American Workers Australian Visa Applications Fast Tracked

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American Visa Applicant to be fastracked for Australian Visa'sAustralian visa applications for American workers will be processed before arriving in the country in order to relieve Australia’s growing labour shortage.

The booming mining and construction industries may have saved Australia from recession but the industries’ continuing growth has resulted in a widening skills gap which the country is struggling to fill. In order to address this gap, the government has announced plans to ease Australian visa restrictions for Australia plumbers, electricians and construction workers wanting to take advantage of employment opportunities in the Outback.

Under current Australian immigration legislation, American workers must have their skills assessed onshore, meaning many workers arrive in the country not knowing whether they will qualify for work in the country. The skills assessment can often take months with no certainty, resulting in a gamble many Americans judge to be too risky.

Recent research into the Australian skills market showed that 75% of the construction companies surveyed predicted they would experience major difficulties in recruiting skilled workers within the next six months. By 2015, the industry is predicted to require 75,000 workers, more than double the current level of 35,000.

The government has announced plans to overhaul the system so skills can be assessed in the US and American workers with successful assessments can begin work in Australia immediately upon arrival. Australia also plans to hold its first skills expo in the United States in the hope of attracting more skilled workers to Australia.

“The large amount of construction occurring in Australia in developing mines, railways and posts is putting huge demand on our existing civil engineering work force,” said Skills Minister Chris Evans.

“Works coming into the resources industry in Australia at the moment will be among the best paid workers in the world.”

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said American workers on a 457 visa would provide better job security than in the still recovering US economy and holders will be allowed to apply for permanent residency.

“There are economies and countries around the world which are facing very difficult and different circumstances to ours,” said Mr Bowen.

“What’s appropriate is that we work together with those countries to ensure that skilled workers who are looking for work have the capacity to fill some of those gaps we are facing in Australia.”

The US, who is already Australia’s largest source of foreign investment, ahead of the UK and China, has already expressed their welcome of the agreement. The America Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich said:

“This is a real win-win for both of our nations. It matches highly skilled American workers who are available with a temporary skills shortage here in Australia to make sure that the progress and growth and economic vitality continue.”

However, the reaction hasn’t been positive from all corners; the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) claims there is no independent evidence which suggests the skills shortage cannot be filled by Australian workers.

“While resources states such as Western Australia have very low unemployment, workers across the rest of the country are facing increasing rates of insecure work,” said Ged Kearney, president of the ACTU.

“Australian workers across the nation deserve the opportunity to benefit from the resources boom, which will provide a massive jobs boon in coming years.”

Thanks to the folks over at the visa bureau for contributing towards this article

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Showing 5 comments

  • Trixie
    Reply

    This is great!. I wonder if how much would be cost for processing your VISA in order to get a job in Australlia for American citizens? I think its gonna be exciting. :)

  • Lauren Thornton
    Reply

    Agreed Nicholas – it does sound very promising but what I would be worried about is

    “Under current Australian immigration legislation, American workers must have their skills assessed onshore, meaning many workers arrive in the country not knowing whether they will qualify for work in the country. The skills assessment can often take months with no certainty, resulting in a gamble many Americans judge to be too risky.”

    Having to take the assessment onshore and with many skills assessments taking months is it too much of a gamble?

    • Mark
      Reply

      Hi Lauren, it looks like you missed the important part of the article though:

      “The government has announced plans to overhaul the system so skills can be assessed in the US and American workers with successful assessments can begin work in Australia immediately upon arrival. Australia also plans to hold its first skills expo in the United States in the hope of attracting more skilled workers to Australia.”

      Looks like this will go some way to making this less of a gamble.

      All the best

      Mark

  • Nicholas Marks
    Reply

    This seems like a really great idea. I think Australia should still focusing on training up and youngsters to be out there. I have many friends doing apprenticeships expecting to get jobs in the mines afterwards.

  • sandra
    Reply

    dear all ,

    I´m just star to see the possibilities to inmigrate to australia with my family , for the moment i´m just to know the positive points and i like to know from somebody expert , if is possible to do it?.
    just to introduce orselves , I´m Sandra and i have 35 years old , married with my husband Jesus since 12 years ago , my husband have 37 years old , we have two son , a girl and a boy (11 & 6 years old) .
    We need to know , is Australia the place con offer to my and my family a better life?
    Actually i´m working in a important company like a Customer Service , and my husband …well my husband is police here in spain , so I hope to hear from you soon.

    thanks a lot and we keep in contact :)
    regards

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