08 May 2008

Call for Australian temporary visa changes rejected by DIAC

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The IT industry's calls to change the stipulations put on temporary Australian visa (subclass 457) have been rejected by the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). The request was headed by the IT Consulting and Recruitment Association (ITCRA) and its rejection means that IT workers hoping to travel to Australia may be better considering permanent skilled migration as their primary route to gaining an Australian visa.

The changes were first implemented by the Howard government, who made it compulsory for organisations to retain a percentage of Australian workers on their books, or in training. After representatives from both ITCRA and the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association failed to convince DIAC representatives to remove the stipulations, it is feared that many businesses in the IT sector will be able to find the workers they need through the temporary visa (subclass 457) scheme.

However, the Australia skilled visa route may still prove a successful source of new workers, with many IT positions found on the Australian Migration Occupations in Demand List. Visa applicants whose occupation features on this list will enjoy additional points when lodging their application, as well as a streamlined migration process.

IT positions that the industry is finding particularly difficult to fill include positions in security and Java programming. Susie Rogers, Director of recruitment firm Rusher Rogers, commented on the skills crisis, saying: "It's getting very hard to find those people at the moment”.

Australia needs skilled workers: Anyone applying for an Australian visa should begin by completing the Australian Visa Bureau's online Australian visa application to see if they meet the Australian visa requirements.

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