Introducing Points Based Skilled Migration

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blog Helen Duncan, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 0003187 and Partner at Australian Migration & Visa Lawyers

From 1 July 2012, General Skilled Migration (GSM) will be knows as Points Based Skilled Migration (PBSM). It will incorporate visa subclasses 189 (Independent), 190 (state/territory sponsored) and 489 (provisional skilled).

Applicants will not be able to apply directly for a PBSM visa but instead will have to lodge and expression of interest (EOI) and wait to be invited by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) to apply for a visa. There will be no onshore or offshore differentiation so applicants can only stay in Australia after lodging an expression of interest if they have a valid visa (there will be no bridging visas associated with the expression of interest). There are no DIAC fees associated with lodging an expression of interest.

There will be minimum thresholds to be met when lodging an EOI including; the applicant must be aged less than 50 years, they must have an occupation on the new skilled occupation list (SOL - not yet available), they must have competent English and they must have a positive skills assessment.

On loding the EOI applicants should ensure that they have all the evidence to justify the points they have assigned themselves. If an applicant is found to have lodged an EOI without justifying the claims with correct evidence, there are severe penalties.

There will be occupation ceilings set each year so only a certain number of applicants with a particular occupation can receive an invitation any one year.

Applicants can update their EOI with new information up to the point of being invited to apply for a visa. If they do not receive an invitation after two years of lodging an EOI, the EOI will lapse.

As part of the EOI, applicants can indicate if they wish to also be considered for an employer sponsored visa or a state/territory sponsored visa. Employer and state/territory governments will be able to go in to the pool of EOI applicants and search for people to sponsor.  State and territories will be able to search by name so if an applicant is known to them, they can find the specific applicant they wish to sponsor.

Employer can search applicants by occupation, qualifications and work experience. If an employer finds an applicant they are interested in sponsoring, they can leave details and request that the applicant contact them directly. The applicant if sponsored by an employer can then apply under the employer nomination category and if approved does not need to continue with the EOI.

Invitations for subclass 189 visas will be issued based on occupation categories and applicants within each category with the highest points, will be invited first. The aim therefore will be to score as many points as possible.

Invitations for subclass 190 visas will require the applicant to have a pass mark of 65 points and a nomination by a state or territory.

Once an invitation to apply for a visa by DIAC is sent, the applicant has 60 days to lodge an application.

What can AMVL do for you?

With the aim to have as many points as possible or have a state or territory government interested in sponsoring you, at AMVL we can assist you to meet these aims.

We will advise you on how to score as many points as you can and assist with the skills, work experience and qualifications assessments. We will ensure that when an expression of interest is lodged, you have the right evidence available to justify your claims giving you the best opportunity to be invited to apply for a visa.

If you need state or territory sponsorship, we can assist with the lodgement of a sponsorship notification to your preferred state or territory, so that when you do lodge your EOI, you can be nominated quickly.

As AMVL's team of Registered Migration Agents specialise in all visa categories, should you be offered an invitation to apply for a visa by DIAC, we can provide you with expert advice and assistance with your application. Contact AMVL for more information.

(The above information was correct at 13 June 2012)


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The Magic of the Working Holiday Visa

Friday, May 25, 2012

Blog by Kathleen Lucey, Ireland born and based Visa Consultant (AMVL)

Almost 20 years ago a college friend and I set out on our first big adventure! We went in search of the 'real' Australia while everybody else seemed to be heading to Germany.

Fresh out of college and as green as any Irish can get we landed in Melbourne and loved the student city with its cosmopolitan feel and trams originally from Dublin city! We spent a few nights in St. Kilda sampling the music scene there and despite Melbourne living up to its ‘four seasons in one day’ reputation we had a great time.

In search of blue skies we headed north and parked ourselves in Sydney for a few weeks. Sydney is a city not to be missed – but again it just did not match our vision of the 'real' Australia. We donned our backpacks and undertook a 10 hour bus ride to Airlie Beach – ‘the gateway to the Whitsundays’. The real Australia was getting closer!

We spent 6 weeks working in Club Crocodile on one of the islands flipping burgers for the tourists as they lounged by the pool. Getting the water taxi to work every day was a novelty. The Whitsundays are not to be missed by the diving and sailing enthusiasts and we experienced both in the pristine blue waters of Whitehaven beach.

Backpacks on again, we headed for Byron Bay where we decided that the beach camp site would be our home for the next few weeks. We were close to becoming beach bums at the end of our stay so we ditched our bikinis and beach hats and replaced them with our new Akubras(1) and Blundies(2) and headed inland and hit Longreach – outback Queensland. It was here that our “Aussie Adventure” truly began.

After an afternoon of hanging out at the local cattle sale we managed to bag ourselves a job on a sheep station about an hours drive out of town. For three months we sheared sheep, fixed fences, fed emus and ran up a healthy bill at the bar in their outback “resort”. The resort part of the sheep station catered for city dwellers looking for a true outback experience which is what you got when you came to stay – complete with sheep shearing, lunch in the bush which consisted of the traditional damper(3) and tea boiled on the billy(4) under the shade of the coolabahs tree! We truly loved our time there and we were very sad to leave. But one of us was to return and marry the station owner!

Confident in our new found farm ability we moved from outback Queensland to the red centre and got jobs on a cattle station two hours drive north of Alice Springs in The Northern Territory. The station owner collected us in his light aircraft from Alice Springs airport and we had our first view of his property, which was roughly the size of Munster and ran 20,000 mob of cattle, from above. If anybody has ever seen any aboriginal art then you can see where they get their inspiration from. So we had progressed from sheep farmers to Jillaroos(5)! Being a Jillaroo involved early rises, horses, red dust and lots of it, mobs of cattle, wild camel, many bruises and long days. Three of the most amazing months of my life were spent on that cattle station. The red centre evokes either love or hatred and we loved every minute of it – flies and all!!

It was with great sadness that we left and I travelled on to Western Australia where I managed to get a job with a shearing contractor as a rouseabout(6). What with my ‘vast’ experience as a sheep person I felt I was fully qualified to work in the shearing sheds up and down the west coast of Australia sorting and grading the wool as the shearers removed it from the sheep. A skill I can to this day boast about!

Yet another amazing experience of outback life, getting rained in on one station and having to hunt for our supper! Sleeping in makeshift accommodation and fighting off moths the size of a small sparrow! Sleeping under the stars in a swag(7) by the camp fire! I still have some merino wool as a memento of those early mornings and long days in the shearing shed. Click goes the shears boys!

I will admit that this experience is not everybody’s cup of tea but Australia is certainly the place to go if you are looking for some adventure and if you are willing to get off the beaten track and not follow the traditional backpacker routes. You will be rewarded with memoires you can cherish, even 20 yrs later, not to mention a few scars to show the children and grandchildren. I will also agree that both the Irish and Australian landscape are very different almost 20 years on. Back in the early 90ies I went in search of adventure but today sadly many Irish are going in search of work and a better lifestyle.

Whatever your reason for leaving Irish soil, the Working Holiday Visa  is the perfect launching board for your travels to Australia and as long as you apply before you turn 31 you can go and work and travel in Australia for 12 months on the Working Holiday Visa. There is also an opportunity to extend this for a further 12 months and apply for a second Working Holiday visa if you do a total of 88 days of seasonal work in a regional area. This might give you an opportunity sample the “Real Australia”.

So whether you are more inclined to the beach life, city life or bush life Australia truly has it all.
Contact us now and create your own tale of adventure!

  1. Australian bush hat
  2. Australian work boots
  3. Traditional Australian sodabread
  4. Cooking pot used on a campfire
  5. Female who works on a cattle station
  6. Shedhands who pick up wool after it has been taken from the sheep's back during shearing
  7. Australian canvas sleeping bag

Do you want to explore Australia like Kathleen on a working holiday? Contact our Ireland office to learn more about our competitive Working Holiday Visa packages and start packing your bags for Australia today!

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Spend Valentines Day with your partner in Australia, not over Skype or email - get an Australian Partner Visa

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines Day - a day when we all think of love and romance. But for some Aussies it means thinking about their significant other in an overseas country and wondering if they can ever be together. There is a way.

There are three Partner visa options for people in relationships with Australian Citizens or permanent residents, and another option for those who have fallen in love with our Kiwi mates.

All have slightly different requirements and you can find some basic information here (
Your love story may be the stuff of Hollywood scripts or TV soaps, but the thing to remember is that the Immigration process is nothing like the movies. It can be easy to fall madly in love, have a whirlwind romance and declare that you will be together forever, but getting a visa for Australia is a little more complicated.

Firstly, you need to be able to provide documents to show that you are in a genuine, committed relationship. A Marriage certificate on its own is not enough. The documents can be anything, including emails, phone records, Facebook/Skype chats, mail showing you live together and, of course, photos. Most documents need to be from independent sources, so while you may be able to provide 20+ statements from family and friends, you will need to look at other things you can provide.

Secondly, you need to look at the specific requirements for the type of Partner visa you are applying for. For instance, if you want to apply on the basis of a De Facto relationship (i.e. you live together but are not married), then you need to be able to show that you have been living together for a minimum of 12 months prior to lodgement. Unless certain circumstances apply, if you do not have the 12 months worth of documents, then you will not be successful with the application.

Another issue to consider when planning a wedding in Australia is the need to submit a ‘Notice of Intention to Marry’ document at least one month and one day before your desired wedding date. You will need to factor this in when planning for lodgement, particularly if your soon-to-be spouse’s visa is due to expire.

Finally, you need to consider where you want to be while the application processes, and where you can be during processing. Two of the Partner visas can be lodged with the applicant in Australia or overseas, but if you want to apply for a visa on the basis of your engagement and intention to marry, then you cannot be in Australia when this is lodged. It is possible to visit Australia on a Tourist visa during processing.

Every relationship is different and so every application will be different. If you are unsure of the process or if you meet the requirements then talk to a professional as they can put you on the right track or even prepare the whole application for you.

AMVL has a dedicated Family Residence Team who can provide advice or assistance with lodging your application for a Partner visa. Contact them today!

Blog written by Christel Dajcz, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 1066568 at Australian Migration & Visa Lawyers. 

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