The thought of going abroad to study can be both exciting and unnerving. It sounds like a fun adventure of sorts but being so far away from family, friends and familiar surroundings is undoubtedly challenging. But for every reason you have in mind that urges you not to go, here are four compelling reasons why you should consider studying abroad.


Living alone, far away from home teaches you how to get things done independently, without getting help of immediate family. Familiarising yourself with a different culture and understanding what is and what isn’t socially acceptable in a new country can be a journey of learning and self-discovery. This is something you will never be able to find when you stay back in familiar surroundings. Living in another country helps you understand yourself better and makes you more confident and ready to face any challenge that comes your way. You will of course have the support of the college faculty and your peers, which is a great way to get started as you will not be all alone.


Studying abroad looks good on your resume. It gives you the competitive edge and sets you apart from the other applicants when you are job hunting. You show your potential employer that you can easily adapt to new surroundings and have an understanding of how different cultures function. When you study abroad, you will also get the opportunity to enrol in courses and be a part of internships that may not be available in your home country, adding yet another dimension to your resume. Overall, you give out the impression that you are flexible, confident and open to unique ideas, all of which are traits that employers look for when hiring new workers.


The world is an interconnected place. It is a globalised society we live in. You need to develop a broad worldview and think from a multi-national perspective, no matter what course you are studying. As you face these obstacles, you come up with new, innovative and creative answers. You get to experience life in a whole new way. You treat every single day as an adventure, waiting to unravel. As you learn and understand new things, you look at the world through a different point of view and accordingly develop your own perspectives that are very different from the ones you used to hold.


You know you will always have the love and support of your family and childhood friends but now is the time to expand and grow your network and what better way to do this than by studying abroad. Your classmates will consist of students from around the world. After you graduate, you know you will have connections with professionals in different parts of the world. The potential to collaborate on research and business projects is tremendous. Studying abroad can seem unnerving at first but you will soon settle down and begin to have fun as you familiarise yourself with a new culture, reshape perspectives, forge new bonds, try new cuisines, and experience life as a confident, young adult.

Ready to take the next step?

Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your dreams.


On Tuesday the 18th of April, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, along with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, announced a host of major changes to a number of visa subclasses.

The main implication of these changes is that the 457 visa – for skilled temporary workers, will cease to exist. This visa will be replaced by a dual stream framework involving more stringent testing in relation to work experience and English language proficiency.

Anyone currently in Australia on a 457 visa will not be affected. However, new applicants will be separated into two visa streams as follows.

Firstly, the Skilled Occupation List – (SOL) is being replaced by the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List – (MLTSSL). Visas falling under this list will target higher skilled occupations and will be awarded for four years. Additionally 16 occupations have been removed from the original list for certain visas.

Secondly, the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List – (CSOL) is being replaced by the Short Term Skilled Occupation List – (STSOL) and along with this change over 200 occupations have been removed from the following visas:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457)
  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)
  • State and Territory Nominated stream of the subclass 489
  • Training visa (subclass 407)  – Not all applicants

Further to this – 24 occupations on this list will only be available in regional Australia.

Visas falling under the STSOL category will be valid for two years and will not provide a route to permanent residency.

Changes surrounding both streams of the new framework include;

  • All applicants are subject to criminal background checks
  • All jobs must be advertised locally before a migrant is sourced for the position
  • Employers are subject to non-discriminatory workforce tests
  • Applicants must be under 45

These measures have been introduced so Australian businesses can continue to access the skilled workers they need while protecting the interests of Australian workers.


Australia has always welcomed individuals who want to broaden their professional career beyond the borders. The country prefers professionals from different fields and offers opportunities for a well-established career.

Recently, there has been an interest in recruiting the best and brightest professional nurses from all over the globe. This particular professional sector has shown high demand over the years and has an immense international scope as well.


In Australia, nurses are highly valued and respected. However, there are certain requirements if an individual wants to work as a nurse in the country. It is important to meet these requirements in order to establish a legally justified career. Registration formalities of the “Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia” and the “Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)” must be fulfilled.


For registration, proof of your educational qualifications from recognised institutions will be required. You will also have to meet the English requirements. AHPRA recognises Bachelor-level qualifications from Belgium, Singapore, Chile, Hong Kong, Ireland, Pakistan, Papua, UK, USA, Canada and New Guinea. For the English requirements, individuals with OET, IELTS, iBT, TOEFL and PTE Academic are accepted.


In Australia, the profession of Nursing has been added to the “Skilled Occupations List”. There are different facets of nursing like mental health, aged care, critical care, emergency and surgical nurses. Individuals specialised in all these facets can apply. However, they will be required to pass a skill assessment for their chosen qualifications. Moreover, in some cases work experience in the field will also be required.


For applying to work as a nurse in Australia, the individual is required to apply through the General Skilled Migration. It is advised to apply for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. For this purpose, prospective nurses will have to score a minimum of 60 points. Applicants are not required to have sponsorship by any state, government, territory or employer to apply for this visa. Although, if the individual fails to meet the requirement of 60 points due to reasons such as higher age and low level of English, they may seek alternative means, such as visas that allow sponsorship.


A sponsorship by the state government or territory will earn the individual an extra 5 to 10 points. This will help them have better scope in the SkillSelect process. On the other hand, family sponsorship can also be used for the application. This is possible through the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa. Additionally, 10 extra points can also be earned through the Subclass 489 visa.

It is important to mention that employers have been known to offer, at times, a sponsorship to the nurses they hire from foreign countries. For this purpose the 457 visa (temporary), ENS visa (permanent visa with conditions) and the RSMS visas are available to explore these options.

Therefore, a successful nursing career is possible after immigration if you have authentic registration and positive skill assessment results.

Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your immigration goals.


The “Skilled Independent Visa” (Subclass 189) is a special category of permanent residence visa. It is issued to points-tested skilled workers who wish to work and live in Australia but who do not have any family or employer sponsoring them nor are nominated by a state or territory government.

Any individual who wishes to apply for the 189 visa will be invited to apply through “SkillSelect” after they have submitted a formal expression of interest.

As a permanent residence visa, all those who are granted the 189 visa are entitled to the following:

  • They may reside, work and study in Australia indefinitely.
  • They are eligible for Medicare, which is a government scheme for affordable health-related expenses.
  • They may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship if they meet the requirements.
  • They can sponsor relatives for permanent residence if the relatives meet the eligibility criteria.
  • They are allowed travel to and from Australia for a period of five years after the visa is granted.

 These benefits are applicable to the individual who is granted the 189 visa as well as all family members who have also been granted the same visa. The individual may be in or out of the country when the application is submitted and also when the visa is granted.


The Skilled Occupations List or SOL is composed by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection with advice by the Department of Education and Training. The Australian economy has certain needs in terms of medium to long term skills. Those occupations that are in high demand are listed in the Skilled Occupations List. Individuals who meet the criteria for any of the listed occupations may apply for a visa under skilled migration.

A formal 2-step process is used to determine whether an occupation should be listed under the SOL.

First, occupations that are vulnerable to supply restrictions are shortlisted. Supply restrictions could occur due to the amount of time that it would take to develop those skills. Also included are occupations that would require the government to intercede to resolve these restrictions either due to the possible repercussions of supply side policies or because of the cost of the shortage.

The occupations identified in the first step are then re-evaluated to determine whether skilled migration would benefit them in terms of the medium to long term skill needs of the economy. Several different factors are taken into consideration during this assessment.

The Skilled Occupations List is not a fixed list. It changes every year to meet with the changing economy in Australia. The new list is published every year on July 1st. The SOL 2017 – 2018 submissions are closed and being reviewed at the moment.

The 2017-18 SOL will come into effect on 1 July 2017.

Last year several occupations were added and removed to the SOL:

Occupations being added to the SOL from 1 July 2016 were:

  • Orthotist or Prosthetist (ANZSCO 251912)
  • Audiologist (ANZSCO 252711).

Occupations removed from the SOL on 1 July 2016 were:

  • Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO 233611)
  • Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO 233612)
  • Metallurgist (ANZSCO 234912)
  • Environmental Health Officer (ANZSCO 251311)
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser (ANZSCO 251312)
  • Dental Hygienist (ANZSCO 411211)
  • Dental Prosthetist (ANZSCO 411212)
  • Dental Technician (ANZSCO 411213)
  • Dental Therapist (ANZSCO 411214).

The following occupations were flagged for removal during the last review:

133513 Production Manager (Mining)
221111 Accountant (General)
221112 Management Accountant
221113 Taxation Accountant
224111 Actuary
224511 Land Economist
224512 Valuer
231212 Ship’s Engineer
231213 Ship’s Master
231214 Ship’s Officer
232212 Surveyor
232213 Cartographer
232214 Other Spatial Scientist
233111 Chemical Engineer
233211 Civil Engineer
233212 Geotechnical Engineer
233213 Quantity Surveyor
233214 Structural Engineer
233215 Transport Engineer
233411 Electronics Engineer
233511 Industrial Engineer
233512 Mechanical Engineer
233513 Production or Plant Engineer
233911 Aeronautical Engineer
233912 Agricultural Engineer
233913 Biomedical Engineer
233914 Engineering Technologist
233915 Environmental Engineer
233916 Naval Architect
234611 Medical Laboratory Scientist
234711 Veterinarian
251211 Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
251212 Medical Radiation Therapist
252411 Occupational Therapist
262611 Podiatrist
252712 Speech Pathologist
253111 General Practitioner
253211 Anaesthetist
253312 Cardiologist
253315 Endocrinologist
253316 Gastroenterologist
253317 Intensive Care Specialist
253321 Paediatrician
253913 Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
253999 Medical Practitioners nec
271111 Barrister
271311 Solicitor
272314 Psychotherapist
272399 Psychologists nec
351311 Chef
399111 Boat Builder and Repairer
399112 Shipwright

Source: https://www.education.gov.au/flagged-occupations-sol-2016-17


For anyone wishing to apply for subclass 189 visa, the most important thing to remember is that the skills list keeps changing every year. The new list will come into effect from 1st July 2017. With that in mind, if you wish to apply for this visa and if your occupation is listed on the SOL, you should not delay in applying as you could risk having your occupation not listed in the new SOL.

This means you must submit your expression of interest through SkillSelect and receive the invitation to apply for the 189 visa before 1st July 2017. During the review process, while new occupations may be added, some of the older occupations may be removed, and this could impact your eligibility.

To be granted a visa, you will also need to meet other eligibility criteria.

Don’t let your opportunity pass you by, contact us today.


If you are an overseas student and you have recently completed your studies, then March 15th will very likely mark the expiration date of your visa.

But fear not – this does not have to be the end of an era, it can mark the beginning of a new and prosperous stage in your life.

As a bright and ambitious person who has completed a course of study, you have a lot to offer, so the Department of Immigration and Border Control have laid out several pathways for overseas students who have recently graduated so that you can remain in Australia and put your hard-earned degree to work.

The first option for you to consider is a Temporary Graduate – Subclass 485 Visa. This visa will allow you, as an overseas student, to live, study and work in Australia on a temporary basis after completing your studies. This is effectively a “time-buying” visa which will allow you to remain in Australia temporarily to secure further employment experience and qualify for a more long-term visa.

In order to be considered for a Temporary Graduate – Subclass 485 Visa, you must;

  • Be under 50 at the time of application
  • Be in Australia
  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Meet the study and English language requirements
  • Have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification or with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the skilled occupation list (SOL).

Another option available to you is the Temporary Work Skilled Visa (Subclass 457). This visa will allow you, as a skilled worker, to live in Australia and work for an approved business for a period of up to four years. You must be nominated by an approved employer to become eligible for this visa and this visa is also a pathway for permanent residency in Australia. If you feel that your current or prospective employer may be willing to nominate you for this visa, we can offer them advice and guidance on how to do so.

Similar to the 485 visa, in order to be considered for a Temporary Work Skilled Visa (Subclass 457), you must;

  • Be under 50 at the time of application
  • Be in Australia
  • Hold an eligible visa
  • Meet the study and English language requirements
  • Have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification or with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the skilled occupation list (SOL).

Finally, one of the General Skilled Migration Visas allows successful applicants to remain in Australia on a permanent basis. This visa is awarded on a “points-testing” basis, with points being awarded based on the applicants ability to fulfil the following criteria;

  • nominate an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • obtain a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • be under 50 years of age
  • achieve relevant English test score

For more information regarding the points test please contact us to discuss this is further detail.

If you are currently on a student visa which is about to expire, then now is a good time to assess the options available to you and to pre-empt any requirements that you may have to satisfy in you application for a subsequent visa. We have the knowledge and experience to map out the best visa pathway for any overseas student who is nearing the end of their current visa, and we can assist you throughout the process to ensure that your application stands the best possible chance of being successful.


When considering a move to Australia whether that is on a permanent or temporary basis, the country has many advantages to offer both individuals and families.

Firstly, Australians enjoy the second highest quality of life in the whole world. This is measured on three factors; health, educational attainment, and income. Taking all three of these factors into account across every single country in the world, Australia is at top of the list, coming second only to Norway. Which, let’s face it, don’t speak English and have terrible weather. The USA comes in at eighth, meaning Americans can drastically improve their quality of life by moving to Australia.

Australia has the fourth highest life expectancy in the world with the average Australian living to almost 83 years of age. So moving to Australia could potentially add years to your life. You can think of them as bonus years, drinking ice-cold beers, in glorious sunshine, while eating endless barbeques.

Australia also ranks in the top ten in the measure of the healthiest countries, and fares far better then the USA who ranked in 28th position.

The last on this list, but by no means the least, is that Australia is a far more equal country in terms of wealth distribution. In Australia, the richest 1% of the population took 10% of the income share whereas in the USA the richest 1% took 18% of the income in the country, which makes us a more sharing nation.

So, in short, there is a lot more to Australia than its reputation for great weather, amazing beaches, great barbeques and cold beer. It is also a place to enjoy an all-round better standard of life, from health, to education, to income. So any Americans who feel less than enthused about living in Trumps America, or anyone else for that matter are more than welcome to come and check it out.


The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has just recently announced plans to introduce a new “Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa” in 2017.

This new visa will allow citizens and permanent residents of Australia to sponsor their parents to stay in Australia for up to five years. The announcement is welcomed by those who have criticised the current visa options available to parents of Australians as limited, inconvenient, and unfair.

The government cited the pressures faced by migrant communities resulting from the separation of grandparents and grandchildren as one of the motivating factors for introducing the new visa.

Both applicants and immigration advocacy groups have long criticised the current visa structure as unnecessarily strict. The overprotective nature of the existing policies and their implementation have prevented many parents, who are genuine temporary entrants, from coming to Australia to visit their children and grandchildren on the grounds that they may break the terms of their visas. Many of these applicants have property and full time employment in their countries of residence, so it seems unclear why they would leave this behind and stay in Australia permanently.

These new measures should see more successful applications for genuine applicants, quicker turn-around times for results, and a means for migrant families to enjoy more time together without the stress and difficulties posed by the current framework.

If you would like further information on the new temporary parent sponsored visa and how to apply, please get in touch with us today.


As of July 1st the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has introduced the simplified student visa framework to replace the pre-existing student visa framework.

The changes introduced by the simplified student visa framework (SSVF) means that the pre-existing eight student visa subclasses have now been concentrated into two subclasses; subclass 500 and subclass 590.

Subclass 500 is available to applicants who wish to come to study in Australia in any sector, while subclass 590 is a student guardian visa.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection cites these changes as being “designed to make the student visa framework simpler to navigate for genuine students, deliver a more targeted approach to immigration integrity and create a level playing field for all education providers” (www.border.gov.au).

Along with the changes to the overall student visa structure, there have also been changes made to the visa assessment levels for each application.

Visa assessment levels are used to measure the risk of each applicant breaking the terms of their visa. Previously, the visa that an applicant was applying for was used to calculate the overall risk of the applicant breaking the terms of their visa. This means of measurement has been replaced, and now the department uses the education provider that the applicant is registered to study with in Australia as way of measuring this risk. As before, the passport held by the applicant is the other factor used to determine their risk level.

The risk level associated with each country and each education provider are reviewed every six months. The outcome is based on the quantity of visa holders registered with a particular education provider or from a specific country breaking the terms of their visa.

With these changes, applicants should be able to enjoy a quicker and simpler application for a student visa. While genuine applicants and education providers should benefit overall.

For further information regarding the student visa process, contact us today.


Why a Migration Agent can save you Money, Time, and Peace of Mind

Applying for an Australian visa can be daunting. There are many forms and procedures involved and there are many ways in which an application can fail. Not knowing the potential pitfalls involved brings a very real danger of an unsuccessful application, meaning wasted money, time and a lot of stress.

Luckily you can rely on a MARA (Migration Agents Registration Authority) registered agent to help, and advise you along each step of the process. All registered agents are bound to a code of conduct and must uphold certain standards at all times.

A MARA Registered Agent will;

  • Know about all relevant laws and procedures relating to your visa application.
  • Provide accurate and unbiased advice and recommend a suitable pathway for you to attain the right visa for you.
  • Ensure that each application stands the greatest possible chance of being successful.
  • Ensure that all relevant forms are included in the application and have been completed accurately.
  • Advise you on the result of your application in a timely manner.
  • Act in a way that protects the interests of their clients, including holding payments in a separate account until work has been completed.
  • If you are applying for a work sponsored visa, a registered migration agent can work in tandem with you and your employer to ensure each party has completed the correct forms.

Choosing a MARA Registered Migration Agent will help you;

  • Make sure the time and money you put into your visa application is well spent.
  • Reduce the risk of having to pay a second application fee.
  • Ensure that you receive unbiased, accurate advice from an expert source.
  • Get your application right the first time.
  • Enjoy more ease and less stress throughout the application process.
  • Avoid bad advice, misplaced documents and fraud during the application process.
  • Have access to accurate, relevant advice from anywhere in the world.


The current structure of the visa framework is quite complex, comprising of eight visa subclasses, an assessment level framework and subsequent visa processing formalities and arrangements. The Australian Government has acknowledged the high impact of the international education on the economy and culture and is adamant to facilitate its growth by making the visa process for overseas genuine and eligible students easier.

For this purpose, a Simplified Student Visa Framework (SSVF) is being introduced in July 2016, replacing the Streamlined Visa Processing (SVP) which was in use since 2012. These changes are great news for international students as these will, in a nutshell, make their application process far easier. The two major changes are:

1. The number of student visa classes will be reduced from eight to two.

2. A simplified single immigration risk framework will be introduced for all international students.

These changes aim to navigate the genuine and the most eligible students in a much better and comprehensive way. It further promises to deliver a better-targeted approach to the integrity of immigration. Coupled with this, an equal level would be established for all the education providers, and this leaves out any discrimination behind.

Under the SSVF, the total of the immigration risks of the education provider will be used, and the country of citizenship will be consulted for guiding the extent of the documentation for the final capacity and English proficiency of the student, which is a requirement when the student applies for the Visa.

Furthermore, it relieves the student of the obligation to apply for one student visa subclass which would apply to their level of study. Now under this Simplified Student Visa Framework, there is just one student visa subclass for which all the imminent students will apply.

The SSVF will provide faster and simpler processing for the low-risk cases. It also provides the opportunity to all the providers, and not just those linked to SVP. It also provides benefit to all the education providers for assessing the students’ bona-fides, which also entails taking responsibility for their immigration acquiescence. A provider risk rating based on the students will also be included, so it makes things easier for the students when applying from for a transfer from one sector another within the same provider, and he/she would not have to apply for a new visa subclass for this purpose.

Keeping all the changes aside, the SSVF still requires GTE, and a necessity of meting all the health and character conditions. The Department can also inquire for more documents, if a need rises.

Summing it all up, SSVF will boost the international education, benefit the reward providers and remove the long existence of anomalies and red tape.