26 August 2008

Thousands of migrants left in limbo as TRA postpone new Migration Assessment Policy

The Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) announced today that the Trades Recognition Authority (TRA) has delayed the Migration Assessment Policy (MAP) announcement date of September 1st indefinitely, and further information on MAP will be given at a later date.

The news of the delay to the new MAP comes as a crushing blow to the thousands of skilled tradespersons who have been unable to continue on their path to migration to Australia following the closure of Skilled Pathway D in September 2007.

Pathway D was a route to gaining an Australian visa for the many capable workers who lacked the formal qualifications required by the Australian Authorities to be assessed under Pathway A or B. Since its removal, there have been repeated announcements by the TRA over the past 12 months regarding new timescales for a replacement.

The new MAP stood as the most recent initiative that offered hope to migrants currently stranded without a path into Australia. MAP would essentially consist of two streams; Stream A and Stream B. Stream A would assess those workers trained and qualified in Australia, while Stream B would assess internationally trained or qualified skilled workers.

Within each stream, workers would be assessed for either their former vocational training or formal skills recognition, and their term of employment using that skill.  Additionally, the term of employment would be reduced from five years to four, which would allow for younger or less experienced workers to qualify for skilled migration to Australia.

However, with the MAP now lacking any set date for implementation, the decisions for thousands of migrants is left hanging in the balance. While the MAP appeared to be the answer, its indefinite delay could have a devastating effect on the ambitions of thousands of skilled workers who have been waiting patiently for 12 months to receive a positive update from the TRA.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Tom Blackett, Australian Visa Bureau.

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