English Test results – how long is my IELTS result valid

If you’re applying for a visa where an EOI to apply for the visa is required – the rule is that the relevant English tests can now be taken up to 3 years before the date of receiving your invitation to apply, not 3 years from the date of application for your visa.

How onerous/strict is the 2-year working condition attached to the SC186 visa?

For a SC 186 the employer must offer you a minimum of 2 years of employment at the nomination stage. However (unlike the SC187 visa) once the SC186 visa is granted – there is no condition requiring the visa holder to remain with that employer and there are no grounds for a visa cancellation by the Department – should you, as the visa holder leave your employment with that employer.
It is for these very reasons that many Australian employers have become disenchanted with offshore workers as they don’t believe their loyalty and assistance has been properly “reciprocated”.
Also, there is no specific requirement to inform DIBP as to that change in circumstance (which would usually be required via a Form xxxx).
Obviously, the terms of the employment contract signed by the SC186 visa holder and the employer need to be adhered to, and there are also moral issues for the visa holder to consider if he/she is considering resigning from an employer before the end of the two year period, considering the employer has acted in good faith, supported you in making an application for permanent residence and taken a risk.

Which is the “best way” to get permanent residence?

A Skilled Independent Visa grant means you become a full Australian permanent resident, without having to rely on a local employer, and without any obligations attached to the visa, such as having to be employed for a certain period etc.

The “Skilled independent” visas include the SC189 (Skilled Independent) Visa and the SC190 (State Nominated) visas.
Skilled independent migration is designed for “skilled applicants”, with recognized qualifications, significant work experience and a high level of competency in English.

The application process is rigorous and the points test is critical in that regard – possibly even more important than you obtaining a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessment body.

State or territory nomination is also important particularly if you’re short on points (applicants need a minimum of 60 points to pass the points test for Skilled Independent visas).

SC189 visas do not require State or Territory nomination, but they have a more narrowly focused occupation list (called the SOL) from which nominate your occupation.

Both visa pathways have similar steps for a successful application, namely:

  • An accurate points test result – with a resulting score of a minimum 60 points (or more)
  • A positive skills assessment (in your nominated occupation by the recognised assessment body)
  • Lodgement of an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Receipt of an invitation from SkillSelect to apply for the relevant visa
  • Lodgement of the visa application AND
  • (+ Obtaining a State Nomination if your applying for a SC190 visa).
    The SC190 requires State/Territory nomination and you may nominate any occupation from the CSOL provided the occupation is also on the relevant State Occupation List for the relevant/desired State/Territory.
What are the current Departmental visa processing times for SC189/SC190 visas?

Visa processing times change all the time depending on the Department’s case loads and the level of applications, as well as the nature of such. It’s our experience (as of June 2016) that 189 & 190 visa applications are taking between 4-5 months from the date of the visa application.

Can we hurry the Department up, they have been taking ages?

Definitely not. Any Reputable Migration Agent who says they can, is not only stating a mistruth they are also breaching the Migration Agent’s the Code of Conduct. And beware of any “agent” insinuating they are friends with Departmental staff and they have the inside track to assist and get some lenience to ‘fast-track’ – you also don’t want to be party to any suggestions of obtaining special favours from Departmental officers, as this smells of corruption and could result in a refusal and worse still a ban. Visas are only GRANTED when the Regulations are met, and the Department is satisfied that a valid application has been lodged. They are nobody’s entitlement or ‘right’ and the Australian Government doesn’t owe you any favour. You are not one of their “clients”, and they won’t be harried …or hurried or negotiated with. You have been cautioned – so please don’t ask or push us either.

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General Questions