Australia's Immigration Department Publishes Annual Report

By Editorial 07 November, 2013

The annual report of Australia's Department of Immigration says that a visa program for temporary skilled workers is "growing at a record rate," and suggests that more than 16,000 full time jobs have been created resulting from just under 260,000 working holiday visas granted over the past year.

The Department says that the Work and Holiday visa category has expanded with a new arrangement with Uruguay, and with a ten-fold expansion in the arrangement with Indonesia from 100 to 1,000 annual places. Further, negotiations are currently are underway with Andorra, the Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Latvia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, the Slovak Republic, Spain and Vietnam.

The report also highlights the new Significant Investor visa, which was introduced a year ago to attract individuals who invest AUD5m in certain areas, and which provides a pathway to permanent residence. The Department says that 230 applications have so far been lodged, representing a potential investment of AUD1.15bn.

Other changes to visas highlighted in the report include amendments to prevent abuse of the "457" subclass for temporary skilled workers, the slimming down of the number of via subclasses, and work with universities to streamline student visa processing.

The report further says that the total outcome for the Department's Migration Program during 2012-13 was up by 5,000 places, amounting to a total of 190,000 permanent visas granted, and that the past year saw the administering of the 500,000th citizenship test.

More than 20,000 visas were also granted through the Humanitarian Program, which the report says was the largest number in the past 30 years, and that nearly 16,000 visa-holders had entered a Humanitarian Settlement Services Program. It adds that 3,500 irregular migrants were granted visas through a Compliance Status Resolution Programme, but that visa compliance was at 99 percent.

Tags: Australia | Education | Employment | Expats | Visas And Passports | Working Abroad | Work | Working Abroad | Education | Working Abroad |


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