Friday, 31st of October 2014 Issue #3 October
No Borders Newsletter

TOP STORY

Ebola-hit nations

Issues of this month

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Australia halts immigration from Ebola-hit nations

Australia said on Monday it was suspending migration from Ebola-hit West African nations to try to prevent the virus from crossing its borders, as a teenager who arrived from Guinea tested negative for the disease.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament the government had stopped issuing visas to people from those countries hit by the disease, which has claimed close to 5 000 lives in its worst outbreak.

"These measures include temporarily suspending our immigration programme, including our humanitarian programme, from EVD (Ebola Virus Disease) affected countries," he said.

"This means we are not processing any application from these affected countries."

People who had already been granted visas on humanitarian grounds would be able to travel to Australia, but would be subject to three separate health checks before departure as well as screening on arrival.

But officials would cancel and refuse non-permanent or temporary visas for people who had not yet departed for Australia, Morrison said.

The restrictions came as an 18-year-old girl who arrived in Australia from Guinea 12 days ago with eight relatives remained in isolation in a Queensland hospital after testing negative for Ebola, authorities said.

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Immigration Officials Caution Over 457 Visa Nomination Issues

457 visa nomination issues

Temporary skilled workers holding 457 visas in Australia are being reminded that they must work for their nominated sponsor in the position for which they were nominated.

Officials from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) are also warning about the risks of visa scams and fraud, along with urging visa holders to better understand their responsibilities and obligations.

'The department takes allegations of fraud very seriously. There are significant penalties if you are caught engaging in fraudulent activity. You must work for your nominated sponsor, in the position for which you were nominated. If this is not occurring you may have your visa cancelled,' said a DIBP spokesman.

'If you are a 457 visa holder, you must not work for an employer or business other than your sponsor. Sponsors found to have sponsored someone who does not work at their company will face severe penalties and fines,' the spokesman added.

The department pointed out that anyone wishing to change their employer must ensure that their new employer sponsors them and lodges a new nomination. It has released a case study to show what can go wrong.

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Canadian and Irish Travellers Can Now use Australia's ePassport SmartGates

Australia has announced a further expansion of foreign nationals now able to access the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service's SmartGate automated border processing technology.

SmartGate is now available on a trial basis to Canadian and Irish ePassport holders at all major Australian international airports, bringing the number of nationalities now able to use SmartGate on a trial or permanent basis to eight.

In addition, eligibility trials are expected to commence by the start of next year for ePassport holders from China, the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region and Japan.

SmartGate technology is currently available as a permanent arrangement to e-Passport holders from Australia, New Zealand, UK, US and Singapore, while a trial for Swiss e-Passport holders is still underway.

'The expansion in SmartGate eligibility follows the government's announcement in September that next generation automated departures eGates would also be rolled out at each of Australia's eight major international airports from the middle of 2015,' said Immigration minister Scott Morrison.

ePassport samrtgates
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Israel is Latest Country to Join Work Holiday Visa Programme with Australia

Australia's work and holiday visa programme has been extended further, with Israel becoming the latest country to sign an agreement.

This means that young people from Israel and Australia will be able to apply for working holiday visas, which entitles them to take an extended holiday in each other's countries while working at the same time.

The programme allows them to undertake short term work or study, facilitating cultural exchange and fostering people-to-people links between the two countries.

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash said the agreement is a testament to the constructive relationship between Israel and Australia and to the benefit of young adults seeking a unique cultural experience.

'Israel and Australia share a strong bilateral relationship and the signing of this agreement reflects this. The work and holiday programme is a fantastic way for young people to experience a different culture and bring new insights back to their home country [and] at the same time reinforcing the close relationship between Israel and Australia to the next generation,' she pointed out.

Cash explained that the agreement will enable up to 500 young adults from Israel and 500 young adults from Australia to enjoy a holiday in each other's country, during which they can work and study in the short term.

Work Holiday Visa for Israel
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Tasmania named one of the top 10 places to visit in 2015

Tasmania ranks among top 10

Tasmania is not usually at the top of the list of places to visit in Australia, but all that could change after it was named one of the world's top 10 regions to visit in 2015.

It currently sits at number four in Lonely Planet's 'Best in Travel 2015' report, which is an annual collection of what's hot in travel for the coming year.

Inclusions in the publication are collated with input from Lonely Planet's staff, authors and their online community. Chris Zeiher from Lonely Planet said the recommendations were drawn from hundreds of ideas submitted by staff, authors, travellers, bloggers and tweeters.

He explained that a panel of in-house travel experts then refine the list based on topicality, excitement, value and that special x-factor. 'Modern Tasmania has adopted a fresh, hip and inclusive attitude sparked by the brilliant revival of its now super cool waterfront capital Hobart,' he added.

Tasmania's food is particularly singled out for praise. Zeiher said the island's food scene is a 'gourmet's paradise', adding that Tasmania has emerged from its humble convict origins to become a 'wild and dramatic, cultured and quirky, isolated yet accessible travel destination.

Tasmania is also the only Australian and New Zealand destination to feature in the 2015 edition's three best of lists, covering the Top 10 Regions, Top 10 Countries and Top 10 Cities.

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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