31 March 2009

Occupations removed from South Australian sponsored visa programs

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Important changes have been made to the South Australian sponsored visa programs, with occupations removed from both the Permanent Sponsorship list and the Provisional Sponsorship list.

The previously announced changes have had an immediate effect on the eligibility of many applicants for a South Australian sponsored visa, with the amendments resulting in the removal of occupations from Sponsorship Occupation Lists and the suspension of the Concessional English Program.

As a result of planning levels being achieved, one occupation has been removed from the South Australian Permanent Sponsorship list:

Applicants who list this as their nominated occupation in the points test will no longer be eligible for sponsorship by South Australia.  Additionally, there have also been a number of occupations removed from the South Australian Provisional Sponsorship list:

Also affected is the Concessional English Program, which has now been temporarily suspended while it is held under review. Previously, this allowed people with less advanced English language skills to meet the eligibility requirements of a South Australian sponsored visa application. The provision only applied to Australian skilled visa applicants applying for the Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (subclasses 475 and 487), but has now been withdrawn until further notice. 

However, applicants that have already submitted their application online and are planning on providing documents that support their claim for points according to the Concessional English Program will be able to send these documents to Immigration SA, provided they do so before 31 May 2009.

Additionally, Immigration SA have also provided concrete processing times for existing and new State Sponsored visa applications.  Permanent sponsorship applications (i.e. for the Skilled Sponsored visa (subclass 176)) will be processed within 4 weeks and provisional sponsorship applications (i.e. for the Skilled Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 475)) will be processed within 6-8 weeks.

These changes come after the Federal Government's recent changes to the General Skilled Migration Program, which included a reduction in the number of occupations listed on the Critical Skills List (CSL). 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with emigrating to Australia.

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