Latest News


CANADA: Increase in Employment rate in Canada

As per Statistics Canada’s monthly Labour Force Survey, Canada’s employment rose by 94,000 and the unemployment rate dropped to a record low in November 2018. The unemployment rate decreased 0.2 percentage points to 5.6%, the lowest since comparable data became available in 1976.

In terms of industries, the most significant employment gains in November occurred in professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; construction; business, building and other support services; transportation and warehousing; and agriculture. as per Statistics Canada.

Some of the figures are as follows:
• Quebec, the number of employed grew by 26,000
• In Alberta, employment rose by 24,000
• Ontario also saw employment increase by 20,00
• British Columbia also saw employment increase with 16,000
• Saskatchewan posted employment gains of 5,500
• Manitoba also saw employment increase by 2,600

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CANADA: Fingerprints and Photo (biometrics)

Starting from 31 July 2018, applicants from Middle East, Europe and Africa applying for Permanent residence visa, Visitor visa, a Work or Study permit, or Refugee or Asylum status will be required to give biometrics. This will apply to applicants from Asia, the Americas and Asia Pacific from 31 December 2018 onwards.

There are few exemptions among which, children under the age of 14; applicant over the age of 79; and temporary resident applicants who have already undergone biometrics in relation to a permanent resident application which is still in progress.

For visitor visa, study and work permit applicants will be required to give biometrics once every 10 years. However, permanent residence applicants will be required to provide biometrics irrespective of whether he/she has given biometrics in the past in relation to a different permanent resident application or a visitor visa, study or work permit application.

It will cost CAD$ 85 for individual applicants. Maximum total fee of CAD$ 170 for families applying together at the same time.

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AUSTRALIA: Upcoming changes to South Australia – Chain Migration

South Australia offers a unique opportunity to close relatives seeking South Australian state sponsorship to apply under ‘Chain Migration’ pathway wherein, the applicant need not worry if their nominated occupation is not listed in the SA’s state nominated occupations list but can still apply if it is available in the SA’s Supplementary Skilled List.

Starting from 01 July 2018, few important changes are going to take place as mentioned below:
  • The only visa subclass option will be a Provisional 489 visa.
  • The family member living in South Australia must now have resided in South Australia for at least 2 years.
  • The family member in South Australia must continue to be a permanent resident, Australian citizen or the holder of subclass 489 visa which was nominated by South Australia.

The overall changes make this pathway more strong and successful in meeting the very objective that the sponsored relative is committed to South Australia and is genuinely looking to settle with or close to the sponsoring relative who may also be helpful to the sponsored relative in acquiring employment, integration and to be a part of the growing economy.

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AUSTRALIA – Changes to the Skilled Occupation list effective from 17 January 2018

After the recent six monthly review by the Department of Jobs and Small Business, the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) came into effect on 17 January 2018. However, there have not been many changes, except few which include:

*  Horse Breeder (ANZSCO 121316) is removed from STSOL and added to MLTSSL.
*  Management Consultant (ANZSCO 224711) is removed from STSOL and added to MLTSSL.
*  Hair and Beauty Salon Manager (ANZSCO 142114) is removed from STSOL.
*  Building Associate (ANZSCO 312112) is removed from STSOL.*  Psychotherapist (ANZSCO 272314) is added to STSOL.
*  Property Manager (ANZSCO 612112) is added to STSOL.
*  Real Estate Representative (ANZSCO 612115) is added to STSOL.
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Canada – Parents & Grandparents Program (PGP) reopened in January 2018

On 2 January 2018, IRCC reopened Parents and Grandparents Program. Canadian citizens and permanent residents wishing to sponsor their parents and grandparents to immigrate to Canada as Canadian permanent residents are required to fill the “Interest to Sponsor” online form. These forms will be available only until noon 1 February 2018.

IRCC will select randomly potential sponsors from the Interest to Sponsor submissions and invite them apply to sponsor their parents and grandparents. If you are invited, must lodge a complete application and all supporting documents within 90 days from the date of invitation. ICCRC aims to receive 10,000 complete applications for the year 2018.Alternatively, you may also consider the “Super Visa” as another option for bringing parents and grandparents to Canada. This visa is valid for 10 years and allows parents and grandparents to make multiple entries to Canada and allow them to stay in Canada for up to 2 years on their initial entry.
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AUSTRALIA – New MLTSSL and STSOL List effective from 01 July 2017

The much awaited new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) formerly known as SOL list and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) formerly known as CSOL List for the year 2017 – 2018 is released.

The good news is many common occupations, especially Engineering Professionals which were flagged to be removed, have been retained.

Also, the maximum age limit for skilled category (Subclass 189/190/489) has been reduced to 45 years, whereas earlier an applicant could apply until 50th birthday with no points awarded.

Contact us to know more about how it may affect your application.

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CANADA – Changes to Canada Citizenship Act

On 19 June 2017, the Bill C-6 received Royal Assent making some amendments to the Canadian Citizenship Act.

In addition to others, following are some of the important changes taking effect immediately on 19 June 2017.

Under the previous Citizenship Act, applicants were required to intend to continue to live in Canada if granted citizenship. This provision is now repealed, wherein the applicants are no longer required to intend to continue to live in Canada once granted citizenship. This provides more flexibility to Canadians who may need to live outside of Canada for work or personal reasons.

Under the previous Citizenship Act, applicants were required to maintain the requirements for citizenship from the time they apply for citizenship until taking the Oath of Citizenship only applied to applications received on or after June 11, 2015. This requirement now also applies to all applications, including those received before June 11, 2015.In addition to others, following are some of the important changes expected to take effect in fall 2017:Before applying for citizenship, the applicants had to be physically present in Canada for four out of six years. The new changes will reduce this requirement, wherein the applicants must be physically present in Canada for three out of five years before applying for citizenship.Applicants had to be physically present in Canada for 183 days in four out of the six years preceding their application. This provision is now repealed. Applicants no longer have to meet this requirement.Time spent in Canada prior to becoming a permanent resident did not count towards the physical presence requirement for citizenship. Now, applicants may count each day they were physically present in Canada as a temporary resident or protected person before becoming a permanent resident as a half-day toward meeting the physical presence requirement for citizenship, up to a maximum credit of 365 days.Applicants between 14 and 64 years had to meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship. With the new changes, applicants between 18 and 54 years must meet the language and knowledge requirements for citizenship.* This is a newsletter and to be used for general information only. You must discuss with the appropriate authorised person before making any decisions based on this article.
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Changes to List of Occupations for Australia Skilled Migration

Changes to List of Occupations for Australia Skilled Migration effective from 19 April 2017.

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) replaces the former Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaces the former Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).

Occupations on the MLTSSL are those identified by the Australian Government as being in shortage in the Australian labour market in the medium to long term. MTSSL is applicable for subclass 189, subclass 489 (Family Sponsored), and subclass 485 visa.STSOL is applicable for subclass 186, subclass 190) visa, subclass 489 (State or Territory nominated), subclass 457, and subclass 407.The new MLTSSL now has 16 occupations restricted to only apply to the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) subclass 489 visa where the applicant is nominated by a state or territory.The new STSOL contains 200 fewer occupations than the former CSOL. The occupations have been restricted and removed on the basis of their historically low visa grant rates.To know more details, or to know how it may affect your application, please contact our office for a free and fair consultation. For appointment, call us on +968 24700011 / +968 99275272 / Email: (Sat to Thu. 9:30 am to 1:00 pm & 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm)
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Changes to SOL and CSOL list effective from 1 July 2016

The following occupations has been moved from SOL to CSOL

  • 233611  Mining Engineers (excluding Petroleum)
  • 233612  Petroleum Engineers
  • 234912  Metallurgists

  • 251311  Environmental Health Officers
  • 251312  Occupational Health & Safety Advisers
  • 411211  Dental Hygienists
  • 411212  Dental Prosthetists
  • 411213  Dental Technicians
  • 411213  Dental Therapists

The following occupations has been added to the SOL

  • 251912  – Orthotist or Prosthetist
  • 25 2711  – Audiologists

These changes will be applicable for invitations issued on or after 1 July 2016 and relate to the following visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 186
  • Subclass 189
  • Subclass 190
  • Subclass 402
  • Subclass 457
  • Subclass 485
  • Subclass 489

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Changes to Engineers Australia – Migration Skills Assessment Application fee effective from 1 July 2016

There will be an increase in the Migration Skills Assessment application fee charged by Engineers Australia starting from 01 July 2016.

Form CDR applicants from overseas who wish to do only Skills Assessment will be charged  AUD $ 750/-. However, if the applicant chooses to do Skills Assessment and also relevant work experience assessment, it will cost AUD $ 1030.  If the applicant is in hurry and chooses to apply under fast track option, then add additional AUD $ 275/-.A complete list of new fees is available in this link –
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VETASSESS – Changes to Certifying documents as true copies.

Good news from Vetassess for Skills Assessment applicants, applying under General Professional Occupations (not for Trade occupations). Starting from 01 December 2015,

Vetassess will accept colour scan documents and no longer will require an applicant to provide certified true copies of documents. This is a great relief to many applicants and agents saving valuable time and money in getting the documents certified.
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Engineers Australia will start accepting TOEFL iBT®

ENGINEERS AUSTRALIA will start accepting TOEFL iBT® as an alternate English language test to IELTS from 01 January 2016.

Unlike many other Skill Assessing authorities, currently Engineers Australia accepts only IELTS test results as part of Migration Skill Assessment requirement.Effective from 01 January 2016, the TOEFL iBT® result with the following minimal scores for each module will be acceptable:

Listening: 12
Reading: 13
Writing: 21
Speaking: 18

Note: Engineers Australia will continue to accept IELTS (General or Academic) with a minimal score of 6 in each module.

The validity of both the test results will be up to 2 years after the test date.

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Fast Track Service for Migration Skill Assessment by Engineers Australia

Effective from 21 August 2015, Engineers Australia has commenced Fast Track service for Migration Skill Assessment applications. The current normal application processing time is around 9 weeks for Competency Demonstration Report (CDR) based applications. However, the processing timeframe keeps changing depending on the case load.

Those who are in hurry to obtain their skill assessment from Engineers Australia, then the new Fast Track service is very useful, as the application will be allocated to an assessor within 5 business days from the point of submission of the application. In addition to the Skill assessment fee, Fast Track fee of AUD $ 250/- for offshore applications is applicable, while it is AUD $ 275/- for onshore applications.
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AUSTRALIA: Changes in SOL and CSOL list from 01 July 2015

Effective from 01 July 2015, the following occupation changes has been made to the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) and Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL).

Added to SOL

Panelbeater (ANZSCO: 324111)

Cabinetmaker (ANZSCO: 394111)

Removed from SOL

Primary School Teacher (ANZSCO: 241213)

Removed from SOL and added to CSOL

Urban and Regional Planner (ANZSCO: 232611)

Dental Specialist (ANZSCO: 252311)

Dentist (ANZSCO: 252312)

The above changes are applicable only for those applicants who receive invitations after 01 July 2015. If you received an invitation in one of the above occupations before 01 July 2015, then you will  not be affected by the change and can lodge your visa application before your invitation expires.

There are several other occupations flagged for a close review in coming time which may result in either removal or cut down in the number of places available in the ceiling. The addition or deletion of an occupation in the SOL and CSOL is based on the findings of a review of Australia’s labour market and education and migration data by the Department of Industry and Science. The review also considered submissions by industry, unions, trade and professional organisations.

Keep checking news section on our website for latest update. For a free no obligation preliminary assessment, contact us on +968 24700011 / +968 99275272 or email us at  If you are interested in the Online Webinar, then email us at

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Change in assessment criteria by ICAA, CPA, IPA for Australian Migration Skill Assessment

Starting from 01 July 2015, there will a change in assessment criteria for Skill Assessment by The Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA), CP Australia, and Institute of Public Accountants.

The core knowledge areas from 12 will be reduced to 9. And the applicant  will need to meet only 7 core knowledge areas if applying for a nominated occupation of Accountant (General), Finance Manager, Management Accountant, or Corporate Treasurer. However, External Auditors and Taxation Accountants must meet atleast 8 core knowledge areas.The core knowledge areas such as Financial Accounting and Accounting Theory/Contemporary Accounting Issues will be consolidated in one core area as ‘Financial Accounting and Reporting’. Commercial Law (including contracts) and Corporate Law/Corporation Law will be consolidated in one core area as Business Law. Lastly, the Accounting Information Systems will be removed and will no longer be required.If you are an Accounting professional, and are looking to migrate to Australia, then contact us for a free no obligation preliminary assessment. You may write to us at /
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Changes to Canadian citizenship law effective from 11 June 2015

Earlier, an applicant had to be physically present in Canada for 3 out of 4 years before the date of their application for Canadian citizenship, but starting from 11 June 2015,

an adult applicant must now be physically present in Canada for at least 4 years (1,460 days) out of the 6 years before the date of their application, and must be physically present in Canada for at least 183 days in each of the 4 calendar years within the qualifying period.  In addition to this, the applicants must have a Permanent Residence Status and applicants aged between 14 and 64 must meet the basic knowledge and language requirement in English or French. Also meet the personal income tax filing obligations in 4 taxation years that are fully or partially within the 6 years immediately before the date of application.
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Change in the DIBP domain name email addresses

Starting from 1 July 2015 email addresses will change from ‘’ or ‘’ to ‘’

I. This is to reflect the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service integrating into a single organisation – the Department of Immigration and Border Protection – on 1 July 2015. At this time the Australian Border Force will be established within the Department.
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Increase in the Visa Application Charge (VAC) effective from 1 July 2015

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) Australia has announced an increase in the Visa Application Charge (fees) for various visa types starting from 1 July 2015.

VAC increases include:

  • 2.3% for GSM, Skilled Graduate, 457, Visitor and Student streams.
  • 5% for Temporary Short Term Business, Entertainment, Working Holiday, RRV, Retirement and Contributory Parent streams.
  • 10% for Remaining Relative, Carer and Aged Dependent Relative and non contributory Parent visas.
  • 50% for Significant Investor visas and Offshore Partner visas.


Summary of changes in VAC for some important visa subclasses are as follows:


Visa Subclass Current VAC Price in AUD $ New VAC Price from 01-Jul-2015 in AUD $
  • Skilled – Independent (Permanent) – Subclass 189
  • Skilled – Nominated (Permanent)  – Subclass 190
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored (Provisional) – Subclass 489


Primary Applicant – $3,520Adult Dependent –   $1,760Child Dependent  –  $880


Primary Applicant – $3,600Adult Dependent –   $1,800Child Dependent  –  $900



  • Partner – Subclass 100/309



Primary Applicant – $ 4,630Adult Dependent –  $ 2,320Child Dependent  –  $ 1,155 Primary Applicant – $ 6,865Adult Dependent –  $ 3,435Child Dependent  –  $ 1,720



  • Students – Subclass 570-575, 580


Primary Applicant – $535Adult Dependent –   $405Child Dependent  –  $135 Primary Applicant – $550Adult Dependent –   $410Child Dependent  –  $135



  • Five Year Resident Return – Subclass 155
  • Three Month Resident Return  – Subclass 157


$345 $360
  • Visitor Offshore – Subclass 600
$130 $135
  • Child Offshore – Subclass 101
Primary Applicant – $ 2,370Adult Dependent –  $1,185Child Dependent  –  $595 Primary Applicant – $ 2,370Adult Dependent –  $1,185Child Dependent  –  $595



  • Contributory Parent  – Subclass 173


Primary Applicant – $ 2,370Adult Dependent –  $1,185Child Dependent  –  $595 Primary Applicant – $ 2,490Adult Dependent –  $1,245Child Dependent  –  $625



  • Contributory Parent  – Subclass 143


Primary Applicant – $3,520Adult Dependent –  $1,185Child Dependent  –  $595 Primary Applicant – $3,695Adult Dependent –  $1,245Child Dependent  –  $625



  • Contributory Aged Parent  – Subclass 864, 884
Primary Applicant – $3,520Adult Dependent –  $1,760Child Dependent  –  $880 Primary Applicant – $3,695Adult Dependent –  $1,845Child Dependent  –  $925



  • Skilled Graduate  – Subclass 485
Primary Applicant – $1,440Adult Dependent –   $720Child Dependent  –  $360 Primary Applicant – $1,470Adult Dependent –   $735Child Dependent  – $370

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NSW to start new State Nomination process for subclass 190 from February 2015.

NSW has changed its policy to attract new migrants who intend to apply for NSW state nomination under subclass 190. Starting from February to  June 2015,

NSW will select applicants from Skill Select. To be considered for NSW nomination, the applicant must indicate NSW as preferred state in their EOI. The criteria for NSW to select applicants is based on ranking system starting with DIBP points score, then on English language ability and then skilled employment. The top ranking applicants will be first to be invited to make an application. Once invited, the applicant will have 14 days to lodge an application and supporting documents to NSW Trade & Investment. It may take around 12 weeks to process an application and if successful, then, the applicant will receive an invitation from skill select to apply for subclass 190 visa.
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New Australian Computer Society (ACS) Administration Fees from 05 January 2015

Starting from 05 January 2015, ACS will start charging two new administration fees as follows:

Recommendation Fee:If an applicant had made an application and nominated an incompatible ANZSCO code, or did not suit the application type, then ACS use to send an email recommending the applicant that the nominated occupation is not appropriate and to change the nominated occupation, or the application type before a decision is made. However, this service was free of cost. Starting from 05 January 2015, ACS will charge AUD $ 200 for all accepted recommendations.Additional Assessment FeeACS will carry out assessment of a total of 8 assessment episodes per application. As per an example from ACS, an applicant can submit 3 qualifications and 5 employment episodes or 8 employment episodes in total or any combination of qualifications and employment episodes numbering 8 assessment episodes per application.  If the applicant has more than 8 assessment episodes in an application, then ACS will charge AUD $ 50 for each additional qualification or employment entry.
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Changes to VETASSESS Skill Assessment process for General Professional Occupations from 01 January 2015

Starting from 01 Jan 2015, there will be few changes to the Skill Assessment process for General professional occupations assessed by VETASSESS.

There will be a change in assessment fee and the processing time will be 8-10 weeks provided that the applications are assessment-ready.  The most important change is the introduction of “date deemed skilled” based on qualification and employment evidence provided. It means that based on the applicant’s qualification and employment evidence provided within the last 10 years, VETASSESS will determine the date at which the applicant is deemed skilled based on closely related employment. It refers to the date that an applicant is considered skilled in their nominated occupation and therefore eligible for claiming employment points from that date and not earlier.An example provided by Vetassess is as follows for better understanding:An applicant nominating the occupation of Chemist (ANZSCO Code: 234211) completes a relevant Bachelor degree in 2007 and has four years of relevant work experience from January 2010 to December 2013.One year of work experience post the relevant qualification meets the skills assessment criteria and the date the applicant is deemed skilled will be January 2011. Therefore, all relevant/closely related employment from January 2011 will be considered skilled employment and eligible for points test purposes.
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TOEFL & PTE acceptable for Accounting bodies Skill Assessment

Effective from 01 November 2014, the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA), CPA Australia, and the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) have started to accept TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test results for meeting the English proficiency requirements of the general skills assessment as follows:

Minimum scores for each of the components will need to be achieved in the IELTS Academic, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT tests as mentioned below:

Listening—- Reading—- Writing—- Speaking
IELTS Academic  7.0  7.0  7.0 7.0
TOEFL iBT  24  24  27 23
PTE Academic  65  65  65  65

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Victorian Government temporarily halts ICT skilled nominations

During the period 01 October 2014 to 05 January 2015, Victorian Government will not be accepting applications for Victorian State nomination for below mentioned ICT occupations, as large volume of applications in these occupations has already been received.

During this temporary closure period, the Victorian Government will be processing all outstanding applications and will help reduce delays for future applicants.  However, applications that are currently in process, and those received prior to this date, will be assessed against current guidelines and an outcome will be provided in due course.  Applications for all other occupations eligible for Victorian Government nomination remain open.The occupations affected by this pause are:·        135112        ICT Project Manager·        261111        ICT Business Analyst·        261112        Systems Analyst·        261311        Analyst Programmer·        261312        Developer Programmer·        261313        Software Engineer·        261314        Software Tester·        261399        Software and Applications Programmers nec·        262111        Database Administrator·        262112        ICT Security Specialist·        263111        Computer Network and Systems Engineer.It is anticipated this closure will be for three months, however further updates will be provided if required.Applicants applying under the streamlined PhD and 457 pathways are not affected by the closure and may continue to apply under these ICT occupations during the temporary closure.Source: MIA
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Canada – Changes to the definition of a dependent child

With effect from 01 August 2014, the definition of a dependent child has changed for Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC’s) immigration programs. The age at which a child will be considered a dependant is being reduced, from under 22 to under 19.

The exception for full-time students is also being removed. Children of applicants who are 19 or over but are financially dependent on their parents and are enrolled in full-time studies will no longer be eligible to be processed as dependent children.In all cases, a child will continue to be considered a dependent, regardless of age, if they have depended on their parents for financial support because of a mental or physical condition.According to CIC, reducing the age for dependents to under 19 in the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR) will bring the IRPR in line with provincial definitions of “age of majority,” which is currently evenly split between 18 and 19 across provinces and territories.Young adults will be able to apply to come to Canada on their own merits, as foreign students or through various economic programs.All permanent resident applications in CIC inventories before August 1, 2014 will continue to benefit from the pre-amendment definition of dependent child.
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Australia: Alternative for IELTS from November 2014

Starting from November 2014, there will be an alternative for IELTS for visa applicants across the Skilled Migration category (Subclass 189 / 190 / 489) and various other visa subclasses such as 124 / 132 / 151 / 186 / 187 / 188 / 462 / 476 / 485 / 489 / 858 / 887 / 888 / 890 / 891 / 892 / 893.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will accept English language test scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) and the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). Also, the scores from the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test will also be accepted from early 2015.However, a final implementation date in November 2014 has not yet determined.From November 2014, TOEFL iBT and PTE Academic test scores will be benchmarked against the IELTS equivalent score for each English language proficiency level (Functional, Vocational, Competent, Proficient or Superior).A summary of test score equivalencies for all English language tests accepted by the department from November 2014 is provided below.

English Language proficiency level

Test component



PTE Academic



Average across test components only 4.5 32 30 n/a


Listening 5.0 4 36 B
Reading 5.0 4 36 B
Writing 5.0 14 36 B
Speaking 5.0 14 36 B


Listening 6.0 12 50 B
Reading 6.0 13 50 B
Writing 6.0 21 50 B
Speaking 6.0 18 50 B

Proficient (for points tested Skilled visas)

Listening 7.0 24 65 B
Reading 7.0 24 65 B
Writing 7.0 27 65 B
Speaking 7.0 23 65 B

Superior (for points tested Skilled visas)

Listening 8.0 28 79 A
Reading 8.0 29 79 A
Writing 8.0 30 79 A
Speaking 8.0 26 79 A

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Australia: Changes to Skills Assessment Validity Period

Effective from 1 July 2014, if a skills assessment is required, it will only be valid for a period of 3 years from the date of issue, unless a shorter validity period is specified on the skill assessment. For example Vetassess and ACS Skill assessment have 24 months validity period.

A skills assessment must be valid at the time of invitation to apply through SkillSelect for the following visas:
• Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visa;
• Skilled –Nominated (subclass 190) visa;
• Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa.A skills assessment must be valid at the time of lodgement for the following visas:
• The Direct Entry stream of the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa;
• The Direct Entry stream of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa;
• The Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.These changes do not affect the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa.
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Australia – Non-Contributory Parent and other Family visas are now closed

Effective from 02 June 2014, the following subclasses of visas are longer acceptable.

  • Parent visa (subclass 103)
  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclasses 114 and 838)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclasses 115 and 835)
  • Carer visa (subclasses 116 and 836).

The Contributory Parent visa – subclass 173 and 143 is open, however the applicant will have to pay higher visa application charges for faster processing. The other option will be a visit visa to meet family living in Australia for a short period.

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Australia – The ‘other family’ and non-contributory parent visas with no future

The Australian Government will be modifying the size and composition of the 2014‑15 Migration Programme. The 2014‑15 Migration Programme will have 190,000 places and maintain the composition of 128,550 Skilled Stream places, 60,885 Family Stream places and 565 Special Eligibility Stream places. The Skilled Stream will continue to focus on Australia’s longer term skills needs, including addressing skills shortages in regional Australia.

The Family Stream will refocus on meeting the increasing demand for close family reunions. The additional partner and child places will be made available as a result of the cessation of new applications from the other family and parent (non‑contributory) places. This cessation will also enable faster processing of existing applications.The Government will reverse the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13 measure titled Response to the expert panel — Permanent migration programme — additional family stream places and remove 4,000 places allocated to Illegal Maritime Arrivals in the Family Stream (not previously accounted for in total programme numbers). The savings from this measure will be redirected by the Government to repair the Budget and fund policy priorities.The ‘other family’ and non-contributoryparent visas are:

  • Parent -Subclass -Subclass 103
  • Aged Parent- Subclass 804
  • Aged Dependent Relative – Subclass 114
  • Aged Dependent Relative -Subclass 838.
  • Remaining Relative- Subclass 115
  • Remaining Relative -Subclass 835
  • Carer-Subclass –Subclass 116
  • Carer – Subclass 836

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New Zealand – LTSSL List revised

Under the Skilled Migrant Category, effective from 24 March 2014,

the Appendix – 4  – Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL) has been revised with few changes to the qualification requirements and the specifications to claim bonus points for qualification in an area of absolute shortage.

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Canada – FSW applications

Starting from 01 May 2014, the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) category began with an overall cap of 25,500 for new federal skilled worker applications.

This includes a cap of 500 applications from PhD students. There are also sub-caps of 1,000 for each of the 50 eligible occupations. Those with valid job offer are not affected by the cap. CIC will continue to accept application under the above category until the new ‘Express Entry’ is expected to be launched in January 2015.

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Canada – Express Entry program

Canada to start a new program called

“Express Entry” from January 2015. It will be based on the successful model of Expression of Interest already in place in New Zealand and

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Australia – Form 80 changes backtracked

The recent changes to Form 80 requiring

Address and Travel history for last 30 years has been backtracked to previous 10 years address and travel history.

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AUSTRALIA – Credit card surcharge

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection applies a surcharge on all credit card transactions with the Department.

The rate is dependent upon the credit card type as follows: MasterCard & Visa Card – 1.08%; Amex & JCB – 1.99%; Diners Card – 2.91.

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