Recently, the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in Australia (DIMA) have made some significant changes to the procedures for migration and temporary work permits for ICT (Information and Communication Technology) Professionals who wish to live and/or work in Australia.
In early February 2001, Australian authorities have issued specific instructions to immigration decision makers in recognition of the shortage of ICT Professionals in Australia. They have been instructed to give priority to all applications involving ICT professionals over applications relating to other occupations.
These instructions relate directly to to applications lodged under:
- the Long-Stay Temporary Business Visa category
- the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
- the general points tested categories (mainly, the Skilled-Independent and Skilled-Australian Sponsored visa categories)
This and will ensure that the processing of cases involving ICT professionals are given the highest priority, except where there are concerns over other parts of the candidate's application.
In addition to this, another significant change has been made to Long-Stay Temporary Business Visas, which is in the form of the removal of Labour Market Testing Requirements by the employer. This means that there is no longer a need for the employer to provide evidence that the labour market has been "tested" through advertising, significant recruitment efforts, etc. when sponsoring an ICT Professional for employment in Australia.
The guidelines have been changed t include that all ICT occupations are considered as "key" activities, which will allow Long-Stay Temporary Business Visa applications to be processed with a minimum of delay. This will also minimise the documentation ICT companies in Australia need to provide with their sponsorship applications as well as reducing processing times.
And last but not least, employees sponsored to work in Australia will be asked to have their medical certificates and any other health clearances completed at the time they lodge their visa application, rather than after all other visa requirements have been assessed. This will ensure all aspects of visa assessment are undertaken at the same time, reducing application processing times further.