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Ministers Coleman and Littleproud have announced by media release changes to visa programs that will assist farmers access a larger number of overseas workers.

Changes to Working Holiday Maker visas

• Work and Holiday makers (subclass 462) will be able to undertake regional plant and animal cultivation work in additional priority areas to become eligible for a second visa.

• Extension of the period a WHM (subclass 417 and 462) may work with the same agricultural employer from six to 12 months.

• Introduction of a third year visa option for WHM (subclasses 417 and 462), who from 1 July 2019 onwards complete six months of regional work in the second year.

• Increase the number of places available for Work and Holiday Maker program (subclass 462) by 
lifting annual caps available to a number of countries participating in the subclass 462 visa program.

These changes require a strict workforce test to be applied to ensure Australian workers are given the first opportunity for work.

Changes to the Seasonal Worker Program

• Increase work period in Australia to nine months for all workers (currently six months for some countries).

• Increase validity of labour market testing prior to recruiting workers from three to six months.

• Reduce out of pocket expenses for employers (workers repay their full travel costs except for the first $300; a reduction from the previous $500).

 https://www.mara.gov.au/becoming-an-agent/professional-standards-and-obligations/code-of-conduct/

Published on 5 November 2018 

La idea es conceder visados con restricciones para contrarrestar el crecimiento de Sydney y Melbourne.

Los trabajadores extranjeros que migren a Australia deberán vivir en el interior del país, fuera de las ciudades de Sydney y Melbourne, durante cinco años, dijo este martes el ministro australiano de Población, Alan Tudge.

"La clave aquí es la distribución del crecimiento, en lugar del número del crecimiento", dijo Tudge a la cadena ABC, antes de dar un discurso en Melbourne acerca de los planes del gobierno sobre el crecimiento de la población y la acogida de inmigrantes.

El nuevo plan prevé conceder visados con restricciones para contrarrestar el crecimiento de Sydney y Melbourne, que han superado los pronósticos de expansión demográfica en 100% en la última década, según el ministro.

A su vez, las autoridades podrían revocar los visados a quienes violen las condiciones impuestas o denegarles la posibilidad de pedir la residencia permanente o solicitar la ciudadanía.

La situación en Sydney y Melbourne contrasta con los esfuerzos de otras ciudades del país para atraer a inmigrantes o de granjeros en zonas rurales que piden la importación de trabajadores temporales para suplir una escasez que se estima cercana a los 100.000 jornaleros.

El gobierno pretende distribuir el crecimiento "para no tener la misma presión que se tiene en Melbourne, Sídney y el sureste de Queensland (donde se encuentra Brisbane)", remarcó Tudge que atribuyó este crecimiento descompensado al desequilibrio en las infraestructuras.

Australia dispone de visados diseñados para atraer a extranjeros al interior, pero los datos gubernamentales indican que uno de cada diez de los que llegan al país bajo esos programas se muda a la ciudad en los siguientes 18 meses de su llegada.

En 2016-17, 4.766 inmigrantes cualificados llegaron a las llamadas áreas regionales pero la mitad de ellos se concentraron en Perth, la mayor ciudad del oeste del país, por lo que esta fue eliminada de la lista de destinos regionales que aun incluye las ciudades de Darwin, Adelaida, Canberra y Hobart.

El profesor Peter McDonald, demógrafo de la Universidad de Melbourne, dijo que el problema se extendía más allá de la migración. "En Australia, el crecimiento de la población se ha adelantado a la infraestructura: hemos tardado en instalar los sistemas adecuados, como las redes de transporte público que se necesitan para las grandes ciudades".

Publicado el 10 de octubre del 2018.

The Migration Program is designed to achieve a range of economic and social outcomes. The program is set on an annual basis and re-sets on 1 July each year.  For the current migration year, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 190,000.  These figures refer to permanent migration and do not include temporary visa grants such as visitor and temporary work visas. 

The subcategories of permanent migration are broken down as follows:

  1. Skill – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia. This represents most places offered (128,550 places in 2018-19).
  2. Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (57,400 places in 2018-19).
  3. Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances that do not fit into the other streams. This can include permanent residents returning to the country after a period away, and is the smallest stream (565 places in 2018-19).

Based on the above figure, Skilled Migration Continues to remain Australia’s priority, representing 68.9% of the total migration intake.

Migration Act allows the Minister to set priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas.

The priority processing arrangements enable Home Affairs to consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate.

The priority processing arrangements apply to applications for the following visas (as of 1 July 2018):

  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Points-tested skilled migration.

Since 1 July 2017, processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) are:

  • applications from people who are sponsored under the RSMS programme
  • applications from people who are sponsored under the ENS programme
  • applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) in effect since 1 July 2017
  • all other applications.

Australia, for the most part has always been a demand driven immigration hence it is not surprising that skilled migration remains on top of the list of preferred method of migrating to Australia. 

Whilst the Department regularly updates their processing times based on the number of applications lodged versus the number of applications finalised for the previous month, a simple method to estimate how fast your application will be processed is to understand where your application sits within the priority group order.

  • Priority groups 1,2, and 3 – these are allocated to Employer sponsored programs.  Regional Sponsored Migration remains at the very top, closely followed by Employer Nomination Scheme.  Applicants nominated by state or territory receive are third in place in terms of priority.
  • Occupations on which are on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic List (MLTSSL) (this also includes independent as well as family sponsored applications).  These applicants are classified as Priority Group 4.
  • Priority 5 is for reserved for applicants who do not fit any of the above criteria

Latest Update on Skill Select

SkillSelect is an online service that helps Australia manages its skilled migration program. It helps to ensure that the skilled migration program is based on Australia's economic needs. It supports the government in managing who can apply for skilled migration, when they can apply and in what numbers. As a result, the time taken to process a visa application is significantly reduced. 

The results are published on the 11th of each month.  September intake for Skill Select was as follows:

  • Number of 189 visa invitations issued – 2490
  • Number of 489 visa invitations issued – 10

The current minimum score for skilled independent visa (subclass 189) has increased to 70 points.  Regional 489 visa requires at least 80 points.  Note certain occupations attract higher point test score (for example, accountants)

Published on October 5, 2018.

Regional Visas to be prioritised

Australia has a new Migration Minister David Coleman.  Hon David Coleman is a member for Banks, New South Wales. According to latest statistics published by Home Affairs, approximately 128,550 places were allocated to skilled migrants and of those; approximately 16,000 were regional visa grants. 

There are several consequences which are to be expected: 

  • Realignment of allocated places for regional visas such as subclass 489 regional (provisional visas).  This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in regional or low-population growth metropolitan areas of Australia for up to four years.  This visa also offers a pathway of permanent residence for migrants who have demonstrated commitment to living in a regional area. Recent invitation round published on Home Affairs website for August 2018 indicated that a mere 10 invitations were issued for this subclass.  This is a sharp drop compared to last years’ figures where approximately 250 invitations were issued for the same month.
  • Greater focus on RSMS- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme program.  Currently this visa allows employers to nominate foreign workers for permanent residence to fill genuine vacancies in their business. Participation in the RSMS is restricted to businesses actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia.  Regional Australia has the meaning as outlined in the relevant legislative instrument and does not include major cities Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth.  The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is specifically designed to assist regional employers nominate skilled migrants to fill a full-time vacancy (available for at least two years) when there is a genuine need for a paid employee in a business located in regional Australia. The RSMS category is not points tested and applicants may be overseas or already in Australia on a temporary visa. RSMS covers all areas of Australia except Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.
  • Expansion of Regional Occupation List (ROL).  This list designed to include occupations that are in need in regional areas.  ROL is updated on a regular basis on advice by the Department Jobs and Small Businesses.  Migrants can access ROL if their occupation is located in a regional area (for example, direct access to subclass 482 and 186 visas).  The Australian Department of Jobs and Small Business is a department of the Government of Australia charged with the responsibility for employment, job services and the labour market, workplace relations, small business, and deregulation.
  • Greater focus on Labour Agreements.  Labour agreements enable approved businesses to sponsor skilled overseas workers when there is a demonstrated need that cannot be met in the Australian labour market and standard temporary or permanent visa programs are not available. Labour agreements are developed between the Australian Government (represented by the Department) and employers. They are generally in effect for five years and provide for visas and offer a pathway to permanent residence.  The government has been vocal on use of Labour Agreements as a solution to skills shortages in regional areas.  There are also industry specific labour agreements including dairy, fishing, meat, pork and restaurant.

With regards to Australian Citizenship, it is yet to be fully understood whether the Minister will reintroduce controversial Citizenship bill which was quashed in the Senate last year due to harsh requirements such English language, residency and character requirements.  

Full story can be found here: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-s-new-

Published on october 3, 2018.

Over 53 occupations have been listed as high priority - including accountants, software engineers, mechanical engineers and chefs.

The Northern Territory wants more people to come and live up north and is offering cash incentives to families, couples and individuals willing to do so.

The government says it will invest $9.3 million to attract more people, including migrants, to the Territory with families being offered more than $15,000 over five years to move to NT to work in "high priority jobs".

This announcement is part of the Northern Territory Population Growth Strategy 2018-2028, where the government hopes to add 21,000 new jobs and $10.4 billion to the NT’s economy in the next decade. 

The incentives include relocation costs, one-off local spending benefit and retention bonus and will be made available to individuals, couples and families willing to move to NT.

Singles will receive $3000, couples will receive $6000 and families will receive $7000 as a relocation bonus.

The one-off local spending benefit of $1250 will be offered after six months of living in the NT which may be used towards costs incurred within the Territory, including vehicle registration, child care and eating out.

After five years in the Territory, families will receive another $7000 retention bonus, Singles and couples will receive $3000 and $6000 respectively.

"Just about every regional centre in Australia is trying to grow their population. It's a national trend," Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.

“From November 2018, people who migrate to the Northern Territory from interstate and enter High Priority occupations listed on the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List will be eligible for these incentives,” the strategy says.

Australia’s productivity is steadily slipping down and will continue to do so if skilled migration numbers are not increased quickly.
 
The current migration intake of 190,000 a year is not enough to sustain productivity, says the Australian Industry Group (AIG). It says that Australia needs a steady increase in migration intake every year with an emphasis on skilled migration in order to meet current and future skills shortages.
 
The AIG has proposed that the Federal government needs to act immediately to substantially increase the immigration intake in the upcoming budget by at least 15% to 220,000 to meet the current skills shortage.
 

Estas son algunas de las razones, las cuales estan en Ingles para que no existan problemas de interpretación y traducción.
 
Saludos!.
 
Osvaldo.
 

Una muy buena noticia para quienes tienen pensado comenzar sus trámites este año!, el DIBP termina de emitir el número de plazas para el año financiero y mantienen la palabra de continuar con un número aproximado a 190.000 plazas.

Podrán leer debajo cómo funcionará:

Saludos!

Osvaldo