10 August 2007

Australia increases skilled migrant quota

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Australia is issuing more Australian visas to skilled migrants than ever, a budget media release on Wednesday confirmed.

Australia is issuing more Australian visas to skilled migrants than ever, a budget media release on Wednesday confirmed. The level of migration for 2007-08 will be set at 152,800 places. This includes an increase of 5,000 places in the Skilled Migration Stream (SMS), with a total of 102,500 places.

The increase reflects the labour shortages being experienced by Australia in many highly skilled job sectors. This year's Australian visa quota also reinforces the Australian government's focus on strengthening the economy by keeping pace with the demand for skilled workers. Immigration minister Kevin Andrews has previously commented: "This level will strengthen our economy and maintain a strong cohesive community."

This is good news for Britons interested in Australian immigration who have work experience and English language skills that will enable them to get an Australian skilled visa and immediately contribute to the ongoing strength of the economy.

More Australian visas were issued to IT professionals (4,290) in the nine months to March 31st 2007 than during the entire previous year, according to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. The number of visas is heading for an increase of 35 per cent this year.

Australian visas issued to the spouses and partners of skilled migrants have also increased. During the 2006-07 year the number of partner visas in the family scheme was increased by 4,000 places. The minister announced that this level (a total of 50,000 places) will be maintained in the Migration Programme for 2007-08. The increased mobility of young professionals has created a higher demand for partner visas.

Part of the reason for the increase in visas is the country's solid economic performance. Australia's economy grew by 2.8 per cent in the final three months of 2006, fuelled by increasing household spending and a mining boom benefiting from higher commodity prices.

Anyone applying for an Australia skilled 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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