Top 8 changes to the Australian visa system in 2018 you should know about if you want to live and work in Australia

If you want to live and work in Australia, and depending on your circumstances, you should know about these changes.

There is a new work visa in town.  It’s called the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482). For anyone over 30, who wants to live and work in Australia for between 2-4 years, the TSS visa is the most likely option.  I say over 30, because if you are under 30, the Working Holiday visa might be an option you should look into (unless you’re ineligible or already used it).

The TSS visa replaces the 457 work visa which had been around for years. But the TSS visa is not a given by any means even if you think you are the right candidate for the job. In fact, eligibility for this visa is very complicated. You have to be suitably qualified but your hiring employer also needs to jump through a few challenging obstacles as well.

The application for a TSS visa is best navigated with the help of a professional immigration advisor.

Yes, employers are also affected. They still have to worry about labour market testing the Australian jobs they want to hire foreigners to fill, that requirement hasn’t changed.

They now have to satisfy a new requirement called the SAF levy or Skilling Australian Funds levy. Boiled down, its a tax on employers who want to hire foreign workers. How much they pay, depends on how much they make in yearly turnover. If a prospective employer has a turnover of $10 million or less, they pay $1200 per year of the visa. If the employer is sponsoring a foreign worker for a permanent visa like the Employer Nominated Scheme, the cost would be A$3000.

So when you think about your options to live and work in Australia, be aware of what an employer will have to do to get you that work visa.

Foreign partners of Australians
This year, the Australian partner visa application fee was increased again and now stands at a lofty, $7,160. The rise and rise of the Partner visa application fees have occurred over a number of years. Let’s see how long it will take to break the $8,000. If you are one of those foreign-born applicants who is unlucky enough to fall in love (joking!) with an Australian person, take comfort in knowing you are not alone. According to DHA migration statistics, 47, 825 were granted between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2017. As of 30 June 2017, there are a whopping 71, 523 applications in the processing pipeline.

Skilled Migrants
The Australian upped the ante and increased the minimum pass mark for the General Skilled Migration points test to 65. It has been 60 for a number of years and this year, applicants who want to apply for a skilled migration visa will have to find 5 additional points to qualify. Not easy, considering, they also reduced the age limit from 50 to 45. It seems even if you are a qualified and experienced skilled professional it will still be very difficult to qualify for a migrant visa.  In addition, no longer can partners of skilled migrants claim bonus spouse points if they are over 45. Previously, a partner who was between 45 and 50 could earn spouse points.

Tech professionals
The Global Talent Visa Scheme is a peace offering scheme offered by the Australian government to the tech industry. Given the controversy surrounding the closure of the 457 work visa. Tech employers can recruit highly skilled professionals from overseas so long as they can prove they have a good record of hiring and training Australians.

Business Visa Application Fees
Speaking of expensive application fees, well this fee increase takes first prize. Anyone interested and eligible to apply for a Business Innovation Investment Visa will have to cough up a whopping $8,770 in application fees to the Australian government. Previously, the fee was $8,580 before it was increased last July.

Australian Citizenship
The previous Turnball government failed to convince Parliament that the eligibility requirements for applying for Australian citizenship should be overhauled. They wanted to introduce an English test, increase the permanent residency to 4 years rather than 2, and make applicants swear an Oath of Allegiance to Australia. Well the craziness has passed but it is a possibility that the Bill to make these changes might be introduced into Parliament again. Given the recent leadership tussle, with Malcolm Turnball being ousted and the new Prime Minister, Scott Morrisson perhaps it won’t be a priority for now. However Peter Dutton remains the head honcho of the Department of Home Affairs, and he was the main push behind changing the Australian citizenship eligibility requirements.  In any case, there is likely to be fierce opposition again to the changes by the Independents, immigration industry represents and the general migrant public.

Temporary Parent Visa soon could be an option for Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens in Australia who want their parent(s) based overseas to join them in Australia.

This visa has not started yet. Firstly it needs to be approved by the Australian parliament before it can come into effect.

The DHA websites states, that up to 2 parents can be sponsored, the visa period can be for 3 years or 5 years. Application fees will be either be $5,000 or $10,000 depending on which visa period you select. Presumably, it will be per parent which will make it quite expensive for most migrants living in Australia and want to reunite with their parents.

The visa must be sponsored by a child of the parent(s), the sponsoring child would have to meet financial and residency requirements. When this visa will come into effect is unknown, we’ll just have to watch this space.

Have a question about your Australian visa application or how you can live and work in Australia, send me a message and we can discuss further.

For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs.


What can you do if you have a re-entry ban applied against you by Immigration?

Does a 3-year re-entry ban mean I can’t get a visa to go back to Australia?

Many feel like the route back to Australia has been cut off to them forever but in fact, they still have options to apply for a visa for Australia.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting rid of them once they are applied by the Australian government, so simple first step, please, please don’t overstay your temporary visa in Australia.

If you can help it and most times you can by being aware of when your visa is going to expire and taking steps to submit an application for a new visa if you want to stay before the expiry date.

Also, don’t leave it until the last minute to do something. At the last minute, the universe can plot against you. Your internet connection will break down, your credit card will be declined and so on. Prepare and submit a new application early if its possible.

If not, make plans to get out of Australia. If you get out of Australia after your visa expires, the re-entry ban will be applied automatically.

Now here’s the good news . . .

You still have Australian visa options if you are interested in pursuing a permanent residency visa and of course, you are eligible. Skilled migration visas are the category to look at.

Check out my new video where I talk about what you can and can’t do when you have a re-entry ban in place.

Hope you find the video helpful, if so, please like it and share it with your friends. I would really appreciate.

I would love to hear from you. Have you been on the receiving end of a re-entry ban? Did it spoil your experience of Australia, would you go back?

Please share your thoughts, stories, and ideas in the comment section.

Thanks for watching the video!


Applying for a Resident Return visa? – Why it’s important to live in Australia for 2 years once you are a permanent resident

Resident return visa – common issues

I’ve received so many messages over the years from desperate people wanting to apply for a Resident Return Visa (subclass 155 and 157 ).   They share a common issue that they had not lived in Australia for a minimum of 2 years as permanent residents,  They had a range of reasons why they couldn’t live in Australia and had to return to their country of origin.

Most applicants for an RRV have initially hold their first permanent residence visa. When the validity of this visa is going to expire, they must renew this residency status.  An application for an RRV once approved by Immigration effectively renews the permanent residence status.

When you are a permanent resident, you can go on living in Australia as a permanent resident for many years using consecutive RRVs.  If you never choose to become an Australian citizen that is perfectly fine.

There was a variety of reasons why a person couldn’t live in Australia even though they have permanent residence. There may be health issues of parents to deal with, changing job commitments, or getting married for example. All valid reasons, that’s life.

However, when dealing with Immigration, the fact is if you don’t live in Australia for 2 years they want to you to know why and see proof that you have strong ties to Australia and had compelling reasons to live outside of Australia whilst holding permanent residency status.  They won’t just accept your word, these reasons and strong ties will need to proven with evidence.

Residency of 2 years or show strong ties

You must demonstrate that you have strong ties to the country show you are serious about living in Australia.  If you don’t have these strong ties but just your words that this time you are definitely going to live in Australia Immigration will not be interested in granting you a resident return visa.

Strong ties include having a job or evidence of an employment offer in Australia, a mortgage/property in Australia.  It can include having family members in Australia who are citizens or permanent residents, such as a spouse, children.  It must be close family ties.  If you have children in Australia, their lives are going to be significantly impacted if Immigration doesn’t give you a resident return visa.  Your second cousin by marriage who lives in Darwin, however, will probably get by if you don’t live in Australia anymore.

Perhaps Immigration has cause to be strict.  You applied for your initial migration visa. It was expensive, time-consuming and quite an application process to go through.  You succeeded, they granted you the visa with the full expectation that in the 5 years of your migration visa, you would be living in Australia.  Now you are to applying for a resident return visa without meeting the minimum residency requirement.  Furthermore, you have no real ties to Australia except a promise that this time you will live in Australia in the future.

Now I might sound harsh particularly for those people who are in this situation described above.  My article here is really for new migrants or people in the process of applying for their first migration visa.  It’s actually important to live in Australia after you get your first migration visa.  You must be familiar with what the resident return visa application involves.  Prepare early for applying for a resident return visa, When the time comes you will give yourself the best chance of success.

Requirements and Application process

Applications for a Resident Return Visa are lodged online through the Department of Home Affairs, ImmiAccount system. If you meet the residency requirement, the visa processing time could be a matter of days.   If you have to prove your strong ties to Australia the processing time may be several weeks to months.

Get in touch if you want to learn how to successfully apply for an Australia visa.


New changes to Australian citizenship

New citizenship changes
As of 20 April 2017, the Australian government has introduced new changes to its requirements for applying Australian citizenship.

Residency requirement
Previously, you were required to have lived in Australia for 4 years as a resident and at least 12 months as a permanent resident.
Now, you must have lived in Australian for at least 4 years as a permanent resident before you apply.

English test
Previously, whether you could understand English, including reading and writing in the language, wasn’t actually tested as part of the citizenship application process. The fact you had completed the application form (in English), presented yourself at an interview with your immigration officer to take the Citizenship test was the extent of it. Really an indirect way of testing your English-speaking skills were up to standard.

Now, you will have to take an independent English test. Probably a test administered by an official bodies like IELTS and Pearson Academic who test and provide a grade for a person’s English language ability.

Integration to Australia
Previously, you lived in Australia for at least 4 years as part of the general residency requirements and this was proof enough of integration into Australia.

Now, you will have to prove you have integrated by providing evidence that convinces the Australian government that you have integrated. What ways can you show you have integrated:

  • Pay your taxes so you can produce your tax summaries
  • Join a social club
  • Join a sporting club
  • Volunteer for good causes
  • Volunteer for school activities – coaching your child’s footy team, fundraiser, parent supervisors for school excursions etc

Basically, go out and do what you see Australians doing at the weekend and that should keep you on track.

Be of good character
Previously, you were required to provide an Australian police clearance and an overseas police clearance for any country you have lived in before moving to Australia.

Now, the same will apply but your character will be subject to a high level of scrutiny. From minor to major offences it seems any mark on someone’s criminal record could raise issues. Essentially, don’t have any problems with the law while you are residing in Australia if you want to give your citizenship application the best chance of success.

Citizenship test

More questions are going to be added to the test focusing on the these of Australian values. You will only be allowed to attempt the test 3 times. After this an exclusion period (not yet defined) will apply before you can attempt to apply for citizenship again.

Pledge of allegiance
This will be extended to include more declarations around the theme of Australian values.

Australian values statement
This will be extended to include declarations around your allegiance to Australia and promises that you are going to integrate and contribute to Australia.

The Australian parliament has not yet passed the legislation underlining citizenship changes but the current government seems confident that it will. These changes came into effect on 20 April 2017. This means any applications lodged on or after 20 April are subject to the new changes regardless of whether legislation has been passed or not.

If you lodged your application before 20 April, you are not affected by the new changes.

Move to Australia from America

Move To Australia From America

In the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory in the US there’s been a spike in the google searches for emigration out of America. Canada’s immigration website crashed and the media is having a field day with twitterable, is that a word?, quotes from celebrities declaring how they will leave the country.

Media hype aside, Americans have favored living in Australia for years. Australia is the only country in the world to have received more American migrants than the US has accepted from it. Think about that for a second!

Short term, it’s relatively easy for Americans to come to Australia. You can apply online for a holiday visa or Electronic Travel Authority as it is more officially called, and this allows you multiple entries to Australia over 12 months. You can stay for three months at a time but this visa has NO work rights.

If you’re a youngling, that is a word, aged between 18 and 30, you can apply for a Working Holiday visa. This lasts for a year, has limited work rights, involves a period of work in regional Australia and can be extended to 2 years in some cases.

If you’re serious about making a permanent move to Australia there are lots of resources for you here to help you. Have a look at my FAQ section. It has been honed from thousands of questions I’ve been asked over the years.  You can search through my blog for articles that relate to your specific situation.

If you really serious you can book a consultation with me.




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Navigate the Australian skilled migration points test successfully

Businessman standing on a boat in the sea

How points are allocated in the points test

Applying to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection for an Australian skilled visa like the subclass 189, 190 or 489 will mean dealing with the points test.

Under the points test, points are awarded on the basis of the factors. All factors are assessed as they are at the time you are invited to apply for this visa after you have submitted an Expression of Interest to the Skillselect system.


Under the points test, the following range of ages will attract the respective points.  Be careful when you allocate the points when you are lodging an expression of interest.  If you are on the verge of a birthday that will take you over the threshold of one category and into the next, consider carefully how that will affect you in the points test overall.

  • 18–24 years – 25 points
  • 25–32 years – 30 points
  • 33–39 years – 25 points
  • 40–44 years – 15 points
  • 45–49 years – 0 points

English language ability

Please note that english test results must be no older than three years immediately before the day on which the visa application was made. Under the points test, the following applies:

  • Competent English: score of at least 6 on each of the four components of speaking, reading, listening and writing in an IELTS test, or B on each of the four components of an OET test, or
  • provide evidence that you are a citizen of and hold a passport from Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom or the United States of America – 0 points
  • Proficient English: score of at least 7 on each of the four components of speaking, reading, listening and writing in an IELTS test, or B on each of the four components of an OET test – 10 points
  • Superior English: score of at least 8 on each of the four components of speaking, reading, listening and writing in an IELTS test, or A on each of the four components of an OET test – 20 points

The PTE Academic test is now another option for verifying English language ability.  Note that PTE General test is not accepted for visa applicants.  It is becoming popular due to fast turnaround in test results as well flexible dates for test takers.

A score of 65-78 in PTE Academic test is considered be proficient score.  A score of 79-90 in the PTE Academic test is considered to be a superior score.  All this for the purposes of claiming either 10 or 20 bonus points for English language ability under the points test.

Skilled employment

Below is the allocation of points under the points test for skilled employment.  Recognize there are 2 separate categories for experience inside and outside of Australia.

Outside Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation

  • Skilled employment for at least three out of the past 10 years – 5 points
  • Skilled employment for at least five out of the past 10 years – 10 points
  • Skilled employment for at least eight out of the past 10 years – 15 points

In Australia: skilled employment in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation

  • Skilled employment for at least one out of the past 10 years – 5 points
  • Skilled employment for at least three out of the past 10 years – 10 points
  • Skilled employment for at least five out of the past 10 years – 15 points
  • Skilled employment for at least eight out of the past 10 years – 20 points


  • Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or other doctorate of a recognized standard – 20 points
  • At least a bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognized standard – 15 points
  • Diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia – 10 points
  • An award or qualification recognized by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation – 10 points

Australian study requirement

  • One or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications awarded by an Australian educational institution and meet the Australian study requirement – 5 points

Other factors

  • Credentialed community language qualifications – 5 points
  • Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area (excluding distance education) – 5 points
  • Partner skill qualifications – 5 points
  • Professional year in Australia for at least 12 months in the four years before the day you were invited to apply – 5 points

Nomination or Sponsorship (where required)

The word nomination and sponsorship are used interchangeably so don’t be confused.  They mean the same thing.  If you are nominated by a state government for the purposes of a subclass 190 visa this is the same as being sponsored by that government body.

  • Nomination by state or territory government (visa subclass 190 only) – 5 points
  • Nomination by state or territory government or sponsorship by an eligible family member to reside and work in a specified/designated area (visa subclass 489 only) – 10 points

Here is a link to a list of the type of documents that will support a skilled migration visa application.




Skilled migration visa for Australia

4 steps for a skilled migration visa for Australia

So you are going for it.  A move to Australia is the plan for the future.  Now begins the hard work of applying for the skilled migration visa for Australia.

There are 4 steps to lodging a skilled migration visa application you should be aware of:

1. Skill assessment

You would firstly confirm your occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) or the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) set by the Australian government.


Once you have confirmed your occupation is on either the SOL or CSOL you can then apply for a skill assessment of your occupation for the relevant assessing body.  This is listed next to your occupation in the lists.

Assessing authorities
2. English test score

Most people need bonus points acquired by producing either a proficient or superior score in an English test (IELTS or PTE Academic Test) as part of scoring the minimum passmark of 60 set by the Australian government, migration points skills test.

The PTE Academic test is preferred by most of my clients for ease of booking and undertaking.

3. Expression of Interest

Once you have your positive skill assessment outcome and relevant English test result you can proceed to the stage of lodging an Expression of Interest through the Skillselect system for the particular migration visa you are wish to apply for.

The various types of migration visas:


4. Lodging a skilled migration visa application

Once an invitation to apply is received from the Expression of Interest, skilled visa applications are lodged via the ImmiAccount system of the Australian government

The application fee is currently AU$3,600 for the main applicant, AU$1,800 for spouse applicant, AU$900 for each dependent child.



I’m an Accountant wanting to migrate to Australia

What are your qualifications and why is it important to talk about them?

The skilled migration visas on offer by Australia are all about qualifications.  Australia wants a potential skilled migrant to have at least one of the following, a diploma, a bachelor degree, a master’s degree, a PhD or a formal trade apprenticeships.

If you don’t have a formal qualification your options for migrating to Australia can be very limited.  In the past, there used to be more flexibility with allowing migrants to rely on their work experience in place of formal qualifications but those times are over.

When you are looking at your Australian visa options, you might focus on your job title, particularly when you are looking at the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) to see if your job is on there. When you do find your job on the SOL be sure to check what is the relevant assessing body.  Look at their  website to check what their requirements are in terms of formal qualifications.

David’s case

David is an Irish qualified taxation accountant.  He is 36, happily married with 2 young lovely children.  The family have their heart set on moving to Melbourne to join David’s brother and sister who emigrated to Australia a few years ago.

David has a business degree from the University College Dublin and he is a member of Chartered Accountants Ireland.

Before I met David, he spent hours after work researching the skilled migration visa on the internet that his siblings were advising him to look into as they were keen for him to join them.

Unfortunately, David’s family could only really provide encouragement.  Neither sibling had any experience in this skilled migration visa category.  David’s sister went to Australia on a Working Holiday visa, 2 years later having fallen for an Aussie she stayed on thanks to a partner migration visa.  David’s brother, also went on a Working Holiday visa, was then sponsored on a 457 work visa by an Australian employer who then went on to sponsor him for an Employer nominated scheme visa for permanent residency.

5 Tips for David

  1. Check out the SOL – confirm that Taxation Accountant is 12th occupation listed on the SOL, its ANZSCO code 221113 and the relevant assessing bodies are the Chartered Accountants of Australia (CA), and Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
  2. Visit the CA website and take note that they have 2 pathways for getting a  migration skill assessment.  Pathway 1 you have an Australian or overseas tertiary qualification and pathway 2 you have a member of a professional accounting body recognised by the CA.
  3. David need only choose one of the two pathways.  Pathway 2 should be the winner.  Why?  It’s straight forward.  David verifies his membership by way of a letter of good standing from the Chartered Accountants of Ireland which is recognised by the CA, provides his transcript of professional exam results and certificate of membership.
  4. Organise to sit one of the following English tests and provide a proficient result as part of skill assessment to the CA.

In David’s case he was in the lucky situation of having a degree and a professional membership and the assessing body could assess either qualification.

CA image

Sope’s case

Sope is a Nigerian qualified general accountant.  Like David he wants to migrate to Australia with his family.  He has a degree in commerce and is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountant Nigeria.  For Sope, he can go through steps 1 and 2 like David.  He will find his occupation is listed 10th on the SOl and its ANZSCO code 221111.

The CA migration skill assessment requirements apply to Sope but for one difference.  The ICAN is not recognised by the CA.  He must look closer at the CA requirements to see that it does not mean he excluded from applying to them for a migration skill assessment.  The CA will assess applicants who are members of other accounting members.

In Sope’s case they would likely review his degree in commerce closely as well as his professional membership.  He would also need to provide a proficient English test result.  The English test requirement is a mandatory requirement for all applicant regardless of where they are from.


I only have a degree

What if you are an accountant that is not a member of a professional accounting body like David or Sope.

Again complete steps 1 and 2 listed above.  On the CA migration skill assessment you will choose Pathway 1.

The CA will be reviewing your degree and more specifically your transcript of subjects you studies as part of your degree.  For each accounting occupation, there are 12 core accounting subjects.

For an applicant to have their degree positively assessed as the accountant occupation they have nominate, the CA must be satisfied they have studied a minimum of 9 out of the 12 core subjects.

The CA will ask for the course syllabus/handbook from the year you studied be provided.  If you don’t have it, they will ask that you request the university or college you attended email it to them directly.  Yes, directly to them, not to you first and then you’ll send it on.

Core subjects CA

The CA website is user friendly and I have always found their migration assessment unit great to deal with.

You can easily download an application form.  The current skill assessment application fee ranges depending on what you require.   You complete the payment section by selecting one of the options and provide your card details.

Once you have prepared all your documents, you must ensure that any copies are certified copies of the original document.  The only original document that should be provided is the letter of good standing is you are a member of a professional accounting body.

Fees CA

The process of lodging your skill assessment application and supporting documents is via the CA email provided on  its website.

Good luck!


Too old to emigrate to Australia

What’s too old to emigrate anyway?

What is the cut of age for a visa to emigrate to Australia?

This is a common question that comes from people looking for information and advice on emigrating to Australia.

The short answer is”it depends”.

Firstly, what visa are you thinking about applying for. If its one of the skilled migration visas like the subclass 189 or 190, which are for Australian permanent residency than 50 is the age limit. Once you get to your 50th birthday these visa categories are off the table.

Now if you are lucky enough to still be in your twenties and along with your Irish passport (I’m stating Irish, but there are a host of other countries which are eligible) , there is the working holiday visa option. Cut off age for this is 30. Sometimes the age limit of 30 for the Australian working holiday visa is confused as being the age limit for skilled migration visas which is 50. If the Australian government pursued that approach no one in their 30s or beyond would have any chance of emigrating to Australia so fortunately the age limit is what it is.

Of course if you don’t want to emigrate but just want to visit well then the tourist visa is ageless. You could be 20 or 80 years of age it doesn’t matter, Australia doesn’t discriminate on the age of potential tourists who want to make a visit the great land Down Under.

Finally, the Australian work visas, the age limit is 50 but there are exceptions to the age limit unlike in the skilled migration visa classes where there is no negotiation. If you are a highly skilled person who is being sponsored over to Australia on an Australian work visa like the subclass 457 temporary work visa for example, than so long as you are under the age of 50 you will be fine satisfying the age requirement. If you are over 50 but under 55 than there is still a possibility you will be okay but it will depend on a number of factors including the type of job you are being sponsored to perform and how much money you are being paid.

Some tips

Here are few pointers to help you if you are over the 40 mark but under 50 and wondering if there is any hope of apply for a permanent visa.

  1. Your occupation is key to unlocking the possibility of applying. Unless you have an occupation that is degree qualified and in high demand, your options will be very limited to non-existent.
  2. Being over 40 and having an occupation in high demand, the next question you have to ask yourself is, can I be sponsored by a state government. For example recently, I had a senior medical doctor who was turning 48 inquire about his eligibility. I advised him to look at South Australia which is currently sponsor a range of health professionals to its state. Of course he will have the added difficulty of jumping through the regulatory requirements of the Australian Medical Board to gain initial registration but the option is still alive while he is under the age limit of 50.
  3. Be prepared to take an English language proficiency even if you think you speak English real good:). Tests such a the International English Language Testing System, also known by its acronym IELTS and the PTE Academic test enable a person to prove they have superior English language ability which helps the overall eligibility.

So those 3 pointers sound helpful enough but how do they translate into a confirmation of eligibility. For that we have to look back to the general migration points test, which establishes that an applicant must have as a minimum 60 points to apply for a skilled migration visa.

The Doctor and his pass mark

So if our good doctor wants to apply, we should break down his pass mark, based on the assumption that the Australian Medical Board approves him to practice and the good people of the South Australian migration also sponsor him.

Here is his pass mark calculation as I see it:

Age – Nil

Degree – 15

work experience – 15

Superior English – 20

State sponsorship – 10

Total: 60

Based on the above pass mark, the doctor is eligible to apply for Skilled migration (regional sponsored ) visa subclass 489.

On this visa he must live and work in Adelaide or any other part of South Australia for at least 2 years, after this he can be sponsored on to a permanent residence visa.

Here is a quick video I made about Age Limits in relation to the skilled migration points test for Australia.

Enjoy! x

How I’m going to save the Australian economy.



So the sun was finally shining here in Ireland up until a few days ago and now we’ve reverted to the usual cold and wet conditions we are all to familiar with and I’m totally over it.

I am starting to think waiting for the summer in Ireland is a bit like waiting for the Australian government to lighten up about its immigration programme.

I had been working on this article for a few weeks but I came across an article today which spurred me and I know the title of this article is a big statement but I have a few good ideas on how to save the Australian economy that I wanted to share.

The article  I read was talking about a proposal that would overhaul the current migration visas for Australia.  The gist of it being “Immigration is not intended to help poor people”.  Essentially migrants would be selected by the Australian government on how much they could pay and not their skills or even family connections to Australia.

The new proposal comes out of the the Productivity Commission, the Australian government’s independent advisory body reviewing the main criteria that migrants are assessed against.  This review was requested by Treasurer, Joe Hockey.  Yes the Treasurer asked for the review and the finding is that they should focus on rich migrants.  Go figure.  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

The mining boom bust in 2012 has left a big hole in the Australian national purse

Since the mining boom bust in 2012 the effect has left a big hole in the Australian national purse perhaps that is why Mr Hockey might be feeling a bit of pressure in his current role.

China doesn’t want all that iron ore anymore.  What iron ore it did acquire in stupendous amounts has resulted in wasteful construction.  An example of this would the disturbing existence of “ghost cities”.  Essentially cities built for 1 million people but only housing say 20,000 people.  Cities like Ordos, one of these such cities located in Inner Mongolia.  Hmm Ordos it doesn’t sound very Chinese, more like one of those crazy clubs in Malaga we read about where Irish youngsters going to work off some of their crazy sexual energy.

With rising unemployment and lower than expected revenues from taxes, Australia is struggling to retain its flag as the beacon economy which managed to avoid going into recession during the global financial crisis.  The treasurer must be looking for extra funds for the national purse and a good way to get this income is to gear the migration policy to focus on the goal of moneyed migrants.

At this stage is just a proposal so rather than foucs on on the negative, here are my 5 tips to help the Australian economy improve without becoming a crazy money hungry branch of the government machinery and mix in a bit of social responsibility as well:-

1. Make it easier

Make it easier for professionally and trade educated migrants to get in and let more of them in.  If someone can put themselves through the process of applying, paying large application fees then moving themselves and their families across the world to a new country and life to boot, naturally they are either crazy or brilliant.  Let’s go with the latter.  Migrants are naturally an enterprising, go getting type of a group set so make it easier for them, it has to be better for the economy.  If each migrant comes with an average of AU$20,000 to settle that’s also a monetary infusion in to the economy.

2. Favour families

Let’s face it this bust will eventually pass and another boom cycle will begin.  So have a bit more foresight.  An aging population and the economic challenges that accompanying this growing trend is something that needs to be addressed now.  Migration could be the answer.  Change migration policy to favour families.   Children are the key to the future.  On that note get rid of visa application fees for children altogether.  Yes its important what mum and dad have been up to so they need to be the qualifying applicants but its the children that Australia accept who are coming with mum and dad that could be one of the keys to solving the social and economic challenges Australia is going to be facing in the not so distant future when this global trend is in full swing.  The kids are migration “gold” for flip’s sake.  Let the Kids in Australia! That’s my mantra, say it with me now!

3.  Give asylum seekers a break

Give the poor asylum seeker/refugee a break visa wise.  Seriously, how much effort translated into dollars goes into dealing with this issue.  From detention centres to work time of politicians, social commentators, media, really how much energy is going into this.

The reality is only about 2,000 get these types of visas get given out anyway.  Detention centres are repugnant and probably very costly.  The whole entire framework that goes toward keeping people in what is essentially a jail for “processing” is horrible.

4.  Millenial input

Ask young Australians what migration policy they want for their country since these policies will also affect their futures. The Einstellung effect is a term I came across in wonderful Coursera course I recently completed called Learning how to learn.  It is the negative effect of previous experience when solving new problems.  That’s why scientific break through for example have occurred when the old scientists have died off.  Its a fresh way of looking at problems that can resolve them.  I think you see Einstellung effect in play with the Australian government’s approach to how to create a better migration programme.

5.  Reduced fees

Stop putting up the application fees FFS!  Yes I swore, well actually is swearing in abbreviation really swearing?  Visa application fees have increased over 40% in the time I’ve been working in immigration.  When I was working in migration in Brisbane back in 2004, I recall the main visa application fee was AU$1920.  Guess what it is today AU$3,520!  Who wishes they could buy shares in the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.  Of course the government will give all kinds of reasons that warrant the price hike and maybe some of that money has really helped the Australian economy and people but the cynical part of me just thinks that all government bodies are full of over paid senior public servants not doing much to be efficient and forward thinking and that the political climate which public servants are very susceptible to for their job security usually influences the types of policy that gets made.  Find some other way to raise revenue from migrants.

This is my opinion as it’s my blog.  Feel free to leave your own suggestions for the Australian government on how to improve the economy without becoming so greedy.