- Australia Implements Labor Market Testing Requirements for Skilled, Temporary Foreign Workers
- Silicon Valley Shows Support for U.S. Immigration Reform
- Holiday Season Travel Recommendations for Foreign Nationals
Australia Implements Labor Market Testing Requirements for Skilled, Temporary Foreign Workers
Effective November 23, 2013, applications for Australian subclass 457 visas will require labor market testing. In an effort to fill short-term labor shortages as well as create Australian jobs, employers seeking to sponsor subclass 457 visa holders on or after this date must demonstrate that they have tested the labor market (i.e., made efforts to find qualified and experienced Australian workers for the nominated position) within the last 12 months. Australian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders in the agricultural working holiday or work and holiday programs are considered “Australian workers” for purposes of subclass 457 labor market testing.
However, many skilled occupations will be exempt from the labor market testing requirement. With the exception of engineers and nurses, the Minister has exempted positions classified by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (“ANZSCO”) as Group 1 Managers and Group 2 Professionals. Nearly 100 other skilled occupations from ANZSCO Groups 3, 4, and 5 have also been exempted.
Other exemptions will apply where the labor market testing requirements would be inconsistent with Australia’s international trade obligations or for visa applicants who would assist with relief and recovery efforts after a major disaster.
Employers may demonstrate their labor market testing efforts through various recruitment activities, including social media, internet advertising, company website postings, as well as recruitment agencies. Employers should be advised, however, that physical evidence, such as copies of advertisements, is not mandatory.
In light of these new requirements, employers should be prepared for delayed visa processing times in the immediate future. Employers are also strongly encouraged to contact EIG when considering lodging subclass 457 visa applications after November 23, 2013.
Silicon Valley Shows Support for U.S. Immigration Reform
Starting around 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22, 2013, a gathering of young computer programmers, all of whom are undocumented DREAMers, took place at LinkedIn’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. This “hackathon” was hosted by FWD.us and focused on building tech tools to support immigration advocacy and reform.
For 24 hours straight, this group of 20 highly-talented programmers crunched away, creating websites and mobile apps focused on raising general awareness of immigration reform and, more specifically, the influence that DREAMers can have on the U.S. economy.
FWD.us, an organization focused on technology and U.S. global competitiveness, is a key player in the U.S. immigration reform movement and has recently gained support from major Silicon Valley players. As U.S. immigration reform continues to be a hotly debated national topic, many Silicon Valley DREAMers believe the tech community can serve to bridge the gap between politics and policy.
Holiday Season Travel Recommendations for Foreign Nationals
As the holiday season approaches, international travel is increasingly common. It is important to make sure that all documentation is in line for re-entry into the U.S. post-travel. This applies to foreign nationals who are re-entering on a valid visa, or who are receiving a visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate abroad. When traveling internationally this holiday season, please ensure the following:
- You have a valid passport for at least six months after the expiration of your status.
- Your visa is valid for re-entry into the U.S. and, if not, determine whether you need to apply for a visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate abroad.
- If you have a pending adjustment of status application, consider whether you need to apply for advance parole for re-entry into the U.S. or whether you may re-enter on your valid non-immigrant visa, particularly if you are traveling with family members.
- If you have a pending extension or change of status, be sure that your departure from the U.S. will not put you at risk of a denial of your application.
- If you are traveling under the Visa Waiver Program, please ensure that you comply with all of your country-specific requirements.
Please keep in mind that, due to the high volume of travel in the coming weeks, there may be longer than usual delays at U.S. Consulates and ports of entry. Particularly, if you are receiving your visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad, keep in mind potential delays when planning your return and re-entry into the U.S. Once you enter the U.S., make sure to retain a copy of your I-94 Arrival-Departure record. Please note that you may obtain an electronic copy of your I-94 here, where you will be prompted to enter the requisite information.
Happy Holidays, and safe travels!