Skilled migration changes to be discussed in Griffith

Date: Jun 06, 2012

With changes to the skilled migration program soon to take effect, immigration outreach officers are doing their bit to make sure businesses and individuals are aware of the changes.

Griffith in New South Wales will be visited by the team on June 12-14, where they will be on hand to answer any questions and make people aware of how the changes will affect them.

After gaining information at the event, interested parties may follow up with a visit to migration lawyers to further discuss their options.

A number of amendments to the legislations are coming into force on July 1, including a new online service that aims to connect Australian employers with potential skilled migrants.

The service also aims to streamline the process of gaining permanent residence for those who are already working in Australia on temporary skilled 457 visas.

SkillSelect, as the system is known, should make it easier for migrants and their employers to access the services they need.

The system also adopts an expression of interest approach to skilled migration, a process whereby individuals who are interested in relocating to Australia register their details, which are then collated so they can be considered for the relevant visa.

Once people have put forward their expression of interest, businesses can contact the individuals they think would be appropriate for the roles they have to offer.

A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship said: "These new arrangements are designed to better respond to labour market demands and form part of ongoing reform of the skilled migration program.

"Intending migrants will be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian government to lodge a visa application."

Anyone already in Australia on a 457 visa can apply for fast-tracked residency after July 1, which the officers in Griffith will be able to answer any questions on later this month.

The changes have been made to make it easier for migrants to settle in both regional and metropolitan Australia and reduce the amount of red tape they would otherwise face.

This follows research from the Lowy Institute, which established that 62 per cent of Australians are supportive of temporary skilled migration in order to fill jobs.

The poll was conducted earlier this year, before the Roy Hill iron ore project was granted the first Enterprise Migration Agreement.