Sunday, December 12, 2010

Canberra Bound

Since we were granted the 176 Skilled Migration Visa, we are required to live in the Canberra (Australian Capital Territory) for 2 years. Canberra is a relatively small city of only 345,000 people, and is Australia's Capital. It is Australia's largest inland city, approximately a 3 hour drive from Sydney. Construction of Canberra officially began in 1913, and was a planned city, developed by Walter Burley Griffin.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flights Booked

With our visa granted we were eager to begin the move, and start our new life in Australia. We went ahead and booked our  flight today, and will officially be touching down in Sydney on January 19th, 2011. Let the packing begin.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

We got the Visa!!

After  2 long years, we finally received our Australia Skilled Migration Visa. We knew that there was movement on the processing front, because lots of other people who were in Priority 2, had started to receive their case officers. We were a little disappointed at first because we hadn't heard back, but then all of a sudden, I logged into the online system, and it showed my visa had been approved. I'm still in shock and can't believe it's finally here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Positive SMP News

With the release of the long awaited State Migration plan for the Australian Capital Territory on Monday we are happy to find out that my occupation is on the list. This means our application has officially been moved from Priority 3 to Priority 2. We are now eagerly awaiting the assignment of a Case Officer!

Here is the information on the ACT website regarding their State Migration Plan (SMP) :

DIAC State Migration Plans

The Department of Immigration & Citizenship has announced the commencement of the long awaited State Migration Plans. Currently only 2 states have announced their plan, and the rest are expected in the next 2 months:

State Date
Australian Capital Territory 5 November 2010
New South Wales TBA
Northern Territory TBA
Queensland TBA
South Australia TBA
Tasmania TBA
Victoria 3 November 2010
Western Australia TBA

They also released 2 accompanying PDFs:



Monday, July 19, 2010

New DIAC Processing Priorities

The Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship has just announced a new Processing Priority for visa applications. Here is the current priority list:

  1. Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.
  2. Applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency with a nominated occupation that is specified on that state or territory’s state migration plan.
  3. Applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the new Skilled Occupation List (SOL) – Schedule 3 in effect from 1 July 2010.
  4. All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.
GSM visas affected

The following GSM visas are affected by priority processing:

  • Skilled – Independent subclass 175
  • Skilled – Independent subclass 176
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored subclass 475
  • Skilled – Regional Sponsored subclass 487
  • Skilled – Independent Regional subclass 495
  • Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) subclass 496
  • Graduate – Skilled subclass 497
  • Skilled – Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen subclass 861
  • Skilled – Onshore Australian-sponsored New Zealand Citizen subclass 862
  • Skilled – Onshore Designated Area-sponsored New Zealand Citizen subclass 863
  • Skilled – Independent Overseas Student subclass 880
  • Skilled – Australian-sponsored subclass 881
  • Skilled – Designated Area-sponsored Overseas Student subclass 882
  • Skilled – Independent subclass 885
  • Skilled – Sponsored subclass 886.

    Friday, May 7, 2010

    Temporary Suspension of Australia General Skilled Migration

    DIAC has just announced a temporary suspension of their Skilled Migration Program, whilst they await the release of the new Skilled Occupations List. 

    The Australian Government has decided to temporarily suspend the acceptance of certain General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa applications. This temporary measure will begin on 8 May 2010 and is expected to remain in effect until the end of 30 June 2010.
    The temporary suspension applies only to primary (main) applicants for the following visa subclasses:
    • Subclass 175 – Skilled Independent (Migrant) visa
    • Subclass 176 – Skilled Sponsored (Migrant) visa
    • Subclass 475 – Skilled Regional Sponsored (Provisional) visa.
    Fact Sheet – Temporary Suspension of Certain General Skilled Migration Applications (Subclass 175, 176 and 475 only) ( 61KB PDF file)
    Frequently Asked Questions – Temporary Suspension of Certain General Skilled Migration Applications (Subclass 175, 176 and 475 only) (110KB PDF file)

    Friday, April 16, 2010

    Australia: A New History of the Great Southern Land by Frank Welsh

    Australia: A New History of the Great Southern Land
    Australia: A New History of the Great Southern Land

    I have been reading this book on and off for several months now. It's a fantastic insight into Australia, where it all began, and how it has progressed through today. An essential read for anyone migrating to Australia.  Here is a brief summary of the book:

    This engaging account places Australia's history in a global context, drawing on sources from the United States, Britain, South Africa, and Canada. Acclaimed historian Frank Welsh traces the history of the land from scattered convict settlements to the formation of the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901 and on to today's thriving independent nation, exposing many national myths in the process.
    Australia is one of the world's most quickly developed modern nations, leaping to prosperous independence from its English colonizers in the span of a generation. This book also explores the dark side of Australia's history: the long-continued "White Australia" policy, which bedeviled foreign policy for more than a century, reflected in Australia's enthusiastic support for the Vietnam War; the still-tortured official relationship with the Aboriginal peoples; the subordination of women; and the flaws in the constitution. Welsh also examines Australia's uneasy relationship with its Asian neighbors, and its isolation from traditional allies Britain and the United States.

    Sunday, April 4, 2010

    Medicals Complete

    On the 25th of March we went to our Medicals appointment down in Mountain View, CA. Surprisingly there were only 2 doctors in our area who were registered to do the medicals. We had a general health check up, along with blood tests and chest X-rays. Everything was pretty straight forward, although they did have to take 2 x-rays of my chest. Being 6'5" tall, I apparently have really long lungs, and Australia are supposed to be picky if just a few millimeters of the lower tip of the lungs are missing. The technician has known people have x-rays retaken because of this. Luckily I won't have to go back.

    Yesterday, I checked online at USPS using the tracking number provided to me by the doctor. My results were back, and had been mailed off to Sydney. Hopefully they should get there in a couple of days.

    California Police Check Results

    Well, we finally got our California State Police check results back. I'm amazed how quick they are compared to the FBI. The good news is that we didn't unwittingly commit any crimes :) Our records are clear. Now we wait for FBI clearance.