reduction in immigration numbers. He has indicated that the annual immigration intake for 2019 would be capped at 160,000. States and Territories will be given greater control in deciding individual immigration intake. For example, the quota for ACT’s Subclass 190 Visa has been increased from 800 to 1,400.

This is how Australia plans to attract more migrants to its regional areas

The Australia Govt. has announced two new visa agreements which will allow employers to sponsor foreign workers. These workers will be allowed with lower English and salary levels. This move may help the Govt. redistribute the incoming immigrant population away from the major cities. Australia plans to attract migrants to its regional areas through these new visa agreements. This scheme will be known as the Designated Areas Migration Agreements (DAMAs). It has currently been announced for 2 regions in Australia:

  1. Northern Territory
  2. Warrnambool region in Victoria

David Coleman, Immigration Minister, announced that these agreements would provide a route to PR for migrants willing to live in the regional areas.

These agreements will allow employers in Victoria and Northern Territory to bring in workers on the Subclass 482 Visa. Further, down the line, these workers would also be allowed to file for PR.

These agreements would allow employers to sponsor candidates under occupations which are not available under other visa categories. The sponsored employees would also qualify with lesser English proficiency and salary levels.

The Great South Coast Region in Victoria is the first in Australia to sign the agreement. Northern Territory will soon follow suit.

In fact, Northern Territory already had a DAMA in place; however, it did not offer a path to PR.

Nigel Scullion, CLP Senator of NT, said that the DAMA will help businesses in NT who are struggling with a labour shortage.

The agreement will assist businesses in the agriculture and hospitality sectors on the Great South Coast Region in Victoria. Northern Territory will feature 117 occupations which may be filled through the agreement.

Tony Herbert, City Council Mayor of Warrnambool, said that the proposition of an Australian PR will make it an attractive option for immigrants.

 

Scott Morrison says he will cut Australia’s migration intake

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will cut the number of migrants coming to Australia, declaring the “roads are clogged” and buses, trains and schools in Sydney and Melbourne “are full”.

In a dramatic shift in rhetoric as cabinet plots a new population policy, the Prime Minister predicted the impending changes would lower the annual immigration target from its cap of 190,000.

“Population growth has played a key role in our economic success. But I also know Australians in our biggest cities are concerned about population,” Mr Morrison said. “The roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full. The schools are taking no more enrolments. I hear what you are saying. I hear you loud and clear.”

The Prime Minister – who as treasurer under Malcolm Turnbull strongly pushed back against calls from Tony Abbott and other MPs to slash new arrivals – on Monday night noted “community sentiment” towards migration must be considered in addition to the economic impacts. Mr Morrison will ask state premiers to create their own population plans and will discuss the issue with them at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting on December 12.

“The old model of a single, national number determined by Canberra is no longer fit for purpose,” Mr Morrison said. “My approach will be to move away from top-down discussions about population to set our migration intake caps. I anticipate that this will lead to a reduction in our current migration settings.”

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian wants to halve the state’s migration intake, while new figures show Melbourne is one of the fastest growing cities in the world.

“It is the states who build hospitals, approve housing developments, plan roads and know how many kids will be going into their schools in the future,” Mr Morrison told the annual Bradfield Lecture. “The states and territories know better than any what the population carrying capacity is for their existing and planned infrastructure and services. So I plan to ask them, before we set our annual caps.”

There were 162,000 permanent visas approved in the 12 months ending June 30, well short of the 190,000 target. The Coalition believes it can revamp the current migration settings to better disperse new arrivals in regional areas. While the annual intake will be lowered, the changes may see the government increase the proportion of skilled migrants coming to Australia at the expense of others.

“Far too often, planners have treated population as one amorphous blob,” the Prime Minister said. “But that doesn’t work for Australia. We’re too big and diverse. A responsible population discussion cannot be arbitrarily about one number: the cap on annual permanent migration. It is certainly relevant, but you have to look at what sits behinds those numbers.”

Mr Morrison ruled out calls to force permanent migrants to resettle in regional areas – an idea floated by some MPs that would almost certainly face a constitutional challenge. Citing the mining boom, he said the ability for migrants to move to areas where they had a good chance of finding a job was essential.

“That is a natural part of a national economy and government has no control, nor any desire for control, over that aspect of population,” he said.

While using the speech to reassert the economic benefits of migration to Australia, Mr Morrison conceded population growth also had costs and Sydney and Melbourne had become “a victim of our success”. “Here in Sydney migrants accounted for around 70 per cent of population growth last year,” he said. “This has created its own pressure points – and pressure points in population always manifest themselves in housing and infrastructure.”

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll in October found 45 per cent of voters supported a reduction in the annual intake as the population climbs past 25 million. Some 52 per cent backed the idea of keeping or increasing the number of immigrants coming to Australia.

Russia and Kazakhstan now included in Biometrics Collection

From 19 November 2018, Australian Biometrics Collection Centres (ABCCs) will commence collecting biometrics from visa applicants who are in Russia or Kazakhstan at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia, unless they are excluded or exempt from doing so under Australian Government policy.

As per Home Affairs’ press release, applicants who lodge their applications from this date will be sent a letter requiring them to attend an ABCC in person to provide their biometrics.  Applicants will need to contact an ABCC to make an appointment and have their biometrics collected.

https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/news-media/archive/article?itemId=50

What is the process of collecting Biometrics:

Biometric collection process involves collection of additional data from a visa applicant.  This data is generally not required as part of an application unless expressly requested to be provided by the Department.

However, if you are a citizen applying for a visa to Australia from Russia or Kazakhstan or any other country specified on the list of applicable countries, the Department will request you to provide the following additional information:

Applicants must have a parent or guardian with them if they are:

Applicants under the age of 5 will only have their photograph taken.  No finger printing is required.

Australian government uses biometrics for the following reasons:

In certain cases, when an applicant arrives to Australia, Australian Border force might take your biometrics again and compare them to your stored biometrics to confirm your identity.

Home Affairs may check your biometrics with other Australian or international agencies to verify:

At present the following visa subclasses are included in the biometrics programme:

100 – Partner

101 – Child

102 – Adoption

114 – Aged Dependent Relative

115 – Remaining Relative

116 – Carer

117 – Orphan Relative

Visitors and Other Temporary visas

400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist)

403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) – Government Agreement, Foreign Government, Domestic Worker (Diplomatic/Consular), and Privileges and Immunities streams

408 – Temporary Activity – Invited Participant, Australian Government endorsed event, exchange, sport, religious worker, domestic worker (executive) and research activity types

417 – Working Holiday

457 – Business (Long Stay)

462 – Work and Holiday

482 – Temporary Skill Shortage

600 – Visitor Visa

601 – Electronic Travel Authority (if not applied for electronically)

602 – Medical Treatment

771 – Transit

Temporary Family visas

300 – Prospective Marriage

309 – Partner (Provisional)

445 – Dependent Child

461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary)

Student visas

500 – Student

590 – Student Guardian

Other visas

Applicants for the following subclasses of visa might be required by an officer to provide their personal identifiers after the visa application has been lodged with us:

200 – Refugee

201 – In-country Special Humanitarian

202 – Global Special Humanitarian

203 – Emergency Rescue

204 – Woman at Risk

Australia immigration: New migrants may have to live in rural areas

The Australian government has unveiled a proposal to force new migrants to live outside Sydney and Melbourne.

The policy would aim to ease congestion in Australia’s two biggest cities while boosting regional areas, Population Minister Alan Tudge said on Tuesday.

The government may introduce visa conditions to limit where some migrants live for up to five years, he said.

However, some experts have questioned whether the idea is enforceable and likely to achieve its goals.

Why is Australia having this debate?

Currently, about two-fifths of Australia’s 25 million people live in Sydney and Melbourne.

Though Australia’s population growth rate ranks 77th globally, according to the World Bank, it is high among OECD nations – rising by 1.6% last year.

The growth has been driven largely by migration, with most people settling in Melbourne, Sydney and south-east Queensland, according to the government.

That has contributed to infrastructure and congestion problems, with Melbourne and Sydney each expected to exceed eight million residents by 2030.

What does the government say?

“Settling even a slightly larger number of new migrants to the smaller states and regions can take significant pressure off our big cities,” Mr Tudge said in a speech on Tuesday.

The proposal is not detailed at this stage, but such visas could carry a “geographical requirement… for at least a few years”.

Other incentives would also be offered, Mr Tudge said, in the hope that migrants would remain in regional areas permanently.

Such visa restrictions would not extend to migrants on family reunion or employer-sponsored visas, he said.

The Labor opposition said the idea should be considered, but raised concerns about its lack of detail.

Would restrictions work?

Immigration and population experts told that such measures would not necessarily reduce congestion in cities.

“There is a strong argument for the government to redirect new migrants to the bush… but there needs to be sufficient employment for them, and that’s the big Achilles heel of the whole idea,” Prof Jock Collins from the University of Technology told.

Prof Peter McDonald, a demographer at the University of Melbourne, said the issue extended beyond migration.

“In Australia, the population growth has run ahead of infrastructure – we have been slow to put in the appropriate systems such as public transport networks that are needed for large cities.”

However, said Prof Collins, research showed that migrants had thrived in smaller communities with strong employment.

“Most of them have really liked living there in the bush, and said they had a warm welcome,” he said.

Australia is getting the new Prime Minister

Australia’s ruling Liberal Party voted in a new leader, Scott Morrison, who now became prime minister. Morrison, who was the country’s treasurer and previously a hardline immigration minister, replaces Malcolm Turnbull.

Australia’s top job has changed hands six times in the last decade with not one prime minister completing a full term. The most recent handovers involved less blood-letting and more internal party politics.

The attack on Turnbull came over his energy policy. He had proposed reducing carbon emissions, per the Paris climate agreement, but other members of the conservative ruling coalition pushed him to drop the requirement, ultimately calling his leadership into question.

Part of why Australian leadership has changed so often has to do with party rules. Until recently, both parties allowed elected members of parliament to overturn the party leader. As a result, former Labor prime minister Kevin Rudd swapped places with Julia Gillard twice in just over three years.

When Rudd returned to power in 2013, the Labor Party instituted rules requiring the wider party membership to vote on leadership changes, making it harder for elected members to surprise the general public.

Turnbull is leaving Morrison and the Liberal party with a parting gift: he says he will resign from his seat in parliament, opening up a by-election that could hand the seat to the opposition Labor party.

Scott Morrison, said his “new generation team” would “begin the process of healing.”

“I know this team can deliver the economy we need, the safety we need, and the togetherness we need,” he said.

The appointments include newcomers as well as holdovers.

The most significant changes in the cabinet involve Australia’s relationship to the world. Julie Bishop, 62, the widely respected foreign minister under Mr. Turnbull, resigned before Mr. Morrison’s announcement.

Mr. Morrison replaced her with Marise Payne, 54, who most recently served as defense minister.

Alan Tudge, 47, becomes the minister for cities, urban infrastructure and population, a position the new prime minister described as “the minister for ‘congestion busting,’” as Australia seeks to manage the impact of population growth in its cities.

The energy and environment portfolios are also being reorganized. They were managed by a single ministry, under Josh Frydenberg, who has been promoted and is now Mr. Morrison’s deputy.

Angus Taylor, 51, becomes energy minister, and Melissa Price, 54, environment minister.

Population growth inquiry up for discussion after Liberal senator airs concerns about infrastructure

Australia’s population is set to hit 25 million in August, and Liberal senator Dean Smith wants to start a discussion about how infrastructure is going to keep up with demand.

The West Australian senator has suggested a parliamentary committee could be the way to go in figuring out how to deal with Australia’s needs as the population grows faster than expected.
“Population issues are broader than immigration issues, but wherever you go across the country you can see different sorts of population challenges,” he told the local media.
“In regional communities you might see lack of population-growth opportunities, in our biggest cities you can see some of the real challenges of congestion and infrastructure deficits.”

Original forecasts predicted the nation would not hit the 25 million figure until 2042. Just seven years ago, the date was revised to 2027.
“So if the future projections around population growth are inaccurate … then how is that impacting on the infrastructure decisions, employment-opportunity decisions that we might be making as a country?” Senator Smith said.

As well as looking at how best to plan essential services and infrastructure, Senator Smith wants to examine the annual migration intake.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has agreed to talk to the WA senator about the idea of launching a parliamentary committee, but said the Government’s migration program was already tightly controlled.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton recently acknowledged the current cap of 190,000 people per year was regularly discussed within Government, while backbencher Tony Abbott and One Nation senator Pauline Hanson have both pushed for lowering that figure.

Last financial year, the number of permanent migrants coming into Australia fell to 163,000.
“We have worked very hard to restore integrity to the migration program … we’ve listened to the Australian public,” Mr Dutton said today.
Senator Smith said he supported a “moderate” drop in net overseas migration.
“I think the moderation is important because we need to give ourselves some time to breathe, pause and reflect to make sure the predictions are the best they can be. And if they’re not, let’s correct that,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he would discuss Senator Smith’s idea with his Labor colleagues but warned against the challenges presented by population growth being blamed solely on immigrants.
Senator Smith conceded there were problems with how people were currently discussing the issue of migration, but said there was a need for a measured, respectful debate.
“The critical point here is to maintain public confidence and public endorsement in our population-growth benefits. It’s important because we want to maintain social cohesion.”
Smith wants to see regions benefit from population growth.

One of Senator Smith’s biggest concerns is with where population growth is happening.
“We know that the population story across our country has not been uniform. The great bulk of our population growth is actually happening in our major cities,” he said.
Senator Smith said he would like to see regional areas benefit from population growth, without issues like congestion and crowding.
“As a senator from Perth, I’m interested to make sure that we get the benefits of population growth without having to pay the high price that perhaps Melbourne and Sydney commuters are having to pay,” he said. “I want to make sure that other cities are immune from some of the negative consequences of unbridled population growth that has been poorly predicted and poorly planned for.”
In New South Wales, a state-government-sponsored marketing program has seen nearly 4,000 people relocate to its biggest regional cities since 2010.

Evocities chairman Kevin Mack said governments needed to get on board to redistribute the growing population more efficiently.
“The challenge is for the Government to [answer]: ‘How do we provide attraction for people to move to the regions?’,” he told AM.
“We need affordable housing, we need a whole raft of infrastructure in the regions to cater for that demand and ultimately, unless you have the infrastructure to cater for the demand, you can’t service the industries.”

Australia’s migration rates the lowest they’ve been in 10 years

National migration rate hasn’t been this low since 2007 and it’s all to do with Peter Dutton waging war on “fraudulent” claims.

Australia’s migration rate is the lowest it’s been in 10 years, largely due to Peter Dutton and the way the Department of Home Affairs has cracked down on “fraudulent” migrants.
In the past financial year, the nation’s migration rate has dropped by 10 per cent with 21,000 less people being allowed into Australia.
Speaking on the media show the last week, the Home Affairs Minister said the drop was about “restoring integrity to our border”.
“Looking more closely at the applications that are made. Making sure that we’re bringing the best migrants possible into our country,” Mr. Dutton said.
Mr. Dutton said the people who were being rejected the most were those making “fraudulent claims”, admitting some people trying to gain access to Australia were “overstating their qualifications” with false documents.
The nation’s immigration intake hasn’t been this low since John Howard was prime minister.
The 2017/18 intake plummeted to 162,417 and there has been a 46 per cent increase in visa refusals, while skilled migrant numbers dropped by more than 12,000, and the family stream was cut by 15 per cent to 47,732.
“I want to make sure we scrutinize each application so we’re getting the best possible migrants,” Mr. Dutton said. “People who are going to work. Not be on welfare. People who will integrate into our community.”
Mr. Dutton said one area the Department of Home Affairs was specifically cracking down on was false relationships and accused the Labor government of “ticking and flicking” through applications to meet the annual target of 190,000 migrants.
“We want to make sure particularly that people coming through the spousal program that they are in legitimate relationships,” he said.
Senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese agreed with Mr. Dutton, telling that the government had toughened up the system.
“Of course it’s a good result if there’s more integrity in the system,” Mr. Albanese said.
Despite the drastic drop, Mr. Dutton agrees that Australia’s migration system is still “pretty generous”. “We’re a destination for many people. 65 million people in the world that are displaced.
“Our country is built on migration. We’ve had wonderful people who have come to our country over a long period of time. We have a lot to protect. Lot of values that those migrants believe in strongly. Ultimately apart from our indigenous population all of us are from migrant stock. We want to make sure we get the best people into our country so we can protect our values. As you say we’ve been listening to concerns that Australians have had.”
Australia’s deportation rates are also on the rise after the Migration Act was amended in 2014 that enforces all migrants pass and maintain a “character test” to stay here.
The amendment gave Mr. Dutton the powers to expel anyone he deems a risk to Australian society and has resulted in thousands of deportations since December 2014 when the law was changed.