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Friday, March 21, 2008

A-Z of Offshore Migration

UPDATE: Please visit the following post for latest on immigration procedures. 

http://study-n-australia.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/expression-of-interest-eoi.html

The information below might be incorrect or outdated

________________________________________________

In my previous posts, I have mainly discussed onshore migration visas. You can find related posts for onshore migration here, here and here.

Just to recap once again, following are the different categories for offshore migration visas.


Offshore immigration. If you are outside Australia

 Skilled – Independent (Migrant) visa (subclass 175)
A permanent visa for people with skills in demand in the Australian labour market. Applicants are not sponsored and must pass a points test.


Skilled – Sponsored (Migrant) visa (subclass 176)
A permanent visa for people unable to meet the Skilled – Independent pass mark. Applicants must be either sponsored by an eligible relative living in Australia or nominated by a participating State or Territory government. Applicants must pass a points test lower than that for the Skilled – Independent visa.


Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa (subclass 475)
A three (3) year provisional visa for people who can meet the lower pass mark for this visa. Applicants must be either sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area of Australia or nominated by a participating state/territory government. After living for two (2) years and working for at least one (1) year in a Specified Regional Area, applicants can apply for a permanent visa.


Skilled – Recognised Graduate (Temporary) visa (subclass 476)

An 18 month temporary visa for graduates of recognised overseas educational institutions who have skills in demand in Australia. There is no points test for this visa.

There are some other offshore migration visa options but all of them come with strings attached. Which means there are conditions attached to them.

Obviously, every one would be interested in the visa subclass 175 which doesnt place any restrictions of any sort. You can live and work any where in Australia. The rest of the visas have their conditions like living in a particular area etc.


How to Apply for offshore migration

Step 1.

The first step in applying for an offshore migration visa subclass 175 is to chose a profession which is listed on the Skilled Occupation List, SOL, or the Most on Demand List, MODL.

If your profession is not listed on the SOL/MODL then you cannot apply for skilled migration. There might be other ways but this post only deals with skilled migration.

Also, you must satsify some basic criterias for being able to apply for offshore skilled migration. For example, you should be under 45 years of age AND you must have post-secondary (such as university or trade) qualifications (in a small number of occupations substantial relevant work experience may be acceptable) and your skills must have been assessed by the relevant Australian assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation.

Check what the is current pass mark for your visa sub class 175. And see that provided you get a positive skills

Step 2.

The second step is to make sure that you have, in the past 24 months before you lodge the application, at least have 12 months of experience in the profession you have selected on the SOL/MODL.

Please note that this is only the immigration departments work experience requirement. You might need more work experience depending upon who your assessing body is.

For example for IT professionals the work experience requirement set by the Australian Computer Society, ACS, is 4 years, whereas the work experience requirement set by Engineers Australia for engineers is zero years. Yes, engineers Australia require an engineer to write a competency demonstration report. If you write a good report perfectly, you get a positive skills assessment. If you write an unsatisfactory report, you get a negative skills assessment. So basically you can get yourself assessed from engineers Australia right after your undergrad degree and then work for one year and then apply for immigration.

So in order to get a positive skills assessment from ACS, an IT professional must have 4 years of work experience. If you do not have 4 years of work experience, ACS will not give you a positive skills assessment. Which means the Immigration department will not be able to consider you for immigration as the ACS doesn't consider you a qualified IT professional.

Step 3

Get yourself assessed by your assessing body. The name of each assessing body is listed next to the profession on the SOL/MODL.

Different assessing bodies have different criterias for giving overseas applicants a positive skills assessment.

For example, an IT professional, must have studied in a degree which has 75% of core computer science subjects AND also have 4 years of paid professional experience in the IT industry.

For engineers, the Australian Engineering council requires writing of a Competency demonstration report, CDR, by the candidate as well as 3 years of professional experience.

Most assessing bodies consider undergraduate degrees PLUS work experience as the criteria for giving a positive skills assessment to a candidate.

The process of getting a positive skills assessment takes any where between 8 to 12 weeks.

Step 4

Appear in the IELTS exam. You must be at least at the "competent" level in the IELTS exam to be eligible to apply for occupations other than trade occupations. You should have a high enough level of English that would enable you to score at least a "6" on all four components of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination. However, if your nominated occupations is a trade occupation, a score of "5" (vocational) will suffice.

From Sept 1, 2007, any one getting 7 and above in all bands of IELTS is awarded bonus points and an applicant can gain 25 points if he/she scores 7 or above in all bands of IELTS in either academic or general version of the test.

Step 5

After having acheived a positive skills assessment and a score in IELTS exam, you should lodge an application with the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, DIAC.

While applying online, you will realize how many points you are scoring. It is better to calculate your points beforehand using the points calculator which you can access at the following link.

Points calculator

If you are falling short of points, it would be advisable to contact a lawyer.

It is better to lodge the application online as that speeds up the process.

The online process is pretty straight forward. Once the application is lodged online, you might be asked to send original documents by post.

The process takes between 10 to 16 months.

Bonus Points

You can gain bonus points for getting 7 and above in all bands of IELTS, for having a spouse whose profession is also on the SOL/MODL. Note that to claim points for spouse skills, the spouse will also have to proove his/her skills by getting a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing body.Junaid

Migration Agent Registration Number: 0964018

31 comments:

Shermal said...

Hey Man,
Much thanks for the info you are putting here for all of us.

I have a question. After completing 2 yrs of study on a student visa, and then having the necessary points [i.e 120 or over] you decide to apply for PR. You have mentioned that it will take between 10 to 16 months for PR approval. How is the student to remain in Australia till the decision, as his student visa would have expired by then?

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Shermal

Hey Man,
Much thanks for the info you are putting here for all of us.

I have a question. After completing 2 yrs of study on a student visa, and then having the necessary points [i.e 120 or over] you decide to apply for PR. You have mentioned that it will take between 10 to 16 months for PR approval. How is the student to remain in Australia till the decision, as his student visa would have expired by then?

***********************

When you apply for a new visa while inside Australia on a valid visa, you are given a temporary, unlimited bridging visa which remains valid until the decision for your visa application is made.

The temporary bridging visa gives you unrestricted working rights and unlimited stay to remain in Australia as long as it is valid.

However, you cannot leave Australia without informing the immigration department.

Make sure you apply for residency before your student visa expires.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Anonymous said...

Hi Junaid

Thanks for all the info from you, as they have been very helpful. I have 2 questions here and hope you would be able to give advice on it.

My wife is stduying a 1 yr master program in uni mel.We found out we are eligible for PR given our experinces and skill. (1)Can we lodge PR application while studying
(2) she will be completing her study in Dec 08, can we remain in australia legally till we got PR.

Thanks in advance.

Sang

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Sang

********************************

Hi Junaid

Thanks for all the info from you, as they have been very helpful. I have 2 questions here and hope you would be able to give advice on it.

My wife is stduying a 1 yr master program in uni mel.We found out we are eligible for PR given our experinces and skill. (1)Can we lodge PR application while studying
(2) she will be completing her study in Dec 08, can we remain in australia legally till we got PR.

Thanks in advance.

Sang


****************************


@Sang

If you are applying for offshore migration, then you will have to leave Australia at the end of your wife's student visa.

If you are applying for onshore migration, then you will be given a bridging visa on the date you lodge your application and the bridging visa will remain valid for the duration till your PR application is processed and a decision is announced.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Sang

You can stay in Australia only if you have another valid visa e.g. graduate skilled visa, student visa etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Junaid

Thanks alot for the info.
But i am still a bit confused,you mentioned "once my wife & I lodge PR application, we will be given a bridging visa, then stay in aussy till we know the result. You also mentioned that" we must have a valid visa,such as graduate skilled or student visa to remain in Aussy.

Would you make clarification on the above Please!.

Thank you
sang

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Sang

**********************

Hi Junaid

Thanks alot for the info.
But i am still a bit confused,you mentioned "once my wife & I lodge PR application, we will be given a bridging visa, then stay in aussy till we know the result. You also mentioned that" we must have a valid visa,such as graduate skilled or student visa to remain in Aussy.

Would you make clarification on the above Please!.

Thank you
sang


***************************

**************once my wife & I lodge PR application, we will be given a bridging visa, then stay in aussy till we know the result.*************


You will only given a bridging visa if and only you are applying for onshore migration.

If you apply for offshore migration, you will not be given a bridging visa and you would remain on a student visa until it expires after which you would be expected to leave the country and return once your application is decided.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Anonymous said...

Hi Junaid,

Your blog is very helpful and I have some questions to ask you. I am finishing my PhD in Feb 09 (my student visa expires in Dec 09) and I plan to apply for PR straight away. But the problem is I need to go back to my country asa I submitt my thesis (work condition). I wonder if I can travel in and out of Australia during my onshore application as I want to leave my husband and children here. And I want to make sure that I get PR before I resign from my job. A company also offers me a job and I am thinking about a sponsored option. Do you know if I can apply onshore for the sponsored one before I finish my degree? Would it be easier? Thank you very much, Jess

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@^^

***************************

Hi Junaid,

Your blog is very helpful and I have some questions to ask you. I am finishing my PhD in Feb 09 (my student visa expires in Dec 09) and I plan to apply for PR straight away. But the problem is I need to go back to my country asa I submitt my thesis (work condition). I wonder if I can travel in and out of Australia during my onshore application as I want to leave my husband and children here. And I want to make sure that I get PR before I resign from my job. A company also offers me a job and I am thinking about a sponsored option. Do you know if I can apply onshore for the sponsored one before I finish my degree? Would it be easier? Thank you very much, Jess


***************************


1. You can apply for onshore migration visa subclass 885, however, when you apply for onshore migrations, you are given a bridging visa which doesnt allow traveling outside Australia. You are expected to remain in Australia until your case is decided.

However, you can apply for a waiver from your case officer explaining that you need to leave Australia for such and such reason. Such a waiver is only for temporary time period and would be for a maximum period of one month or may be more depending upon the case officer.

The bottom line is that if you are looking for extended periods of leaving Australia while being on a bridging visa, then you need to sort this out as you cannot leave Australia for extended periods while on a bridging visa.

2. For employer sponsored visa options, you need to look at the following visa options.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121/856)

For lawfully operating Australian employers to recruit workers on permanent visas, to fill full-time highly skilled positions which cannot be filled from the Australian labour market.


Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 119/857)

For employers in regional Australia to employ skilled people in positions unable to be filled from the local labour market.

You can check more about these visas on the following link

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/skilled-workers/visa-permanent.htm

I would suggest consulting a professional lawyer who can advise you how to plan in advance.

Let me know if you need such help.

Kind Regards

Junaid

parth said...

hi. junaid
after two year study in australia
what will be the next step to getting pr?

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Parth

Read the following document and let me know if you still have any questions.


http://immigrate-to-australia.blogspot.com/2007/10/z-immigration-guide-for-international.html

Kind Regards

Junaid

anil said...

Hi
I m a student doing B tech in Electronics and Communication department I will be graduating in this current year
I have a query about PR. what should I do should I work for 1 year and gain one year experience then apply for migration(as it is a requirement for applying for migration from overseas), I also have sponsorship from relative or I should go to Australia on student visa study for 2 years then apply for PR.I am from India.I have heared that when you are from india you should have 4 year experience? then only you can apply under 176 visa.

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Anil

There are advantages and disadvantages in both approaches.

1. If you first get experience and then come to Australia, it will be easy for you to find a job as Australian industry prefers work experience over degrees. But then you will have to wait for 1 yr while gaining work experience and 1 yr for application etc.

2. If you come here on a student visa you will have to study for two yrs and then apply for immigration.

So in any case you need to wait for two yrs.

I would suggest getting work experience as work experience is more important in Australia.

For engineers the work experience requirement set by immigration department is 1 yr of full time paid work experience.

Kind Regards

Junaid

tepi lim said...

Hi Junaid!

I would like to seek your advice on my situation. I aim to apply for a Bridging 485 visa and am uncertain if I will fulfill the 2-year rule. Here are my details:

-I'm taking up my MBA at the Melbourne Business School (Uni of Melb.) On the CoE, duration is August 2008 - Dec 2009 (only 16 months). I did not find my school on the CRICOS list so I am not sure if this will be allowable.

-I intend to go on exchange program to Singapore from Sept 2009-December 2009 (4 months equivalent). Will this inhibit me from fulfilling the 2-year requirement? The exchange program will still be credited to my studies and my grades will be reflected on my transcript.

-lastly, when can i start applying for the graduate skill visa 485? Can I start now or do I wait for my graduation in Dec 2009?

thanks so much!

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Tepi Lim

485 is not a bridging visa. 485 is a graduate skilled visa giving you 18 months of full time work rights.

Please make sure you know what you are doing.

-I'm taking up my MBA at the Melbourne Business School (Uni of Melb.) On the CoE, duration is August 2008 - Dec 2009 (only 16 months). I did not find my school on the CRICOS list so I am not sure if this will be allowable.

Contact your course supervisor/help desk etc and ask them what is the CRICOS number of your course.

Put that number in the search field of the CRICOS website and that will give you the duration of the number of weeks.

-I intend to go on exchange program to Singapore from Sept 2009-December 2009 (4 months equivalent). Will this inhibit me from fulfilling the 2-year requirement?

Any study taken outside Australia will not be counted towards the 2 yr rule.

The exchange program will still be credited to my studies and my grades will be reflected on my transcript.

It doesnt matter. You are still studying outside Australia.

-lastly, when can i start applying for the graduate skill visa 485? Can I start now or do I wait for my graduation in Dec 2009?

One of the requirement for the graduate skilled visa 485 is that you should have studied in Australia for two yrs (92 weeks)

If you study for the less then that duration, then you cannot apply for graduate skilled visa.

Please check the following link for your eligibility for a graduate skilled visa

http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/485/eligibility-applicant.htm

Kind Regards

Junaid

Hassan Amjad said...

Dear junaid,
My name is Hassan Amjad and I'm currently doing my bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from UET Lahore,in Pakistan. I am expected to graduate by September 2009.
Is it possible for me to obtain permanent residence in Australia if I work for one year in Pakistan, after graduating from UET lahore, as a Mechanical Engineer.( mechanical engineering is on the MODL list).

Awaiting your prompt response,

Hassan Amjad Mohammad

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Hassan


The best thing to do first is to get work experience immediately after completing your studies.

You can then apply for immigration on the basis of your work experience. This will save you lots of money as well as lots of trouble and at the same time you will get valuable work experience as well.

Yes your calculation is correct provided the occupation stays in the MODL on the date you lodge your application.

Kind Regards

Junaid

frus said...

Hi Junaid,

I'm currently studying MArch(Masters of Architecture) at RMIT University in Melbourne. I will complete my course in July 2009, however I will only get my certificate in Dec 2009.

But my student visa expires in August 09. I have all the necessary requirements for the PR application except work experience.

Because my student visa expires earlier, I might go back to my country to get work experience first. However my question is:

Should I only send in the PR application documents after I get my 12 month working experience, or can I send in any of documents anytime when its ready?

Because I've recently done IELTS and medical examination. I'm just wondering just because of the 12 months wait, would I need to do another IELTS + med exam again?

Thank you

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Frus

I am unable to understand your query.

Please explain in clear English what you mean.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Anonymous said...

Hey,
i'd be really gratefull if you could give me some advice on my situation:
I have applied for an independant skilled visa onshore in order to get permanent residency a few months ago
My working holiday visa expired, and i was then denied another visa i applied for to be able to stay in Australia
I was advised that i had now 28 days to leave the country
if i leave australia..will my PR visa processing be cancelled? in which case i'd have to reapply from abroad for an offshore visa
Or is it ok to leave the country and re enter later with a tourist visa for example without affecting the validity of my application?
Thank you in advance..just don't seem to find the answer to that anywhere

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@^^

What migration visa did you apply for? 175 or 885?

Your application for PR visa is not affected by your being inside our outside Australia.

Your application is not affected if you leave and enter Australia.

Kind Regards

Junaid

alex said...

Hi Junaid,

Great site. This is my situation. I have a Bachelor's degree in Computer science and a Master's degree also in CS by research from Singapore. I also have 4yrs (2004-2008) of lecturing experience in Singapore. I've been in Australia for 4yrs already, completing my PhD in Computer Science end of 2009. I'll be employed as a postdoc after my PhD for 1.5yr in Australia. I'm planning to apply for Skilled Independent 885. My PhD course has a CRICOS code but not listed on ACS's site. Assuming everything elses are OK, I'm relying heavily on my PhD qualification (25 points), the 2-year study in Australia (basic eligibility-nopoint), and skill assessment by ACS (50 points I hope). I'm planning to nominate the occupation Information Communication Technology Professionals (nec) ASCO 2231-79 > "ICT Lecturer" OR "Computer Scientist". My questions are:

1) Should I be assessed by ACS in the category (a) Recent Graduate, or (b) Skills?
2) Based on my desc. above and your judgement, which nominated occupation ("ICT Lecturer" OR "Computer Scientist") is best for my case?
3) How will ACS typically assess PhD in Computer Science? Is PhD in CS any good at all for migration?
4) Is my lecturing experience in Singapore any good?
5) Does ACS take into account past qualifications (BIT, MSc) since ACS mentioned in its site the following:

"In order to accurately assess your skills level, we require you to submit all qualifications for consideration especially if any of the courses were the reason for exemptions being granted, or undergraduate qualifications."

Thanks
Alex

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Alex

You have the option for applying for an onshore permanent visa 885 OR applying for a offshore visa 175.

Both visas are exactly the same except that for 885 you need to have studied for at least 2 academic yrs in Australia in a CRICOS course and completed your course as well.

You are not required to have any work experience as per the requirements of the DIAC for 885 visa.

If you are planning to apply for 885, I would suggest applying for Computing profession NEC.

I was unable to find the profession computer scientist on the SOL.

If you are applying for onshore visa 885 you cannot select ICT lecturer as your profession as your PhD is not related to teaching ICT (I am assuming.)

If you are applying for offshore immigration visa 175 then you need at least 1 yr of work experience for DIAC and 4 yrs of work experience for fulfilling the requirements of ACS.

Should I be assessed by ACS in the category (a) Recent Graduate, or (b) Skills?

You should be applying for the category group C.

How will ACS typically assess PhD in Computer Science? Is PhD in CS any good at all for migration?

There is no such thing as good or bad.

Either you get residency using a particular profession or you dont get it.

You will have to check with ACS regarding assessment of PhD holders.

I did a MS so unaware of the process for PhD.

All you need is a positive skills assessment for the profession Computing profession NEC.

Is my lecturing experience in Singapore any good?

It can only fetch you points if it is not more then 2 yrs old work experience.

Does ACS take into account past qualifications (BIT, MSc) since ACS mentioned in its site the following:

They would need it to cross check the information provided but it is not part of the assessment.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Jess said...

Hi Junaid,

Thank you very much for the info, they are very useful.

I have question. I am currently holding a student visa and if everything goes well, i would be graduating on Dec 09.

I am planning to apply for PR 885 possibly by the end of Dec. And I would really love to go back home for holiday before I start working on Feb 2010. I have my student visa until March 2010, would I still be eligible to leave and return to Australia after I applied for the PR since I have my student visa until March 2010?

Thank you,
Jess

Junaid N. Sahibzada said...

@Jess

Once you apply for the visa 885, you will continue to be on your student visa till it expires.

Once the student visa expires, you will be automatically granted a bridging visa because you would have applied for the visa subclass 885.

You will remain on bridging visa until the outcome of your application is decided.


You can travel on your student visa provided you have multiple travel allowed on it.

Once you are granted a bridging visa, you will need permission from the department to travel outside Australia.

Plus there are restrictions on the duration of stay outside Australia for bridging visa holders.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Rehan said...

Hi Junaid

Its an excellent blog. I have a question and I will need your help. I am currently studying in Curtin Uni doing MPA. My problem is that my course will end in December 2011. And on 15th of november I will turn 33. According to new rules for PR which will be applicable in my case, I will get only 25 marks if i apply in december. Is there any way that I apply like in september with only my IELTS and my transcripts for 3 semesters for PR to lock in my age and secure 30 points.

Your response will be highly appreciated.

Thanks

Junaid Noor said...

@Rehan

I am currently studying in Curtin Uni doing MPA. My problem is that my course will end in December 2011. And on 15th of november I will turn 33. According to new rules for PR which will be applicable in my case, I will get only 25 marks if i apply in december. Is there any way that I apply like in september with only my IELTS and my transcripts for 3 semesters for PR to lock in my age and secure 30 points.

Your response will be highly appreciated.


You need the following to be able to lodge a proper application

1. Completed 2 years of academic study. Completed means that your result would have been announced and you have cleared all subjects for your degree.

2. You have obtained a positive skills assessment for your profession.


So if you submit your application before you complete your degree, you are not fulfilling the following eligibility criteria

1) Completion of 2 yrs of study.
2) If your assessing body requires the completion of your Australian degree, then in that case you wont be able to obtain a positive skills assessment. So lodging an application without a positive skills assessment is useless.

Instead, try gaining extra points by getting 7 in all modules of IELTS or passing the NAATI exam.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Dj.Prathamesh said...

Hi Juniad this is Bradford from India is there anyway i can contact you by email, as i am looking for working in AUstralia & need some assistance.

If you could send me an email on braddygates@gmail.com

Junaid Noor said...

@dJ

Please post your questions here.

Its better to communicate here for the benefit of others.

Kind Regards

Junaid

Aman said...

Hey Junaid,
Nice post, though quite old...
Was wondering if all this is relevant post the changes made in July 2012 ?
I have a Bachelor's Degree (4 year course, completed in 6 years)... thereafter, I have been working in IT Dept as Desktop Administrator (ASCO Code - 313112) for 4.5 years from 2003-2008 & then as Helpdesk Technician (ASCO Code - 313111) for 3 years from Sept 2009 till date. Both these occupations fall under TRA as per SOL-2.
So, my 2nd question is under which category will I be able to successfully file my case? Also, I have been getting mixed feedback from migration consultants in India, saying I should file case as System Administrator or that my education is not in the same line as my work experience, hence my application will get rejected.
Kindly let me know what you think are my chances?
If any further information is required, please let me know.
Thanks, Aman.

Junaid Noor said...

@Aman

Was wondering if all this is relevant post the changes made in July 2012 ?

The number of points have changed and also from july 2012, you can no longer lodge an application directly.

You have to lodge an expression of Interest, EOI, and then if the gov thinks, it will ask you to lodge an application.

You can read more about EOI by visiting the link below

http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/

So the process has changed a little bit however the basics stay the same.


So, my 2nd question is under which category will I be able to successfully file my case? Also, I have been getting mixed feedback from migration consultants in India, saying I should file case as System Administrator or that my education is not in the same line as my work experience, hence my application will get rejected.
Kindly let me know what you think are my chances?


Your work experience has to match the profession you have nominated on the SOL as DIAC assesses based on work experience.

This is quite tricky question as I have not seen your resume or know your work experience.

It is better to discuss with a good migration agent.

I am unable to give advice.

Kind Regards

Junaid