So, the journey finally begins! After arriving here in 2007 for my final semester of university at Monash, I managed to stay on with a 457 work visa. Two years have passed since, and the next hurdle begins.
There was a necessary (but unfortunate IMO) change to migration laws over here, which took effect after 1 July 2010. A few critical changes, one of which was the change of occupation code from ASCO to ANZSCO, changing the way occupations were classified. Another was the revamp of the SOL (Skill Occupation List), which reduced (or increased, depending on your profession) chances for residency.
According to the current GSM (General Skilled Migration) SOL, these IT occupations are eligible for GSM independent applications:
- 261111 ICT business analyst
- 261112 Systems analyst
- 261311 Analyst programmer
- 261312 Developer programmer
- 261313 Software engineer
A few things I noticed:
- The previous SOL allowed 50 point and 60 point occupations, but this new list only listed 60 point occupations. Other occupations are listed in SOL schedule 4 (state sponsored) or ENSOL (Employer Nomination Scheme Occupation List)
- Quite a restricted variety if you ask me; I thought the list placed a heavy emphasis (3 out of 5 = heavy) on programming, and less significance on other specialisations like database/networking/security/systems/digital media/webdev, to name a few.
- I unfortunately do not fit into any of the occupations. So if you’re not in the list too, good luck mate – better start looking for other options like family/state/employer sponsorship.
So I readied my papers (not exactly rocket science, but required a fair bit of certified document copies), submitted my online skill assessment to ACS (Australia Computing Society) on 3 Aug 2010 and received the results via registered post on 21 Sep 2010.
Outcome: I got placed into 263111 Computer Network and Systems Engineer. Right occupation, but basically killed my options for GSM independent visa.
To list current options:
Option 1. Submit a second skill assessment to ACS and hope for one of the occupations in the SOL
- Lower application fees for GSM
- Not a guarantee, feels like I’m throwing more money into the bin for a gamble at getting the right ANZSCO code
- Waste of time to wait for assessment
- GSM is sort of the queue that guarantees a long wait at this point
Option 2. Head for ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme), which is basically asking my boss for assistance.
- Priority processing; agent says this will take about 5-7 months which is fast IMO
- Higher application fees
- Company financials have to pass assessment, along with other requirements
- An increased minimum wage is involved – not a con to me, but is one to the boss!
Option 3. Get a spouse visa after my wedding next year.
- Low application fees
- Quick processing time
- Relatively minimal paperwork involved
- This does not automatically grant PR, but rather a temporary visa for two years, before PR can be applied for.
That’s all there is for now, more to come as developments appear. To sum it up: it’s a tough road ahead!