Monday, 12th of May 2014 Issue #1 May
No Borders Newsletter

TOP STORY

Anti visa fraud

Issues of this month

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Anti-visa fraud rule survives Indian IELTS challenge

A TOUGH new measure against visa fraud has survived a court challenge in which an Indian student protested she was “horrified” to learn she had supplied bogus English test results.

It is believed to be the first ruling by the Full Federal Court on the Immigration Department rule, known as Public Interest Criterion 4020, which was applied initially to student visas to stop document fraud.

“It’s working the way it was designed to,” said Sydney migration agent Jonathan Granger.

Bina Trivedi, who was in Australia as an accounting student at the Melbourne Institute of Technology, took an IELTS English language test during a visit to India in March 2009, according to the court’s judgment in the case this month.

She applied for a skilled migration visa and supplied what looked like an IELTS test report saying she had the necessary level of English.But this was contradicted when the department checked the official online database.

The department refused her visa application, and she took her challenge to the migration tribunal, a federal magistrate and finally the Full Federal Court, where she was represented by law firm Maurice Blackburn.

The PIC 4020 document fraud rule, which now applies to many visa classes, can lead to a three-year ban for those who rely on false documents. It was to close loopholes, including the practice whereby a student could go unpunished after the tactical withdrawal of a dodgy document.

In the Federal Court appeal, Ms Trivedi and her lawyers argued the fraud rule did not apply because she did not know she had supplied false information.She claimed that a supervisor at an IELTS test centre in the Indian city of Rajkot had offered to “fix up” her test results after she told him she was nervous because of previous failures.“The supervisor introduced himself as an agent of IELTS body. So there was no point for me not trusting him,” she said.

She said she knew nothing about any irregularity in the test results until they were challenged by the department, leaving her “horrified” and “shocked”.

Writing for the court, judge Robert Buchanan said it was clear the new document rule made visa applicants “ultimately responsible” for the documents and information they supplied. What they did or did not know about false contents was irrelevant.However, parting ways with a government argument, he said information had to be “purposely untrue” for the document fraud rule to apply, otherwise even innocent mistakes would be caught.

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Optimism creating demand for skilled jobs in Australia

Skilled jobs

Financial accountants, site managers, structural engineers and administrators are just four of the professionals sought by employers as various projects get underway in Australia.

According to the latest quarterly report from recruiting experts Hays, there are many different kinds of projects in the pipeline that are creating demand for certain skills, most notably in accountancy, construction, engineering and office support.

‘There is optimism across many industry sectors and we expect new projects to materialise this quarter. In particular, the approach of the financial year end will see an increase in senior finance staffing requirements and in temporary assignments for technically strong qualified accountants,’ said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

Engineering Sector: 'In the engineering sector the main areas of activity have been around infrastructure development and increasing capabilities in regional locations. Temporary assignments remain a popular choice with private sector employers, who are keen to maintain headcount flexibility. Meanwhile, within the public sector, we have seen an increase in employment for technical roles within both state and local government,’ he pointed out.

Offfice Support: ‘Employers are also hiring both temporary and permanent office support staff and are looking for candidates with relevant and specific skills. However many also continue to amalgamate roles, such as reception and administration, or executive assistant and administration, which is creating a need for candidates who can multitask,’ he added.

Finance Managers: When it comes to finance managers employers are looking for candidates with not only solid technical skills, but also strong staff management skills and the ability to communicate with people from non finance departments.

Management Accountants: Businesses are looking forward and require management accountants who can assist them with decision making. Often these roles are operationally focused and require candidates with strong analytical as well as people skills.

Commercial and residential valuers are in demand as there is a supply shortage as candidates are leaving the sector in response to low commissions and increasing liability. In addition, there is a high volume of work, but fewer graduates entering the market to replace departing staff.

Telemarketers: The report says that there is high demand for telemarketers due to a shortage of skilled and experienced candidates with outbound sales experience. Given that salaries for telemarketers are often low, and the commission structure is not overly attractive, employers are finding it difficult to recruit and retain experienced quality staff.

Early Childhood Teachers: It also says that due to legislative changes there is a severe shortage of early childhood teachers.

Construction Managers: New projects have led to a demand for construction managers on large sites.

Physiotherapists are needed for government departments and private sector organisations.

There is a high demand in the retail sector for candidates to develop ecommerce platforms.

Web developers and creative graphic designers are needed in the Northern Territory.

Project Managers with specific industry experience are sought in the health industry.

Marketing Managers with experience leading large teams, e-commerce experience, social media skills and the ability to create traditional marketing campaigns are in high demand along with marketing executives with solid and well-rounded skills, including graphic design. There has also been a recent increase in interest in candidates with experience producing television commercials as well as media buying.

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Streamlined visa processing for overseas students in Australia extended

Streamlined visa processing arrangements, similar to those currently in place for universities, have been extended to prospective students of selected low immigration risk education providers in Australia who offer bachelor, masters or doctoral degree level courses.

Under the extended streamlined visa processing arrangements, education providers and students should see their visa applications being processed faster. The arrangements also make the visa application process easier for students as they are not required to provide the same levels of documentary evidence needed for higher assessment levels.

Streamlined student visa processing for certain university applicants has been operating since March 2012 and there is no change to these arrangements or how they operate as a result of the extension.

Streamlined visa processing is currently available for certain prospective students of participating education providers. Student visa applications that are lodged with a Confirmation of Enrolment (CoE) from a participating education provider in Australia for a bachelor, masters or doctoral degree or an eligible exchange programme are assessed as though they are a lower immigration risk.

An education provider must be actively registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and each CRICOS code is considered as a separate education provider for the purpose of determining an education provider’s eligibility to participate in the extended streamlined visa processing arrangements.

‘Under the extended arrangements, student visa applicants with a CoE from a participating education provider in Australia will be assessed as though they are a lower immigration risk and are generally not required to provide the same amount of documentary evidence that is required for higher assessment levels, regardless of their country of origin, visa subclass or course of study,’ said a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP.)

‘Applicants still need to have a level of English language proficiency to enable them to complete their studies, be able to support themselves financially for the duration of their stay and satisfy the genuine temporary entrant requirement,’ he explained.

‘All applicants are still subject to basic requirements such as having health insurance and meeting the health and character requirements. The department can still request documentary evidence to verify an applicant’s claims,’ he added.

Students on an AusAID or Defence (subclass 576) visa are not included in the streamlined visa processing arrangements.

The DIBP also pointed out that streamlined visa processing does not change the online lodgement arrangements currently in place. That is, if you do not have access to online lodgement for student visa applications currently, you would not gain access to online lodgement under the streamlined visa processing arrangements.

To be eligible for the streamlined visa processing, an applicant needs to provide a CoE from a participating education provider when you lodge your student visa application. This CoE must be for a bachelor, masters or doctoral degree or an eligible exchange programme.

Also, students who combine a non-award student exchange or study abroad programme course with any preliminary course(s) are eligible for streamlined visa processing and are assessed according to the applicable assessment level.

Students need to apply under the existing student visa application processes if their preferred education provider is not a participant in streamlined visa processing arrangements. But the DIBP intends to simplify the Assessment Level Framework by removing AL4 and AL5 and reducing the financial requirements for AL3 visa applicants. These changes benefit student visa applicants not subject to streamlined visa processing arrangements.

Streamlined Visa
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Australian government announces migration opportunities for skilled carers from the UK

Skilled jobs

The Australian Government has announced plans to increase its migrant intake quota by 30,000 next year, and is encouraging skilled health profesisonals in the UK to find out about the migration opportunities available to them.

The rise in demand for highly skilled workers comes despite massive investment by the Australian Government in education and training, with more migrants needed to fill roles due to an expanding economy and ageing population.

Later this month Australian registered migration agents, Thames Migration will launch a series of informative seminars across the country in cities such as Manchester, Leeds and London to provide information to skilled carers who might be interested in pursuing a career in Australia.

Hannibal Khoury, director of Thames Migration, said: "Although the continued upskilling of Australia’s current workforce is important, a robust skilled migration program is also necessary to manage the current situation and to assist in smoothing the path to future growth -striking the right balance is key.

"Skilled migration is also imperative to ensure new major health care facilities and hospital projects are staffed with qualified health professionals.

"For example, to name a few, The Lady Cilento Children's Hospital (LCCH) will be Queensland's major specialist children's hospital providing clinical, educational and support services. The Western Australian Midland Health Campus is a new hospital, (which has the vision for future expansion to a 464-bed hospital) - completion July 2015, and the Royal Adelaide Hospital a $1.85 billion investment to build Australia's most advanced hospital will all require a variety of skilled health professionals to meet the demands of Australia’s growing population."

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Have an APEC business Card that speeds up your international business travel

You can get an APEC Business Travel Card if:

  • your business is certified by an ‘approved body’ as being engaged in international trade or investment between APEC economies (there are some exceptions to this)
  • you meet the individual requirements.

Certification by an approved body

A business entity must be certified by an approved body or be exempt from the certification requirement. Contact one of the following approved bodies to apply for certification:

Your business does not need to be certified if any one of the following applies:

  • it is listed on the current Forbes Global 2000 business list
  • it has received an Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) from Austrade in the past five years
  • it has been a finalist in the Australian Export Awards (supported by Austrade and ACCI) in the past five years.

Requirements 

You must also meet the following requirements:

  • You must be able to show that you travel frequently from where you live to an APEC economy other than Australia (at least four business trips in the past 12 months).
  • You must not have been convicted of a criminal offence.
  • You must be either:
    • the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or regional or country head of a registered business entity
    • an owner or director of a registered business entity
    • a Board member of a registered business entity
    • the CEO or CFO of an Australian-based business peak body
    • an employee of a registered business entity nominated by the CEO, CFO, regional head, owner or director of the organisation.
    • a senior government official - contact us for the eligibility requirements before you apply.
  • Your business entity or Australian-based peak business body must be engaged in international trade or investment between APEC countries (certified by an approved body)
  • If you are living outside Australia, you must have permission to live and work in the economy or country you are in. Attach a copy of your work permit or residency permit to your application form. We will verify the permit in consultation with the relevant economy


The APEC Business Travel Card is accepted in nearly all of the APEC countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • China
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong (SAR China)
  • Korea
  • Indonesia
  • Japan
  • Peru
  • the Russian Federation
  • the Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Singapore
  • Chinese Taipei
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam.

Canada and the United States of America are transitional members of the scheme. Transitional members do not offer reciprocal arrangements for entry to their economy. They only provide fast track immigration processing lanes.

Apec Business card
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New Zealanders migrating to Australia find plenty to whinge about in the lucky country

CARPING Kiwis may be taking over from whingeing Poms as Australia’s hardest-to-please migrants.

New Zealand is our third-largest source of new residents, behind China/Hong Kong and the UK, with about 25,000 crossing the Tasman each year.

But despite an overall satisfaction rating of 85 per cent, our Kiwi cousins still found plenty to complain about in responses to a study conducted by Monash University researchers for the non-profit Scanlon Foundation.

Recent arrivals from New Zealand are more unhappy with their financial situation than any other group, with 40 per cent describing themselves as “dissatisfied’’ or “very dissatisfied’’.

Some 46 per cent of the Kiwi respondents say they are poor, struggling or just getting along -the second-worst result after people from Asian countries other than China/Hong Kong, Malaysia or Indonesia.

“A lot of people see Australia as an opportunity to come and get work and that’s often not the reality,’’ said Sarai Tuuga from the Boystown charity in Logan where one in 10 of the population was born in New Zealand.

“There is a lack of access to income support and limited access to job-seeking services. I don’t know that that is widely-known (before people come),” she said.

Kiwis are the group least likely to see Australians as “caring, friendly, hospitable people’’, with just 1 per cent of New Zealanders nominating that as one of the things they most like about this country.

They are also among the most suspicious of others. Only 22 per cent said they believed that, generally speaking, people can be trusted and 63.2 per cent reckon ‘’you can’t be too careful’’.

And New Zealanders are in the top-three migrant groups who believe it is unsafe to walk the streets at night in Australia.

Study author Professor Andrew Markus said New Zealanders stood out as a unique group. A special visa introduced in 2001 allows them to live in Australia indefinitely and to work and study here.

Under recent changes, New Zealand citizens will be eligible for student loans from next year if they have lived here for at least 10 years.

Newzealand

We hope that you have found the information in this issue of our newsletter to be enriching and useful. Stay tuned for our next publication and if you would like to talk to us directly, please do not hesitate to email service@noborders-group.com. In addition, if you would like your contact details updated or removed from this distribution list or you know someone who would like to be added, please email us on the same address.


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