Extension streamlined visa processing to non-university

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection announced the proposed extension of streamlined visa processing to certain low immigration risk non-university higher education providers on 29 October 2013.

Streamlined visa processing arrangements, similar to those currently in place for universities, are proposed to be extended to prospective students of selected low immigration risk education providers who offer bachelor, master’s or doctoral degree level courses. We intend for these proposed arrangements to commence in March 2014.

Eligible providers would receive an invitation to participate from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the first week of November 2013.

Streamlined visa processing for certain university applicants has been operating since 24 March 2012. There will be no change to these arrangements or how they operate as a result of this announcement.
See: Streamlined Student Visa Processing


New ACS Skills Assessment Criteria

The Australian Computer Society has just released the following information about changes to its Graduate Skills Assessment Application Process.

Graduate Skills Assessment Application Process Changes

The ACS is choosing to implement the changes effective from January 15, 2014, (instead of October 28, 2013) which will provide certainty to those studying courses that are scheduled for completion in the final months of 2013.

The implementation of the ACS graduate application changes will ensure applicants are being assessed in line with the Migration Amendment (Skills Assessment) Regulation 2013 changes announced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to take effect on Oct 28, 2013.

The ACS is committed to providing a robust assessment service that accurately identifies an applicant’s ICT skills and their compatibility with the skills that the Australian Government has identified as being in shortage.  To aid clarity and enhance consistency, the ACS has reviewed the current suitability criteria for applicants with an Australian study component in their skills assessment.

The following changes will come into effect on Jan 15, 2014:

•    The ACS Temporary Graduate – 485 skills assessment will clearly state that it is specifically for the purpose of applying for a subclass 485 visa application.  Applicants with an Australian study component that are applying for a subclass 485 visa will be assessed on the Australian qualification only, based on the completion of the relevant Australian Bachelor degree or higher.

•    Applicants with an Australian study component that wish to apply for permanent residency will require either 1 year of relevant work experience or completion of an ACS Professional Year Program to receive a suitable skills assessment which can be used for general migration purposes. 

•    The ACS Post Australian Study Skills Assessment is intended to support graduates in applying for permanent residency under the General Skilled Migration or Employer Nomination Scheme after completing an Australian study component.

•    The Australian study component is taken into consideration because of the value of studying in Australia and the exposure to Australian culture and language, which in turn places applicants in a better position to be employed in their nominated occupation. 

•    The work experience or professional year program is assessed for suitability of the full skills assessment and the applicant is considered skilled from the completion date of the relevant Australian degree.  The Post Australian Study Skills Assessment can be used for migration purposes in general.

NSW State Occupation List (As at 14/10/2013)

The NSW State Migration Plan was updated from 15 October 2012.

The plan includes an increase in the number of skilled migrants that can be nominated by NSW Trade and Investment each year from the agreed NSW List of Occupations (updated 14 October 2013). The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) determines the number of skilled migrants that can be nominated.


Christopher Pyne exaggerates Labor’s international student ‘failure’

The new federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has accused Labor governments of shrinking the international student market. In a with The Australian Financial Review, Mr Pyne said that since Labor started changing the rules for international students in 2008, “they’ve managed to shrink the industry by about a quarter, which is a pretty dramatic failure given that the economy’s been growing in that period”.
He said when Labor took office in December 2007, education was Australia’s second highest source of foreign income, or fourth highest if mining was broken down into iron ore, coal and gold.
ABC Fact Check asked Mr Pyne for the basis for his comment.


Christopher Pyne eyes jobs for overseas graduates

EDUCATION Minister Christopher Pyne has promised to open the jobs market to more overseas students who have graduated from Australian universities, as a means of rehabilitating the stagnant $14 billion international education industry.

In his first speech on the industry since he was sworn in as minister, Mr Pyne said yesterday the Abbott government would move quickly to extend the streamlined visa process beyond universities to training colleges, and maximise career opportunities in Australia for the best foreign graduates of our universities.

Monash University researcher Bob Birrell said he was troubled by any policy changes that used migration or easier labour market access as a lure to sell education, especially if it encouraged a repeat of last decade’s boom in low-quality diplomas pitched at foreign students seeking permanent residency.

- See more at: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/pyne-vows-action-on-visas-work-rights/story-e6frgcjx-1226735647370#sthash.VPuExmVy.dpuf