I am a painter and decorator with full qualifications, AQF level 3 I have been pre approved by Australia and I am now about to apply for my Visa.
I have been sent an email which has concerned me greatly as my trade now is not even in the list of critical skills as required.
I will be speaking to my agent tomorrow (23.02.09) to disscuss the info as below,If there is anyone who has any info I would appreciate the advice as the goal post's keep moving ARGH!
New Visa Processing Priorities
Australian Department of Immigration changes to the processing of skilled related visas.
The following are the priority in which skilled visa will now be processed:
So what does this mean?
- Employment Sponsored
- State or Territory Sponsored
- Critical Skills List (CSL)
- Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL)
- All other Visas.
Well what I have experience so far is those who have already submitted their visa and are in the top 2 priority categories are being processed now. The indication is that if you have submitted a State Sponsored visa today then it will take up to about 4 months to process. Employment Sponsored visas will be considerably quicker than this, in some cases under a week.
For those whose occupation is on the Critical Skills List (see http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/critical-skills-list.pdf for details) they have advised us that they are hoping to clear those within the next 4 to 8 months and this can be the expected processing time for any new visas that fall into this category.
For those of you who fall into the remaining categories I am afraid you are going to have a very long wait on your hands. They would not commit to processing these visa until all the other categories have been cleared and with new visas coming in all the time, you could be looking at years.
Why have they done this?
Well the explanation we received is that it could have been a great deal worse, as the other options that were available to the minister were to cut migration altogether or at least cap it. They are not looking to stop migration at all, in fact the minister is very aware that Australia needs migration for 2 reasons. Firstly because they have a large number of the work force that are currently coming up for retirement and there aren't enough people in the working system to make up this deficit. Although the population is growing in Australia, they are all too young or too old - they need more working people. The second reason is that they still have shortages in certain skills and to stop migration could end up crippling the economy. They want to prevent companies shutting down or losing orders because they cannot get the right skills to keep working and so keep Australians in jobs.
What they have done is make the visa system demand driven, which means that if an employer needs a skilled employee that cannot be found in Australia then their visas will be processed the quickest. The States and Territories will also be able to specify what their state/territory needs and hence they get second priority. Finally the critical skills list is a general list of occupations that appear to be required through out Australia and this is why this is given the 3rd priority. They have said that the CSL will be reviewed regularly to ensure it reflects the current situation.
So What Can You Do?
Well ideally if you can, submit an employment or state/territory sponsored visa, or failing that make sure you have an occupation on the Critical Skills List. If you do not fall into these categories then you could have a long wait for your visa and some people maybe happy with this as they are not in a rush.
Now if you have already submitted your visa what can you do? Well the good news is that the Department of Immigration are allowing you to transfer over to other visas without having to pay their processing fees again. So for example if you are not currently on a State Sponsored visa, but you have been able to get Sponsorship from the State you want to move to, then you can just upgrade your visa. The same applies for the Employment Sponsored visa, but you would need to submit a new application as they are processed in a different place to the Skilled Visas. Just remember for both of these visas you will need to obtain sponsorship first. Also if you are not sure you could start on one type of visa, but realise it is going too slow and if you are able change over to a priority visa.