Wednesday, 18th of June 2014 Issue #2 June
No Borders Newsletter



Issues of this month

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Chefs, bricklayers and tilers added to Australia's skilled occupation list

Chefs, bricklayers and wall and floor tilers will be added to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) from July 1 to help meet the skills needs of the Australian economy, as announced on 09 June 2014 by the Minister for Trade and Investment, the Hon. Andrew Robb, and the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash.

Minister Robb said the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency (AWPA) works independently of government to provide annual recommendations on the composition of the SOL to ensure it responds to Australia's changing skill needs.

'The AWPA analyses evidence such as the labour market, education and training, migration and general economic and demographic data to make sure we get the balance right,' Minister Robb said.

'In this case, bricklayers and tilers have been added to the list because of an increase in demand predicted for these occupations as well as a decrease in apprenticeship completions.'

Minister Cash said the addition of chefs to the SOL reflects that the occupation is in short supply, coupled with strong growth projected in the cafe and restaurant sector.

'Including chefs on the SOL will provide greater flexibility for businesses to recruit skilled chefs from overseas when they cannot source these skills locally,' Minister Cash said.

'The addition of these occupations will be especially welcomed in regional areas, where there is a known deficit of skilled workers in the hospitality and construction industries.'

The SOL is used for people applying for the independent or family sponsored points tested visa or temporary graduate (subclass 485) - graduate work stream. Before prospective migrants can apply for independent skilled migration, they must submit an expression of interest via SkillSelect.

No existing occupations are being removed from the SOL, which currently lists 188 occupations that Australia needs.

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Bid to keep out dentists fails in visa shake-up

Abbott government will slash the number of foreign accountants able to get permanent visas but local dentists have failed in a bid to impose new restrictions on their overseas counterparts working in Australia.

The government decision to cut the number of foreign accountants came after the Australian Workplace and Productivity Agency rejected a bid by the Department of Employment to have accountants removed from the Skilled Occupation List.

The agency recommends annually which occupations be added or - removed. Foreign workers whose occupation is on the list can apply for a permanent visa without requiring a sponsor.

The government has capped the program at 43,990 skilled visas next financial year. For each of the professions on the list, the number of positions available is capped at 6 per cent of the occupation's workforce. After the agency agreed to -reduce the cap for accountants to 4.5 per cent, the Assistant Minister for Immigration, Michaelia Cash, said the government had decided to reduce the cap further to 3 per cent.

Senator Cash said the new - occupational ceiling would limit the number of accountancy places to about 5000 next financial year.

"Lowering this ceiling will not only ensure that the allocation of the program remains appropriate to Australia's ... needs, but will safeguard other in-demand occupations ... from being crowded out from excessive -accountant applications," she said.

The government has backed the agency's recommendation to keep dentists on the list and maintain the cap at 6 per cent, meaning up to 942 foreign dentists will be able to obtain permanent visas next financial year. About 15,700 dental practitioners are employed in Australia, with non-citizens making up 15.2 per cent compared with an 11 per cent average across all professional occupations.

According to the agency, there has been a 41 per cent growth in dental employment over the past five years, with employment growth expected to rise 20 per cent over the next five years.

But the number of graduates employed full-time has fallen 20 per cent over the past years, including a 6.1 per cent fall between 2012-13.

Bid fails
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Australia boosts number of visa application centres in South Asia

VAC in South asia

Visa applicants from India and Nepal can now apply for their Australian visas more conveniently through new upgraded centres.

Australia's Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) said that there are now three new and ten upgraded Visa Application Centres (VACs) in the region.

With services provided by VFS Global, the upgraded centres are located in the Indian cities of Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai (North) and New Delhi as well as one in Kathmandu, Nepal.

In future, visa applicants can lodge their visa requests from three new Australia VACs, to be opened in Jalandhar, Mumbai (South) and Pune over the next few weeks.

'This enhanced service network will save time and travel expense, and will speed up the entire visa application process,' said a DIBP spokesman.

Mark Pierce, Australian Consul General, Mumbai, inaugurated the new facilities in the city and said that he hopes it will lead to increased numbers of Indian business leaders, students and tourists heading to Australia.

'For the first time in its history, our High Commission in New Delhi issued more than 100,000 tourism visas to Indians in a single financial year, with numbers increasing by 10% in the first three months of this year,' he said. 'This is a real milestone for the bilateral relationship and follows a 50% increase in Indian student visa applications over the last year,' he added.

Anil Katoch, CEO for South Asia with VFS Global, described the move as an important one. 'Catering to the growing demand of Australia-bound travellers in India, we aim to offer high quality applicant-friendly services,' he explained.

'We aim to provide a seamless visa application experience to all those applying through our Visa Application Centres. This extension of our association with the government of Australia reflects their faith in our abilities, and we are sure this will go a long way in forging a longstanding partnership with VFS Global,' he added.

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Minister revokes Rebels bikie boss Alex Vella's visa while overseas

Vella, 60, was visiting his birth country of Malta when the minister swooped, cancelling his visa on character grounds.

The move means Vella, who has lived in Australia for more than 45 years but has never gained citizenship, is now without a legal means of returning to Australia.

Mr Morrison would not comment on the specifics, but said: "I can confirm his visa was cancelled last Friday."

It's understood the minister revoked Vella's visa on the grounds that he was not deemed to be of good character, as defined under the Migration Act.

A former boxing champion and millionaire property developer, Sydney-based Vella founded Australia's largest outlaw motorcycle gang, the Rebels, and is their long-serving national president.

Cancelling his visa while he is overseas may limit his appeal rights, and authorities hope make it more difficult for him to launch a legal bid against the order.

Vella has made Australia his home since the 1960s, when his family moved to New South Wales and developed a strawberry farm. He has since raised a family in Australia.

Visa Cancelled
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The World Cup: a tournament of nations and migrants

World cup

'The imagined nation of millions is never more real than as a team of eleven named individuals', wrote Eric Hobsbawm.

That may need updating for the age of tactical squad rotation, but the football World Cup remains the most popular international celebration of nationhood. That makes the 2014 World Cup a global showcase for how generations of migration and integration have reshaped national identity as a civic ideal.

Strikingly, two-thirds of the footballers at the World Cup are migrants.

Of the 736 players selected for the tournament, no fewer than 478 (65%) live and work outside the countries whose shirts they wear, while just 258 play at home, according to British Future analysis of the thirty-two World Cup squads.

This migrant-majority World Cup mostly tells a story of skilled emigration, reminding us that migration is also a game of two halves.

We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.

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