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Region Assisted with Migration Law Complexity

 Migration specialist, Lucinda Wright from Armidale’s ‘Legal Minds’, RDA Northern Inland Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings, and nationally recognised migration law consultant, Michael Jeremy.
Migration specialist, Lucinda Wright from Armidale’s ‘Legal Minds’, RDA Northern Inland Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings, and nationally recognised migration law consultant, Michael Jeremy.

Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) works to help meet skilled migration information needs in the area. As part of those efforts, prominent migration law consultant, Michael Jeremy, toured the region last week.

“With the ongoing skills and labour shortage, the recruiting of overseas workers is a necessary practice for employers in Northern Inland NSW. Immigration is one of the Federal Government’s most frequently changing set of policies, procedures and regulations. As the region’s only employer sponsored visa certifying body, it’s important that RDANIassists organisations to keep abreast of changing immigration laws,” RDANI Executive Officer, Nathan Axelsson said. “Further significant changes are expected in 2012.”

With funding assistance from the NSW Department of Trade and Investment, Regional Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Jeremy and RDANI Senior Project Officer, Kim-Trieste Hastings hosted and addressed a series of free seminars last week in Tamworth, Armidale, Inverell and Moree. Stakeholder groups represented at these seminars included employers, employment service providers, law firms and migrant support services.

“The recent Federal Budget delivered significant changes to regional migration programs. The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme was allocated 60 percent more positions,yet no laws or regulations have changed within this Scheme and it is still overly complex,” said Mr Jeremy. “The Department of Immigration and Citizenship also announced new Regional Migration Agreements, hopefully empowering the regional certifying bodies.”

Mr. Jeremy explained the reformed points test for general skilled migration (effective from 1 July, 2011) and how it will impact on the region’s employers and visa applicants, including those already working in the area and seeking permanent residency. “Points are attributed to the skills of the individual, to English language, technical training and work experience. The new system will not attribute points for simply nominating an occupation. All job types will be equal.”

“There is no need to worry about these changes if you are an employer looking to fill a position through the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. Regional skilled migration programs generally offer concessions. When somebody is offered a position in regional Australia, the points test does not apply.” he said.
“I found that businesses and organisations in this region struggle to understand immigration processes because they are dated and excessive– you could be looking at up to 200 pages for one person. The complexity can prolong the visa application process. Local employers should consider liaising with RDANI or a migration law specialist.”

Kim-Trieste Hastings said the seminars provided timely migration law information. “Skilled migration is vital for small and large employers in this region. They cannot find the likes of trades people and medical professionals locally. These seminars value-add to the work of RDANI in helping employers to source the labour they need,” she said.

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