Friday, 14th of March 2014 Issue #1 March
No Borders Newsletter

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Migration Agent arrested

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Review of 457 Sponsorship visa programme announced

The subclass 457 visa programme in Australia, one of the most popular with overseas workers, is to be reviewed, it has been announced.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, said that an independent review will be carried out in line with an election commitment.

The visa programme has undergone a number of changes in recent years and now a panel of experts with experience in industry, government and migration will look at it again.

Cash explained that given the importance of the 457 visa programme in supporting employers in industries and regions which are experiencing skill shortages, and the potential of the 457 programme to contribute to productivity growth in the Australian economy, a review of the integrity of the programme in light of these reforms is warranted.

'The review will aim to provide recommendations on how to maintain the integrity of the 457 visa programme, while not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on business,' she said. 'This is in line with the government's commitment to evidence based productivity reform,' she added.

Senator Cash is expected to commit to "evidence-based productivity reform" as part of the announcement.

The panel will be led by John Azarias, a former public servant whom Cash said has an excellent understanding of migration issues. The others are Professor Peter McDonald, Katie Malyon and Jenny Lambert. The independent panel will provide the final report to the Assistant Minister by the middle of 2014.

Cash pointed out that the panel will also be investigating important aspects of the 457 programme such as non-compliance rates among sponsors as well as examining the existing compliance burdens on employers.

'While the Coalition is a government committed to deregulation and the removal of unnecessary red tape, we are equally committed to ensuring the integrity of the 457 programme,' she added.

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New advice for people on working holiday visas in Australia

Our Sydney Office

The Department of Immigration in Australia has issued new travel advice for those planning to visit the country on a working holiday visa.

It advises people to make sure they take out travel insurance before they arrive in Australia so that they are covered to pay for any medical treatment, loss or theft of personal belongings or other incidents that may happen during their stay.

It also reminds them that as a working holiday maker, they are subject to the same workplace laws as Australian workers. 'These laws outline the basic entitlements you have as a worker in Australia. Make sure you read the information in your visa grant letter as it provides important information and contact details for any issues you might have,' said a Department of Immigration and Border Protection (SIBP) spokesman.

The list of advice also advises working holiday makers to ensure that they have enough money to support themselves, especially when looking for work: 'It is worth checking the cost of living in Australia, and comparing it to your home country, so you have an idea of how much money you will need, travellers are also advised to be mindful of personal security, including exercising common sense and looking out for suspicious behaviour.'

Meanwhile, the DIBP has removed the nomination ceiling on subclass 457 visas for standard business sponsorship applications. It means that companies will now not be limited to the number of nominations stipulated on their sponsorship application.
'The removal of the ceiling will benefit businesses by allowing them to meet an unexpected need for more 457 nominations than originally planned,' explained a DIBP spokesman.
Companies whose applications are approved after 14 February 2014 can lodge further 457 nomination applications after the number of nominations stated on their applications is reached.
The regulation has been changed and simplifies and simply states that a sponsorship expires on the end date of sponsorship approval.
Businesses whose standard business sponsorship applications are approved after 14 February 2014 can exceed the number of nominations stipulated on their application form, up until the expiry date of the sponsorship status which is three years from the date of approval.
Sponsorship applications that were approved prior to 14 February 2014 and are subject to a nomination ceiling will continue to expire when that nomination ceiling has been reached.
It is expected that businesses will welcome this change, as it allows them greater flexibility should they find an unexpected need for more subclass 457 visas which they may not have anticipated when they initially applied for sponsorship status.

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Indian student's bashing sparks calls for change to Australia's migration laws

Our Sydney Office

The case of an Indian student, brutally bashed in Melbourne late last year, has prompted calls for changes to Australia's migration regulations.

Manrajwinder Singh was attacked on December 29 while on a night out with friends to celebrate the end of semester. While Mr Singh's recovery is well underway, he and his family will need Australia's immigration minister to intervene in the case in order to ensure he can stay in Australia. Police say Mr Singh was viciously attacked by a group of teenagers as he and his friends waited for a train.Mr Singh was kicked in the head and hit with a stick, suffering severe brain damage. Police have charged three people over the incident. The 21-year-old accounting student spent the past eight weeks in hospital, undergoing surgery on both his brain and jaw.

Lengthy visa process

Manrajwinder Singh is unable to make decisions in his current state, but his brother Yadwinder is pushing ahead on his behalf, trying to ensure his younger sibling can remain in Australia.
"Because the attack happened here so if he unfortunately goes back to India then there is no such treatment for him and we have to pay for him, and that is hard for my family," Yadwinder Singh said.
"His health is my first concern, so that is why I'm fighting for his long stay in Australia otherwise there is no reason I want him to get the residency of this country."
The Singh family is now seeking legal advice, but they've been warned they have a long process ahead of them.

"I've got dozens of cases, and many of them have been waiting over a year. One of them has been waiting for two years on a decision by the minister," migration lawyer Michael Clothier said.
Mr Clothier says Australia's Migration Act leaves the final decision for such cases in the hands of Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Singh's family says they have been told they are able to defer his studies for a semester.

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ACT publishes updated list of jobs open to overseas applicants

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has published an updated sponsorship occupation list for those seeking jobs from overseas. Jobs most in demand currently include engineering managers, child care centre managers, surveyors, civil, geotechnical, structural, transport, and electrical engineers, preprimary teachers, GPs, physiotherapists, registered nurses, optometrists, psychologists, social workers, carpenters, joiners, roof tilers, welders, gas fitters, plumbers, chefs and hairdressers.

Your success finding employment will depend on the employer requirements, relevant skills and experience and level of English ability. As a new resident you may not be eligible to apply for some Federal Government positions where citizenship or security clearance is required,' said an ACT state spokesman.

The occupations identified do not relate to a specific job vacancy, nor represent a guarantee of a job in a specific occupation and in some areas the number of jobs available are limited.

Some occupations have 'additional conditions of nomination' listed against them which are in addition to the minimum criteria outlined in the Nomination Guidelines. Applicants will also need to meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) skilled visa criteria.

'The ACT Government encourages skilled migration and can provide advice on ACT nomination criteria, but not on wider immigration issues. Before lodging a nomination application, it is recommended that you obtain specific migration advice relevant to your circumstances from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection or a Registered Migration Agent,' the spokesman added.

As a skilled migrant, an overseas applicant can apply for ACT nomination if the status of their nominated occupation is shown as 'open' on the ACT Occupation List and they meet the nomination criteria as shown in the guidelines.

If the status of the nominated occupation is 'limited,' the occupation must be verified by the Migration and Information Services (MIS) Unit, ACT Government, before an application can be lodged.

If the status of the nominated occupation is 'limited,' the occupation must be verified by the Migration and Information Services (MIS) Unit, ACT Government, before an application can be lodged.

In addition to nominating an occupation which appears on the current ACT list, applicants are also required to satisfy a minimum level of English, demonstrate that there are suitable employment prospects for their occupation and provide evidence of their commitment to Canberra.

Source

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Review of significant investor visa in Australia announced

Our Sydney Office

The Australian government has announced an internal review aimed at rebooting the significant investor visa (SIV) programme.

According to assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Michaelia Cash, there have been 'significant implementation issues' with the visa programme. She said this had led to the progress of the programme being held up. 'We want to get this review underway to send a clear message that Australia is open for business on this visa. This review will further assist the programme to attract international investment to Australia in the competitive global market,' added Cash.
The review is to be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and officials will look at all options to enhance the significant investor visa programme. The internal review will be conducted in close consultation with the financial services industry and stakeholders. 'There will be particular emphasis on examining ways of enhancing greater flexibility and investment choices to significant investor visa applicants, as well as faster processing of applications for this visa. The review will also examine the possibility of introducing a new permanent visa stream for investment migrants,' Cash explained.

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