Over the next few weeks, officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will be visiting a series of locations throughout Australia to offer advice to non-residents.
Those who are interested in extending their visa or applying for permanent residency need to seek additional guidance from lawyers in immigration to make sure their applications are sound.
However, attending a DIAC seminar can give a good outline of the available options and hopefully assist people in choosing the right visa for their needs.
From May 9-30, immigration outreach officers will visit Warrnambool, Shepparton, Wodonga, Ballarat and Bendigo where they will discuss changes to the skilled migration program.
The amendments are due to come into force on July 1 and provide a new online service that helps connect Australian employers with skilled migrants.
This should make it easier for individuals to apply for permanent residency for those already in Australia on temporary skilled 457 visas.
Similar seminars will be held in Launceston, Burnie, St Helens and Hobart from May 14-17, when the integration of the employer nomination scheme and the regional sponsored migration scheme will be discussed.
A spokesperson from the DIAC explained that the changes have been implemented to respond more effectively to the demands of the Australian labour market.
"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," they explained.
The officers will be able to offer a range of information on temporary or permanent employer-sponsored visa options, as well as the concessions available to regional applicants.
Residents of Albany and Katanning will also have the opportunity to hear about the visa options they can apply for, as the officers will be in the areas on May 16 and 17.
The Albany seminar will be held in the Great Southern Development Commission meeting room, while those attending the meeting in Katanning need to head to the meeting facility at Katanning Leisure Centre.
It is not only the visa applicants themselves that can benefit from the expertise of immigration lawyers, as their sponsors will also need to ensure they are complying with the necessary requirements.
"Sponsors must also demonstrate they have a genuine need for the workers and that the skills required cannot be found in their region," the DIAC spokesperson confirmed.