Specialists in Migration, Visas, and Overseas Recruitment

Archive for the ‘Australia’ Category

Australia is #1 in the world because …

You might imagine that Australia’s beaches, exciting career opportunities or national sports teams are all world-beating – but what does the data show?

It shows that Australia does top the charts – here’s a look at what Australia does better than anywhere else in the world.

The world’s most liveable cities

Each year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) undertakes and releases its Global Liveability Ranking and Report which provides scores for 140 cities worldwide. Its latest report (from 2014 data) places Melbourne at the top of the list – for the fifth year in a row.

The report looks at 30 factors across five areas: stability, infrastructure, education, healthcare and environment. Melbourne received perfect scores in healthcare, education and infrastructure, culture and environment and sport. Overall, it scored a near-perfect 97.5 out of 100.

It’s not hard to see why. Melbournians enjoy unburdened, effective infrastructure. Melbourne may be a big city but it has the Yarra River flowing through it and masses of green open parks and gardens, contributing to its residents’ sense of wellbeing. It boasts impressive arts and culture and winding laneways of bars, restaurants, cafes and shops. It also has a low murder rate, helping its residents feel safe.

Australia also has three other cities in the top 10 – no other country has that many top-ranking cities in the list. Adelaide is joint fifth, with Sydney seventh and Perth eighth.

Check out the rest of the world’s best cities here.

Twelve Apostles by Worakit Sirijinda, sourced from FreeDigitalImages.com. Northern Territory.

The top in civic engagement

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) Better Life Index goes beyond GDP data and economic statistics. Instead it delves into the well-being of countries’ residents, looking at 11 essential areas of living conditions and quality of life.

The OECD believes that trusting your government is essential to your sense of well-being and that a high voter turnout is a measure of citizen engagement. In Australia, voter turnout is 93% – whereas the OECD average is 68%.

This means Australia tops the chart of OECD countries in terms of civic engagement. It suggests that the Australian political system performs well as it reflects the will of a huge proportion of the population.

See how Australia performs in other OECD measures.

Make the move

If you think Australia is right for you, you can put your plan into action this October – the Working International Expo is coming to London and Manchester. Meet Australian employers, find out more about your visa options and sort out your move – all under one roof. See you there!

You tell us

What do you think Australia is #1 in the world for? Find us on Facebook and let us know your thoughts.

Dancing Lights by Gav Owen, sourced from Flickr.com. Melbourne.

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Immigration news round-up – October 2015

This month, Australia has recently launched a work and holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China and a new online visa label system. In Canada, there’s a mixed bag of news – from holds on some visa schemes to increased thresholds for other schemes. With all these changes, you could benefit from some Canadian visa advice – see who can help.

Plus in New Zealand there’s great news for overseas agricultural workers seeking seasonal work, plus some handy information about what you can and can’t bring into the country.

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Australia

Work and Holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China now live

As of 21 September 2015, up to 5,000 educated young Chinese nationals per year will be able to take advantage of the Work and Holiday visa arrangement between Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The visa allows young Chinese nationals to have an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia, where they can undertake short-term work or study.

If you’re a Chinese national visit the Australian Embassy Beijing website to see if you’re eligible. Or find out more about Australia’s working holiday visa scheme.

Electronic visa record replaces passport labels

Traditionally when you received your Australian visa, a label was fixed into your passport. However, from 1 September 2015, you’re no longer able to request and pay for a visa label.

Instead, you access your visa record through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service. When you scan your passport at the airport, it’s linked automatically to this service and will let passport officials know your visa status.

This change reflects the Australian Government’s agenda to make their services more accessible and convenient to their clients through the provision of secure online services. VEVO is also efficient, reliable and provides real-time information about your visa.

This demonstrates Australia’s commitment to a overhauled, more streamlined and efficient visa system. More information is available at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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Canada

Fast track your move to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast, has just announced they will be able to fast track another 300 migrant workers who qualify under the express entry visa scheme that’s aimed at skilled workers.

It also means that Nova Scotia can nominate a total of 1,350 immigrants in 2015 under their provincial nominee program – almost double the previously allowed 700.

Nova Scotia remains a popular choice for skilled workers. In 2014, 2,670 newcomers settled in Nova Scotia – more people than have ever arrived in the past 10 years. Nova Scotia clearly offers a lot to would-be Canadians too – Statistics Canada show a retention rate of 71 per cent for immigrants that landed in Nova Scotia between 2007 and 2011.

If you’d like to take advantage of this fast track entry to Nova Scotia, take a look at some job opportunities – having a Canadian job offer may help your visa application. Or find out more about Nova Scotia’s nominee program.

Alberta and British Columbia release updates to their Provincial Nominee Programs

Canadian provinces manage their own visa schemes, called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). They all have their own rules, requirements and application thresholds. Alberta and British Columbia have both released updates to their programs:

Alberta

Due to a 10,000-application backlog, no new applications will be accepted to the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program until January 2016. However, if you’re interested in moving to Alberta, you can still apply through Canada’s express entry visa scheme.

British Columbia

Applications to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) Skills Immigration stream and Express Entry stream have been put on hold until early 2016, due to application thresholds being met.

However, the Health Care Professional, Northeast Pilot Project and Entrepreneur Immigration streams will continue to accept applications.

Find out more about the BCPNP.

Skill shortages felt across Canada

A new survey by CareerBuilder.ca shows the impact of skill shortages on Canadian businesses:

  • 29% of survey respondents (almost three in 10 employers) have jobs that have been unfilled for 12 weeks or longer.
  • Three quarters of those respondents say this has negatively impacted upon their companies.
  • 31% of respondents said that un-fillable job openings lead to work not getting done – with 22% saying their companies are losing revenue.

With Canadian businesses feeling the pinch of a lack of skilled workers, this may be good news for skilled workers wanting to move to Canada – watch this space.

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New Zealand

Overseas agricultural contractors able to work easier in NZ

By 1 June 2016, seasonal workers from overseas could find it easier to temporarily work and live in New Zealand. A new visa deal means that rural contractors can more simply bring in overseas workers to help them over the busy summer harvest season.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) president Steve Levet estimates that the industry requires around 900 seasonal staff from overseas each year. In New Zealand there is a shortage of suitably skilled operators able to handle highly sophisticated machinery – so they look overseas for the skills they need.

These overseas workers – traditionally from Ireland and England – have good mechanical skills and are already up and running, meaning they don’t require extensive training.

About the new scheme

With a less rigorous process than what currently has to be followed, under the new scheme RCNZ would apply for Approval in Principle on behalf of all its members.

Then their members can apply online for a visa for the person they’re recruiting without having to meet any of the current requirements, which include having to advertise and going through Work and Income New Zealand first.

No further details are available at this stage – we’ll keep you updated. If you’re not already on our New Zealand mailing list, sign up [Link to: NZ newsletter sign up] and you’ll be the first to know.

Arriving in New Zealand – What you need to know

Whether you’re just visiting or are coming to New Zealand permanently, there are things you need to know.

For starters, do you need a visa? If you’re going on holiday, you might not – see if you need a visitor’s visa.  If you’d like to work and live in New Zealand, you will – read more about NZ visas.

What you can’t bring in to NZ

Pretty standard stuff, but this list includes:

  • Hazardous materials.
  • Endangered species (without a permit).
  • Weapons (without a permit).
  • Objectionable publications, including videos and digital images, or
  • Controlled drugs.

What you have to declare

New Zealand has very strict biosecurity rules – not surprisingly as any rogue flora or fauna can wreck havoc on its unique ecosystem. This means you have to declare the following items when you arrive:

  • Food of any kind – this even includes any food, especially fruit, you might have picked up on the plane or coming through duty free.
  • Plants or parts of plants (alive or dead).
  • Animals (alive or dead) or their products.
  • Equipment used with animals.
  • Camping gear, golf clubs and used bicycles – even muddy walking boots.
  • Biological specimens.

Anything you declare will be examined to check it’s ok to bring into NZ. This may include it being cleaned or treated before being allowed in.

The fines for not declaring any of the above are very high – and not worth the risk.

For more information about what you can (and can’t) bring in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Government website.

Migration to New Zealand reaching its peak

New Zealand has always been a popular choice for skilled international workers but now, finally, the figures seem to be nearing their peak. A recent report by Westpac, a NZ bank, shows that migration to NZ is slowing.

One reason that could be behind this is the approval process for a resident visa, which favours applicants who have a job offer in New Zealand. Another is that NZ’s residence approval targets remain at 45,000 – 50,000 a year, which simply has not kept up with the demand.

Finally, Westpac estimated that Auckland (prime location of choice for most migrant workers) is not keeping up with the housing demand, which is under pressure from both migrant arrival and natural occupant increase.

So, if you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand, make sure you consider other parts of the country before you make the move.  It’s not impossible to get your metaphorical foot in the door in Auckland, but making sure you’ve ticked key boxes (like getting a job prior) will help you get ahead.

Photos from Working International Expo Manchester – 17-18 October 2015

Our Manchester event this weekend (17-18 October 2015) marked our final expo in the UK for 2015.  The quality of candidates over the weekend was fantastic – and we’re looking forward to seeing Manchester (and London) again in March 2016.

Exhibitors were very impressed with the people they met in Manchester.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Nursing jobs available here in Melbourne and Victoria.

Nursing jobs available here in Melbourne and Victoria.

Get help with your move to OZ from locals.

Get help with your move to OZ from locals.

A very positive event with people finding out what life they could have overseas.

A very positive event with people finding out what life they could have overseas.

Land of the long white clouds anyone?

Land of the long white clouds anyone?

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Construction workers and senior construction managers required for large builds in NZ.

Western Australia has a huge requirement for health workers.

Western Australia has a huge requirement for health workers.

The Best 3 Ways to Move to Australia

It’s already September – not too much time left in 2015 to make your goal of moving to Australia a reality.  Luckily we’re on hand with our top three tips to get you off your couch and onto that plane to Australia this year.  Yep, this year.  Really.

Sort a job before you land

For your best chance at an Australian visa, it’ll help to work in an industry that desperately needs your skills and experience. We’ve recently done a round-up of the occupations in demand in Australia – check out the list to see if your occupation is on it.

If it is, start searching for your new job in Australia. Working In Australia’s job board is updated regularly with opportunities across Australia in a variety of industries.

However, if your occupation isn’t on the list, there are still other visa options open to you – see ‘Understand your Australian visa options’ below.

Meet Australian employers in the UK

Even better than looking online for your job in Australia is meeting Australian employers on your home turf in the UK.  You can do that this October as the Working International Expo is returning to London and Manchester.

The expos have a fantastic range of Australian employers, across a range of industries. This October we have upmarket retail giant David Jones exhibiting with us, looking for top UK Buyers. Also exhibiting are Retail FM, looking for Maintenance and Refrigeration Engineers. In Healthcare we have four organisations attending the expo, looking to lure doctors, nurses, and other Healthcare professionals to a job in the lucky country.

You’ll also have a chance to learn what it’s really like to live and work in Australia – face-to-face.

Think Beyond Sydney and Melbourne

Sydney and Melbourne are consistently found in the world’s most liveable cities surveys – but the rest of Australia has a lot to offer too.  Competing against the big city lights, certain areas in Australia are desperately in need of skilled workers and they’re attractive options too.

Secure employment, progressive career opportunities, enviable lifestyles without the big city bustle, and incredible scenery can all be found outside Australia’s major centres.  Even better – there’s a visa programme dedicated to regional centres, called the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

It’s not a points-based visa scheme which may mean you find it easier to meet the criteria. Applying for this scheme means you cannot move to:

  • The Gold Coast
  • Brisbane
  • Newcastle
  • Sydney
  • Wollongong
  • Melbourne

aborigine art 3

Understand your Australian visa options

There’s a wide range of visa options available in Australia for business owners, family members, students, skilled workers and more.

The best way to understand the Australian visa process and the different options available to you is to get expert visa advice.  At the Working International Expo in London and Manchester, you can meet Australian visa specialists like Migration Planners face to face.  You’ll be able to understand the visa requirements and which visa may be right for you.

The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a helpful visa finder tool, too.

Prove your commitment

Australian employers want to know that you’re really committed to taking the big step of moving, living and working in Australia.

Have you visited Australia?  Are you planning to?  Do you have family or friends there?  Are you going to bring all your family with you, or are they staying behind?  How will you cope thousands of kms from home?  Will you arrive only to leave a few months later?

Think carefully about all of the above questions.  If you’re still keen, then great.

One way to show your commitment is to attend the Working International Expo.  All in one place you’ll find answers to all of your questions, and Aussies to grill about what it’s really like to live and work in Australia.

Make the move to Australia this October

From London and Manchester, you can get all you need to make the move to Australia – find a job, sort your visa and make all your moving arrangements, from finding movers to opening your bank account.

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Join us in London or Manchester – we’ve got special discounted Early Bird tickets still available for the Manchester event, but only until this Friday (25 September 2015), so get in quick.

See you there!

aborigine art 2

The Skills in High Demand in Australia

Whether it’s calling one of the world’s most liveable cities home (hello Melbourne), exploring some of the most famous skylines (hi Sydney) or losing yourself (not literally we hope) in the stunning job opportunities in the outback, Australia offers a lot to potential new Aussies.

If you’ve got the skills and experience Australia needs then you could be moving, living, working and playing there soon. See if your skills are in demand in Australia.

Sydney Harbour

About the Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

The SOL is updated regularly to reflect the changing needs of Australia. You need to nominate an occupation on the SOL if you’re applying for:

  • Independent points-based skilled migration and you’re not nominated by a state or territory government agency – this is SkillSelect
  • A Family Sponsored Points Tested visa
  • A Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work stream

About SkillSelect

SkillSelect is how Australia chooses which applicants to invite to apply for a visa. To apply you submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) online. You’ll then go into a pool of other applicants where you’ll be ranked on things like your work experience, skills, age and language abilities.

Depending on your ranking in the pool of applicants, you may then be invited to apply for a visa.

Find out more about SkillSelect.

The skills on the SOL

There are currently 191 occupations on the SOL. If you need a skills assessment as part of your visa application, you need to contact the assessing authority directly to get this. They will provide all the necessary forms and information you need and there will be a cost for this.

View the SOL, along with details of the relevant assessing authorities.

The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)

If you’re applying for a visa under these programs:

  • Points-based skilled migration and you’re nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), and you’ve been nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the CSOL
  • The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa – subclass 457
  • The Training and Research visa (subclass 402)

You need to find your occupation on the CSOL, not the SOL.

View the current CSOL.

Get help with your Australian visa

To help you through the Australian visa process, you can:

You can also start searching for your new job today – good luck!

Immigration News Roundup – July 2015

We keep a lookout for recent immigration changes in Australia, Canada and New Zealand so that you don’t have to. This month discover Australia’s migration trends over the past year, and see whether you’re in demand in South Australia.  Find out about two new Canadian immigration schemes, and see how a licensed immigration adviser can help with your New Zealand online visa application.

Australia

Australia’s Migration Trends 2013–2014

The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently released a new report called Australia’s Migration Trends 2013–2014. Some of the key statistics from the report are that in the 2013–2014 programme year:

  • 207,947 permanent migration visas were granted – a decrease of 4.2 per cent on the previous year.
  • This included 190,000 places under Australia’s migration programme.
  • Of the migration programme’s 190,000 visas:
    • 128,550 visas (or 67.7 per cent) were granted through the skill stream.
    • 61,112 visas (or 32.2 per cent) were granted through the family stream.
    • 338 visas (or 0.2 per cent) were granted under the special eligibility visa category.
  • The place where most people moved from was India, with 39,026 places (that’s a 20.5 per cent share).
  • This was followed by the People’s Republic of China (26,776 places) and the UK (23,220 places).
  • Demand for the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas decreased significantly. Grants for these visas fell 22.0 per cent which may be due to the government’s February 2014 review of the 457 process.

Check out the full report for further details.

Revised South Australia State Occupation List

On 1 July 2015, Immigration South Australia published a revised State Occupation List. Visit Immigration South Australia to view the new list. This list gives you an idea of what skills and jobs are in demand in South Australia. New English requirements for South Australia There have been some changes to the English requirements for some occupations on the South Australia State Occupation List including:

  • ICT occupations – Proficient English is required in each band score (or an overall score of Proficient Plus, i.e. IELTS 7.5 overall).
  • Engineering occupations – Competent Plus English (or an overall score of Proficient, i.e. IELTS 7 overall).

The State Occupation List contains the changes to the English requirements for other occupations.

Canada

Express Entry points requirement decreasing

The new Express Entry system for skilled migration to Canada involves creating a pool of potential applicants, who are invited to apply for a visa through a regular draw. Applicants are awarded points based on certain criteria, like their skills, experience, language capabilities, work history, etc. Two recent draws in June 2015 have seen the level of applicants’ points decreasing yet the number of invitations to apply for a visa increasing. This means meeting the requirements for skilled entry to Canada may be getting a little easier.

New immigration schemes for New Brunswick and Nova Scotia

Two eastern Canadian provinces, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, have recently announced new immigration schemes that are looking for skilled newcomers from overseas. The streams are aligned with the federal Express Entry systems. Although you don’t need a job offer from a Canadian employer to make an application, you must be eligible for either the:

Follow the links to find out more about the New Brunswick Express Entry Labour Market Stream or Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry.

New Zealand

‘Apply on behalf’ now live

Immigration New Zealand has launched a new service called ‘Apply on Behalf’. This means that licensed immigration advisers and other people exempt from licensing, like lawyers, can now apply for visas online on your behalf. This means they can:

  • Start a new online application for a Student, Work or Visitor visa
  • Complete the application in much the same way as you can
  • View submitted applications and upload supporting documents

This means you could benefit from expert support when it comes to completing your visa application online – and it’s one less thing for you to do. Visa-and-Passport

Seven things you’ll need when applying for an Australia, Canada or New Zealand visa

Australia, Canada and New Zealand have plenty of differences. From national pastimes (one loves cricket, another ice hockey) to national animals (one has moose and the other has kiwis). Or from temperature extremes (the bone chilling Canadian -63 degrees and the Australian sweltering 53 degrees) to local slang (don’t forget your bathers in Australia and to say “chur” in New Zealand).

But, when it comes to filling out your visa application, they do share some similarities.

Regardless of which country you want to move to – Australia, Canada or New Zealand – there are certain things you’ll need when it comes to applying for your visa:

  1. A valid passport

Let’s start with the obvious: you need to have a valid passport that’s not due to expire for at least six months.

You may be required to send your original passport with your application, or provide a certified copy. This means someone needs to witness your original documents and sign, stamp or endorse that the copies are true copies of the original documents. People who can certify copies must be authorised by law to take statutory declarations, like lawyers or court officials.

  1. Evidence of good character

Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, you may need to prove that you’re of good character. This may take the form of a list of questions that you need to tick ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to. These questions could include criminal convictions you may have or whether you’ve been involved in terrorist activities.

You’ll normally also need to provide a recent police certificate that shows whether you’ve got a criminal record.  The police certificate should be less than six months old for NZ visas; less than twelve months old for Australia visas; and for Canada visas the police certificate requirement is dependent on the type of visa you are applying for.

You’ll need to allow time for this process – UK police certificates can take up to 10 working days and also incur costs that you’re responsible for covering.   In the UK, police certificates are handled by ACRO.

  1. Acceptable standard of health

You will need to prove that you have an acceptable standard of health – each country has different definitions of what this means.

Depending on which visa type you’re going for, you may also need to undertake medical tests. This is compulsory if you’re applying for permanent visas, but may also apply for some temporary visas too. These thorough medical checks may include:

  • X-rays
  • Full blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Full family history

The medicals can only be performed by approved doctors, and when you provide results they should be as recent as possible. These tests can take time – not only in booking an appointment, but waiting for your results. They also cost money which you’ll need to pay.

  1. Recent passport photos

For New Zealand and Canada visas, you’ll need to supply some recent passport photos with your application. They’ll need to comply with certain regulations, like size, background colour, and what you’re allowed to wear or not.

They may also need to be signed as a true likeness by a witness.

Recent passport photos are not required for Australia visa applications.

  1. Specific policy requirements

There are plenty of different visa types for each country. However, regardless of the visa you apply for, there will be specific requirements you should be aware of. They could include having:

  • A valid job offer
  • Certain qualifications (which you’ll need to prove through university transcripts and school certificates)
  • A certain amount of savings
  • Key skills
  • Family or partner sponsorship
  1. Money for the fees

Whichever country and visa you apply for, there will be fees which you’ll need to pay. For an idea of costs, check out:

  1. Patience

Most of all, you’re going to need patience. Applying for a visa can be a lengthy, and at times frustrating, process.

Keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and hang in there.

Where to go for help

To help you through the visa processes, there are plenty of places you can go.

Each country’s immigration website

Australia, Canada and New Zealand all have very comprehensive websites full of information about the different types of visas they offer, plus the processes involved:

Migration experts

There are many migration experts who can share their experience and expertise to help you get a visa. If you’re considering living and working in Australia or New Zealand, Migration Planners could help.

Additionally, as of June 2015, licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand can now apply online on your behalf for certain types of visas. Using an online system could help to speed up the visa process. It also means it’s one less thing for you to worry about as the experts will handle your application for you.

If you are considering moving to Canada and want expert migration advice, see our list of Canadian preferred partners on our website.

Are you thinking about making the move?

Share any concerns or questions you may have by commenting below – we’ll see if we can help.

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