From 24 November 2012, parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to apply for Tourist visas to visit Australia for longer.
The department will grant on a case-by-case basis:
These changes allow parents who meet the criteria for a Tourist visa to have regular extended visits with their family in Australia without needing to apply for a new visa on each visit.
Under these more flexible arrangements, in addition to meeting all other Tourist visa requirements, parents will be expected to hold health insurance to cover any healthcare costs during their stay and will have a visa condition limiting applications for further visas while they are in Australia.
Like all tourists, parents granted Tourist visas are expected to maintain extended periods of absence between visits to Australia.
Information about the processing of Priority Group 5 General Skilled Migration applications in Program Year 2011-12.
See: Processing of Priority Group 5 General Skilled Migration Applications
Following the Minister for Immigration and Citizenships recent announcement to include Perth in the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), a number of changes have been made effective from 12 September 2011.
In summary, Perth has been classified as regional for the following migration programs:
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, has set new priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas.
See: Fact Sheet 24a Priority Processing for Skilled Migration Visas
A new points test for skilled migrants has come into effect.
Information about the points test, which visas are affected and how this relates to those eligible students and former student visa holders for transitional arrangements is available.
1 July 2011 Points Test for Certain Skilled Migration Visas ( 95KB PDF file)
Information for Applicants Eligible for Transitional Arrangements ( 76KB PDF file)
The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been updated. There are 13 occupations added and four occupations have been removed.
Annual Update of Skilled Occupation List 1 July 2011 (111KB PDF file)
Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
On 10 May 2011, as part of the 201112 budget allocation for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, Minister Chris Bowen MP announced that funding has been allocated to assist with the development of a new Skilled Migrant Selection Model (SkillSelect).
It is proposed that SkillSelect will be a two stage process whereby potential applicants first register their claims for skilled migration through an online Expression of Interest (EOI), and subsequently may be invited to make an application for a visa. This is a significant change from the current situation, as applicants for independent or state/territory sponsored migration will require an invitation to lodge a visa application. SkillSelect will ensure a match between the number of applicants and the number of available program places and consequently, the selection of the best and brightest migrants as well as streamlined processing times.
See: Proposed Skilled Migrant Selection Register (SkillSelect)
On 2 April 2011, the department introduced the Fraud Public Interest Criterion (PIC) that will apply to certain visa subclasses in the Skilled and Employer Sponsored Migration Program.
See: Fraud Public Interest Criterion
On 11 November 2010 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, the Hon Chris Bowen MP, announced the government's intention to implement a new points test applying to certain skilled migration applications made on or after 1 July 2011. The new points test will not apply to unfinalised applications lodged prior to 1 July 2011.
The new points test will not change the generous transitional arrangements in place until 31 December 2012 for former international students.
Fact Sheet on the New Points Test ( 76KB PDF file)
FAQs on the New Points Test ( 85KB PDF file)
Changes to the Skilled Occupation List include generous transitional arrangements which have been extended to current and former student visa holders.
See: Transitional Arrangements for International Students
From 1 July 2010, applicants for certain GSM applications will be required to demonstrate that they have been nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative apply. These amendments relate to the following visa subclasses:
Departmental forms and systems currently do not facilitate proof of nomination or sponsorship at time of lodgement. However, system changes are currently being pursued.
In the meantime, to lodge a valid application, applicants should lodge their visa application form once the relevant state or territory government agency or sponsoring relative have agreed to sponsor them. The nominating state or territory government agency or sponsoring eligible relative should then complete the associated nomination or sponsorship form using the TRN number provided to the visa applicant when lodging the visa application. The nominating state or territory government agency or sponsoring relative should lodge the form within 28 days to demonstrate that the applicant is nominated or sponsored.