14 May 2008

Skilled Australian visa places increased by 31,000

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The number of available skilled immigration places in Australia has been increased by 30 per cent, a record level for the skilled Australian visa program. An extra 31,000 places will be created in the 2008-09 migration programme in an attempt to help employers fill their vacant positions, with the news also set to be good news for anyone hoping to emigrate to Australia.

Senator Chris Evans, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, said the increase was a record and will help to fight skills shortages across the country and inflation in Australia. "The permanent skilled migration program is a capped scheme that has not been allowed to grow sufficiently in the past to respond to the skills shortages now faced by employers," he added.

People seeking an Australia visa can now apply for one of the 133,500 skilled migration visas, 56,500 family visa or 4,000 parent visa places. Mr Evans said the move was a "significant increase" and will ensure a "better balance" in the programme. It is the latest change to the Australian immigration programme, which recently made alterations to the temporary visa scheme, including creating centres for excellence in three Australian cities.

With so many visa grant hopefuls wishing to get a better idea of their qualification under the Australian visa requirements should have their eligibility assessed by taking an Australia Online Visa Assessment.

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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