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Immigration changes to come in effect at midnight.



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Media Centre

Immigration changes to come in effect at midnight

30 June 2006

When the clock strikes midnight welcoming July 2006, three immigration changes will come into effect.

A new Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Visa (SDAS) will come into effect and previously announced changes for temporary entrants and working holiday makers will also swing into action.

An adjustment to the sub class 457 visa to cater for independent partners will come into effect on 1 July.

“Australia was missing out on highly skilled temporary entrants, such as doctors and other health professionals, because we did not have an interdependent category,” Senator Vanstone said.

“To ensure Australia, and in particular regional Australia, did not miss out on much needed services, the interdependent provision was created.”

Previously, only Australian citizens and permanent residents could currently sponsor interdependent partners in to Australia.

“While interdependent partners could enter Australia in their own right, often as visitors, the fact that couples were not treated together in the same application created some uncertainty for them and a potential loss for Australia of highly-skilled people,” Senator Vanstone said.

Regional communities will also benefit from the two-stage Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Visa, which should be more effective in encouraging skilled migrants to live in their designated area longer.

“Applicants will first be given a three-year provisional visa. After living in a designated area for two years and working for 12 months, they will be able to apply for permanent residency,” Senator Vanstone said.

“It is hoped this will lead to many settling in their designated area and keeping the skills local.”

The recently announced changes to the Working Holiday Maker Visa in relation those working in primary industries will also come into effect.

Previously working holiday makers who had worked three months undertaking seasonal harvest work were able to apply for a 12-month extension to their visa

Senator Amanda Vanstone MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS

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Backpackers who work in primary industries such as fishing, pearling, shearing, butchery and forestry, will also be able to apply for the 12-month extension.

Backpackers will also now be able to work for an employer for six months, rather than the previous three, and can undertake four moths training rather than the previous three months.

For more information on these and other regulation changes starting from 1 July 2006 go to: www.immi.gov.au/legislation/index.htm

Minister’s media contact: 0417 445 886

See: Index of Media Releases

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URL: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au /media_releases/media06/v06155.htm Last update: 03 July 2006 at 15:20 AEST