The Australian Government has announced important changes to the country's employer-sponsored visas which will come into operation in July 2012. The changes offer new opportunities for prospective emigrants to Australia, as well as being designed to streamline the application procedures.
The permanent employer-sponsored visa program consists of the following: Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and Labour Agreements program.
A comprehensive review of the permanent employer-sponsored visa program has resulted in the following recommended changes;-
- collapsing the existing visa subclasses from six to two. This will be achieved by removing the existing distinctions between in and outside Australia and by replacing the permanent labour agreement visa with streams in the ENS and RSMS
- introducing a streamlined and simplified pathway to permanent residence for eligible Temporary Business (Long Stay) subclass 457 visa holders.
- raising the upper age limit to less than 50 years
- changes to key visa criteria including English language and skill requirements
- introducing one consolidated sponsored occupation list to replace the 457 occupation list, the Employer Nomination Skilled Occupation List (ENSOL) and the State and Territory Sponsored Occupation List (StatSOL)
- strategically refocussing the regional certifying body (RCB) network to the Direct Entry stream of RSMS.
- integrating the new ENS and RSMS visas with the skilled migrant selection model—SkillSelect, which will be launched on 1 July 2012.
Source: Department of Immigration & Citizenship - March 2012
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