Faster visa processing for Indians wanting to travel to Australia

Faster visa processing for Indians wanting to travel to Australia

Faster visa processing for Indians wanting to travel to Australia

Faster visa processing for Indians wanting to travel to Australia

From July 1, 2017, all Indian passport holders will have the option of lodging Visitor visa applications online — a move which will see faster processing of visitor visa applications in India and will also give the applicants the ability to monitor the status of their application

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke, said the online application option would make applying for Australian Visitor visas easier and ultimately enhance the visitor experience for Indian citizens.

Already, Indian applicants can lodge Sponsored Family Visitor, Student, Temporary Work, Training, Temporary Activity, Partner, Prospective Marriage, Resident Return and Maritime Crew visa applications online, and visitor visa will be added to this list on July 1, 2017.

 “Indian nationals wishing to visit Australia will soon be able to apply for a Visitor visa in a more convenient and accessible manner,” Mr. Hawke said.

“Online lodgement for visitor visa applications is a significant enhancement that will benefit Indian applicants seeking to visit Australia as tourists or business visitors, or those wanting to reconnect with family and friends.”

This move comes on the back of hundreds of complaints from Indian nationals wishing to travel to Australia and facing inordinate delays in obtaining visitor visas. SBS Punjabi had reported on this in May 2017, with complaints continuing to trickle in about long delays in processing.

According to DIBP, with the rising popularity of Australia as a holiday destination, there has been a significant rise in demand for Australian visas in India.

With the online service available to Indian nationals from July 1 onwards, it is expected that the visa process will be streamlined and will deliver far better outcomes to Indian nationals wishing to travel to Australia.

“Online lodgement offers benefits such as 24/7 accessibility, electronic payment of the visa application charge and the ability to check the status of applications lodged online, all through the Department’s ImmiAccount portal.”

“Being able to check the status of an application online, as soon as it is finalized, will allow Indian applicants to finalize their travel arrangements as soon as possible, confident that they have first obtained the necessary visa for their visit.”

Responding to SBS Punjabi’s query, of how long electronically lodged visitor visas may take to process, a DIBP spokesperson said, “The current processing times for Visitor (Tourist stream) visas range from 48 hours to more than 20 days, depending on a range of factors, including peak processing periods in certain locations and overall growth in the number of applications received.”

“Applications that are lodged electronically, as well as those that provide all required information and supporting documentation at the time of lodgement, are generally processed quicker than incomplete applications or applications requiring further information.”

Furthermore, the spokesperson shared som data about visitor visa lodgements in India, for the last three years, They indicate a significant increase in the number of visitor visa applications from India, year on year.

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Bill C-6 to Become Law on June 19, Changing Canada’s Citizenship Act

Bill C-6 to Become Law on June 19, Changing Canada’s Citizenship Act

Bill C-6 to Become Law on June 19, Changing Canada’s Citizenship Act

Bill C-6 to Become Law on June 19, Changing Canada’s Citizenship Act

“We want all permanent residents, if possible, to become Canadians,” said Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, at a recent conference in Toronto, and now the process will become quicker and simpler for immigrants to the country. Bill C-6 — which, among other changes, will decrease the amount of time new immigrants have to wait before becoming eligible to obtain Canadian citizenship — is scheduled to receive Royal Assent this evening (June 19), the final step before the bill may become law.

Under the new law, immigrants will now have to accumulate 1,095 days, or three years, within a five-year period before being eligible for citizenship, instead of the 1,460 days required within six years under the previous act. This provision had been brought in by the previous Conservative government in June 2014.

C-6 will also:

Allow permanent residents who had spent time in Canada on temporary status, such as on a work or study permit, to count up to 365 days of this temporary status towards the residency requirement.

Remove the ‘intent to reside’ provision, which previously required new citizens to state that they intended to reside in Canada.

Eliminate the government’s ability to revoke citizenship from naturalized citizens who hold dual citizenship on national security grounds, which the now-governing Liberals had said created a two-tiered citizenship system when in opposition.

Permit children under the age of 18 to apply for citizenship without the support or consent of their parents.

Give individuals who lost their citizenship on the grounds that it was obtained fraudulently the right to appeal that decision in Federal Court.

Though C-6 is scheduled to receive Royal Assent on June 19, it remains to be seen when the government may bring into force certain clauses contained within the bill. These may be brought into force at a later date.

Canadian citizenship

Citizens of Canada obtain all of the rights and responsibilities that come with this status, including political rights, such as the right to vote and stand for office, as well as residency rights, without the need to accumulate days of residency in Canada (a requirement for permanent residents who wish to retain that status). In addition, Canadian citizens may apply for a Canadian passport, one of the most valuable passports globally.

C-6 will finally be law

Having first been passed by the House of Commons 12 months ago, many immigrants and their families have been waiting patiently for C-6 to receive Royal Assent, the final step in a bill becoming law.

After passing through the House, the bill was read in the Senate, which passed amendments to the initial text and successfully put it to a vote. The House, which has a Liberal majority, accepted two of the three amendments, covering the juvenile eligibility provision and the appeal process mentioned above, after which the bill returned to the Senate and passed once again.

A third amendment initially passed in the Senate, which would have changed the age requirements for immigrants to prove language ability and knowledge of Canada, was not supported by the government, and will therefore not be included in the bill that will receive Royal Assent on June 19. Under the new law, applicants aged 18 to 54 will be required to prove language ability and knowledge of Canada.

The Governor-General of Canada, David Johnston, is scheduled to grant Royal Assent to C-6, among other important bills, at 7 p.m. EST in the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The bill will, therefore, become law before Parliament’s summer break, which begins later this week.

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Australia to introduce strict rules on working visas

Australia to introduce strict rules on working visas

Australia to introduce strict rules on working visas

Australia to introduce strict rules on working visas

Australia will introduce stricter visa requirements for skilled workers from overseas, the government said.

The 457 visa program is used mainly to hire foreign workers in the restaurant, IT and medical industries – the majority came from India, UK, and China.

But PM Malcolm Turnbull said it would be abolished to prioritize the recruitment of Australian nationals.

Critics of 457 said Australian workers lost out to foreign counterparts.

In its place, two new temporary visas will carry additional requirements and draw from a smaller list of eligible professions.

“The new system will be manifest, rigorously, resolutely conducted in the national interest,” Mr. Turnbull said on Tuesday.

What was the 457 visa?

A four-year business visa which allowed people to live in Australia with their immediate family.

It was designed to fill gaps in skilled labor but it had been criticized as being too accessible.

In 2016, the most 457s were granted to cooks, developers, programmers and medical workers

According to government statistics, 95,758 people were living in Australia on 457 visas last year, with the highest proportion coming from India (24.6%), the UK (19.5%) and China (5.8%).

What are the changes?

Mr. Turnbull said the current four-year 457 system will be replaced by visas lasting two or four years.

For the shorter visa, more than 200 jobs will be removed from an existing list of about 650 eligible professions.

The list for the longer visa will be even more strict, said Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

The changes will also require applicants to be more proficient in English, undergo a criminal check, and be subject to labor market testing.

Current 457 visa holders will not be affected by the changes, Mr. Turnbull said.

‘I’m absolutely devastated’

James Veale, manager at a high-tech company: “I think Mr. Turnbull needs to look at the taxi-driving students studying home economics and aged care first before he singles out the 100,000 457 visa applicants who are creating real opportunities and income for Australia.

“Many of these students, after becoming citizens, remain as taxi drivers, not the skilled higher-paying professions that their student visas promised.”

Will it have an impact on migration?

Yes, according to Mr. Dutton. He described the possibility of eventual citizenship as a “significant part of the attraction” of the 457 visa.

“The existing 457 visa program is conducted for a period of four years, but essentially it is open-ended, and it results, in many cases, in a migration outcome,” he said.

“What we propose is that under the temporary skills shortage visa short-term stream there will be a two-year visa… but there won’t be permanent residency outcomes at the end of that.”

The new four-year visa will also result in fewer permanent residents because of the eligibility changes, he said.

It comes after Australian said last month that it would largely end granting visas to foreign workers in the fast food industry.

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