31 May 2006

Australian Capital Territory gets results from new skilled visa

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After successfully targeting skilled workers in south-western Sydney as part of the ‘Live in Canberra’ campaign, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has announced that the ACT was now able to sponsor skilled migrants to move to Canberra from overseas.

Mr Stanhope said the sponsorship of three skilled migrants to Canberra during the past two weeks was a result of the ACT Government being granted access to the State Territory Nominated Independent (STNI) visa scheme.

“This scheme enables the ACT to nominate skilled applicants who are interested in settling in Canberra and whose skills are in demand here,” Mr Stanhope said.

“Our Skilled and Business Migration Team from Business ACT has received expressions of interest from a cross-section of potential new Canberrans, including registered nurses, chefs and bricklayers, as well as plumbers, doctors, teachers, engineers and accountants from right across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

“More than 120 ‘Live in Canberra’ information packs were sent to these skilled workers who expressed interest in moving to Canberra earlier this year.

“These people have just the sort of skills we are looking for to address our labour shortages.”

One of the successful STNI visa scheme applicants is an IT specialist who became interested in Canberra as a result of the ACT’s international promotion in the United Kingdom.

In recent correspondence, the applicant said, “I was being earmarked for Sydney. However, after meeting and speaking with people from Canberra, its opportunities were a better match for our lifestyle. We did some internet research - the web forums seem to be full of people asking about Canberra all of a sudden – before deciding that Sydney was not really for us and that we would go 100 percent for Canberra.”

“Having access to the STNI visa scheme is of great benefit to the ACT. It will allow us to assist Canberra firms and government agencies to address skill shortages in a new and more effective way,” Mr Stanhope said.

STNI visa applicants need to be less than 45 years of age, have vocational-level English, post-secondary qualifications (or equivalent work experience) and the relevant state/territory must deem their skills to be in demand. To see if you qualify, take our no obligation Online Assessment.

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