BREAKING NEWS - Far North Queensland DAMA Agreement signed
The new Far North Queensland Designated Area Migration Agreement (FNQ DAMA) has been signed between the Cairns Chamber of Commerce and the Commonwealth Government. FNQ DAMA will provide a new pathway to approved businesses in Cairns, Douglas Shire, Tablelands, Mareeba and the Cassowary Coast to fill shortages of skilled overseas workers in tourism, hospitality, agriculture, shipping and health industries through the subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage visa.
Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the five-year agreement would assist a range of industries including tourism, hospitality, agriculture, shipping and health, to drive economic growth and fill critical employment gaps. (Source: Cairns Post)
We commend Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch for his support with this important agreement for Cairns, FNQ and the Cairns Chamber of Commerce for it efforts.
The details of the requirements and process for businesses to seek endorsement to nominate employees under FNQ DAMA are yet to be released. Our Migration Plus team will keep you informed once further details are available.
RSMS 187 & Skilled - REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) 489 VISA VISAS WILL CEASE IN NOVEMBER 2019 - NEW VISAS FOR REGIONAL AREAS
The Australian Government has announced that the permanent RSMS 187 Direct Entry pathway and will cease in November 2019 and has introduced three new skilled regional provisional visas commencing in November 2019:
Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) 494 visa
This visa is for visa applicants sponsored by an employer in regional Australia and applications will be accepted from 16 November 2019 as the RSMS visa will cease.
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) 491 visa
This visa is for visa applicants nominated by a State or Territory government OR sponsored by an eligible family memberand applications will be accepted from 16 November 2019 as the Regional (Provisional) 489 visa will cease.
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) 191 visa
For 494 and 491 visa holders who will meet eligibility criteria for permanent visa 191, which may include meeting minimum taxable income for at least 3 years and complying with the conditions on the temporary visa held. This permanent visa will only commence from November 2022.
The provisional visas will be granted with a validity period of up to five years and will require the visa holders to live and work in regional Australia, meaning ANY area in Australia EXCLUDING Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth. Regional visa holders can move between any designated regional area.
For the new regional visas, applicants must not have turned 45 years old at time of application and the requirements may include competent English, minimum 3 years post qualification work experience and mandatory skills assessment.
The introduction of the new Regional Skilled Visas may affect eligibility and migration pathways for temporary visa holders in Australia.
The following applicants are exempt from the closure of Temporary Residence Transitions 187 RSMS on 16 November 2019.
- Holders of subclass 457 visas on 18 April 2017 - Applicants for a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 that was subsequently granted - Holders of subclass 482 visas in the medium- stream on 20 March 2019
- Applicants for 482 visa on 20 March 2019 that was subsequently granted
Migration Plus recommends that clients review their eligibility for permanent RSMS 187 visa pathway and proceed with 187 RSMS visa applications before November 2019. We are here to help if you need assistance with assessing your eligibility.
Applications to sponsor a parent for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Subclass 870 visa will commence on 1st July 2019, providing parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia and spend a longer time in Australia.
The main features of this new parent visa are:
It is a visa limited to 15,000 places per year.
Parent cannot work.
Multiple entries and maximum 10 years cumulative stay permitted.
Parent is not required to depart during validity of the visa.
Parent may be eligible for a second Temporary Sponsored visa application however: - sponsor must re-apply to be a parent sponsor
- parent must leave Australia for 90 consecutive days before making an application for the second Temporary Sponsored
visa unless specific circumstances apply.
No balance of family test will be applied.
No sponsorship bond will be required.
Parent Sponsor (new class of sponsor created for the Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa)
The Parent Sponsor:
Must be at least 18 years old.
Must be the biological, adoptive, or step child of the parent, may also include the parent of a deceased spouse or defacto parent.
Must be an Australian citizen, PR or eligible NZ citizen.
Must have a minimum household taxable income threshold of AUD83,454.80.
Must have no debts to the Commonwealth or outstanding public health debts.
Must be approved before the visa application can be lodged.
Will be required to pay in full any outstanding public health debts incurred by their parent.
Will be required to disclose any criminal history particularly offences related to family violence.
Will be liable for any outstanding public health debts incurred by the parent before they depart Australia or are granted
a permanent visa.
Will be liable to support sponsored parents financially and provide accommodation.
NOT be an ineligible sponsor.
• Are required to maintain adequate health insurance for the duration of their stay in Australia. • Must have genuine access to funds sufficient to meet the costs and expenses of their intended stay in Australia.
Once the Sponsorship application has been approved, a sponsored parent will be able to apply for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Applications for the visa are intended to open from 1 July 2019.
Please note that Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa holders or previous holders who have NOT departed Australia CANNOT apply in Australia for the following visas:
• Aged Parent
• Contributory Parent
• Contributory Aged Parent
• Contributory Parent (Temporary)
This prevents this Parent visa being used as a pathway to permanent residency.
CHANGES TO SPONSORSHIP REQUIREMENTS FOR FAMILY SPONSORED VISAS
The new legislation Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Act 2018 passed by Parliament on 28 November 2018 provides a framework to separate sponsorship assessments from visa application assessments for Family visas.
separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process for family sponsored visas.
require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made.
impose statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors and provide for sanctions if those obligations are not satisfied.
facilitate the sharing of personal information between parties identified in a sponsorship application.
enable the refusal of a sponsorship application and the cancellation or barring of a family sponsor in certain circumstances.
The legislation has not been implemented by the Department yet; once in effect, the sponsorship for onshore partner visa will have to be approved prior to lodging an partner visa application, which may prevent temporary visa holders to lodge partner visa application in Australia.
BIOSECURITY AND OBJECTIONABLE GOODS ISSUES CAN NOW CANCEL VISAS AT ARRIVAL IN AUSTRALIA
From 17 April 2019 a new Legislative Instrument, the Migration Amendment (Biosecurity Contraventions and Importation of Objectionable Goods) Regulations 2019, will provide the discretion to cancel a visitor's visa at the point of arrival, in cases where they have attempted to mislead a Biosecurity officer about the presence of prohibited items in their luggage or possessions.
Biosecurity officers will weigh up a number of factors in making a decision to cancel a visa, including the seriousness of the infringement and the consequences to the visa holder.
FIJI JOINS THE PACIFIC LABOUR SCHEME
Fiji joins eight other Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste in the Australia's Pacific Labour Scheme.The scheme helps Australian businesses in rural and regional areas to address labour shortages across all sectors in rural and regional Australia.
Workers from Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are currently able to apply for low and semi-skilled employment in Australia under the Scheme.
The Scheme complements the existing Seasonal Worker Program which, since 2012, has provided over 33,000 seasonal jobs to workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste. These workers help growers harvest crops, increase productivity and get produce to market.