Category: Student visas

Changes to Health Requirements for Certain Visas

On 18 November 2017 new visa condition 8602 was introduced as well as changes to the health insurance requirements for subclass 457 visas, as explained below.

New Condition 8602

New Condition 8602 has been introduced which requires the visa holder not to have any outstanding public health debts while in Australia. Public health debts are those reported the Department of Immigration and Border Protection by any Commonwealth, State or Territory health authority but do not include health costs which are covered by health insurance or Medicare, or are for treatment for certain community health risks (eg tuberculosis).

Breach of condition 8602 may result in visa cancellation. Accordingly, visa holders who accrue a public health debt should arrange to repay any this debt with the relevant provider as soon as possible to avoid their visa being cancelled.

Visa Condition 8602 will be discretionary for some visas and mandatory for several visas including (but not limited to):

  • Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment)
  • Subclass 400 (Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist))
  • Subclass 407 (Training)
  • Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) (certain streams only)
  • Subclass 417 (Working Holiday)
  • Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled))
  • Subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family)
  • Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday)
  • Subclass 476 (Skilled – Recognised Graduate)
  • Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate)
  • Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional)
  • Subclass 500 (Student)
  • Subclass 600 (Visitor)
  • Subclass 601 (Electronic Travel Authority)
  • Subclass 651 (eVisitor)
  • Subclass 676 (Tourist)

Health Insurance Requirements for Subclass 457 visas

Subclass 457 visa applicants no longer need to provide evidence, or a letter from their insurer confirming their health insurance arrangements when applying for a visa – they simply need to indicate they have made adequate arrangements on the online form.

However Condition 8501, “maintain health insurance” itself has not been changed – that is, 457 visa holders must still maintain adequate health insurance while in Australia.

Need Assistance?

Contact our firm at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for more information regarding the most appropriate Australian visa strategy for your circumstances.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

Australian election immigration

Election Focus by the Australian Federal Government Means Immigration Changes Take a Back Seat

On 1 July each year, the Australian Federal Government ushers in a host of changes to the Australian immigration program.  This year however, we have witnessed minimal changes in this arena given that the Coalition Government has been focusing its energy on re-election and political campaigning.

New 12-Month Work Visa on Hold

In March this year the Government proposed a new 12-Month Work visa called the Short-Term Mobility visa.  This visa was part of the Australian Government’s initiative to simplify work visas and enable Australian businesses more flexibility in terms of attracting skilled migrant workers for short-term periods of employment.

However, it seems with the Government focus being squarely on the election campaign, dealing with election results and a potentially hung-parliament, further discussion regarding the new Work visa has unfortunately faded into the background.

It seems that businesses looking to sponsor workers for a 12-month or longer period will need to continue to do so through the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa route.  For short-term business stays, either the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400) or the Visitor (Business Stream) (subclass 600) visa may be appropriate, depending on the purpose of travel.

So Far, No Increase in the subclass 457 Visa Salary Threshold

There was discussion by the Federal Government about increasing the current Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).  In order for an overseas employee to qualify for a subclass 457 visa, it is necessary for the base salary to be above the TSMIT, which currently stands at $53,900.

Business groups were concerned that an increase in the already high TSMIT would prevent Australian businesses from sponsoring overseas employees where required, especially in certain industries and regional areas where salaries across the board may be lower.

On 1 July 2016, it seems that the TSMIT will remain at $53,900 for the time being.  Amendments to this figure will depend on the constitution of the Australian Federal Parliament which at this stage remains unclear.

Overhaul of the Student Visa Program

One significant change to the Australian immigration program which came into effect on 1 July 2016 is the new framework for Australian Student visas for international students.  Introduction of this new system is intended to simplify the application process for students to obtain Australian visas in order to study in Australia.

From 1 July 2016, the only categories of Australian Student visas will consist of the following:

  1. The subclass 500 (Student ) visa; and
  2. The subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa.

The new subclass 500 visa is intended to replace the current Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa, Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa, Non Award Sector (subclass 575) visa, Independent ELICOS Sector (subclass 570) visa, School Sector (subclass 571) visa and the  Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572) visa. The new subclass 590 visa will replace the current Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa.

For a more detailed description regarding Australian Student visa changes, our article is available here.

An Underwhelming 1 July 2016

As Australia faces election uncertainty with the possibility of a hung Parliament, Australians are eagerly awaiting results for the final vote counts.  In the midst of the political turmoil in Federal Parliament, immigration law and policy amendments are understandably remaining minimal.

We will keep our clients, colleagues and contacts updated with Australian immigration law changes.  However, at the present time, aside from Student visas, the status quo generally remains unchanged.

For advice regarding Australian visas, please do not hesitate to contact us  at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

Student visas

The New Landscape for Australian Student Visas from 1 July 2016

The Australian Government has announced that a new framework will be introduced in relation to Australian Student visas for international students. Introduction of the new system is supposed to simplify the application process for students to obtain Australian visas in order to study in Australia.

The New Student Visa Subclasses

From 1 July 2016, the only categories of Australian Student visas will consist of the following:

  1. The subclass 500 (Student ) visa; and
  2. The subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa.

The new subclass 500 visa will replace the current Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa, Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa, Non Award Sector (subclass 575) visa, Independent ELICOS Sector (subclass 570) visa, School Sector (subclass 571) visa and the  Vocational Education and Training Sector visa (subclass 572) visa. The new subclass 590 visa will replace the current Student Guardian (subclass 580) visa.

Streamlining Australian Student Visas

The range of requirements in relation to the Subclass 500 visa is intended to be streamlined for international students. Requirements will address issues of:

  • Valid enrolment: In applying for a Student visa, the applicant must have certification of enrolment ie confirmation by the registered education provider that the student is enrolled in a registered course;
  • Financial situation: A student must have ‘genuine access to funds’ ie they must be able to cover the costs of their stay in Australia and tuition fees;
  • English proficiency: An applicant applying for a Student visa must show evidence of a level of English language proficiency required for their course; and
  • Genuineness of the application: The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will take into consideration the student’s circumstances in their home country and their immigration history.

The New Student Guardian Visa

The new subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa will enable a relative of an international student to accompany the visa holder to Australia.

General requirements for the Student Guardian include that:

  • The visa applicant must have a genuine intention to provide appropriate support, accommodation and welfare for the international student;
  • The visa applicant must have access to adequate funds during the period of stay in Australia; and
  • The visa applicant must have a genuine intention to act as the student’s guardian in Australia.

Student Guardian visas will generally be available to the visa applicant where the student in question is under the age of 18. However, a Student Guardian visa may be approved where the student is over the age of 18 but exceptional circumstances apply.

Application for the New Student Visas

The subclass 500 (Student) visa and the subclass 590 (Student Guardian) visa can be applied for onshore in Australia or offshore.

Applications under the new Student visa regime will begin from 1 July 2016.

For advice regarding Australian Student visas, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.