A lot of things have changed in March 2018 regarding visas. While I try to stay up to date on these things, one very impacting change blindsided me recently.
I've been interviewing with a large company based in Melbourne since February, and I've managed to ace their interviews. They were on the verge of offering me the job, but were stumped by the Australian Immigration Service, since the restrictions changed while we were interviewing.
My recruiter now claims they will be unable to hire me no matter what, since my country of origin (The Netherlands) is on a "Restricted Countries" list, apparently. He also mentioned that they are facing this problem with numerous candidates, and as a company they are suffering from these new restrictions made by the Immigration Service. He said:
The real road block has been the Australian Government VISA changes and our HR Services team have been spending a lot of time getting our heads around all of the new policies, changes and any work-arounds or exceptions we could muster before we came back to you with a final answer
Unfortunately, the Netherlands is on the “Restricted Countries” list so no matter how hard we try we cannot sponsor anyone from this nation (amongst many others)
You are of course still able to apply yourself and try to obtain sponsorship as an individual, but we can no longer assist.
After the initial disappointment, I became a bit skeptical. I thought I knew what those new rules affected, and this is the first time I heard The Netherlands is banned. If I knew, I wouldn't have spent countless hours during night-time doing Skype interviews.
A couple of days after initially asking this question, I received a message from the recruiter with a clarification.
To be clear regarding the VISA situation, it has since been explained to me in much more detail; There is a list of countries (including the Netherlands) that are on a list that if we wish to sponsor people from these nations we need to satisfy an incredibly stringent criteria and submit what the government calls “Labour Market Testing”. As a Business we have chosen not to change our methodology in order to satisfy these requirements as it compromises a number of key business policies.
Where can I find this list of countries?