Migration Plus

December 2016 - News, Views & Clues from Migration Plus    

Our Christmas newsletter features some of the latest news and hot topics from the Migration Institute of Australia's National Conference, held this year in Brisbane; we give you our view of the difficulties employers and applicants face when applying for a subclass 457 visa, particularly in the hospitality and tourism industries. We also give Sponsors some tips about how to avoid non-compliance with subclass 457 visa obligations, and finally, we pass on some clues about what sponsors will now need to look out for when applying for a partner visa in terms of criminal history, as well as a brief rundown of an interesting and relevant case, new visa categories and some great news for our Kiwi friends from across the ditch!

Read on for this and other interesting migration news!

Subclass 457 work visa in Hospitality 

Australia faces an acute shortage of skilled and qualified people in Hospitality, according to Hospitality Magazine. The magazine found that in the week of 8 December, there were 2,789 jobs for Chefs, and it looks set to increase in the future. Tourism has become Australia's "super growth" industry, and forecasts predicts that hospitality industry growth will reach 16.9% in 2018. At the same time, the number of young Australians completing their hospitality trade apprenticeship is in steady decline. This is bad news for Australian hospitality businesses, but is it also a great opportunity for potential visa applicants?
Before you ask about how to get an Australian cooking qualification or how to get your overseas skills recognised (although we can help you with that, too), it is important to understand the complexity of the current migration landscape and the challenges that applicants for visas in this industry face.
Visa refusals for sponsorship in hospitality occupations including Chef, Cook, and Restaurant Manager are at their highest ever. Established hospitality businesses with a solid history of sponsoring overseas employees are having to wait sometimes over 4 months for a decision, and are being asked to provide extra evidence of their genuineness only to have their application refused on a technicality. Small businesses are finding it almost impossible to convince the Department of Immigration that they genuinely need to hire an employee.
Employers have described the current migration landscape "the most challenging ever" and industry representatives are actively encouraging applicants to seek the advice of a migration professional.
At Migration Plus, we have an outstanding record of success in helping small to large hospitality businesses and visa applicants, and we can help you navigate the legislative requirements. Call now to speak to one of our experts! 


Did you know that Migration Plus is an Education Agency, and represents a number of Australia's finest hospitality education providers? Get in touch now to discuss your pathway to an Australian hospitality qualification, or to find out how to have your skills recognised.

Subclass 457 Sponsorship obligations

If your business sponsors overseas workers on subclass 457 Temporary Work visas, you are obliged to fulfil a number of strict requirements, including to keep records, to comply with inspection officers, and to correctly pay your employees. The consequences of non-compliance can be huge, including losing the ability to sponsor and being ordered to pay a hefty fine, as well as to back-pay any underpayments. 

A Cairns-based travel company was recently found to have underpaid its Chinese employee nearly $9,000 in the space of only four months. The employee was paid only $400 per week for 38 hour working weeks, and was not paid the minimum rates for work completed on weekends. The Fair Work Ombudsman explained "While I understand there are cultural challenges and vastly different laws in other parts of the world, it is incumbent on all businesses operating in Australia to understand and apply Australian laws". The consequence for this company is close scrutiny of its business by the Department of Immigration, and being put on notice by Fair Work to ensure it rectifies the underpayment. No fine was issued in this case.

A Taiwanese company operating in regional NSW also recently ignored an order to backpay nearly $900,000 to 13 Chinese and 30 Filipino employees. The company has been issued a fine of $24,300 plus a further fine of $4,860 for failure to comply.  

Migration Plus has developed a Standard Business Sponsorship Compliance package that is designed to assist employers fulfil their Sponsorship obligations. This is an inexpensive and easy insurance policy compared to possible sanctions imposed for non-compliance! Call now to discuss your business and for a quote for our SBS Compliance package.

Upcoming changes for 2017 in brief

Subclass 444 Special Category Visa holders will have a way to apply for permanent residency from 1 July 2017 with the addition of a new stream to the skilled work visa. This change affects New Zealanders living and working in Australia, who can prove that they have worked in Australia in a particular skilled occupation for at least 5 years, and have received earnings over a $53,900 per annum. Call now for an eligibility assessment, and we can have your application ready to lodge when the new stream comes into effect!

Also from 1 July 2017, a new temporary parent visa will become available. Most eligibility criteria remain the same, being sponsorship from an eligible child, assurance of support, and health insurance and others. The big difference however is that there will be no balance of family requirement. This means that if you had previously considered bringing your parents out to Australia but did not meet the balance of family test (having more eligible children in Australia than in any other country), you may meet the requirements of this visa.  
More big changes are on the way for the subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa! From next year, eligible applicants will be able to access a one year extension to the Work and Holiday visa upon completing 88 days (3 months) work in a occupations such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, tourism and hospitality in areas above the Tropic of Capricorn (including the whole of the Northern Territory, and parts of Western Australia and Queensland). Previously, this extension was only available under the subclass 417 Working Holiday visa. 
And finally, from next year, applicants for sponsored family visas will need to apply separately for approval to sponsor. Sponsorship approval will need to be granted before lodging a visa application.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss any of the above upcoming changes in more detail - we offer initial consultations for free!

A quick look at...


Available now! From 12 December this year, a 10 year multiple entry visitor visa has commenced for Chinese nationals. The visa is most advantageous for frequent travellers, will have a three month stay period and cost $1000. Call Migration Plus to discuss your eligibility for this visa. 


From 5 December 2016 priority processing is available for citizens of India and the United Arab Emirates applying for subclass 600 visitor visas.


The purpose of the Highly Specialised Work stream of this visa is to allow people to travel to Australia for short-term, highly specialised, non-ongoing work. In general, highly specialised work means work that is classified as a skill level 1 – 3 occupation in the Australia & New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) OR requires skills or knowledge that are specific to an international company, such as installing imported equipment, after sales service or emergency repairs. Call one of our team to discuss your eligibility for this visa!


Permanent visa subclasses (excluding refugee, humanitarian or protection visas) and some provisional and temporary visa subclasses allow applicants to include direct family members in their application under the 'member of the family unit' (MoFU) arrangements.

A person might be a member of your family unit if they are your spouse or de facto partner or child or step child, and have not turned 18. If that child is 18 but not yet turned 23, then they need to be financially dependent on you or your partner. Some people with mental or physical disabilities can be older than 23 but their impairment must stop them from earning a living to support themselves. A  grandchild or step-grandchild who is a dependent of a child may also meet the criteria.

Please note that a child is not eligible if they are engaged to be married or have a spouse or de facto partner.

Please contact Migration Plus to discuss your circumstances. We have Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne, Sydney, Byron Bay, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Taipei.

Migration Institute of Australia's 2016 Conference

Migration Plus was represented at the Industry's national conference this year in Brisbane by both Dianne and Dr Chris White (pictured), and 6 members of the team. Dr White presented his views on a range of topics to the panel, including concern about the high number of temporary visa refusals experienced lately, and the increasing requests for further evidence in support of visa applications.  

New Sponsorship requirements  


All sponsors of Partner/Prospective Marriage visa applications lodged on or after 18 November 2016 must provide Australian and/or foreign police checks and give the Department of Immigration and Border Protection permission to disclose convictions for certain offences to the visa applicant(s).

A relevant offence, either in Australia or overseas, includes:

• violence, including murder, assault, sexual assault and the threat of violence
• harassment, molestation, intimidation or stalking
• the breach of an apprehended violence order, or a similar order
• firearms or other dangerous weapons
• people smuggling
• human trafficking, slavery or slavery-like practices (including forced marriage), kidnapping or unlawful confinement
• attempting to commit any of these offences
• aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring such offences. 
This does not include convictions for relevant offences that have been quashed or otherwise nullified or pardoned.

A sponsor is considered to have a significant criminal record if they have been sentenced to:

• death
• imprisonment for life
• a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more
• 2 or more terms of imprisonment, where the total of those terms is 12 months or more.

Relevant offences and significant criminal record may influence the outcome of an application. The Department will consider all circumstances and may refuse the visa unless it is assessed unreasonable to do so. 

If you wish to apply for an Australian visa, but are unsure if you can due to your criminal history, Migration Plus can help. Please call for a confidential discussion of your circumstances.

We wish you the very best for the Festive Season and for a fantastic year ahead,

From Chris and Dianne and the entire team at


and from

Financial Care Plus Pty Ltd

Lifetime Financial Planning for you!

PS:  Our office is closed for the festive season from 24th December to 2nd January

FREE Online Assessment

Click HERE for a free assessment of your eligibility for an Australian visa! 





Client Testimonials

"Very helpful and friendly team. Providing excellent services to achieve positive outcome. My Big thanks to Caroline Cheng, Veronica Kyriakou and specially to Dr Chris White for his advice and support."

India - August 2016

"Seriously couldn't recommend Migration Plus enough! Kinga helped me with my De Facto visa application and was so kind, helpful and thorough. She was patient and understanding with my constant questions and thoughts. She helped me stay calm when I had any worries and was just completely amazing overall. I would strongly recommend Migration Plus to anyone looking for a migration agent. They are truly amazing! Thank you!"

UK - Dec 2016

"Ms Tina Edwards' professionalism, pleasant manner and legal expertise meant that I have made the right choice to get a positive outcome for our visa applications. We are completely satisfied with the work and professionalism of Tina and all the staff at Migration Plus." 

China - Nov 2016

"Excellent service! Always there to clarify questions and assist me."

Canada- Oct 2016










"I could not have been happier with the service provided. A big thank you to Kinga and the Migration Plus team."

UK - Oct 2016







"Thank you for the very professional and friendly way that you Chris and your team always handle our applications. From the very first day we step into your office I was comfortable to leave this very important part of our new live in your hands. We could just focus on farming knowing that you and your staff will do the hard work and all the correct things.

We are grateful but even more important we have met valuable people and I trust that our friendship will last for years to come. Thank you so very much." 

South Africa - Oct 2016






"Very helpful and friendly team. Providing excellent services to achieve positive outcome. My Big thanks to Caroline Cheng, Veronica Kyriakou and specially to Dr Chris White for his advice and support."

India - August 2016




See here for more feedback from our clients!



Financial Services

For Financial Planning, Estate Strategies, Investment or Insurance Advice, contact our  'in house' Financial Services team, 
Financial Care Plus Pty Ltd


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We can help map out a pathway for your migration to Australia, answer your questions on different types of visas and provide advice on any other migration-related matter.

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Migration Plus | Level 12, Cairns Corporate Tower,
15 Lake Street, Cairns QLD 4870
Phone: 07 4041 2620 | Email:

This newsletter is general information only.  Specific advice, taking into account your circumstances,
should be obtained before taking any action.
Dr Christopher R White MARN 9255749

We recommend the following links to you for information about the Migration Agent Profession:
Consumer Guide
Migration Agent Code of Conduct