Australian Immigration News

Keep me updated - Immigration News Updates

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Tuesday, 20 September 2016
Applying for Skilled Migration - Be Prepared
If you intend to apply for general skilled migration, you need to be prepared ahead of time to make sure you make the most of your opportunities. This article explains the main ways you can be prepared for your application.

Wednesday, 07 September 2016
Entrepreneur Visa to be Introduced
The Australian Government has announced that an Entrepreneur Visa will be introduced from 10 September 2016

Monday, 05 September 2016
Proposed Legislation to Tighten Family Sponsorship
The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 has been introduced on 1 September 2016. If this is passed, it will result in some significant changes for people seeking to sponsor family members

Thursday, 01 September 2016
ACT Releases Occupations List for 2016-17
The ACT Government has released the Occupations List for the 2016-17 financial year

Tuesday, 30 August 2016
International Student Employability Forum 2016
Mark Webster from Acacia Immigration will be a panelist at the International Student Employability Forum to be held on 21 September 2016

Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Seminars - PR for International Students
Acacia will be holding seminars on permanent residence pathways for international students in conjunction with Performance Education in Melbourne in September 2016.

Monday, 22 August 2016
Meeting the Australian Study Requirement - Complex Scenarios
Meeting the 2-year study requirement can be complex - this article goes into some of the more complicated scenarios in meeting the Australian study requirement

Wednesday, 10 August 2016
SkillSelect Results July-August 2016
Results for the SkillSelect invitation rounds from July and August 2016 are now available. This has important consequences for Accountants, Auditors, IT Professionals and Engineers. This article goes through the number of invitations issued through SkillSelect, minimum points required and the status of the occupational ceilings for the most popular skilled occupations

Tuesday, 02 August 2016
Skilled Migration for Tradespeople without Formal Qualifications
If you have work experience in a trade, it may be possible for you to qualify for general skilled migration even if you do not hold a formal qualification. This article explains how.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Seminar - Permanent Residence Pathways
Back by popular demand - Acacia is presenting a seminar in Melbourne on Permanent Residence pathways for temporary residents in Australia. We will also discuss sponsoring partners and other relatives.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016
Victoria Relationship Registration Changes
Recent changes to the Victorian Relationship

Wednesday, 06 July 2016
SkillSelect Results Analysis for 2015-16 Program
Results for SkillSelect for the 2015-16 Program Year - in this article we analyse the results by occupational category

Monday, 27 June 2016
Student Visa Framework to be Simplified from 1 July 2016
The Simplified Student Visa Framework will come into effect from 1 July 2016. This article explains how the new settings will work

Thursday, 23 June 2016
Seminar - PR for International Students
Acacia will be holding seminars on permanent residence pathways for international students in conjunction with Performance Education in Melbourne and Sydney in July 2016.

Monday, 20 June 2016
Occupational Ceilings for 2016-17 Announced
The Occupational Ceilings for the 2016-17 program year have been announced. The occupational ceiling is the maximum number of invitations which can be issued for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 and family sponsored Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visas

Wednesday, 08 June 2016
SkillSelect Update May 2016
Update on the SkillSelect Invitation Rounds in May 2016

Monday, 06 June 2016
Seminar - Permanent Residence Pathways
Back by popular demand - Acacia is presenting a seminar in Melbourne on Permanent Residence pathways for temporary residents in Australia. We will also discuss sponsoring partners and other relatives.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Skilled Occupations List Announced for 2016-17
The Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for the 2016-17 year has been announced. This article explains the occupations added and removed from the list

Tuesday, 17 May 2016
Employer Sponsorship Webinar
Acacia is presenting a webinar on Managing Immigration's New Hurdles for Sponsoring Staff

Wednesday, 04 May 2016
SkillSelect Update April 2016
In this article, we analyse the insights to be gained from the April invitation rounds, and also highlight some of the changes we are expecting from 1 July 2016.

Friday, 01 April 2016
SkillSelect Update March 2016
The results for the 9 March 2016 SkillSelect invitation round have been published. We have analysed the results and this article explains our insights

Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Top Four Reasons for 457 Refusal on Genuine Position Grounds
Refusal of 457s on "Genuine Position" grounds is becoming more common. This article explains the top 4 reasons for 457 refusal on this basis

Friday, 04 March 2016
Business Restructures - Implications for Employer Sponsors
When a business structure is changed, this can have a significant effect on business sponsors and any 457 visa holders

Thursday, 25 February 2016
Employers Neglecting 457 Training Obligation Face Serious Consequences
This article goes through the consequences of not meeting the ongoing training obligation for 457 Sponsorship approval

Monday, 22 February 2016
Migration Pathway for NZ Citizens May Disadvantage Skilled Applicants
A new migration pathway for NZ citizens may disadvantage applicants for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa

Friday, 05 February 2016
SkillSelect Update January 2016
SkillSelect update for January 2016 - a large number of invitations was issued, with lower waiting times for accountants, ICT business analysts and software and applications programmers

Monday, 01 February 2016
Permanent Residence for 457 holders
Tips on qualifying for permanent residence if you are a 457 visa holder

Tuesday, 12 January 2016
Engineering and Skilled Migration - Recent Developments and Little-known Facts
Some recent developments and little known facts about skilled migration for engineers

Wednesday, 23 December 2015
457 Employer Sponsorship Update - December 2015
Updates affecting 457 visa applications - including appeal rights for 457 refusals, banning of paying for employers for sponsorship, and self-sponsorship for 457 visas

Monday, 14 December 2015
State Nomination Requirements 2015
Summary of the state nomination requirements for each state as of 2015

Wednesday, 09 December 2015
Immigration Rule Changes to Foster Innovation in Australia
Changes to the General Skilled Migration points test and a new Entrepreneur Visa have been announced as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda

Tuesday, 08 December 2015
Seminar - PR for International Students - Parramtta
Acacia will be holding seminars on permanent residence pathways for international students at Parramatta in January 2016.

Monday, 09 November 2015
Top 5 Tips for International Students Applying for Skilled Migration
5 very important things to bear in mind for international students completing their studies in Australia and intending to apply for general skilled migration.

Sunday, 01 November 2015
Seminar - PR for International Students
Acacia will be holding seminars on permanent residence pathways for international students in conjunction with Performance Education in Melbourne and Sydney in July 2016.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015
SkillSelect Update October 2015
Insights from the October 2015 SkillSelect Invitation Rounds

Tuesday, 22 September 2015
General Skilled Migration Update September 2015
Old system 175, 176 and 475 visa applications still outstanding will be capped and ceased effective 22 September. This article also gives an update on the September 2015 SkillSelect invitation round.

Thursday, 03 September 2015
SkillSelect Update August 2015
Results from the August SkillSelect Invitation Round - this gives some useful insights for applicants for General Skilled Migration

Friday, 07 August 2015
Immigration Update - August 2015
Clarification on changes to accounting skills assessment for 485 holders, update on skillselect invitation round held in July 2015 and Acacia in Melbourne

Tuesday, 07 July 2015
2015-16 Occupational Ceilings for Skilled Migration Released
The Occupational Ceilings have been released for the 2015-16 Program Year.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015
2015-16 Skilled Occupations List Announced
The Skilled Occupations Lists for 2015-16 have been announced.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015
Accounting Bodies Raise Bar for Migration Skills Assessment
Changes to the core knowledge areas for skills assessment for accounting professions from 1 July 2015

Thursday, 21 May 2015
Free Question and Answer Session: Life after your Student Visa

Thursday, 14 May 2015
Budget 2015-16 - Migrants to Pay More
An outcome of the 2015-16 Budget is that visa application fees are due to increase on 1 July 2015

Sunday, 19 April 2015
Average Band Scores Accepted for 485 and 457 Visa English Tests
From 18 April 2015, Immigration accepts average band scores for 485 Graduate Temporary visas and 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visas

Tuesday, 07 April 2015
State Nomination Update April 2015
An update on state nomination for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 and Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visas

Monday, 30 March 2015
Changes to 485 Graduate Temporary Visas from 18 April 2015
Relaxation of English and medical checking requirements for the 485 visa to come into effect from 18 April 2015

Thursday, 19 March 2015
Red Tape to be Removed for 457 Business Sponsorship Program
The Government has accepted most of the recommendations by the Independent Review into the Integrity of the 457 program.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015
SkillSelect Update February 2015
Update on the 13 February 2015 SkillSelect Invitation Round

Friday, 06 February 2015
NSW Announces Skilled Occupations List
NSW Skilled Occupations List for Feb-June 2015 announced

Monday, 02 February 2015
NSW State Nomination Update - Feb 2015
News on changes to the NSW State Nomination Criteria for the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa from February 2015

Monday, 12 January 2015
7 Little Known Facts about 457 Work Visas
The 457 visa is one of the most commonly used visas to work in Australia. It allows you to work for up to 4 years in Australia, and is a great pathway to permanent residence. However, there are some little known facts about the 457 program which can take applicants off guard.

Tuesday, 06 January 2015
Victoria Reopens State Nomination for IT Professionals
Victoria has announced that state nomination will be available for IT professionals from 5 January 2015

Wednesday, 17 December 2014
Immigration Changes 1 January 2015 - Increase to Partner Application Fees and Introduction of Cambridge Test of English
Partner application fees will increase by 50% for applications lodged on or after 1 January 2015. The Cambridge English: Advanced test will be accepted for skilled applications from this date also.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Melbourne Seminar: Pathways to Permanent Residence
Details of our Seminar in Melbourne on 15 January 2015.

Monday, 08 December 2014
Changes to Skills Assessment Criteria Announced
A number of skills assessing authorities have announced changes to their criteria for assessment - read more here

Monday, 01 December 2014
Top Ten Changes - International Students Applying for Permanent Residence
The top 10 most important changes to immigration rules in 2014 affecting international students applying for permanent residence in Australia

Monday, 24 November 2014
New English Tests Accepted from 23 November
Pearson and TOEFL are accepted as alternative tests of English for skilled migration from 23 November 2014

Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Accountants NOT Yet Removed from Skilled Occupations List

Tuesday, 11 November 2014
Acacia Comes to Melbourne
Acacia will be conducting Immigration Consultations in Melbourne on 29 November 2014

Tuesday, 04 November 2014
NSW Subclass 190 State Nomination Update - 22 October Intake
An update on the 22 October 2014 intake for NSW State Nomination, evaluation of Project 190 and likely upcoming changes to NSW State Nomination processes and criteria

Tuesday, 23 September 2014
Project 190 Launched for NSW State Nomination
Project 190 is a system developed by Acacia Immigration to maximise their clients' chances of obtaining nomination from NSW for the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa

Thursday, 11 September 2014
Independent Review into 457 Programme Released
Details of the recommendations by the Independent Review into the 457 Programme

Wednesday, 09 July 2014
Skilled Migration Update - 2014-15 Program Year
Announcement of Occupational Ceilings for 2014-15 and update on State Migration Plans

Tuesday, 01 July 2014
NSW to Reopen 190 State Nomination Program from 14 July 2014
NSW has announced that they will be reopening their State Migration Plan from 14 July 2014. This will enable applicants to lodge for 190 nomination through NSW for the first time since December 2013.

Thursday, 26 June 2014
ENS for 457 Holders
The ENS visa can be a very good option for holders of 457 visas. This article explains the main criteria and pitfalls associated with the ENS Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014
5 Key Immigration Changes for 1 July 2014
There are 5 key changes to the Migration Regulations coming into effect from 1 July 2014. This article explains how these changes will work.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014
Skilled Occupations List for 2014-15 Announced
The 2014-15 Skilled Occupations List has been announced - Chefs, Bricklayers and Tilers have been added to the SOL. Accountants remain on the list to the relief of many.

Thursday, 29 May 2014
TOEFL and Pearson to be Accepted for English Testing from November 2014
TOEFL iBT and Pearson Academic will be accepted as alternate English tests from November 2014 for General Skilled Migration and Permanent Employer Sponsored (ENS and RSMS) visas

Thursday, 22 May 2014
Get Ready for 1 July Immigration Changes
Immigration changes likely to occur on 1 July 2014 and how they will affect you

Wednesday, 14 May 2014
Budget 2014-15 - Immigration Changes
Changes to the Immigration Portfolio announced as part of the 2014-15 Budget. Bad news for Other Family Visa and Non-Contributory Parent visa applicants

Wednesday, 30 April 2014
Credit Card Surcharges Introduced by Department of Immigration
From 19 April 2014, Credit Card Surcharges apply to Department of Immigration Fees

Wednesday, 26 March 2014
Recent Changes to Partner Visas
If you have an Australian partner, you can be sponsored for a partner visa. Some recent changes make it possible for more people to be eligible for partner visas. This article explains some of the more complex aspects of partner visas and some of the new opportunities.

Thursday, 06 March 2014
Changes to Skilled Migration Occupational Ceilings Announced
Occupational Ceilings will no longer apply to Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 Visas from 1 March 2014

Tuesday, 04 February 2014
Accountants May Be Removed from Skilled Occupations List
The Australian Government is considering removing accountants from the Skilled Occupation List from 1 July 2014

Wednesday, 22 January 2014
International Student Update January 2014
Procedural changes which affect international students studying in Australia or looking to apply for further stay after completion of their courses.

Tuesday, 07 January 2014
NSW Closes State Nominations for Subclass 190 for 2013-14 Year

Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Australian Immigration Update for December 2013
Update on the upcoming changes and announcements over the New Year.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Labour Market Testing Introduced for 457 Visas from 23 November
Requirements for Labour Market Testing for 457 Nominations from 23 November 2013

Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Important changes to skills assessments for International students
There have been some significant changes affecting the skills assessment requirements for international students.

Monday, 14 October 2013
Job Market to Open for more International Students
Education Minister, Christopher Pine, has made a statement indicating that the government will work quickly to ensure that university graduates will have more career opportunities.

Tuesday, 08 October 2013
Immigration Minister to Restore Business Confidence in Skilled Migration
In the last days of the Labor Government, a series of changes were introduced to the 457 employer sponsored visa program. These changes were supposedly a response to the "widespread rorting" of the 457 program - claims the Government was unable to substantiate.

Tuesday, 01 October 2013
Coalition Flags Changes to Post Study Work Visas and Student Visas by End of 2013
Alarmed by the 20-25% decline in Australia's international education industry, the Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has announced that the settings for Post Study Work Visas and Student Visa streamlined processing will be reviewed.

Thursday, 19 September 2013
Free Immigration Webinar - Employer Sponsorship
Acacia Immigration now hold regular Webinars to provide you with updates on the latest Australian Immigration News.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013
Frequently Asked Questions by International Students
Frequently asked questions by many International Students in Australia about their options for Australian visas after they complete their studies.

Monday, 09 September 2013
Election 2013 - Likely Changes to Immigration under a Coalition Government
Likely changes to 457 policy under the new Coalition Government

Monday, 26 August 2013
Acacia Immigration Webinars
Acacia Immigration now hold regular Webinars to provide you with updates on the latest Australian Immigration News.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013
Summary of Changes to 457 Program for Sponsors
Details of the 1 July 2013 457 changes and recommendations for business sponsors

Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Places Running out for IT and Engineering Professionals
An update on the SkillSelect Occupational Ceilings for the 2013-14 Program Year

Thursday, 08 August 2013
Migration Application Fees to Increase by 15% from 1 September 2013
Details of the 15% increase in Department of Immigration visa application fees from 1 September 2013

Wednesday, 31 July 2013
Getting Your PR - Top 10 tips for International Students 2013 (Part Three)
Part Three: A guide for International Students for the best Tips for getting Australian PR.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Getting Your PR - Top 10 tips for International Students 2013 (Part Two)
Part Two: A guide for International Students for the best Tips for getting Australian PR.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Getting Your PR - Top 10 tips for International Students 2013 (Part One)
A guide for International Students for the best Tips for getting Australian PR.

Wednesday, 03 July 2013
Top 10 Changes to 457 Employer Sponsorship from 1 July 2013
The top 10 changes to the 457 program effective from 1 July 2013

Tuesday, 02 July 2013
NSW State Nominations Reopened
The NSW State Migration has been released for 2013-14

Friday, 28 June 2013
Visa Application Fee Calculator Launched
Acacia's visa application fee calculator has been launched!

Monday, 17 June 2013
Department of ImmigrationFee Increases Petition
If you think the Department of Immigration fee increases are unfair, join our petition to make a difference.

Monday, 17 June 2013
New Department of Immigration Fees from 1 July 2013 to Cost Visa Applicants
Impact of the proposed 1 July 2013 fees on visa applicants

Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Changes to Western Australia State Sponsorship
Changes have been announced for Western Australian State Sponsorship applications. Applications will be made through the SkillSelect system, changes to WA Occupation List, Changes to Criteria on 1 October 2013.

Friday, 07 June 2013
Immigration Minister Cracks Down on 457 Employers
Details of the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Bill 2013

Friday, 07 June 2013
Labour Market Testing for 457 Visas
Information on how the proposed labour market testing requirements will apply for the 457 visa

Tuesday, 04 June 2013
2013 Skilled Occupations List Released
Changes to the Skilled Occupations list to apply from 1 July 2013

Wednesday, 29 May 2013
Changes to South Australian Nomination
The South Australian Government is making changes to their state-based applications to attract more skilled and business migrants.

Friday, 24 May 2013
Time is Running Out to Lodge Visa Applications Prior to 1 July Changes
Details of the changes expected on 1 July 2013

Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Budget 2013-14 - Immigration Announcements
Details of changes to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship announced in the 2013-14 Budget

Monday, 06 May 2013
457 Reform Discussion Paper Released
Recommendations presented to the MACSM by the Department of Immigration in December 2012

Monday, 06 May 2013
Frequently Asked Questions About SkillSelect and Expressions of Interest
A list of Frequently Asked Questions from our Clients about the new SkillSelect System and Expressions of Interest when applying for General Skilled Migration in Australia.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Update on NSW Sponsorship Options before July 2013
Although NSW sponsorhip applications are closed until 1 July 2013, there are still other options available for applicants, such as NSW Regional Sponsorship subclass 489 visa and Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Visa Charges to Increase Significantly from 1 July 2013
Information on visa application fee increases to apply from 1 July 2013 as part of the Department of Immigration's Visa Pricing Transformation initiative

Monday, 15 April 2013
NSW Nomination Applications Closed for Subclass 190 Visas
NSW have announced that applications for NSW Nomination under the Subclass 190 visa are now closed for financial year 2012-2013.

Tuesday, 02 April 2013
Acacia Releases vSure to help employers meet new Visa Checking Requirements
The Employer Sanctions Bill was passed by the Senate on 27 February 2013 and received the Royal Assent on 14th March 2013, meaning it will come into effect in the next few months. There is an estimated 100,000 people working illegally in Australia and the legislation raises the bar on businesses to ensure that they are not hiring illegal workers.

Friday, 22 March 2013
Sample Letter to Minister on Post Study Work Visa
You can use this letter to write to the Minister about the Post Study Work Visa

Monday, 18 March 2013
Changes to Visitor, Business Visitor and ETA Visas
Major changes to the visitor, business visitor and ETA visa subclasses have been announced and will come into effect on 23 March 2013.

Tuesday, 05 March 2013
Government to Reform 457 Visa Program
Changes to the 457 Employer Sponsored visa have been announced by The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship , Brendan O'Connor, and will come into effect on 1 July 2013.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013
State Nomination Update February 2013
Update on the state/territory nomination criteria for general skilled migration

Tuesday, 12 February 2013
Religious Organisations Benefit from Changes to Employer Sponsored Migration
Religious organisations have benefited from changes made in 2012 to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas.The applicant and any dependent family members receive visas allowing them full work rights in Australia, with access to Medicare. After 4 years in Australia, they would generally become eligible for Australian citizen.

Friday, 25 January 2013
NSW State Nomination Update January 2013
Changes to the NSW state nomination list for subclass 190 and 489

Thursday, 24 January 2013
Update on Health Processes for Australian Visas
A new updated health system has been introduced called eMedical. Health care workers will now have to take additional health examinations. Aged Visitor Visa applicants will be required to complete full health examinations.

Monday, 07 January 2013
Increases to Visa Application Charges Effective 1 January 2013
There have been increases to the Department of Immigration Visa Application Fees for certain types of visa effective 1 January 2013. These changes affect partner visas, working holiday visas, 457 visas and skilled graduate subclass 485 visas.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Post Study Work Visa (PSWV) Petition
Join our petition to make the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV) accessible to all international students, regardless of when they started studying

Tuesday, 18 December 2012
Details of New Post Study Work Visa Released
More details on the Post Study Work Visa (PSWV) have been released by the Department of Immigration. The Post Study Work Visa is a visa for international students completing studies in Australia. It has been formulated as part of the Knight Review of International Education, and is due to be introduced in early 2013.

Monday, 10 December 2012
New Business Visa for Investors
The Significant Investor visa was introduced on 24 November 2012. This is a 4-year provisional visa which requires applicants to make a $5 million investment in Australia.

Friday, 07 December 2012
Applying for Graduate Skilled Visa? Changes are fast approaching!
Many students completing studies in Australia apply for graduate work visas - most commonly they apply for the Skilled Graduate 485 visa. From 1 January 2013, the transitional arrangements for this will cease.

Monday, 22 October 2012
NSW Announces New State Nomination List for General Skilled Migration
The NSW Government has announced a new list of occupations for state nomination for general skilled (points tested) visas.

Thursday, 18 October 2012
Longer Tourist visas for parents of Australians coming up by the end of 2012
Parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents will be able to apply for longer duration Tourist visas to visit Australia towards the end of 2012.

Monday, 15 October 2012
SkillSelect Update October 2012
An update on the SkillSelect System and Invitations that have been released up to October 2012.

Thursday, 26 July 2012
Applying for Government Nomination? New ACT Occupations List has been announced!
The ACT Government announced that the new Occupation List has been released, as well as Subclass 886, 187 and 190 nomination guidelines. This is great news for those applying for a skilled migration visa and looking for opportunities in Canberra.

Wednesday, 04 July 2012
Jump the queue with SkillSelect
The new SkillSelect system has finally come into place, which means big changes to the General Skilled Migration program. With these changes come some great opportunities for people who may not currently be eligible for migration to Australia.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012
Changes to Salary Levels for 457 Visas
Changes have been made to the salary level for 457 visa applications and will come into effect from 1 July 2012.

Friday, 22 June 2012
Acacia TV - Are you a Winner?
Acacia TV Episode on the winners in the upcoming changes to ENS.

Thursday, 21 June 2012
Exemptions for Skill and Age Requirements for Employer Sponsored Visas Announced
Announcement of the details of exemptions for age and skills assessment requirements for ENS and RSMS

Friday, 15 June 2012
New pass mark for SkillSelect visas Announced
Announcement of new pass mark to qualify for EOI SkillSelect visas.

Thursday, 14 June 2012
2012 Skilled Occupations List Announced
Details of the changes to the Skilled Occupations List

Tuesday, 05 June 2012
Top Ten Skilled Migration Changes from 1 July 2012
The top 10 changes affecting the General Skilled Migration Program from 1 July 2012

Tuesday, 29 May 2012
Business Migration Reforms Announced
Details of the new Business Innovation and Investment Program which applies from 1 July 2012

Friday, 11 May 2012
2012-13 Budget Announcement - Immigration Changes
Details of the changes to the Immigration Portfolio announced as part of the 2012-13 Federal Budget

Sunday, 29 April 2012
Tony Abbott Supports Use of 457 Business Sponsorship Visas
Tony Abbott has spoken in favour of 457 businesses sponsorship visas. The CFMEU has responded saying that he is behind the times

Monday, 23 April 2012
ENS and RSMS Changes - The Losers
With the changes to ENS and RSMS coming up on 1 July 2012, many applicants will unfortunately be disadvantaged.

Monday, 23 April 2012
457 Training Benchmark Policy Changes 2012
457 training benchmark policy changes as of March 2012

Tuesday, 17 April 2012
New Points Tested Subclasses from 1 July 2012
Information on the new General Skilled Migration (Points Tested) Subclasses from 1 July 2012

Monday, 16 April 2012
Streamlined Visa Processing for Degree-Level Students and Increased Work Rights from March 2012
Details of the changes to student visas from March 2012, including streamlined processing for degree-level students and more flexible work rights

Monday, 09 April 2012
ENS and RSMS Changes - The Winners
ENS and RSMS Changes - Details of who is better off under the 1 July 2012 Changes

Monday, 26 March 2012
Changes to ENS and RSMS - Frequently Asked Questions
FAQs on the changes to ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme) and RSMS (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) to be introduced on 1 July 2012

Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Assurance of Support No Longer Required for Provisional Partner Visas
Details of the changes to the Assurance of Support requirement for provisional partner visas from 1 January 2012

Friday, 09 March 2012
Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa Reforms Announced
Details of the reforms announced by Minister Bowen on 9 March 2012 to the ENS, RSMS and Labour Agreement visa subclasses

Wednesday, 25 January 2012
Changes in Department of Immigration Application Fees From January 2012
Details of changes to immigration application fees for employer sponsored visas and student visas from 1 January 2012

Monday, 09 January 2012
AustJOBS Job Matching Service
Information on our job matching service through AustJOBS

Thursday, 05 January 2012
Acacia Launches Points Test App for iPhone
Details of the points test app for iPhone

Wednesday, 14 December 2011
Time Running Out for Migration Applicants
Details on the effect on Skilled Points Tested and Business Migration applicants under the new SkillSelect model to commence on 1 July 2012

Wednesday, 07 December 2011
Expansion of eHealth Arrangements from 28 November 2011
Details of changed to health checking arrangements to apply from 28 November 2011

Tuesday, 29 November 2011
Living Away from Home Allowance (LAFHA) Changes Confirmed.
Details of the confirmed changes to the Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA) that will be effective as of 1st July 2012.

Monday, 28 November 2011
Living Away from Home Allowance (LAFHA) to be Reviewed
Details of the proposed cuts to the Living Away from Home Allowance in the 2011-12 Budget

Friday, 04 November 2011
Accredited Sponsor Program for 457 Visas Announced
Details of the new Accredited Sponsor Program for 457 Visa Applications

Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Knight Review - Strategic Review of the Student Visa Program
Details on the Knight Review Recommendations into the Student Visa Program

Tuesday, 13 September 2011
DIAC Announces Perth is now Regional Area for RSMS and Skilled Regional Sponsored Visas
Details on yesterday's announcement that Perth is now a regional area for some visa subclasses

Monday, 22 August 2011
Department of Immigration Releases Discussion Paper on Permanent Employer Sponsored Visas
Details of the discussion paper for the review of permanent employer sponsored visas by the Department of Immigration

Wednesday, 29 June 2011
FIRB - Foreign Investment Review Board
details on temporary visa holders getting approval for purchase of real estate property in Australia

Thursday, 23 June 2011
Increases to Minimum Salary Level for 457 Effective 1 July 2011
Increase to TSMIT and English language exemption salary thresholds coming into effect 1 July 2011

Tuesday, 07 June 2011
Points Test Update - 7 June 2011
More details on the new points test, particularly English language ability, points for qualifications and work experience

Tuesday, 07 June 2011
New Skilled Occupations List from 1 July 2011
New Skilled Occupations List in effect from 1 July 2011

Friday, 27 May 2011
Update on 2011-12 Migration Program, New Skilled Migration Points Test and Selection Model
More details now available on 2011-12 Migration Program, New Skilled Migration Points Test, New Selection Model, General Skilled Migration

Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Immigration Portfolio Budget 2011-12 - Back to the Future
Significant changes to Immigration Portfolio announced as part of the Federal Budget on 10 May 2011

Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Enterprise Migration Agreements for Resources Projects
Details of the proposed Enterprise Migration Agreements for Resources Projects

Wednesday, 11 May 2011
New Selection Model for General Skilled Migration
Details of the Expression of Interest selection model to be introduced from 1 July 2012

Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Regional Initiatives - Budget 2011-12
Details of regional initiatives announced as part of the 2011-12 Budget

Monday, 07 March 2011
NSW Releases State Migration Plan
Details of occupations available for nomination by NSW under the State Migration Plan, and impact on processing times

Tuesday, 15 February 2011
GSM Processing Update - 14 February 2011
The Department of Immigration has advised that certain GSM applications are likely to be allocated to case officers in the near future, and that some applicants should proceed with health and character checks.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011
Changes to 457 Occupations List February 2011
Changes to list of approved occupations for business sponsorship (subclass 457) visas

Thursday, 03 February 2011
Occupational Trainee Visas - Opportunities for Employers in the New Regime
The requirements for Occupational Trainee visas were overhauled completely in September 2009, at the same time as major changes were made to the more common 457 Business Sponsorship visas. This article explains how the new system works and possible opportunities for employers to use this visa type.

Thursday, 23 December 2010
Tasmania Releases State Migration Plan
Details of Tasmania's new State Migration Plan

Monday, 13 December 2010
Western Australian State Migration Plan Announced
Details of the occupations, English requirements and work experience requirements for the WA State Migration Plan

Thursday, 09 December 2010
Queensland Releases State Migration Plan
Details of the occupations, work experience and English language ability requirements for Queensland's State Migration Plan

Monday, 06 December 2010
Changes to Skilled Occupations List and Skills Assessment Authorities
Details of the changes to the skilled occupations list and skills assessing authorities for general skilled migration effective 5 December 2010

Sunday, 05 December 2010
Changes to ENS Occupations List and Salary Level
Addition of occupations to the ENS Occupations List and Changes to the salary level for highly paid executives applying for ENS

Thursday, 02 December 2010
Australian Department of Immigration Commences Collection of Biometrics for Visa Applications
Details of the biometric trial being conducted by the Department of Immigration for certain types of visa applications lodged in certain countries

Wednesday, 24 November 2010
Northern Territory State Migration Plan Announced
Details of the Northern Territory's State Migration Plan announced in November 2010

Thursday, 11 November 2010
New Skilled Migration Points Test Announced
Details of the new General Skilled Migration Points Test to apply from 1 July 2011

Tuesday, 09 November 2010
ACT State Migration Plan Announced
Details on the ACT's State Migration Plan - which occupations are on the list, English language and work experience requirements for state nomination.

Wednesday, 03 November 2010
Victoria Announces State Migration Plan
Details of Victoria's new State Migration Plan operating from 3 November 2010

Thursday, 28 October 2010
Decision Ready Checklists (DRC)
Australian Migration Agents are able to obtain more efficient processing by using Decision Ready Checklists.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010
South Australia Announces Interim Occupations List for State Nomination
New List to be used in interim period ahead of State Migration Plan being approved

Monday, 13 September 2010
New Australian Immigration Minister Announced
Chris Bowen has been announced as new Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Thursday, 19 August 2010
Staying in or returning to Australia after your Study Abroad program finishes
Many students who Study Abroad in Australia wish to return and live in the 'Lucky Country'. We have compiled a list of the most common pathways for remaining in or returning to Australia after studying abroad.

Friday, 06 August 2010
Australian Politician Finally Makes a Sensible Statement on Immigration
Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal Member for Parliament for Wentworth recently shared his views on Immigration with Mark Webster of Acacia Immigration

Thursday, 05 August 2010
Minister Announces New Processing priorities and Processing Times
The Minister for Immigration has announced new processing priorities which apply from 14 July 2010 for General Skilled Migration and permanent employer sponsored visas.

Monday, 28 June 2010
Cap for Pre-September 2007 Offshore General Skilled Migration Applications Finalised
Cap has been put into effect - details of the visa subclasses affected and numbers to be granted

Monday, 28 June 2010
ENS Occupations List and Minimum Salary Levels from 1 July 2010
List of occupations, ANZSCO codes, skills assessing authorities and minimum salary levels applying to ENS from 1 July 2010

Friday, 25 June 2010
457 Visa Changes from 1 July 2010
Various changes to the 457 program to come into effect from 1 July 2010

Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Final Skilled Occupations List Released
Details of skilled occupations lists applying to skilled independent, family sponsored, state/territory sponsored, and 485 holders from 1 July 2010

Monday, 21 June 2010
Australian Immigration Update - 1 July 2010
Changes coming into effect on 1 July 2010 affecting skills assessment as an accountant, Australian citizenship, and general skilled migration

Tuesday, 08 June 2010
Visa Capping Bill - Comments following Minister's Interview on ABC Radio
The Minister for Immigration, Chris Evans, was interviewed by Peter Mares on radio last Friday on the proposed Visa Capping Bill. Mark Webster comments.

Wednesday, 02 June 2010
Minister for Immigration Seeks Power to Terminate Unwanted Visa Applications
The Minister for Immigration, Chris Evans, has introduced a Bill to Parliament granting him the power to terminate visa applications based on the individual characteristics of the visa applicant.

Monday, 17 May 2010
Minister Announces New Skilled Occupations List
Announcement of the new Skilled Occupations List by the Minister for Immigration on 17 May 2010

Wednesday, 12 May 2010
Department of Immigration - 2010-11 Budget Announcements
Migration Program for 2010-11 announced as part of Commonwealth Budget

Friday, 07 May 2010
Department of Immigration Suspends Offshore GSM Program
Announcement from DIAC that applications for offshore skilled visas will not be accepted from 8 May 2010

Wednesday, 05 May 2010
Frequently Asked Questions - International Student Forum UNSW 4 May 2010
Mark Webster answers international students questions from the Arc at UNSW International student Q and A session

Friday, 30 April 2010
Skills Australia has today made its recommendations to Immigration in relation to the new Skilled Occupations List (SOL)
Skills Australia has made its recommendations to DIAC in relation to the new Skilled Occupations List.

Thursday, 29 April 2010
Mark Webster invited to be panelist for International Student Q and A session at UNSW
Mark Webster will be a panelist at the Arc@UNSW and SRC International Students' Collective Q and A panel discussion on Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Changes to Accounting Skills Assessments from 1 July 2010
The Institute of Chartered Accountants and CPA Australia have announced changes to their criteria for skills assessment to come into effect from 1 July 2010.

Monday, 12 April 2010
Update on Skills Assessment Requirements for Nurses and Accountants
There will be a new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) from 1 July 2010. We should have more details on which occupations are on the list by the end of April.

Saturday, 20 March 2010
Specialised Occupations List Published - Likely Basis of New Skilled Occupations List
LIst of Specialised Occupations produced by Skills Australia - likely to be the basis of the new Skilled Occupations LIst

Friday, 19 February 2010
Australian Study requirement - "Closely related" issue
Review of MRT case an example of how vital a persuasive 'relevancy statement' is

Tuesday, 09 February 2010
GSM changes impact on international students
Significant changes to Australian General Skilled Migration were announced on February 8 2010. Many of these changes have transitional provisions to ensure that the impact on international students studying in Australia are minimised.

Monday, 08 February 2010
General Skilled Migration Update 8 February 2010
On 8 February 2010, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, announced changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program for Australia

Monday, 08 February 2010
Changes to General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program 8 February 2010
Important changes announced affecting the General Skilled Migration program

Friday, 08 January 2010
Reminder - Market Rate Salaries Apply to all 457 Holders from 1 January 2010
Market rate salaries have been applicable to all new 457 visa applications since 14 September 2009

Wednesday, 30 December 2009
Details of TRA Job Ready Test Released
TRA has announced details of its job ready program for skills assessment for onshore trade applicants

Thursday, 17 December 2009
Last Minute Changes to General Skilled Migration to Affect both Onshore and Offshore Applicants from 1 January 2010
Legislation has been released on Comlaw on the 15th of December to affect both onshore and offshore applicants for General Skilled Migration.

Wednesday, 02 December 2009
Visa Options for Working Holiday Makers
Many working holiday makers enjoy themselves so much in Australia that they don't want to leave after their visas expire - this is a list of the main options to consider if you want to stay in Australia after your working holiday visa finishes

Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Skilled Migration Changes and Processing Times Update
There are 3 significant changes to General Skilled Migration (GSM) coming into effect on 1 January 2010. These will affect a large number of international students applying for permanent residence.

Thursday, 19 November 2009
Getting your PR - A Guide for International Students (Part 4) Choosing the Right Course for your Occupation
Tips for international students in Australia for selecting a course which gives you a good chance of passing skills assessment in the most common 60-point occupations

Thursday, 19 November 2009
Immigration Minister Responds to Concerns over GSM Backlog - Applications May Take 30 Years to Process
The Minister for Immigration, Chris Evans, has responded on the Radio National program the National Interest to concerns over the slowdown of processing of General Skilled visas.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009
Changes to Sponsorship of Temporary Workers to Harm Australian Economy
Significant changes to the legislation dealing with sponsorship of temporary workers for 457 visas came into effect on the 14th of September 2009. These changes present clear consequences for Australian business as they stifle innovation and entrepreneurship at a time when such efforts should be encouraged.

Friday, 06 November 2009
Skilled Applicants in Limbo - 10 Serious Consequences of DIAC's Go Slow Policy
Since January 2009, most applicants for General Skilled Migration have faced significantly longer waiting times for their applications to be processed. Many are now in limbo with no real idea of when their applications will be finalised. This article details 10 serious consequences of DIAC's 'Go Slow' Policy

Monday, 02 November 2009
New VETASSESS Assessment Criteria
From 1 January 2010, VETASSESS will be changing their assessment criteria for all applicants. VETASSESS is the main skills assessing authority for professional (50-point) and associate professional (40-point) occupations for the purposes of Australian General Skilled Migration (GSM) and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) applications.

Friday, 30 October 2009
Mark Webster on ABC Radio National: "Migration applicants stuck in two-year limbo"
Mark Webster discusses the plight of applicants for general skilled migration to Australia during an appearance on ABC Radio Nationals the National Interest

Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Australian Citizenship - Special Residence Requirement
Effective 21 September, the Australian Department of Immigration has introduced the ability for certain people to apply for Australian citizenship, even if they do not meet the usual residence requirement.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Australian Migration Regulations Partially Recognise Same-Sex "Marriages"
Australian Migration Regulations will be changed from 9 November to partially recognise same-sex relationships which have been registered in an Australian state or territory.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Getting your PR - A Guide for International Students (Part 3) Choosing the Right Course
Many international students wonder what the best course is to choose if they are interested in staying on permanently after they finish. We have compiled a list of our top 5 tips in making the choice.

Friday, 25 September 2009
New GSM Priority Processing Arrangements
On 23 September 2009, The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, set new priority processing arrangements for Skilled Migration visas

Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Sweeping Changes to 457 Program from 14 September 2009
Changes to the minimum salary level, sponsorship obligations and English language requirements

Friday, 11 September 2009
ACT Reopens Sponsorship for Skilled Migration
The ACT reopened nomination under the Australian general skilled sponsored program on 31 August. This is a significant boon to people who are wishing to migrate under the general skilled program.

Wednesday, 09 September 2009
Getting your PR - A Guide for International Students (Part 2) Skills Assessment
International students guide to skills assesment for skilled migration to Australia

Tuesday, 01 September 2009
Partnership Offers Temporary Workers Permanent Solution
Acacia Immigration and Geoffrey Nathan announce new partnership to offer tempoary workers in Australia a permanent solution

Wednesday, 22 July 2009
Getting your PR - A Guide for International Students in Australia (Part 1)- "Top 10 Tips for International Students"
The first in a series of articles aimed at helping international students better understand their options for permanent residency after graduation

Saturday, 18 July 2009
Immigration Update June 2009
A quick synopsis of recent changes in Australian Immigration

Friday, 26 June 2009
Legislation changes from the 1st July 2009
A snapshot of changes as of July 1st, 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009
Current Department of Immigration processing times and priorities - June 2009
Current processing times and priorities at Department of Immigration as of 18 June 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009
Australian Economic Outlook - June 2009
Australian Economic Outlook - June 2009

Thursday, 18 June 2009
Overhaul of Australian Temporary Worker Visa Program Makes Permanent Visas More Attractive
Changes to the minimum salary level, sponsorship obligations and English language requirements make 457 visas less attractive than permanent employer sponsored options

Tuesday, 17 March 2009
Cuts to Skilled Migration Announced
In response to the economic slowdown in Australia, the Australian Immigration Minister has announced significant cuts to the general skilled program for 2008-09

Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Victoria suspends processing of nominations for trade occupations for 886 applicants
Victoria has modified its requirements for state nomination and suspended procesing for some occupations

Thursday, 05 March 2009
Immigration Seminar for French community in Australia
Alexia Emmerson presents workshop for the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FACCI)

Tuesday, 03 March 2009
New work and holiday arrangement with Indonesia
An agreement has been signed between Australia and Indonesia meaning that Indonesians aged under 31 may be eligible for a 12-month work and holiday visa

Monday, 02 March 2009
Review of Sponsorship Obligations for 457 Sponsors
the Department of Immigration is considering introducing more comprehensive sponsorship obligations for employers sponsoring for 457 visas

Monday, 02 March 2009
New Requirements for Welfare Workers to be Introduced
AIWCW, the assesssing authority for welfare workers will introduce new requriements for English language ability, qualifications and work experience

Friday, 27 February 2009
Acacia News Feb 2009
Update on Acacia Immigration

Tuesday, 03 February 2009
Deegan report - Impact on 457 Visa holders
The Deegan report has significant potential effects on current 457 holders, as well as people wishing to be sponsored in the future

Thursday, 01 January 2009
Critical Skills List an Admission of Failure of GSM Program
Critical Skills List was introduced in January 2009 as a 'quick fix' for significant problems in the General Skilled Program

Thursday, 11 September 2008
457 MSL changes
Temporary Business Sponsorship (457) - Changes to Minimum Salary Level (MSL) announced by DIAC

Thursday, 26 June 2008
Visa Processing Changes
New Locations and Dates for Visa and Citizenship Processing

Monday, 02 June 2008
Statement from Victorian Government
Victoria welcomes increased Skilled Migration announced by the Federal Government

Thursday, 29 May 2008
MODL Changes - May 2008
Changes to the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) as of 17 May 2008

Thursday, 29 May 2008
MSL Increase
Minimum Salary Level Increase of 3.8% for 457 Visa Holders

Monday, 19 May 2008
Record Skilled Migration Program announced for 2008-2009
Increase in the planning level for general skileld migration program for 2008-09

Monday, 19 May 2008
Budget Announcements for Immigration Portfolio 2008-2009
Significant changes introduced in Minister Chris Evans' first budget as Immigration Minister

Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Report by External Reference Group (ERG) on 457 Visas, May 2008
The External Reference Group (ERG) recommendations after their review of the 457 visa program

Tuesday, 13 May 2008
Department of Immigration - 2009-10 Budget Announcements
Significant changes to the Migration Program were announced as part of the 2009-10 Budget