The Forum for Expatriate Management http://totallyexpat.com Global Mobility Dedicated Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:00:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Take Part in the 2015 Global Mobility Survey http://totallyexpat.com/part-2015-global-mobility-survey/ http://totallyexpat.com/part-2015-global-mobility-survey/#comments Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:00:04 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16429 Continue reading ]]> Are you responsible for overseeing your company’s Global Mobility programme or have responsibility for transferring your company’s employees internationally?

Multiple Languages

If so, take part in The 2015 Global Mobility Survey which is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Chinese.santa fe

Take the 2015 Survey:

http://www.circle-surveys.com/uc/GlobalMobilityPartners

By taking part you will be the first to receive exclusive access to a pre-publication version of the Global Mobility Report 2015 and receive access to the results via the incredible Benchmarking Web Portal!

  • Receive priority access to the results key findings report and web portal
  • Benchmark your programme against over 1,000 other mobility programmes worldwide
  • Gain insight into key mobility best practices and issues for your industry and programme size
  • Identify the prevalence of different mobility strategies

By completing the survey you can also opt into a free prize draw to win one of 20 iPod Shuffles and a donation to UNICEF on your behalf.

Benchmark Your Global Mobility Programme against over a thousand other companies!

Last year, over one thousand organisations took part globally, making it the world’s largest and most reliable survey of employee mobility programmes.

2015 Hot Topics

  • Critical Global Mobility Challenges Faced by HR and Solutions
  • Assignment Package & Design
  • Selecting the Best Policies for your Business
  • What is the Duty of Care in relation to assignees
  • Cost Management Strategies and their Effectiveness

About the Global Mobility Survey

The Global Mobility Survey is the largest and the most robust review of multinational mobility programmes worldwide. The survey is relevant to HR and International Business Managers who are responsible for managing their company’s employee relocation programmes.  Last year, 1,269 companies took part in the survey from across North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific region and span a wide range of industry sectors.

The Global Mobility Survey is conducted by Circle Research and commissioned by Santa Fe Group.

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UNITED STATES: (Nov. 26, 2014) International students, exchange visitors up 9 percent http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-nov-26-2014-international-students-exchange-visitors-9-percent/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-nov-26-2014-international-students-exchange-visitors-9-percent/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:41:55 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16424 Continue reading ]]> Federal data shows that the number of international students and exchange visitors rose by 9 percent in the last year.

The U.S. now has 1.1 million active international students holding either F-1 or M-1 visas and 200,782 active exchange visitors holding J-1 visas. The jump is largely due to big increases in students from China and India. The number of Chinese students in the U.S. rose by 13 percent in the last year, while the number of Indian students rose by 28 percent.united states

Visa category Oct. 2, 2013 Oct. 7, 2014 Change
F-1 and M-1 1,018,712 1,112,616 + 9.2 %
J-1 184,162 200,782 + 9.0 %

Source: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

According to a quarterly report published by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 75 percent of all international students hail from Asia. China (30 percent) had the most students in the U.S., followed by India (12 percent), South Korea (8 percent) and Saudi Arabia (7 percent).

The large majority of foreign students are enrolled at the bachelor’s degree levels, but there were also sizeable increases in the number of master’s degree students (16 percent) and high school students (14 percent). Nearly 400,000 foreign students, or 35 percent of all international students, were pursuing coursework in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

California is the most popular state for international students, followed by New York and Texas. The three states host 36 percent of all international students in the U.S.

BAL Analysis: The data confirms a high demand for F-1, M-1 and J-1 visas by foreign students and exchange visitors.

 

– Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: (Nov. 26, 2014) UAE offices to close for National Day http://totallyexpat.com/united-arab-emirates-nov-26-2014-uae-offices-close-national-day/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-arab-emirates-nov-26-2014-uae-offices-close-national-day/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:40:30 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16421 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Government offices will close for five days in early December in observance of the country’s National Day.united arab emirates

What does the change mean? Processing of visas, work permits and other immigration-related services will be delayed.

  • Implementation timeframe:Most government offices will be closed 2-6.
  • Visas/permits affected:All visas, work permits and other immigration-related services.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals applying for services.
  • Impact on processing times:The holiday break will cause a delay of five business days.
  • Business impact:Businesses should factor the holiday break into their schedules.
  • Next steps:Offices will remain open through  1 before closing.

Background: The UAE’s National Day celebrates the unification of the seven emirates and the founding of the country in 1971. The government announced this week that most government offices will be closed Dec. 2-6, while private sector workers would be given a one-day holiday Dec. 2.

BAL Analysis: Companies should plan to build an additional week into their timeframes and, if possible, submit filings before the holiday break.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in the United Arab Emirates. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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ROMANIA: (Nov. 26, 2014) New work permit process includes additional labor market testing measure http://totallyexpat.com/romania-nov-26-2014-work-permit-process-includes-additional-labor-market-testing-measure/ http://totallyexpat.com/romania-nov-26-2014-work-permit-process-includes-additional-labor-market-testing-measure/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:38:22 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16418 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? A new work permit adjudication system called the “Approval Scheme” will go into effect Nov. 28.

What does the change mean? The new scheme imposes an additional labor market testing requirement on employers applying for work permits for non-EU nationals. It also requires employers to have additional pre-requisite work permit documentation, including criminal clearance certificates for the employer. The implementation of the new system could also cause administrative delays.romania

  • Implementation timeframe: Nov 28.
  • Visas/permits affected: Work permits for non-EU nationals.
  • Who is affected: Employers applying for work permits for non-EU nationals.
  • Impact on processing times: The Romanian government has said the 30-day turnaround for work permit applications will not change, but it is anticipated there may be initial administrative delays as the new scheme is put into place.
  • Business impact: : The changes include an additional labor market testing requirement for employers.
  • Next steps: Employers should be prepared to demonstrate that they conducted additional labor market testing as part of their work permit applications. The changes will affect pending applications.

Background: Employers would still be required to submit an employment approval application to the General Inspectorate for Immigration through their representatives under the new scheme. The new approval application will include an additional labor market testing requirement, namely placement of at least three advertisements in a widely read publication. Approval will only be available to employers who have paid taxes for the previous quarter, who do not have Labor Code or criminal convictions, and who have not been hit with employment-related sanctions in the previous three years.

Once the approval is granted, the employee can apply for a work visa and, eventually, a residence permit. Employers who do not comply with the new requirements or allow foreigners to work without relevant documentation, such as an employment contract, could face fines ranging from €150 to €4500. They could also face closure of their workplace or denial of state-provided subsidies for more serious violations. While intracompany transferees (along with highly skilled EU Blue Card workers, professional athletes and cross-border workers) will be exempt from the labor market testing requirements, intracompany transferees will require secondment approval during the initial stage of the relocation process.

BAL Analysis: The new scheme will impose an additional labor market testing requirement on employers applying for work permits for non-EU nationals. Companies should take care to follow the new rules in order to avoid stiff penalties. Pending applications must be amended with additional documents in accord with the new rules. Employers should also anticipate the possibility of administrative delays, particularly as the new scheme is put into place.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Romania. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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IRELAND: (Nov. 26, 2014) Dublin processing delays worsened by backlog http://totallyexpat.com/ireland-nov-26-2014-dublin-processing-delays-worsened-backlog/ http://totallyexpat.com/ireland-nov-26-2014-dublin-processing-delays-worsened-backlog/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:34:23 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16415 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? A backlog in Dublin is exacerbating delays in visa application processing.

What does the change mean? Employers and employees should apply as early as possible for visa services and expect lengthier waits. The visa office in Dublin is currently processing applications received Nov. 6.

  • Implementation timeframe: Immediate.ireland
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Applicants at the Dublin office.
  • Impact on processing times: The Dublin office is backlogged by approximately three weeks.
  • Business impact: The delays will impact travel plans and start dates for employees.
  • Next steps: Employers and employees should anticipate disruption of business schedules and later start dates for new assignees. Expatriate employees requiring visas for travel, especially during the holiday season, should apply immediately.

Background: Last month, Ireland instituted a new computer system needed to process the nine permit categories that were created under the employment permits legislation. The transition created a backlog of applications. A new payment system has also slowed down processing.

Currently, the Dublin office is experiencing a continuing backlog and delays. Note that applications made by post are taking longer to process.

BAL Analysis: Businesses and foreign employees should expect delays to continue through the holidays and plan accordingly.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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UNITED STATES: (Nov. 26, 2014) BAL travel tips for the holidays http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-nov-26-2014-bal-travel-tips-holidays/ http://totallyexpat.com/united-states-nov-26-2014-bal-travel-tips-holidays/#comments Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:31:13 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16412 Continue reading ]]> Traveling abroad for the holidays? Check your passport. Check your visa. Be prepared for longer-than-usual processing times. And plan ahead.

International travelers can save time and money (and reduce stress) by acquainting themselves with a few simple rules. The following tips are designed to help avoid unnecessary problems or delays, but can by no means cover every challenge a traveler may face:

Check your passportunited states

Make sure your passport is valid beyond your intended date of departure from the foreign country you are visiting. Most countries require passports to be valid for six months beyond a traveler’s intended date of departure. Visit the State Department’s website or contact the embassy of the country you are traveling to if there is any question about your passport’s validity.

For those in need of a new passport, routine passport service takes four to five weeks, while expedited service (available for an extra $60) takes two to three weeks. Passport agencies or passport centers are available for travelers leaving in less than two weeks. Appointments can be made through the National Passport Information Center at (877) 487-2778.

Many passport acceptance facilities are offering extended hours through Dec. 15. But travelers nonetheless should apply as soon as possible – and account for possible delays due to increased demand.

Check your visa

U.S. nationals traveling either to visit families or for tourism can check the State Department’s website for information about whether their destination country requires a visa for entry – and, if so, whether visa on arrival is an option.

Non-U.S. nationals who are living in the U.S. on work visas have additional issues to consider. Non-U.S. nationals leaving the U.S. during the holiday season need to consider not only whether they need a visa to travel abroad, but whether their visas will be valid for entry back into the U.S. This includes checking to make sure they have both enough time remaining on their visa and at least one valid entry remaining. Some foreign nationals, particularly those who have pending applications to adjust to lawful permanent residence status, may want to consider filing for advance parole, which takes several months to process.

Those needing new visas should remember that appointment scheduling is often backlogged at popular locations by several weeks and that the wait can be longer during holiday periods. Employees are advised to check with the U.S. consulate where they intend to process the visa before they travel using the State Department’s consulate list. After the scheduled interview, absent security check issues, visa issuance and return of the passports may take another four to seven business days.

Be prepared and plan ahead

As noted above, the holiday season can slow processing times for both passports and visas. Additionally, travelers should expect longer-than-usual lines at airport security checkpoints.

Travelers can avoid headaches by learning as much as possible about their destinations ahead of time. The State Department’s website includes tips for preparing for emergencies, driving overseas, bringing copies of travel documents, handling money, learning about local laws, vaccinations, health insurance and packing prescription medicine.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, meanwhile, issued its tips for traveling abroad in the holiday season Nov. 24. The agency suggests travelers cross land borders during off-peak times, keep travel documents handy, be prepared to declare all items upon returning to the U.S., and check the agency’s website for updated information.

As legal situations may vary, clients can contact a BAL representative if they are in need of more tailored advice or additional information.

 

– Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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AUSTRALIA: (25 November 2014) More applicants eligible to apply online for Temporary Work visas http://totallyexpat.com/australia-25-november-2014-applicants-eligible-apply-online-temporary-work-visas/ http://totallyexpat.com/australia-25-november-2014-applicants-eligible-apply-online-temporary-work-visas/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:13:18 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16405 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Australia has expanded the list of foreign nationals eligible to submit online applications for Temporary Work visas to nearly 200 countries.

What does the change mean? Online visa applications are significantly faster and easier than paper applications.

  • Implementation timeframe: 23 November.australia
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Work (subclass 400) visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals on the expanded list will be eligible to apply online for Temporary Work visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Those eligible to apply online will enjoy faster processing.
  • Business impact: Online submission streamlines the application process for sponsoring employers as it eliminates the need to post or courier paper filings or to make in-person visits.

Background: Under amendments to Australia’s Migration Regulations 1994, nationals of 197 countries and territories will be eligible to apply online for Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) subclass 400 visas. The complete list can be viewed here.

BAL Analysis: The expansion of online application procedures is a welcome development. The ability to apply online significantly streamlines processing. Notably, China and India have not been included in the list of nationals eligible to apply online for Temporary Work visas.

 

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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AUSTRALIA/CHINA: Work and Holiday Visa Finalized With China; Free Trade Agreement Proposes Streamlined Entry http://totallyexpat.com/australiachina-work-holiday-visa-finalized-china-free-trade-agreement-proposes-streamlined-entry/ http://totallyexpat.com/australiachina-work-holiday-visa-finalized-china-free-trade-agreement-proposes-streamlined-entry/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 12:10:40 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16402 Continue reading ]]> Australia has completed negotiations for a Work and Holiday Visa program that will allow Chinese nationals to visit Australia for up to twelve months and work for up to six months during that time. A free trade agreement between the two countries has also been proposed that would encourage trade and investment. Lastly, an investment facilitation arrangement would allow Chinese companies undertaking large infrastructure projects in Australia to sponsor subclass 457 visas for a wider range of occupations.

Australia and China have completed negotiations on a Work and Holiday Visa program that will allow Chinese nationals to visit Australia for twelve months. The two countries also finalized negotiations for a proposed free trade agreement that would streamline travel between the two countries for skilled service providers, investors and business visitors. australia

Work and Holiday Visa

The Work and Holiday visa will allow 5,000 skilled Chinese work and holiday travelers per year to visit Australia for up to twelve months, during which time they can work for one employer for up to six months.

Free Trade Agreement

Key provisions of the proposed Australia-China free trade agreement include expedited visa processing for travelers to and from each country and streamlined licensing and skills recognition procedures within the visa application process.

Details of the program are expected to be announced following the completion of the related treaty, which should streamline the following entry programs:

  • Chinese intracompany transferees and independent executives traveling to Australia;
  • Chinese business visitors to Australia;
  • Contractual service suppliers traveling to and from each country; and
  • Installers and servicers traveling to and from each country.

For the first time in any free trade agreement, China would offer equivalent entry and stay for dependents and spouses of Australian intracompany transferees or contractual service suppliers staying for longer than twelve months.

Investment Facilitation Arrangement

A new Investment Facilitation Arrangement would allow Chinese companies undertaking infrastructure projects in Australia valued above $150 million to sponsor subclass 457 visas for a wider range of occupations than under a standard subclass 457 sponsorship. Streamlined hiring processes are also anticipated. The new sponsorship program would be available on a case-by-case basis under arrangements similar to the Enterprise Migration Agreement.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

The Work and Holiday Visa program is expected to increase tourism and support the development of Australia’s tourism sector, particularly in rural Australia.

Once the free trade agreement is implemented, skilled temporary workers should see streamlined travel between Australia and China and an expedited business visa and permit application process.

Lastly, the Investment Facilitation Arrangement should allow Chinese companies involved in large infrastructure projects to more easily hire foreign nationals.

This alert is for information purposes only. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen Worldwide or send an email to fragomenclientcorrespondence@fragomen.com.

Source: Fragomen

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COSTA RICA: (Nov. 24, 2014) Costa Rica simplifies temporary residence process http://totallyexpat.com/costa-rica-nov-24-2014-costa-rica-simplifies-temporary-residence-process/ http://totallyexpat.com/costa-rica-nov-24-2014-costa-rica-simplifies-temporary-residence-process/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 12:19:22 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16393 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – LOW

What is the change? Certain foreign nationals seeking Temporary Residence Permits may now submit an employer’s offer letter in support of their applications instead of appearing in person in Costa Rica.

What does the change mean? The option of submitting an offer letter simplifies the process of obtaining temporary residence for foreign nationals employed by companies accredited by Costa Rican officials.

  • Visas/permits affected:Temporary Residence Permits.costa rica
  • Implementation timeframe: Ongoing.
  • Who is affected:Foreign nationals with job offers from accredited companies who are applying for Temporary Residence Permits.
  • Impact on processing times:The change has no direct impact on processing times, but the offer letter option saves time because foreign nationals no longer need to travel to Costa Rica as part of their Temporary Residence Permit application.
  • Business impact:The change saves businesses time and money.
  • Next steps:Foreign nationals working for accredited companies may now submit offer letters instead of traveling to Costa Rica. The offer letter must be signed by a company representative and authenticated by a Costa Rican attorney or notary public. The foreign national must also provide a copy of his or her passport that is apostilled or legalized.

Background: The offer letter option is permitted under a recently issued regulation. Prior to the new rule, foreign nationals seeking Temporary Residence Permits were required to travel to Costa Rica to execute a work contract. In cases where this was not possible, a Costa Rican attorney could travel to the foreign national’s location to authenticate the work contract or the foreign worker could have the contract certified at a Costa Rican consulate. Foreign nationals may still submit their work contracts in this manner, but now have the option of providing an offer letter from an accredited employer.

Upon arrival in Costa Rica, foreign nationals must present an executed and authenticated work contract in order to receive their residence card. The labor contract must be signed by both parties (by hand, not digitally). The contract should then be given to immigration authorities when the foreign national is ready to conclude the immigration process.

BAL Analysis: The change simplifies the Temporary Residence Permit application process for employers and eligible foreign nationals. It is important, however, for both foreign nationals and employers to follow the documentation and authentication processes that remain in place in order to avoid unnecessary delays.

 

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Costa Rica. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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AUSTRALIA: (24 November 2014) English testing requirements amended for certain permanent residency applicants http://totallyexpat.com/australia-24-november-2014-english-testing-requirements-amended-permanent-residency-applicants/ http://totallyexpat.com/australia-24-november-2014-english-testing-requirements-amended-permanent-residency-applicants/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 11:32:51 +0000 http://totallyexpat.com/?p=16389 Continue reading ]]> IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The regulations concerning acceptable tests for the evidencing of English language ability have been amended for some visa subclasses.

What does the change mean? Applicants who are required to demonstrate English-language ability and do not qualify for a relevant exception will be allowed to undertake any of the following tests: IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT and Pearson (PTE Academic).australia

  • Implementation timeframe: Applications lodged on or after23 November.
  • Visas/permits affected: Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visas for Australia permanent residency, along with other subclasses. Significantly, this change does not apply to subclass 457 visas.
  • Who is affected: Applicants in the above categories.
  • Impact on processing times: The expansion of the list of acceptable test providers will reduce queues to take the test.
  • Business impact: The changes should have a positive business impact; broadening the number of test providerswill reduce visa processing times.

Background: Previously, IELTS was the only acceptable English-language testing provider. As the test dates are quite limited, applicants experienced lengthy delays in obtaining test results and, as a consequence, delays in the visa application process.

The new regulation sets out the test providers and minimum test scores required for each skill level of English:

PROVIDER VOCATIONAL ENGLISH COMPETENT ENGLISH PROFICIENT ENGLISH SUPERIOR ENGLISH
IELTS 5 in each of the four sections 6 in each of the four sections 7 in each of the four sections  8 in each of the four sections
OET B in each of the four components B in each of the four components B in each of the four components A in each of the four components
TOEFL iBT Speaking 14Reading 4

Writing 14

Listening 4

Speaking 18Reading 13

Writing 21

Listening 12

Speaking 23Reading 24

Writing 27

Listening 24

Speaking 26Reading 29

Writing 30

Listening 28

Pearson (PTE Academic) At least 36 for the four components At least 50 for the four components At least 65 for the four components At least 79 for the four components

BAL Analysis: The recognition of other English testing providers is beneficial news for clients as they will have access to a greater number of providers, which should in turn decrease the waiting times to sit for the relevant tests.

 

This alert has been provided by BAL Australia. For additional information, please contact australia@balglobal.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @BAL_Immigration

About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP
Founded in 1980, Berry Appleman & Leiden (BAL) provides comprehensive global immigration services from six offices across the U.S. and from offices in Geneva, London, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Shanghai, Singapore and Sydney. BAL manages global visa matters and customized application approaches for work permits, business visas, and residence permits in more than 100 countries. With a single cost center for worldwide operations, BAL offers centralized management with regional and local support for the complete spectrum of global immigration matters.

Source: Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

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