I have applied for and spent AU$2000 (about £600) on a residency application for Australia. This was started in September 2002 and is, um, ongoing. There are two parts to the Skilled Independent category, accreditation by the Australian Computer Society that you are qualified to do the job (roughly 10 weeks and AU$300) and the assessment by DIMIA for the residency visa proper (roughly 4-12 months and AU$1750).

Part of the points score for the DIMIA application is for occupations in demand for which you need to get the nod from the appropriate professional body, in my case the ACS. I received a letter in early July from DIMIA noting that the ACS hadn't given me the nod for the occupations in demand, I was not entitled to the points and therefore I fall short of the residency qualification points threshold. Ah.

Looking closely, it is all true. It seems I had the employment reference signed and sealed before I read the small print of the application and so whilst my DIMIA application notes the skills in demand the employers reference doesn't. This is an especial bore as I wrote the employer's reference as nobody knew what I did, certainly not the finance director who signed it...

So what's to do? I could rewrite the employers reference and have it signed by the FD. But wait, Tornado was wound up having been liquidated owing Cable and Wireless £2million. So it would be illegal to used company headed notepaper. And the FD left the parent company for personal reasons. Assuming I found the FD and we ignored the legal aspects, I would need it certified by the ACS again. That's ten weeks but the small print in the letter from DIMIA says that I have 49 days (28 days plus 21 days postage) to get my answer back to them. Oh dear.

March 2004 Update

Those kind people from 55 Currie Street, Adelaide have written to me again. They are now offering that, having failed to reach the necessary marks (see above), I can claim bonus marks from:

They further advise that any changes in circumstances be notified by returning the enclosed Form 1022 - Notification of Change in Circumstances (not enclosed). Or if there hasn't been any change then please indicate this on the attached form (not attached).

Once again the threat of a time limit is played:

To facilitate your application you are required to provide all these outstanding requirements within 28 days of receiving this letter, that is by .[sic] You are taken to have received this letter 21 days after the date on this letter. If I have not heard from you by that time, I may proceed to decide this application on the basis of the available information.

So if I read that right, their post is allowed 21 days to reach me but I have to turn my application around and use super-post to have it reach them in the remaining 7.