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What’s New on the Australian 457 Business Sponsorship visa?

Posted on Apr 21, 2015 in Australia, Australian Immigration, Work in Australia |

There are few changes on the 457 Business Sponsorship Visa that came into effect recently. 1. English Language Requirement. Although the Government didn’t support expanding the list of nationalities exempt from English language test, there are still good news. In addition to IELTS and OET, the Australian government starts accepting TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE and Cambridge CAE certificates as part of your visa application. These are the minimum required scores for 457 Sponsored Visa: IELTS – overall average score of 5, a minimum score of at least 4.5 in each band (while you needed a minimum of 5 before.) OET – “B pass”for all four components TOEFL – total of 36 points, at least 3 in Listening and Reading and at least 12 in Speaking and Writing Cambridge English: Advanced – Average score of 154, with minimum of 147 in each band Pearson Test of English (Academic) – Average of 36 points, with minimum of 30 in each band. Also, another change is that you are exempt to English language testing if you’ve completed at least 5 years of study at the secondary or tertiary level. The study is not needed to be continuous and without breaks as it was before. 2. Minimum salary for exemption from market rate salary requirements was reduced from $250,000 to $180,000. 3. Your Employer has now a longer period provided to notify the Immigrations on any changes concerning the visa or the job. This period has been extended from 10 to 28 days. The Australian Immigration is trying to strengthen the integrity of the Sponsorship program, making some of the requirements more flexible. It is expected that this visa route will be further amended – the process will be simplified and the approval periods will be increased. All these should take effect before the end of 2015/2016. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian visa options you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share...

Australian Skilled Migrant Visa – Current Update

Posted on Apr 6, 2015 in Australia, Australian Immigration |

The waiting time for the Expression of Interest (EOI) applications lodged in January 2015 was two weeks. Because of the larger number of EOIs lodged between December 2014 and March 2015 it is expected that their processing will take a little bit longer. The occupational quota for ICT Business and System Analysts has already been reached, which means that no new invitations will be issued for Skilled Independent and Skilled Regional Sponsored Provisional Visa until the new migration program is announced in July 2015. The Australian government announced that Accountants and Software and Applications Programmers are also near to reach their occupational ceilings. The different areas Engineers – Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers along with Computer Professionals are next on the list to reach the cap. Here is a summary of the occupations and the invitations issued so far: Occupation Annual Ceiling Invitations Issued % Used ICT Business and Systems Analysts 1,620 1,620 100.0% Software and Applications Programmers 5,005 3,999 79.9% Accountants 5,478 4,290 78.3% Other Engineering Professionals 1,000 602 60.2% Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 1,680 954 56.8% Computer Network Professionals 1,788 999 55.9% Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 1,188 548 46.1% Other Medical Practitioners 1,000 413 41.3% Electronics Engineers 1,000 391 39.1% Telecommunications Engineering Professionals 1,000 346 34.6% Chemical and Materials Engineers 1,000 275 27.5% Civil Engineering Professionals 2,850 781 27.4% Electrical Engineers 1,332 283 21.2% Dental Practitioners 1,000 194 19.4% Architects and Landscape Architects 1,476 203 13.8% Registered Nurses 15,042 1,930 12.8%   Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian Immigration visa options you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share 🙂...

5 Myths About Australian Working Holiday Visa

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 in Australia, Australia Working Holiday |

Australian Working Holiday visa is one of the most popular visas among the young people. Australia has currently working holiday arrangements with 20 countries, allowing their passport holders aged between 18 and 30 to spend one year in the country with a limited permission to work up to 6 months in any one job. There’s a lot of information on this visa and you’ve probably heard different stories of your friends’ experiences Down Under. But don’t trust everything – Australian Working Holiday visa is surrounded by so many myths. We’ll try to reveal 5 of them here. Myth No 1: I can get more than one working holiday visa! This is possible only if you do harvest work for 3 months on your first visa. If you don’t want to be in a farm, you can’t avail yourself of a second working holiday visa. You can apply for your second visa immediately after the first one expires or at any time before you turn 31. Myth No 2: If I do 3 months farm work, the government will automatically extend my current visa for another year. If you stay after your first working holiday visa expires without doing anything, you can get illegal in the country. You need to apply for a Second Working Holiday visa before your first one expires. Remember, it’s your responsibility to adhere to your current visa validity and conditions. Myth No 3: I won’t be able to return to Australia if I claim my Superannuation back! Not true. Superannuation is actually a pension fund and your employer is obliged to pay 12% of your wages in that account. You will be able to use this amount after you get retired in Australia but as you are in the country for a Working holiday only, you can claim your superannuation once your visa expires. This doesn’t prevent you, however, from entering Australia in future. If you come back to work again, you’ll need to open a new Super account to be able to earn again. Myth No 4: I’m not obliged to pay tax as...

What Industries are Hiring in Australia in 2015?

Posted on Mar 25, 2015 in Australia, Migration News |

Looking for job opportunities in Australia? Check this research with the top industries looking to hire in Australia. Construction Sector – a grow of 8 % is expected in the building trades by 2018. And the demand is not only in the big cities but all across the country. Building trades including: bricklayers, electricians, plasterers, drainers, carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers, plasterers, roof tillers etc. are expected to rise by 83,500 jobs till the end of 2018, according to the Department of Employment. Healthcare – The demand in the healthcare sector is a result of the aging population in the country and also the advanced medical technologies. Health professionals such as Nurses, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists will continue to be needed in 2015. A steady growth is expected in the whole sector, especially in the regional parts of Australia. According to Health Workforce Australia, the expected shortfall of Nurses by 2025 will be 109,000. Education and Training Sector – the expected growth is 6.7% by 2016/2017. Australian Government of Employment expects more than 58,900 vacant positions in education in the next five years. The demand for additional teachers now is because of the population growth. Another reason for the increased demand is that it was made easier and affordable for parents to send their children to school. The positions most wanted in the sector are Early Childhood teachers, Vocational and Adult Teachers. IT Sector – The highest growth of 20.5 % is expected in this area because technologies become a significant part of our daily life and that’s the reason why more and more specialists are needed in the sector. The high demand is in various technology occupations. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. For additional information about Australian relocation options  you can e-mail us at contact@visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share...

Moving to Canada – What You Need to Know

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 in Canada, Canadian Immigration, Living Abroad |

People usually immigrate to Canada for various reasons – some hope to find a better paid job and lower costs of living, others want to gain overseas experience and get in touch with the multicultural environment in the country, third are attracted by the beautiful scenery. Canada is one of the countries accepting most immigrants from all around the world. If moving to Canada means a new start for you, you need to be careful and to plan the big step perfectly well. Canadian Climate Canadians have a joke that they have eight months of winter in Canada followed by four months to repair their roads. But it’s just a joke. In fact, Canadian climate is quite diverse and you can enjoy the four distinct seasons here with hot summer, cold winter and mild spring and fall. It really depends on where you are going to settle down. Temperature can go up to 35°C during the summer and -25°C in the winter. Cost of Living The cost of living in Canada in comparatively lower compared to Europe and you may find out it’s cheaper compared to your home country. Remember, however, that there are significant differences in incomes between the cities, provinces and industry sectors. Ottawa is the least expensive and Toronto is the most expensive Canadian city. The median after-tax income of Canadian family of two or more family members was $71,700 in 2012. See full report from Statistics Canada. Job Opportunities If your intention is to immigrate permanently and you don’t have a job offer already, check if your occupation is on the List of Eligible Occupations for the Federal Skilled visa. The Canadian average salary increased by 18 percent since 2007 and this is because the Canadian dollar rose 7 percent against the euro and 24 percent against the British pound. The highest paid occupations are in mining and gas/oil drilling industry, electricity and telecommunications. The lowest paid sectors are accommodation and food sectors, as well as arts and entertainment sectors. Canada’s unemployment rate was 6.8 percent in Jan 15 according to Statistics Canada, and traditionally...

5 TIPS FOR MOVING ABROAD WITH CHILDREN

Posted on Mar 16, 2015 in Living Abroad |

  If you plan to relocate abroad and you have kids, you need to discuss this with them long before you take the final decision. Regardless of the circumstances, children of all ages will need preparation. You need to listen to their point as they might have the same fears and expectation as you do. Here are some basic tips to help you smoothly go through this tough period: Prepare your kids for the move. Give them enough time to understand what you are saying and to adapt to the new situation. It will take them a while to get over it, the same as with the adults. Together with your kids, learn about the new place, read books, watch videos or look on the internet to find out more about your new country. Find out information and photos of their new school. Plan the details around moving abroad along with them. Let them participate in decision-making, listen to their opinion, ideas, advice and recommendations. You can even ask them to pack their stuff, such as crayons and toys and put labels on the packs. Organize a farewell party for the kids. Experts think this is very important for children as it’s a gateway between the new life and the old life. Your children need to plan their own goodbyes and to feel like this is a big adventure for them. Some people believe that you can’t really have a good start if you don’t say good-bye properly too. Follow the routine. Children might get really scared if they lose control of their daily routine because regime makes them feel secure. So, if your kid is taking dance classes or some sports, you need to find out where and when to continue doing the same in your new country. Homesickness. Once you arrive in the new country, keep in regular touch with your family members at home. Your children will be very happy to receive postcards, parcels or other items from their auntie or grandma. Keep photos, memories of family events and speak about home culture regularly. Allow your...

How Can Canadian Employers Benefit From the Express Entry?

Posted on Mar 13, 2015 in Canada |

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) implemented changes in Jan 2015 which affect the process for skilled migrants to secure visas to work in Canada. The express entry was introduced for all migrant visa categories. The aim is to make it easier for Canadian employers to find suitable employees from all over the world, when they are not able to find Canadians to fill the available positions. The express entry applies to most migrant categories, including: Federal Skilled Workers Program Federal Trades Program Canadian Experience Class Provincial Nominee Program Supposedly, Canadian employers can take their business to the next level through the new express entry by reaching out to hundreds of thousands of skilled workers all across the globe who have secured a skills assessment and lodged an express entry application. How can Canadian employers benefit from the express entry : Employers will have easy access to candidates who have submitted their express entry application and contact the applicants through job boards which will save time; Canadian businesses can submit an application for Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and include foreign workers who are in the express entry pool. There is no LMIA fee for permanent residency visa applications, which will save money; CIC will process applications submitted through the express entry within 6 months, to help Canadian employers fill the positions quickly. That said, the express entry system is a points based system. Applicants with the highest points are selected from the pool to submit their visa applications. Currently applicants with job offers from Canadian employers or foreign nationals who have been nominated by a province have the best chances to be invited to apply for permanent residency. If you are a Canadian employer looking to fill a vacancy and can’t find a suitable applicant; or perhaps you want to keep your foreign employees longer in Canada, contact VisaFirst.com today on 647 797 3680 or e-mail contact@visafirst.com . Our experienced recruitment and licensed visa agents will guide you through the...

IELTS Test Required for UK Visas

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 in United Kingdom |

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the most popular English language test, becomes the only English language test accepted for all UK visas as of April, 6th. A new test called Life Skills test will be introduced along with the General and Academic IELTS. This Life Skills test will be suitable for visa applications where lower English level is required. All UK visa candidates will be offered to pass the IELTS test in one of the 100 designated locations across the world. What is IELTS? It’s a test system with overall of 25 years history and accepted by more than 9,000 organisations, employer, governments and universities all over the world. IELTS test include listening, reading, writing and speaking. You may need to pass IELTS even if you are a native speaker as part of your visa application. The total time to pass the test is 2 hours and 45 mins. Scores are from one to nine (the highest score).   IELTS scores 9 Expert user 8 Very good user 7 Good user 6 Competent user 5 Modest user 4 Limited user 3 Extremely limited user 2 Intermittent user 1 Non user 0 Did not attempt the test No limit on the number of times you can pass IELTS test. If you are not happy with your current scores, you can register for a new one once you feel ready. The validity of the test result depends on the organisation you want to use it for. Most authorities won’t accept it if it has been issued more than 2 years ago. 2.5 million IELTS test have been taken throughout 2014. In order to book your IELTS test, you need to check the authorised centres here: www.ielts.org. For more information on UK visa requirements, contact Visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share...

Canadian IEC program opens (5th March) for Ireland!

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in Canada, Migration News |

  There are three streams to the program Young Professionals – OPENED International co-op internship – OPENED Working Holiday visa – Register now and get ahead of the crowd. The IEC program has opened for the Young professional and internship streams. You need a job offer / placement offering in order to be accepted onto one of these streams. But the highly anticipated Working Holiday stream still remains closed at this point. Yet we are expecting to advise our clients of the opening date for the 10,000 IEC visas very shortly. To secure an invitation to apply for the Working Holiday visa, the key is to be prepared ahead of the crowd. Canadian immigration have changed the process many times in the last couple of years. Anyone who missed the program last year could expect to face more changes this time around too. We, at Visafirst.com, are providing our clients with A preparation guide to ensure they are best prepared to navigate through the IEC stage. A list of expected questions that you may be asked A checklist of required documents that you will need The opening times both by email and text message so you can be sure not to miss out on the short window of times that exists to submit your IEC application. The correct link for the site also. Once the program opens and you have submitted your information, you then need to wait to receive your Conditional Letter of Acceptance if you have done everything right. This will take up to 14 days if done correctly. Once you receive this, we will have just a few days to submit your visa application. So this does not give people much time to gather the information – especially when some of the documents (like police clearances) can take a few weeks to obtain. Again, Visafirst.com will be handling this visa application stage for our clients. We will be Providing our clients with a checklist of required documentation and forms for the visa application Reviewing the documentation and preparing the visa application for submission with our ICCRC...