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Immigration outreach officers will visit Broome and Kununurra from July 10 to 12 to discuss significant reforms to the skilled migration program.

The changes which were introduced on 1 July 2012 include a new online service connecting Australian employers with potential skilled migrants and streamlining of the pathway to permanent residence for people already working in Australia on temporary 457 visas.

The employer nomination scheme (ENS) and the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS) will be integrated with the new skilled migrant selection register, SkillSelect.

The online SkillSelect system is a new expression of interest (EOI) approach to skilled migration, allowing skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an EOI.

“These new arrangements are designed to better respond to labour market demands and form part of ongoing reform of the skilled migration program,” a Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) spokesman said.

“Intending migrants will be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they could be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

“This will give the government greater control and flexibility to adjust to changes in the economy. Sponsors must also demonstrate they have a genuine need for the workers and that the skills required cannot be found in their region.”

From July 1, there is now also a fast-tracked pathway from the 457 visa to permanent residence under the employer-sponsored visa program, enabling skilled migrants to settle and work in regional and metropolitan Australia.

The departmental officers visiting Broome and Kununurra will be available for brief individual appointments with employers to answer their questions about skilled migration in both locations and will also conduct a seminar on the new skilled migration “Our officers will be available to provide a range of information on temporary or permanent employer-sponsored visa options and the concessions available for regional applicants,” the spokesman added.

The department will be available for individual appointments in Broome on July 10. In Kununurra, officers will run a seminar on skilled migration visa options at 6pm on July 11 at the Indigenous Coordination Centre, 2250 Coolibah Drive and will also be available for individual appointments on July 11 and 12.

Bookings for both the seminar and the individual appointments are essential. Please email roo.wa@immi.gov.au or phone (08) 9415 9705 to register.

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