Rockhampton to receive official DIAC visitors

Date: Nov 11, 2011

Residents and business owners on the north coast of Queensland will be given the chance to engage with officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) as they hold a number of free consultations over November 14 and 15.

Rockhampton will be hosting several DIAC officers for two information sessions aimed at giving members of the community the opportunity to gain access to up-to-date information on topics such as visa applications and sponsorship requirements.

Officials will be available to answer question on the skilled migration program and the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS).

This is an important focus for the area as it undergoes increasing demands due to the current resource boom, with immigration lawyers being consulted to examine legal options.

The events will be aimed at two main sectors - the session on November 14 will focus on business owners and employers who may be looking into gaining access to experienced labour pools, while November 15 is set to deliver information for individuals who currently hold a visa.

Speaking on the visits, an official for the DIAC said that they would allow interested parties located outside of major capital cities to have their questions answered directly from the source.

The spokesman said: "While the department has a great deal of information available over the phone or on the internet, some people may not be aware of recent policy changes, or they may prefer to speak to officers face-to-face, and these visits meet those needs.

"These information sessions attract a range of people, from community groups and small business owners to students and individuals, who might want specific information or just someone to talk them through a complex matter."

One such issue that may be of particular interest to both visa holders and employers in the region is the use of Regional Migration Agreements (RMA) - which can help to streamline the process of hiring migrant workers.

The RMAs are arrangements made to be binding to a specific geographic location and involve extensive consultation between businesses, councils, unions and other stakeholders.

This can be of particular use in regions that experience a sudden critical shortage of labour due to increasing market demands - as they allow for a blanket agreement to be reached that can cover many businesses.

However the processes involved in developing a RMA can be time consuming and savvy business owners will recognise the importance of getting it right first time.

A migration lawyer can help by ensuring that the required documentation is up to standard before proceeding, providing the application with the best possible chance of being accepted.