18 March 2009

Important changes to the South Australian skilled migration program

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The South Australian skilled migration program will undergo some important changes at the end of the month, including the removal of occupations from their Sponsorship Occupations List.

The South Australian skilled migration program will have some temporary changes implemented at 5pm, 31 March 2009.  These include the suspension of the Concessional English provision and the removal of some occupations from the Sponsorship Occupations List.

The Concessional English provision allows people with poor English language skills score more points towards their Australian visa application.  The provision is only eligible for Australian skilled visa applicants seeking State Sponsorship for visa subclasses 475 and 487, with an overall IELTS of 5.5.  They must also have sat for an IELTS (International English Language Test System) at least two years prior to lodging an Australian visa application and obtained no less than 5.0 in listening, 5.0 in reading, 4.5 in writing or 4.5 in speaking.

The Concessional English provision will be closed from the 31 March until further notice.  The Government will still consider all Australian visa applications submitted before this date for South Australian State Sponsorship.

At the same time, Immigration South Australia will also remove several occupations from their Sponsorship Occupations List, although they have not yet confirmed which ones. 

The Federal Government also made changes to the General Skilled Migration Program this week, including a reduction in the number of occupations listed on the Critical Skills List (CSL).  The Government introduced the CSL to determine which occupations are highest in demand in Australia and allow the prioritisation of processing for all Australian visa applicants that have the skills necessary to work that occupation.

Again, Australian skilled visa applications lodged under the South Australian State Sponsorship category before 5pm, 31 March will not be affected by the changes.

The announcements also include changes to the processing times for South Australian visas; Permanent Sponsorship Applications will take four weeks while Provisional Sponsorship Applications will take six to eight weeks.


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