Blog by Helen Duncan, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 0003187 at AMVL Migrations
There have been a significant number of news stories in the last few days relating to Andrew Robb’s announcement that as part of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, the requirement for Chinese applicants to undergo mandatory skills assessment for ten trade occupations will be removed.
Many people have interpreted this as meaning that unskilled Chinese workers will be allowed into Australia. This is not the case at all. All applicants for skilled visas have to demonstrate that they have the skills to perform the duties of their occupation. In some cases this may mean a mandatory skills assessment and in other cases, the applicant just needs to demonstrate that they have done the necessary training in their home country to an Australian standard and have relevant work experience if required.
For the majority of applicants for subclass 457 visas, the latter is the norm – no mandatory skills assessment. This means that electricians from Italy, carpenters from Ireland or motor mechanics from Peru, simply need to provide evidence of training and/or relevant work experience. If the occupation is a licensed occupation, such as an electrician, the applicant has to demonstrate that would be eligible to be licensed after their arrival in Australia.
With the removal of China from the list of countries that require mandatory Skills Assessments for 457 visas, this will mean that only applicants from Brazil, Fiji, India, PNG, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe will still require a mandatory skills assessment for a limited number of occupations. The new arrangement with China simply brings the requirements for skilled workers in line with other developed countries and is not an attempt to bring in unskilled Chinese labour to steal jobs from Australians.
Immigration requirements are very strict and it is not an easy process for companies to sponsor foreign workers. It is a pity that people do not try and get the full story before getting on the band wagon.