Thursday, 10 February 2011

Guess where am I????

Hi there!! I know I've been away for half a year now and I'm very sorry for that. I just wanted to let you know that I'M IN SYDNEYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I arrived just 5 days ago!! and I'm trying to adapt to this new city and trying to get passed the jet lag!!
This post is going to be very short because I don't have internet yet. I'm using my roommate's and I don't want to abuse his friendship!!
I'm very happy so far, I really like this city. There are parks everywhere, people are fiendly and there are lots of different animals here!! :p just have to get used to spiders and water dragons, bats (which by the way are hugeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! ), possums, and different species I haven't seen yet.
I'll be writing as soon as I can!!!


Tuesday, 20 July 2010


Hello everyone!!!! Today, July 20th, in Argentina it's Friend's day; it's a celebration where friends get together to spend time with each other in order to celebrate their friendship. It's a nice day since it gives the opportunity to see those friends that we haven't seen in a long time or to remind them that we are there for them even though we are not in touch.

I don't know if exists this day in other countries but even though we live in different places around the world, friendship is the same wether we are in Argentina or in any other country, that's why I wish you, from the bottom of my heart, a HAPPY FRIEND'S DAY!!!!  If you are reading this and realise that there's a friend you haven't seen in a long time or haven't talked to him/her, give them a call!!! even if it is just to say Hi! small things, like a simple call, are very important and they make a big difference!!!!

"A true friend is someone who takes your hand and touches your heart"

"Friendship is more difficult and stranger than love. For that reason, it has to be saved, whatever it takes"

"Choose, among your friends, not only those who are sad when something bad happens to you, but also those who, in your prosperity, do not envy you."

"Friendship is a soul that lives in two bodies, a heart that lives in two souls."


Friday, 2 July 2010

It's Finally hereeee!!!!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone!!!!!!!! I just wanted to tell you the good news, what the hell, not good EXCELLENT NEWS!!!!!!!! DIAC granted my visa!! that's right, I'm an Australian permanent resident!!! Yupi!!! :) Ok, I have to enter Australia before march 2011 to activate it but still I'm an Australian resident!!!!

I received and email from my migrant agent last week telling me the good news and she attached the letter where it says they approved my visa!! This letter also contains details about the different dates to have in mind, like the last day I have to enter Australia in order to activate my visa and the date that it expairs and it has other important information.

I've decided to travel to Australia between January and February since I need to save more money for this big adventure!!! Besides, I don't want to leave right away, I want to spend more time with my family and friends, spend christmas and new years with them as well. 

I must take my passport and the letter to the Australian embassy so they can stamp the visa in it.Fortunatelly, it's not personal, I mean, it's not mandatory for me to go to the embassy in person. Since I live 1200 kms from Buenos Aires (where the embassy is) I think I'm going to send it by mail and they will return it to me by the time they are finished. If I don't feel sure about sending it by mail I will probably go to Bs As and do it myself.

When I think about all the things that I have to do in this 7 months I get so anxious!!!!!!!!!! I need to translate some documents, find somewhere to live once I'm in Melbourne (at least for the first weeks); do I take my money on me or do I open a bank account before leaving and transfer my money before travelling? I also rent the apartment where I'm currently living so I have to give it back in perfect conditions; sell my things, sell my car....uff!! too many things!

In future posts I will be talking about those things. I just wanted to tell you that if you are in the process of getting an australian visa, don't lose hope!! you will get it!! I know that as time passes by, it's more and more difficult to do it but not impossible!! So if you really want it GO FOR IT!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Update on my application status

Hi all!!!! I realized that I haven't been talking about my process, what has happened since my papers entered in DIAC back in December so now I'm going to tell you!! ok?

Once my papers were received by the people in DIAC, they gave me a TRN (Transaction Reference Number) to keep track of my process status by entering that code in a website. December past very quickly because of the holidays and January flew away just like that since it was summer, vacations, etc. I almost didn't think about the status of my visa. Then in February I decided to check it out but there weren't any news, everything was the same as in December. On March 5th I was heading to work when I got an email from my migrant agent from Viva en Australia saying that DIAC was officially asking me to do the meds and the police clearances. I got really nervous and anxious because I wasn't expecting this for at least another 3 months.

The next step was to get in touch with one of the doctors authorized by Australia to perform the medical examination and get an appointment as soon as possilbe since the immigration department only gave me til March 26th as the due date; after that day they weren't going to receive anything from me. The doctor lives in Buenos Aires and works there so I had to travel to Bs As. Also, the only place where I can get the Police Clearances is in Registro Nacional de Reincidencias which is situated in Buenos Aires as well, so there was no other way but to travel to Bs As. I flew there on March 8th because on the 9th I had the appointment to get the Police Clearances which by the way they gave it to me on the same day!! Quite efficient I must say! I thought I would had to wait for a couple of days!  On the 10th I went to see the doctor, had the labs and the chest x-ray done and that was it. The results were available on March 15th but since the doctor was going to look for them and then send them to Sydney I could fly home the next day. Obviously I called the doctor the next week to ask if everything was ok and he said yes and that he was going to send the documents over the week.

Then I started to enter to the website given by DIAC to check the status, almost every single day!! I went crazy over it!! Because the status didn't change and then in April something changed and I was very happy since it gave me the idea that things were moving!!! To tell you the truth, everything til the meds moved quite quickly but then it just stopped. I still don't have the visa and I was getting worried so I sent an email to Mercedes (my agent from VEA) and asked her if everything was fine because there are people that entered in DIAC after I did and they already have their visas granted. Today I received Mercedes response and she wrote that people from DIAC said that they are checking my case, that it's undergoing somefinal routine processing procedures and once these are completed, the case officer will get in touch so fingers crossed that they will grant my visaaaaaa!!!!

Here there are some pics where you can see how is the status of my process:

This is the second view after entering the information requested:

Then you will see this:
And finally this:

So that is the situation with my application process!! The minute I get any news I will post it!!! Til next time!!


Monday, 10 May 2010

Major Changes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I've been away from the blog for quite a long time, uh?? I'm sorry!! I know I said I would write more often but I've been kinda lazy lately.

Ok, this entry is going to be short 'cause I'm at work!!! I wanted to tell you about an important change in the Australian Skilled Migration's been suspended!!! It seems that the demand for general skilled migration places exceeded the available supply and it will also facilitate the transition from the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) to the new SOL. It is anticipated that the Government will announce proposed changes to the SOL in May 2010. You can read the entire article here Getting Down Under.

So, the ones that were going to apply for the visa between May and June are going to have to wait 'til the suspension is over which is supposed to happen on June 30th.


Monday, 8 February 2010

I saw them coming.......

Ok. It seems that the year has begun and new changes in the requirements to obtain the residency visa are in place. I still don't have a clear idea on how these new changes are going to affect my application, so I'll let you know the minute I have any news. Actually, I'm hoping to be assigned a case officer before the mid-2010 because that's when the CSL is going to be revoked and there's going to be a new SOL. In case they don't assigned me a case officer before that time, let's hope that the new requirements are beneficial!!! I imagine that everyone that is in the same situation thinks exactly the same, right??

I know there are going to be several blogs posting this info but I'm going to post it anyway, just in case somebody hasn't read it yet.  I took it from the Getting Down Under website.


1. Offshore General Skilled Migration Visa Applications made before the 1st September 2007 will be capped and then ceased.

OK, first things first and for many applicants (around 20,000 in fact) it’s not good news. In changes aimed at making skilled migration more responsive to Australia’s needs, all general skilled migration applications lodged before September 1, 2007 (when English and work experience requirements were, in theory easier), will have their applications withdrawn and application fees totalling $14 million refunded.

The Australian Government see this as ‘ending the ongoing uncertainty’ for offshore General Skilled Migrants although for many I’m sure it is the news they were dreading the most even if it does mean that the Visa Application Charge (VAC) is refunded.

On a more positive note applicants who have had their Visa Application revoked can still apply for any of the current GSM visa subclasses although they should be mindful of the need to meet the current legislative requirements which have changed significantly since 2007.

2. The current Critical Skills List (CSL) will be revoked and will be replaced by a new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) effective from the middle of 2010.

As part of today’s announcement, the government is looking to abolish the current list of Critical Skills, which contains 106 occupations.

For some time now the Australian Government has suggested that the CSL was always an interim measure whilst the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) review was being undertaken. For the first time however they’ve now set a target date of replacing the CSL with a new Skilled Occupations List which will become effective from the middle of 2010.

It is expected that the new SOL will be available for review by the 30th April 2010 with priority processing arrangements for applications with nominated occupations on the current CSL continuing until they are reviewed in Mid 2010.

3. The current Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL) will be revoked and replaced with the same (and more targeted) Skilled Occupations List.

As with the CSL, today’s announcement will also see the removal of the current Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL). The revocation of the current MODL will not affect applicants sponsored by an Australian employer, nor will it affect applicants who, at the date of this announcement (8th February 2010) hold a Skilled- Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or have a pending subclass 485 visa application and are yet to apply for a permanent or provisional General Skilled Migration (GSM visa), or have a pending GSM visa application

It’s also worth noting that the new SOL will not apply to people applying for a Skilled-Graduate (subclass 485) visa who at 8th February 2010 hold a:

Vocational Education and Training (subclass 572) visa.
Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa
Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa.
Having said that, these student visa holders will still be required to have an occupation on the new SOL to apply for a permanent GSM Visa.

4. The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Points Test will be reviewed to evaluate the effectiveness of the current test.

The GSM Points Test Review will be undertaken in the first half of this year and a ‘discussion paper’ will be placed on the departments website ( by the 12th February 2010 which will then be open for public comment until the 12th March 2010.

It is not know at this stage whether the government will decide to make changes to the GSM points test, however, at a guess we think that they will. it’s been suggested that the current point test can distort outcomes for a skilled migrant. One example used on the Governments own website was a comparison between an international student who studied hairdressing in Australia compared to an applicant who has a PHD in environmental science from Harvard University.

The hairdresser past the points test with no problems gaining 135 points whilst the scientist failed the test with only 100 points. Although 10 of the hairdressers extra points were due to the occupation being more in demand then scientists; the extra 25 came from a combination of the hairdressers being on the MODL and having 12 moths Australian work experience. All things that the Australian Government says do ‘not always lead to outcomes that are consistent with the objectives of the General Skilled Migration Program.

5. New priority processing arrangements will be introduced for certain skilled migration visas.

The priority processing arrangements are designed to ensure that the Australian Economy gets the skills it needs now, rather than those of the visa applicants who applied first. If you are on the list then I’m sure you’ll love these changes..

The changes take effect from today and apply to applications lodged on or after this date. The changes also apply to applications that had been lodged previously with the department and have not been finalised.

The new priority processing arrangements will apply to the following Visas:

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
The General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visas listed below:
Skill Matching (subclass 134)
Skilled—Independent (subclass 136)
Skilled—State/Territory-nominated Independent (subclass 137)
Skilled—Australian-sponsored (subclass 138)
Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored (subclass 139)
Skilled—Independent (subclass 175)
Skilled—Independent (subclass 176)
Skilled—Regional Sponsored (subclass 475)
Skilled—Regional Sponsored (subclass 487)
Skilled—Independent Regional (subclass 495)
Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored (Provisional) (subclass 496)
Skilled—Graduate (subclass 497)
Skilled—Onshore Independent New Zealand Citizen (subclass 861)
Skilled—Onshore Australian-sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 862)
Skilled—Onshore Designated Area-sponsored New Zealand Citizen (subclass 863)
Skilled—Independent Overseas Student (subclass 880)
Skilled—Australian-sponsored (subclass 881)
Skilled—Designated Area-sponsored Overseas
Student (subclass 882)
Skilled—Independent (subclass 885)
Skilled—Sponsored (subclass 886)

The following processing priorities (with highest priority listed first) apply:

Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the ENS and the RSMS.

Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency under a state migration plan agreed to by the minister.

Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency and whose nominated occupation is on the Critical Skills List (CSL)

Applications from people who are neither nominated nor sponsored in priority groups 1, 2 or 3, but whose nominated occupation is listed on the CSL.

Applications from people who are nominated by a state/territory government agency whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

(i) Applications from people whose occupations are listed on the Migration Occupations in Demand List (MODL).(ii) Applications from people who are sponsored by family and whose nominated occupation is not listed on the CSL.

All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received.

Even though I don't know how this new changes are going to affect me, I'm already a little bit down, not soo much, but I'm kinda worried. I thought that once my papers were in DIAC, I wouldn't be affected by new requirements :( Let's hope that they won't affect me in a negative way!! As far as the priority process, I'm still in 4th place.

I'll see ya next time!!


Friday, 5 February 2010

The Reason for asking accountants a band score of 7.0 in the IELTS

I found two articles from 2 different newspapers where is explained why accountants are asked to have a band score of 7.0 in the IELTS exam. I hope it helps you to understand the reasons for that requirement.

Degrees still lure low-skill migrants
from The Australian

AUSTRALIA'S misguided trade in selling accounting degrees to migrants seeking permanent residency visas should be tightened up yet again and locals should be trained to fill severe shortages in the profession, says Monash University researcher Bob Birrell.

Dr Birrell, whose earlier work on the visas-for-degrees industry has inspired sharp debate and partial reform, will release this week new, more complete figures showing that more than a third of overseas students who secured visas as Australian-trained accountants had worryingly low English language skills.

"I regard the 2006-07 data as the best indication yet of the standards of Australian universities ... they're nowhere near the standards required by the profession," Dr Birrell told the HES.

In a paper to be published by People and Place journal, he and co-author Ernest Healy use updated figures and a new breakdown of nationality and occupation to show that accountancy as an easy route to permanent residence is especially attractive to the weaker English speakers among mainland Chinese students.

On the English language test known as IELTS, 45 per cent of mainland Chinese given visas as accountants did not manage a score of six (see tables, page 26). The percentage for mainland Chinese awarded visas across all university disciplines was 37 per cent while the figure for all nationalities given visas as accountants was 38 per cent.

Dr Birrell argues that even an IELTS score of six is not good enough for genuine university study while professions that take communication seriously demand a minimum score of seven, a standard adopted by large accounting firms such as KPMG.


Migrant accountants fail English test
from The Sydney Morning Herald

OVERSEAS accountants are flocking to Australia under the skilled migration program but few pass the English requirements to work in the sector, leaving labour shortfalls unmet, a study into immigration policy has found.

There are now more overseas accountants gaining visas each year than there are domestic graduates in the field, a study in the upcoming edition of the People And Place quarterly journal has found.

But the occupation remains on the critical skills list because students using Australian accounting courses to gain permanent residency do not find work.

"The main reason is poor English skills," said the director of the Centre for Population & Urban Research at Monash University, Bob Birrell. Of the 9107 foreign accountants granted visas in 2007-08, more than two thirds studied at Australian institutions.

"The fact that such a large majority of overseas student graduates possess poor English indicates that Australian universities are conferring graduate credentials on students who do not have the skills needed to practise their profession," Professor Birrell said.

The study that Professor Birrell wrote with Ernest Healy uses the "abysmal" employment experience of overseas accountants, by far the largest group in the skilled migration program, to illustrate the program's shortcomings.

For example, the accounting firm KPMG said substandard English resulted in less than 1 per cent of former overseas student applicants landing a job in the company's entry level program.