Australian immigration changes coming on 1 July - State and Territory changes

It is anticipated that South Australia will make
state sponsorship changes on 1 July 2009.

Following on from my Australian immigration blogs regarding the changes coming from DIAC and the changes coming from the assessing bodies, I'd now like to discuss the changes that will be implemented by some of Australian States and Territories on 1 July.

South Australia state sponsorship changes

The current South Australia sponsorship lists are dated as being valid from 1 April - 30 June.  While they've yet to release anything officially, I think it can be assumed that a new set of provisional and permanent sponsorship lists for South Australia will be released on 1 July.

Western Australia English language requirement changes

Western Australia have stated the following on their website:

"The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has announced that from 1 July 2009 ALL offshore skilled visa applicants, other than those who are citizens of the UK, USA, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand, must obtain a score of at least 6 in each component of the IELTS test. When lodging a State sponsorship application, all applicants that are required to provide IELTS test results are now required to provide an eligible IELTS test result at time of application."

As a result, from 1 July, all applicants required to provide International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test results at any other stage of the visa application stage must also make sure to do so when applying for Western Australia state sponsorship.

ACT state sponsorship changes

The current Australian Capital Territory (ACT) sponsorship lists are set to close on the 1 July, and any ACT state sponsorship application received after this date will NOT be approved unless the application meets the criteria established by the new list that is set to be released mid-July.

Other State and Territory changes

As evident in the planned 1 July changes and the recent sponsorship list updates made by Queensland, the Australian States and Territories under pressure to react to the new demand created as a result of state sponsored visa applications receiving priority 1 processing status. However, it's still very hard to say what further changes can be expected and whether they'll be temporary or permanent measures, so it is still advisable for anyone looking for state sponsorship to apply for nomination as soon as possibe.

- Lauren Mennie is Casework Department Manager for the Australian Visa Bureau