Brendan O’Connor – New Minister for Immigration and Citizenship sworn in

By |February 8th, 2013|

So the first snippet of immigration news for 2013 which some of you may find of interest is the news that the Australian Immigration Department have a new boss.

Brendan O’Connor was sworn in as Minister for Immigration and Citizenship on 4 February 2013.

His bio seems a bit drab but alas, it will be interesting to […]

Significant Investor Visa Opens To Business Migrants

By |November 28th, 2012|

Do you have a spare $5 Million burning a hole in your pocket? If so then why not consider using it to help you migrate to Australia?!

As we reported back in August, the significant investor visa, is being introduced as a key component of the Government’s business innovation and investment program, and requires visa holders to invest at least AUD 5 million. The new Visa class went live on the 24th November.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today launched the visa saying ‘business migrants with $5 million or more to invest in our economy can apply for a provisional significant investor visa, a new stream within the Business Innovation and Investment program,’

‘The Significant Investor visa is an important new tool in the armoury of Australia’s financial services sector as Australia looks to compete in our region for high wealth and high skilled migrants and the capital that comes with them.’ […]

Australian Citizenship Fast-Tracked For Defence Families

By |September 12th, 2012|

We announced back in May that there may be changes afoot to the Australian Citizenship Act which would enable Australian Defence Families to have their Citizenship fast-tracked

Yesterday it was confirmed that from January 2013, family members of current and future lateral recruits to the Australian Defence Force (ADF) will be eligible for conferral of Australian citizenship at the same time as the lateral recruit.

The Australian Federal Government’s amendments to the 2007 Australian Citizenship Act allow for fast-tracking of Australian citizenship for certain family members of overseas lateral recruits to the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

In order to qualify, the overseas lateral recruit must be granted a certain visa after 1 July 2007 and undertake 90 days service in either the permanent or reserve forces of the Army, Navy or Air Force. […]

Significant Investor Visa Conditions Released

By |August 30th, 2012|

Back in May we announced that the Australian Immigration Department were to release a new Visa for people with stacks of cash ($5 Million AUD+) to invest in Australia. They creatively titled it the Significant Investor Visa.

Today, the minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, released the full conditions for this new visa class.

The significant investor visa, first announced in May, is being introduced as a key component of the Government’s business innovation and investment program, and requires visa holders to invest at least AUD 5 million.

The visa will commence from 24 November this year, when applicants can submit an expression of interest through SkillSelect. […]

Skilled Migration Pass Mark To Be Reduced Under Skillselect

By |June 18th, 2012|

Perhaps it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to the changes associated with the new Skillselect Visa Program with the Australian Immigration Department announcing that the Skilled Migration pass mark is to be reduced from 65 points.

From the 1st July 2012, the pass mark for the new SkillSelect visa subclasses 189, 190 and 489 will be 60 points. Intending migrants will first need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) and be invited to make an application for these visas.

A Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said the change to the pass mark was in the context of the series of reforms to the skilled migration program undertaken by the Australian Government since 2008. […]

Investors And Entrepreneurs Targeted By New Skilled Visa Reforms

By |May 30th, 2012|

Do you have a spare $5 Million dollars burning a hole in you pocket?

If you do then you may be interested to read that the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, and the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation, Bill Shorten MP, have announced new Federal Government reforms to attract successful investors and entrepreneurs to Australia.

Mr Bowen said the government would introduce a new visa program, the Significant Investor visa, targeting migrants who could make an investment of at least $5 million in the Australian economy. […]

Australian Defence Families To Have Citizenship Fast-Tracked

By |May 23rd, 2012|

Members of the defence forces are to have their applications for Australian Citizenship fast-tracked to just 90 days according to a press release from the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowden.

Under proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007, family members of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel will now be able to gain access to the same reduced residence requirement which currently applies to ADF members and their children aged under 16 years, enabling them to apply for Australian citizenship after 90 days of service. […]

Migration Numbers Increased To Fill Skill Gaps

By |May 9th, 2012|

Good news for those of you looking to migrate to Australia under the 2012 – 2013 Migration Program. The Federal Government announced yesterday a targeted increase for the the 2012–13 migration program, providing additional places to help fill skills shortages in parts of the Australian economy.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget would provide support to the growth regions and sectors of Australia’s economy struggling to meet acute skills shortages.

‘The measured increase of 5000 places—from 185 000 to 190 000—comes in the context of significant skills gaps in both the short and medium term in certain sectors of our patchwork economy,’ Mr Bowen said. […]

Australian Immigration – Migration Program Planning Levels For 2012

By |March 6th, 2012|

I know we are already into March but as we’ve not covered this, I thought it might be worthwhile covering the number of places allocated to Australian Migrants during 2012.

Australia’s permanent immigration program has two components. Migration, for Skilled and Family Stream migrants and those granted a Special Eligibility class visa and Humanitarian, for refugees and others in humanitarian need. […]

Skills Australia Needs Event Coming to London In February

By |February 17th, 2012|

This month the department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will host a Skills Australia Needs event in London.

Skills Australia Needs events are designed to help address current skill shortages in Australia by promoting skilled migration options.

Australian employers and state and territory governments can participate in the events and meet people with the skills and experience needed to fill job vacancies in Australia which cannot be filled through the local labour market. […]

Online tourist visas for Brazil and Argentina Now Available

By |February 16th, 2012|

Tourists from Brazil and Argentina can from today apply online for the e676 electronic tourist visa to visit Australia say the DIAC

A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) said the e676 allows people to apply for a tourist visa electronically using a fast, secure and convenient application process.

“These new arrangements mean applicants from Brazil and Argentina have the ability to check the progress of their application electronically,” the spokesman said. […]

Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) For Subclass 457 Visa Holders To Be Reviewed

By |February 10th, 2012|

In November 2011, the government announced reforms to the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) treatment of Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) benefits to commence on 1 July 2012.

LAFHA is commonly used by employers to compensate employees for additional costs incurred when they are required to live and work away from their usual place of residence. This can include accommodation and food costs.

Under the current tax system, the provision of LAFHA can increase the take-home pay of employees, including subclass 457 visa holders. The Australian Government has concerns that LAFHA concessions are being exploited by some employers. […]

Australian Visa Free Online Assessment Tool

By |January 16th, 2012|

Hi Guys, I’ve been meaning to make this service available for a while but it’s taken me a little time to identify an appropriate Australian Immigration Company with whom we could partner with to offer this serice.

I’m pleased to confirm that we have chosen to partner with National Visa’s and in conjunction with National Visa’s we are now able to offer all Getting Down Under visitors a FREE Austraian Visa assessment tool to see if you’d qualify for a visa to move down under. 

The FREE Australian Visa online assessment tool is designed to instantly determine if you may be eligible to apply for a visa to Australia. […]

UK Royal Navy Personnel Being Targeted By Australian Immigration

By |January 16th, 2012|

The Australian Defence Force is trying to recruit laid-off soldiers, sailors and air crew from the UK in order to fill their quota of new recruits.

Those chosen will gain preferential treatment when it comes to Australian Immigration and Citizenship. The Australian Navy has sent a delegation to the UK to recruit some of the 5,000 Royal Navy staff due to lose their jobs over the next four years.

Many Australian engineers have been lured away from the military by the mining industry, which offers better pay and conditions. The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said mining industry recruiters wait on the docks in Western Australia for engineers and other skilled naval personnel when they disembark. It is the 18th century press gang in reverse. […]

Working Holiday Maker Program Sees Substantial Growth

By |January 2nd, 2012|

In a report released by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) in Australia, figures indicate that there has been an overall annual growth of 8.3 per cent in the Australian immigration’s first working holiday visa program.

The Working Holiday and Work and Holiday programs encourage cultural exchange and closer ties between arrangement countries by allowing young people to have an extended holiday supplemented by short-term employment. […]

Professional Year Visa Program To Be Reviewed

By |December 12th, 2011|

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has announced a review of the Professional Year Visa Program to start in early 2012.

The Professional Year program which has been in place since 2008 is a structured development program, available to former overseas students who have graduated as Engineers, Accountants and IT Professionals.

The Professional Year program is offered by providers approved by professional bodies and includes workshops, skills training and a professional placement. […]