Residents and businesses in inner west NSW to gain access to DIAC knowledge

Date: Sep 12, 2011

Officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will be visiting community hubs in the central west of New South Wales as part of a recent drive to inform employers and international workers about the procedures involved in visa applications.

Long-term residents considering making the transition to full-fledged citizens will be provided with additional information and support by departmental officials - perhaps giving them the encouragement they need to contact an immigration lawyer and begin the finals steps in the process.

Visa information for partners and family members will also be freely available, with officers visiting the regional areas to provide people living in these areas with access to professional advice.

The localities visited in this leg of the DIAC's promotional tour include Bathurst, Cowra, Dubbo, Lithgow, Orange and Parkes.

Events will be taking place in these regions between September 19 and 23, with potential attendees advised to book in advance to ensure they can gain an appointment.

The DIAC is the government department responsible for processing applications for Australian visas and citizenship requests, as well as administering the distribution of labour agreements and sponsorship details.

Business owners considering their options regarding the hiring of skilled migrant workers will be able to arrange face-to-face interviews with departmental officers.

A spokesperson for the DIAC said that these regional meetings could be valuable to many people living in these areas, with some individuals potentially being unaware of recent policy changes.

"People in regional communities have a wide variety of immigration questions, ranging from the skilled migration program which helps small business owners who can’t find experienced local staff, to issues for overseas students or people who want to enquire about sponsorship of family members or citizenship," said the spokesman.

Employers will be able to gain advice on the introduction of Regional Migration Agreements (RMAs), which have been designed to help streamline the process of hiring migrant workers.

Stakeholders such as unions and councils will be able to have their concerns taken into account in the use of an RMA, which are geographically targeted to suite local business conditions.

Information on skilled migration visas will also be available, with specialist appointments allowing individuals and organisations to access professional advice that may assist them in making an informed decision.

Employers interested in hiring skilled international workers would also do well to engage with an experienced migration lawyer to gain expert legal advice on the departmental requirements involved in the application process.