To all our clients and friends we wish you the joy of this season and
have a wonderful Happy New Year!
Our office closure over the Christmas and New Year period
Our office will be closed from 22nd December 2018 to 6th January 2019. For any urgent matters during this time, please address your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
DECEMBER 2018 - News, Views & Clues from Migration Plus
RECORD NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS FOR REVIEW
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) received a record number of applications for review in the first quarter of 2018-19, with more than 15,800 new applications lodged. The number of cases on hand has grown to exceed 60,000 at the end of October 2018, up from around 22,000 in July 2015. Applications to the Migration and Refugee Division represented approximately 84% of this pending caseload.
Thirty-three part-time AAT members have been appointed in an effort to address the Migration and Refugee Division backlogs. Legislative reform options have been also be considered to address the challenges associated with an overall increase in lodgements for review.
MAJOR MIGRATION AMENDMENT - PARTNER AND FAMILY VISA LEGISLATION
The Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (the Bill) is a significant amendment on partner and family visa legislation. It passed in the Australian Senate on 28 November 2018 and is awaiting Royal Assent to become law.
The Bill purpose is to amend the Migration Act 1958 to introduce a sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program. The Bill also intended to create additional obligations on current and future partner/fiance visa sponsors, and impose sanctions on family visa sponsors if those obligations are not met.
The proposed changes will:
separate sponsorship application process
require the approval of a sponsor before any visa applications are made
impose statutory obligations on family sponsors and provide for enforceable sanctions if such obligations are not satisfied
allow the Minister to refuse a sponsorship application and cancel and/or bar a family sponsor where inappropriate use of the program or serious offences are detected
improve the sharing of personal information between parties to the application and the program more generally.
The the Family Violence and Other Measures Bill will also allow the introduction of the Temporary Long Stay Parent Visa, which will provide a new pathway for parents for visiting their families in Australia for a continuous period of up to five years. The Bill extends the responsibility of Australian sponsors to act as a financial guarantor for any outstanding public health costs incurred by the visa holder whilst in Australia.
The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, David Coleman has announced that the new Temporary Long Stay Parent Visa will become available in the first half of 2019, pending approval of further legislative change for this to occur.
As the programme continues to expand, several legislative instruments were introduced to the process:
Increased age limit
Canadian and Irish citizens up to 35 years old (inclusive) can apply for the Working Holiday visa to have an extended holiday and also work to help fund their trip in Australia. It is anticipated as the working holiday programme continues to expand, further countries will be added to the list.
Online lodgement has been expanded to the following additional countries for applicants applying for their first Class US (Work and Holiday) (Temporary) visa: Austria, Chile, Czech Republic, Hungary, the State of Israel, Luxembourg, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Marino and Slovenia.
Expansion of Regional Areas
The Australian government expanded approved posts codes for the purpose of applying for a second work and holiday visa subclass 462. Additional areas of Australia represented by their postcodes for New South Wales, Norfolk Island, Queensland, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania have been included as of November.
Work carried out in these additional areas must only be for the additional kinds of work. The additional kinds of work are for plant and animal cultivation including:
harvesting and/or packing of fruit and vegetable crops;
pruning and trimming vines and trees;
general maintenance crop work;
cultivating or propagating plants, fungi or their products or parts;
immediate processing of plant products;
maintaining animals for the purpose of selling them or their bodily produce, including natural increase;
immediate processing of animal products including shearing, butchery, packing and tanning;
manufacturing dairy produce from raw material.
PUBLIC DISCLOSURE OF SPONSORS NOT MEETING SPONSORSHIP OBLIGATIONS
A new Legislative Instrument commenced in 13 December 2018 allowing the Australian Government to publish information about approved sponsors or former sponsors who have failed to meet the applicable sponsorship obligations.
The information can be published at any time in order to protect consumers and in the public interest, and includes:
identification of the approved sponsor or former approved sponsor – business or trading name, the ABN or individuals within the organisation in the case of sole traders or partnerships (business details only)
sponsorship obligations that they have failed to satisfy, and other details of the breach
action taken against them, including details of any sanctions or any subsequent decisions to waive a sanction (actions that occurred on or after 18 March 2015).
For more information about sponsorship obligations contact our Registered Migration Agents at email@example.com.
IN-DEMAND SKILLS AND PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN AUSTRALIA
Australia has a significant skill shortage, particularly in rural and regional areas. Electricians, secondary school teachers, carpenters and joiners, metal fitters and machinists and motor mechanics are some of the most in-demand occupations.
Under the Skilled Independent stream, successful visa applicants are free to live and work anywhere in Australia. However while there's great demand for some occupations in Australia, not many applicants are able to qualify to apply for a permanent residency under those occupations.
The Department of Home Affairs has until 11 September invited only 15 electricians, 115 secondary school teachers, 6 carpenters and joiners, 10 motor mechanics and just 3 metal fitters and machinists to apply for a visa. Also, 17,322 registered nurses are required and the Department of Home Affairs has invited only 413 people to apply for a visa until 11 September.
In contrast to skills gaps that are hard to fill, there are some occupations such as Software and Applications Programmers and Accountants, which attract a very high number of applicants and seem on track to exhaust their quota.
Migration Plus proudly announce that Tom Foran, our valuable team member, recently received two awards at the MIA Conference in November.
Tom achieved a great milestone and obtained Associate Fellow (AFMIA™) status this year. Tom was recognised for his experience, good standing and ethics enabling career progression to be recognised by clients and colleagues.
Tom was also awarded the 2018 Henry Giblett Award. This award is for outstanding contribution in the area of Continued Professional Development and Education.
Our team congratulates Tom on his wonderful achievements!