Student Visa Assessments – Higher Education Diplomas and Advanced Diplomas

From 1 January 2011, changes will come into effect that will impact on prospective students intending to study for a higher education diploma or advanced diploma. From this date, these prospective students can be assessed for a Higher Education (subclass 573) visa.
Prior to 1 January 2011, students applying for a diploma or advance diploma were assessed for a Vocational Education and Training (VET) (subclass 572) visa, as diplomas and advanced diplomas were not specified in relation to the Higher Education (subclass 573) visa.
The legislative instrument detailing Why the department has introduced this change
The reason for this change is to align migration legislation with the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) and the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS). The AQF and CRICOS specify higher education diplomas and higher education advanced diplomas as separate and distinct from VET diplomas and VET advanced diplomas.
Who will be affected?
This change will affect all new student visa applications lodged on or after 1 January 2011.
This change will not affect:
students who currently hold a VET (subclass 572) visa, and are studying a higher education diploma or higher education advanced diploma course
students who are currently in the middle of studying a package of courses which includes a higher education diploma or higher education advanced diploma.
Other changes on 1 January 2011
Three course names which are obsolete have been removed from the courses specified in relation to the VET (subclass 572) visa. These are:
advanced certificate
associate diploma.
Useful Information
Specific information on applying for a Student visa is available. See:
If you are in Australia Telephone: 131 881.
If you are outside Australia, contact your nearest departmental office. See: is available on the ComLaw website. See:

Simpler visas

The Australian Government has initiated a range of reforms aimed at improving productivity and international competitiveness. An ambitious regulatory reform agenda is an integral part of these reforms.
As part of its regulatory reform agenda, the Australian Government has agreed to rationalise the visa framework to make it simpler and more efficient.
Specifically, the Government has committed to reduce by 50 per cent the number of temporary working visa subclasses by 2012 and to target a 50 per cent reduction in the total number of visa subclasses by 2015. This reform is being taken forward as part of a Better Regulation Ministerial Partnership announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans, and the Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, on 4 June 2010.
Simplification of the visa framework will be undertaken in stages over five years and will cover all visa
groups, including:
• Temporary residence and visitor visas (the first visa group under review)
• Student visas
• Permanent Skilled and Business Entry visas
• Resident Return visas
• Bridging visas
• Family visas

Terms of Reference Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program

Australia’s Student visa program enables international students to study in Australia. The program facilitates the continued strength and competitiveness of the international education sector while ensuring appropriate integrity measures are maintained.
The Government values the important economic and cultural contribution made by the international education sector. In the past decade the sector has undergone rapid growth. The number of Student visas granted has more than doubled from 108,000 in 1997-98 to 269,828 in 2009-10.
The integrity of the Student visa program has been challenged in recent years by the promotion of Australian education courses as a pathway to permanent migration.
The Government reformed the Skilled Migration program to clearly affirm that while there are opportunities for international students seeking permanent residency in Australia, there is no guaranteed pathway. These changes have delivered a Skilled Migration program that is now driven by the skills needs of industry and employers, rather than the educational choices of international students.
More recently, the international education industry in Australia has come under increasing pressure as a result of the rising value of the Australian dollar, the ongoing impact of the global financial crisis in some countries, and increased competition from other countries in the international education market. The sector has also faced negative publicity in the wake of several attacks on international students and the closure of some international education providers.
While Australian education is already highly regarded, the Government is focused on driving reforms to further improve quality. Building Australia’s reputation as a provider of quality education is the key to strengthening the competitiveness of our international education sector.
In this context it is timely to review the framework underpinning the Student visa program to ensure it is well positioned to respond to current and future challenges.
The Government has appointed the Hon Michael Knight AO to undertake a strategic review of the Student visa program. The Review will report to Government by mid 2011.

Australian Computer Society (ACS) Skills Assessment Review

The following information is for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applicants who:

lodged their application on the basis of a skills assessment by ACS in the Australian Standards Classification of Occupations (ASCO) occupation of Computing Professionals NEC prior to 1 July 2010 and

subsequently sought a further skills assessment (this may be known as a review, a revalidation or a new skills assessment) from the ACS to determine their skilled occupation under Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
ACS allows applications for further skills assessments following the announcement of the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) in ANZSCO that came into effect on 1 July 2010. The review is offered by ACS in light of this change to determine if the materials submitted for the original skills assessment could receive a skills assessment for an occupation classified under ANZSCO.
Posted in ACS

Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List

Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List
Skilled Sponsored Visa (SSV) – Subclass 176 (Offshore) and 886 (Onshore)
Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (SRSV) – Subclass 475 (Offshore) and 487 (Onshore)

Applicants who have a skill listed on the Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List (WASMOL) may be eligible to apply for Western Australian State Sponsorship.
These occupations do not relate to any specific job vacancies, nor represent any guarantee of a job in these occupations, but rather identify skills that are in demand for industry sectors in Western Australia.
State Sponsorship applicants will have to compete with all potential employees in the Western Australian labour market in a normal competitive selection process to secure any available or advertised job.

Skilled migration to Queensland, Australia

Queensland State Migration Plan

Applications for Queensland Government state sponsorship are now open under the Queensland State Migration Plan (SMP).

The SMP is the result of a formal agreement between the Queensland Government and the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Skilled migration program

Queensland offers a high standard of living and good working conditions. Queensland workers have rights to fair working conditions, including:

* a discrimination-free workplace
* safe working conditions
* good wages
* public and annual holiday leave entitlements.

The aim of the Queensland Government Skilled Migration Program is to strengthen the economy of Queensland by attracting people with skills in critical shortage.

Please note that the Queensland Government will decide if nomination is in the best interests of Queensland, based on Queensland’s labour market, economic and community needs at the time of assessment. Correctly lodging an application does not guarantee nomination.

Please also read the processing timeframes information.

Skilled visas

The eligible skills lists are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect current labour market conditions. The current lists were updated on 7 December 2010.

The Queensland Government participates in the:

* Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) Visa (Subclass 176)
* Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Visa (Subclasses 475 and 487)
* Skilled Sponsored (Residence) Visa (Subclass 886)

The skilled visa comparison table provides a brief overview of these visas.

The Queensland Government provides nominations to those skilled migrants who have an eligible skill and who are assessed as likely to provide a clear benefit to the Queensland economy. DIAC’s eligibility is also a condition of Queensland nomination for a Skilled Sponsored, Skilled Regional Sponsored visa or other sponsored visas.

The Australian Government also offers other types of migrant work visas. Visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) website to gain a general overview of the processes involved in migration to Australia.
Please be aware that applications, processing and visa approvals are wholly administered by DIAC. Please do not make any travel arrangements or changes to your personal situation until DIAC has formally advised the outcome of your application.

Last updated 4 January 2011

Tasmania – the life you’ve been looking for

Tasmania – Australia’s island state – lies 42 degrees south of the equator and less than one hours flight from mainland Australia. Consisting of one main island along with an number of smaller, unpopulated islands, Tasmania is located in the temperate zone of the southern hemisphere and is a land of dramatic coastlines, rugged mountains, spectacular wilderness and sparkling highland lakes.

Tasmanians breathe some of the world’s cleanest air and drink the world’s purest water. Unpolluted coastal seas and rich, fertile soils enable Tasmania to produce some of the world’s finest foods.

Tasmania’s capital city Hobart, offers a diverse lifestyle with restaurants offering fantastic, fresh seafood and produce with a clear focus on gourmet living, friendly bars, and shopping, all within a short drive to some of the world’s greatest natural heritage.

With spectacular scenery, friendly people and relaxed lifestyle, Tasmania is the life you’ve been looking for.

Identity security strengthened through biometrics

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP, today announced the Gillard Government is introducing biometrics collection of all protection visa applicants’ data lodged in Australia, as well as biometrics collection of visas processed in selected overseas locations, to further strengthen border security and identity checking processes.

‘Biometric data is widely used in the international community as an effective tool to manage visa and immigration processes, improve identity management and combat fraud,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘The introduction of biometrics to onshore and offshore visa application processing is a tangible milestone on the path to even stronger border security for Australia and is critical to maintaining the integrity of our visa and migration programs.’

Biometrics data acquisition is already used in some immigration and citizenship processes but has now been expanded to include all onshore protection visa applicants.

‘This initiative will assist in establishing the identity of protection visa applicants who arrive in Australia but are often unable to provide sufficient documentation to prove their identity, and strengthen our ability to detect inconsistent immigration claims,’ Mr Bowen said.

‘It is important to note that these new requirements will enhance, but not replace, the current process for assessing an applicant’s claims for protection under the Refugees Convention. People who are owed protection under Australia’s international obligations will continue to be granted protection. People who are found to not be owed protection will be returned.

‘My department has put measures in place to ensure applicants are treated fairly and that flexible arrangements are available for those who live in remote areas.’

Biometric acquisition stations are available at Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) offices in Adelaide, ACT and Regions Office, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

The data is collected through a quick, discreet and non-intrusive process that captures a digital facial image as well as a 10-digit fingerprint scan using a dry fingerprint scanner machine.

Australia will also begin the phased introduction of biometric collection in offshore visa application processing, to complement the expansion of biometrics collection to all onshore protection visa applicants.