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Migration

Overview

Australia is an extremely popular destination for highly skilled young people wishing to start a new life in another country. The country's economy is strong and Australia is actively encouraging the immigration of skilled migrants. Skilled migrants wishing to work in Australia will be assessed on a points based system with points awarded for work experience, qualifications and language proficiency. Other ways of obtaining immigration visas to Australia include the Australian Family Migration and Humanitarian Programs.

Australia's Migration Program for 2007-2008 provides for up to 152,800 places, with 102,500 of those under skilled migration - such as the Australian Skilled Independent visa.

Important Information

The Australian immigration program has opportunities for people with a variety of backgrounds, ages, qualifications and needs. Choose the route to Australia that best reflects your circumstances and goals:

  • There is a strong emphasis in the Australian immigration program on attracting people who can contribute to the economy. If you are under 45, speak at least vocational level English, and have qualifications in one of the numerous priority professions and trades, you may be eligible under the skilled migration program.
  • Australian permanent residence can be gained if you are willing to live in a particular region of Australia.
  • Provisions are made for people ready to invest in Australia or who have certain business skills
  • Improve your proficiency in English and obtain qualifications from Australia's world class tertiary institutions through the Student Visa Program.
  • Working holiday visas allow young people from a number of participating countries to support themselves while having the time of their lives Down Under.

* - Australia also accepts migrants with relatives already in the country under the Family Stream Migration program, and welcomes refugees under the Humanitarian Program.

Skilled Regional Sponsored (subclass 475)

This provisional visa, valid for three years, replaced the Skilled – Independent Regional (subclass 495) visa, the Skilled – Designated Area Sponsored (subclass 496) visa and the Skilled – Designated Area New Zealand Citizen (subclass 863) visa on 01 September 2007. Skilled – Regional Sponsored visa holders can apply for a permanent Skilled – Regional visa once they have lived for two years and worked full-time for one year in a specified regional area of Australia. This visa is assessed by a points based system, with 65 points required to pass.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for a Skilled - Regional Sponsored (subclass 475) visa, applicants must meet certain requirements. The person applying must be 50 years of age or under and be sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area or sponsored by a state/territory government. Applicants must meet the English language requirement threshold of competent English. The applicant must nominate an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and have a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for the nominated occupation.

The person applying must have either:
⇒ been employed for 12 out of the last 24 months in an occupation listed on the SOL; or
⇒ met the two year study requirement in the last six months with Australian qualifications closely related to the nominated occupation
The applicant must meet the points test threshold of 65 points and pass all health and character requirements.

Skilled Independent (subclass 175)

The Skilled - Independent (subclass 175) visa is the preferred visa for those who wish to immigrate to Australia and do not have a family member or Australian state or territory government to sponsor them.
This visa replaced the Skilled - Independent (subclass 136) visa and the Skilled - Independent New Zealand Citizen (subclass 861) visa on 01 September 2007. New Zealand citizens can apply and wait for a decision about this visa category whether they are outside or within Australia.
The offshore Skilled - Independent visa is assessed on a points based system, with 65 points required to pass. Those who are granted a Skilled - Independent visa can live and work in any part of Australia and take up any employment they wish.

Eligibility


To be eligible to apply for a Skilled - Independent (subclass 175) visa, applicants must meet certain requirements.
The person applying must be 50 years of age or under.
Applicants must meet the English language requirement threshold of competent English. This is a level of 6 on all four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
The applicant must nominate an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and have a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for the nominated occupation. The applicant must meet the points test threshold of 65 points and pass all health and character requirements.

Overview

The US H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields such as in architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine. Under the visa a US company can employ a foreign worker for up to six years.US H-1B Visa Update
Applying for a non-immigrant visa is generally quicker than applying for a US Green Card, therefore the H-1B visa is popular for companies wishing to bring in staff for long-term assignment in the US.

Visa cap

Individuals are not able to apply for an H1B visa to allow them to work in the US. The employer must petition for entry of the employee. H1B visas are subject to annual numerical limits. US employers can begin applying for the H-1B visa six months before the actual start date of the visa. Employers can apply as soon as April 2, 2012 for the FY 2013 cap, but the beneficiary cannot start work until October 1, 2012.
Current immigration law allows for a total of 85,000 new H-1B visas to be made available each government fiscal year. This number includes 65,000 new H-1B visas issued for overseas workers in professional or specialty occupation positions, and an additional 20,000 visas available for those with an advanced degree from a US academic institution. Once the visa cap has been reached, USCIS will stop accepting H-1B petitions for FY 2013 and will not accept new applications until April 2013.

Eligibility

The US H1-B visa is designed to be used for staff in specialty occupations. The job must meet one of the following criteria to qualify as a specialty occupation:
Have a minimum entry requirement of a Bachelor's or higher degree or its equivalent. The degree requirement for the job is common to the industry or the job is so complex or unique that it can be performed only by an individual with a degree.
The employer normally requires a degree or its equivalent for the position. The nature of the specific duties is so specialized and complex that the knowledge required to perform the duties is usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree.

For you to qualify to accept a job offer in a specialty occupation you must meet one of the following criteria:
⇒ Have completed a US bachelor's or higher degree required by the specific specialty occupation from an accredited college or university.
⇒ Hold a foreign degree that is the equivalent to a U.S. bachelor's or higher degree in the specialty occupation.
⇒ Hold an unrestricted state license, registration, or certification which authorizes you to fully practice the specialty occupation and be engaged in that specialty in the state of intended employment.
⇒ Have education, training, or experience in the specialty that is equivalent to the completion of such a degree, and have recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions directly related to the specialty.

Positions that are not specialty occupations, or for which the candidate lacks the qualifications/experience for an H1B visa, may be filled using an H-2B visa. Also, applicants that are not eligible for H-1B visas may want to check out the L-1 visa. The L-1 visa a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to their US operations for up to seven years. The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of your US company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.

Visa length

The H-1B visa is initially granted for up to three years, but may then be extended to a maximum of six years.
Even though the H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa, it is one of the few US visa categories recognized as dual intent, meaning the H-1B visa holder can apply for and obtain a US Green Card while in the US on an H-1B visa. If you are still in the US on an H-1B visa and wish to remain in the US for more than six years, you can apply for permanent residency in the US to receive a Green Card. If you do not gain permanent residency prior to the expiration of your H-1B visa, then you must live outside the US for at least one year before reapplying for another H or L visa.

Family & Dependents

H-1B visa holders can bring their spouse and children under 21 years of age to the US under the H4 Visa category as dependents. An H4 Visa holder is allowed to remain in the US as long as the H-1B visa holder remains in legal status. While, an H4 visa holder is not eligible to work in the US, they may attend school, obtain a driver's license and open a bank account while in the US.