Dear John, I am a 25-year-old carpenter from Ireland living and working in Brisbane this last 18 months. I have six years’ experience as a carpenter but no formal qualification. I have been told that state sponsorship could be my best option. Could you give me a rundown on the process, stages, expenses, length of time, and chances of success? Brian G.
Seeking state sponsorship may well be a strong option as it seems this route is set to get higher priority processing by the Department of Immigration (DIAC).
On February 8, 2010 the Government announced changes to priority processing of skilled visa applications.
Employer Nomination applications now get the highest priority followed by state-sponsored application where the applicant’s skill is a ‘State Migration Plan’.
Currently all states are offering sponsorship in some occupations but as yet none have issued a ‘State Migration Plan’. One would expect these plans will begin to appear in the coming months.
This could be good news for people who have a state-sponsored application in the system or are planning to make one.
If your occupation appears on a state plan one would expect to get moved up the priority processing list.
You need to check each state’s website to find the occupations they will sponsor however I note that Queensland is not currently sponsoring carpenters.
For people without formal trade qualifications, provided you have at least four years work experience in a trade such as carpentry there is a pathway to become eligible to apply for a skilled migration visa incuding state-sponsored visas.
Your first step should be to get your skills assessed to the Australian Qualification Framework Certificate III (AQFIII).
This is the Australian equivalent of FETAC National Craft Certificate or City and Guilds level 3. There are many registered training organisations in Australia that will assess trade occupations. Expect this to cost about $2,500. (Find an RTO at www.ntis.gov.au)
With the AQFIII, apply for a migrating skills assessment through Trades Recognition Australia (TRA). The application fee is $300. (www.deewr.gov.au/Skills/Programs/TRA/)
Once you have the skills assessment and can show recent work history, you can apply to a state government for sponsorship. Some states charge $250–$300.
When the state sponsorship is approved you can apply for the 176 state-sponsored skilled visas. The visa application fee is $2,525.
Don’t forget, you have to agree to live in the sponsoring state for at least two years after the visa is granted. Expect the process to take about six months to get to the point of visa application.
Immigration’s stated application processing times for a visa application with a skill on a state migration plan is ‘within 12 months’.
For a state-sponsored application with a skill not on a state migration plan, expect about a three-year processing time.
Consider getting a full assessment from a registered migration agent to help find the best visa option. (http://mia.org.au)
Send your immigration questions to John at firstname.lastname@example.org
This Migration Column is intended to provide general information on migration issues and does not constitute legal or migration advice. While all care is taken, no responsibility is accepted by the Irish Echo or John McQuaid for the accuracy of material in the column. People seeking advice on migration law should seek advice from a registered migration agent.