Tuesday, October 27, 2009

State Sponsorship Submitted

Today my State Sponsorship Application for the Australia Capital Territory has been submitted by my migration agent. This process will take about 3 months to be complete. I won't discuss the details of what needed to be submitted, but if you are interested in State Sponsorship, and living in Canberra, you can get more details here:

Canberra Skilled Migration Sponsorship

I am really hopeful that this will come through for us so we can be advanced in the priority processing to level 5. I don't think we can cope with waiting until 2012 for our application to be complete.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Commitment to Canberra

As part of the State Sponsorship application process we are required to write a 'Commitment to Canberra' statement which shows how serious we are about making a new life in Canberra, and what entices us to the area. To be honest, until I found out about State Sponsorship I haden't even considered Canberra and knew very little about what was there. I knew it was somewhere between Sydney and Melbourne, but that was about it.

As I researched Canberra online, I found it to be quite a charming little town. Here are portions of my commitment statement that show some of the things we look forward to:

Canberra has a rich and diverse culture, that we are excited to explore. With 21,000 years of aboriginal history and thousands of aboriginal sites within driving distance, we can immerse ourselves in this important aspect of Australian history. The vast range of museums and galleries within Canberra are a fascinating starting point for developing an appreciation and understanding of our new adoptive country. As an avid book reader & collector, I am also excited at having the National Library's vast collection of reference material at my fingertips.

Canberra has the benefit of being a smaller city, whilst still retaining some of the features we enjoy of big city life, such as excellent dining and entertainment opportunities. As self proclaimed 'foodies', we have spent countless hours online researching dining opportunities, and found plenty of restaurants that focus on using local fresh ingredients which we are excited to try. With hundreds of restaurants and cafes, ranging from eager to explore local markets, sampling the abundance of local foods that we have read about. I wasAustralian to Greek to Vietnamese, we will have no problem keeping ourselves entertained. We are also surprised to find that Canberra has a long history of wine making, with many wineries in the area. We travel to California's Napa valley on regular occasions, and look forward to spending time learning more about the Canberra wine region.

When we move to Canberra we will be bringing our 2 dogs with us. We enjoy spending time with them outdoors, exploring new places. We love that there are expansive areas of bush and parks within the city. Looking at the Territory and Municipal Services website we found many areas that are dog friendly and allow on-leash and off-leash dog walking. Compared to Melbourne, there are many more options for us in Canberra and our dogs will have a much better lifestyle. As animal lovers, we also volunteer with an Animal Rescue group in San Francisco, and hope to continue this work in Canberra. We have discovered several Animal Rescue organizations such as ACT Rescue & Foster, Canberra Pooch Rescue and Companion Animal Rescue which look like great places to volunteer.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

ACT State Sponsorship - Canberra

State Sponsorship is where a State in Australia will sponsor people in particular profession for migration. There is a requirement though that you commit to living and working in that state for your first 2 years. Following this, you are free to move around. This new visa would be the subclass 176. Our current application is for the subclass 175 visa. If we are approved by a State then our application will be switched from one to the other.

Looking at the various States in Australia, we have found that the only state accepting my skill at the minute is the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). ACT is where Canberra is located. Canberra is the capital of Australia. Wait... "Sydney is the capital" I hear you scream.... no.. believe it or not, Sydney is not the capital.

Anyway, now we have to go through the process of applying for state sponsorship, which will mean we will be living in the Australian capital, Canberra, for 2 years. Basically, we apply for the sponsorship, and once approved we will move up in the Priority listing to number 5. We then have to wait for DIAC to process our application.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


After further evaluation of the new changes to the Australia Skilled Migration Visa processing, we have found a way to move up the processing priority mentioned in my previous post. By applying for State Sponsorship, our application will be moved into Priority 5. This should speed things up a little bit for us. Hopefully before 2012.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Priority Processing - Bad News for Us

Wow... what a day. We received some pretty awful news today. DIAC have just announced a new Priority Processing system, which changes the processing order of all applicants. The new system will give priority to those people who are in and in demand profession on the Critical Skills List (CSL) and those with State Sponsorship (SS). There are now 7 levels of priority:

  1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.
  2. Applications from people who are nominated by a State/Territory government and whose nominated occupation is listed on the Critical Skills List (CSL).
  3. Applications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.
  4. Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.
  5. Applications from people who are nominated by a State/Territory government whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL
  6. (i) Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). and
    (ii) Applications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.
  7. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

    Guess which one we now fall into? Priority 7! The lowest of all. To make matters worse, they have announced that those applications that fall into Priority 7 will not be looked at until 2012. yes, you read that right.... 2012.... at the earliest!!! This has to be the worst news we have received this year. When we applied it was expected that our application may be complete just 3 months from now. This has affected an awful lot of people, and we have all had our hopes and dreams dashed.

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Preparations Pay Off

    Well,  just 2 days after getting my positive skills assessment, we were able to lodge our application with the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC). Whilst waiting for the ACS to get back to us, we had diligently prepared all documents that would be required for our visa application.

    We decided to retain the services of Peter Chiam as our migration agent for the visa application, to guide us and keep everything on track. So far, one of the best investments we have made in the process. Whilst many people do all the paperwork themselves, we used an agent for peace of mind. We wanted to make sure everything was submitted right the first time. We didn't want to go through the process again.

    Currently the anticipated wait time is 9 -12 months because we are from a low risk country. Fingers crossed, we will be celebrating Christmas on the beaches of Australia.

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Good News Arrived

    We received some excellent news today. After almost 3 months of waiting, we received a positive skills assessment from the Australian Computer Society. We are so excited. This now means we can submit our application for Skilled Migration visa, subclass 175. This visa will allow us to gain Permanent Residency in Australia, and not require us to have a job lined up before we move.
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