Category: Uncategorized

Visas for General Practitioners

Visas for General Practitioners

The Visas for GPs initiative was announced in the 2018-19 Budget as part of the Government’s Stronger Rural Health Strategy—a 10 year plan to meet health workforce needs across regional, rural and remote Australia. The Visas for GPs initiative is intended to allow the Government to better manage the growth and distribution of the national medical workforce.

From 11 March 2019, a Health Workforce Certificate (HWC) will be required for an employer to nominate a position for the ENS visa (subclass 186), RSMS visa (subclass 187), and TSS visa (subclass 482) in the following occupations:

  • General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111),
  • Medical Practitioners not elsewhere classified (nec) (ANZSCO 253999), and
  • Resident Medical Officer (ANZSCO 253112).

An HWC is a letter issued by a Rural Workforce Agency confirming the genuine need to fill a primary healthcare position at a given location in Australia by an overseas doctor in the above occupations.

Under this initiative, the number of doctors entering the primary healthcare workforce through the skilled migration program will be reduced by about 200 doctors a year, over a period of four years. This initiative will direct doctors into areas that have lower access to services such as rural, remote and regional areas of Australia.

Importantly, the Department of Home Affairs has warned that nomination applications for doctors that do not contain the HWC will be subject to processing delays and the nomination cannot be approved.

For advice regarding submitting a nomination which requires an HWC, 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.

New Department of Home Affairs established

On 20 December 2017 the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) was established. As part of the Federal Government’s restructure, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has been transitioned to the new Department. The DHA is responsible for immigration, border control, national security and law enforcement and includes the following agencies:

  • The Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • Australian Border Force (ABF),
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) and
  • Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will also join the new DHA following the passage of legislation.

Links to information about traveling to Australia can now be found here:

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/Trav

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.

Australian Visas for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

In preparation for one of the world’s largest sporting events, the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has commenced providing details of Australian visas for the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Special visa arrangements for international athletes, coaches and related parties who will be involved in the Commonwealth Games will be implemented. The Commonwealth Games will take place in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, from 4 – 15 April 2018.

Australian Commonwealth Games Visa

The Australian Government foresees that the Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa will be available to the “Commonwealth Games Family” to travel to Australia for the Commonwealth Games.

The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) has described the “Commonwealth Games Family” as all persons who are entitled to accreditation at the Games under the provisions of the CGF, which includes:

  • The CGF executive;
  • The organising committees;
  • Athletes,
  • CGF associations, including International Federations; and
  • Commonwealth Game sponsors.

Visa Application Charge

In honour of the Commonwealth Games being held in Australia for 2018, the Australian Government has set the visa application fee at $0 for visa applicants registered for accreditation by the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation.

For more information on travelling to Australia for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au.

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.

Processing arrangements 457 visas

‘Global Allocation Method’ and Change in Processing Arrangements for 457 Cases

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has confirmed that from mid-October 2016, Temporary Work (Skilled)(Subclass 457) sponsorship, nomination and visa applications will no longer be allocated to the Australian state in which the sponsor’s head office is located.

Instead, the DIBP is moving towards a ‘Global Allocation Method’ for subclass 457 processing, meaning that subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications will not be allocated based on location.  Applications will be allocated to one of the five current processing centres:

  • Adelaide Temporary Entry Section;
  • Brisbane Temporary Entry Section;
  • Melbourne Temporary Entry Section;
  • Perth Temporary Entry Section; and
  • Sydney Temporary Entry Section.

 Advantages of a ‘Global Allocation Method’ for 457 Visas

These changes are intended to improve efficiency so that cases are able to be allocated to the processing Temporary Entry Section where there is the least back-log of applications.

A ‘global allocation method’ is also intended to improve consistency of decision-making in relation to subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications.  A ‘global allocation method’ will remove a processing culture particular to Temporary Entry Sections across states.

It is also intended that related applications, ie a subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa application, will be allocated to one case officer at the same time, rather than the current system where related applications can be sent to different case officers.  The new system should lead to greater streamlining and efficiency of processing subclass 457 applications.

For advice regarding subclass 457 sponsorship, nomination and visa applications, 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.

corporate immigration

Australian Corporate Immigration Implications Following the Re-election of Prime Minister Turnbull

With a mandate to begin forming the new Federal Government of Australia, re-elected Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will be able to resume his implementation of the ‘Ideas Boom’  – ie the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’ which supports changes to the visa system to attract overseas talent and investment to Australia.

However corporate immigration policies were seemingly absent from the 2016 election campaign focus of both major Australian parties.  We are therefore yet to see how the newly formed Government will impact on corporate immigration, potentially affecting Australian businesses sponsoring overseas employees as well as international companies required to send employees to Australia.

The main visas to monitor at this stage are:

  • Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas;
  • The Short-Term Mobility visas; and
  • The Entrepreneur visas.

Subclass 457 Visas

The subclass 457 visa remains the most common means of Australian employers sponsoring overseas workers.  It is by no means a simple process and involves employers and visa applicants meeting rigorous requirements, from training expenditure to salary thresholds, English language requirements and labour market testing.

Australia’s premier foreign policy think tank, the Lowy Institute, conducts an annual opinion poll of Australian attitudes to key issues.  In relation to the economy, the report from June this year states that opinions are as follows:

“Optimism about the Australian economy has lifted, with 70% of Australians now ‘very optimistic’ or ‘optimistic’ about ‘Australia’s economic performance in the world over the next five years’, up seven points since 2015.”

Positive public opinion regarding the economy generally assists in paving the way for a more generous corporate immigration policy to enable Australian businesses (especially in the technology and innovation industries) to retain and attract overseas employees where they are unable to find local labour.  Therefore, the Turnbull Government is unlikely to introduce drastic restrictive reforms to the subclass 457 visa.

Short-Term Mobility Visas

The proposal for a new Short-Term Work visa enabling businesses to bring in specialist workers for up to a year seems to have been abandoned by the Turnbull Government.

This visa would have filled a gap in the immigration program where a business requires specialist services for greater than the three month period usually provided by the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400) visa, and wishing to bypass the red tape involved in applying for a subclass 457 visa, which can be granted for up to four years.

Therefore, businesses requiring services from overseas employees will generally need to continue to apply for the subclass 400 or subclass 457 visa, depending on the nature of the position and relocation requirements.

Entrepreneur Visas

We are yet to see whether the newly formed Government will implement the new Entrepreneur visa, which was announced in December last year.

Discussion regarding access to Australian visas by entrepreneurs was intended by the Turnbull Government to encourage highly skilled workers to travel to Australia.  Also proposed was strengthening the permanent residence pathways for certain postgraduate research students.

The new Entrepreneur visa was intended to be introduced in November 2016 and the permanent residence pathways for postgraduate research students was to come into effect in December 2016.  It is now a case of ‘wait and see’ whether these reforms will be implemented by the new Turnbull government.

Future Corporate Immigration Policies

If the re-elected Prime Minister succeeds in implementing the ‘Ideas Boom’, it will be crucial for Australian businesses to be able to attract and retain the necessary talent and skills  from overseas.

It would not further the objectives  of the National Innovation and Science Agenda to restrict the subclass 457 visa program, especially in light of the implications for business now that the Short-Term Mobility visa has been abandoned.

If the Turnbull Government continues with its plan to introduce an Entrepreneur visa towards the end of this year, this may assist business in attracting overseas talent through a new Australian visa pathway.

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.

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.

Fast-tracking Visitor Visas for Chinese Nationals

The Australian Government will begin a trial of fast-tracking subclass 600 Visitor visas in the Tourist and Business streams. The cost of applying for priority processing will be $1,000 and will only initially be available to people who hold passports from the People’s Republic of China.

The fast-tracking of Australian Visitor visas is intended to boost tourism to Australia. If the trial is successful, the priority processing arrangements will apply to people who hold passports from other countries.

Chinese nationals can apply for priority processing for their Australian Visitor visa from 15 March 2016.

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

Australia: +61 3 9021 0986
London: +44 20 3670 4586

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.

New Short-Term Work Visa

Discussions are underway by the Australian Federal Government to introduce a new short-term work visa to enable skilled migrants to work in Australia for up to a year. This visa will be called the Short-Term Mobility visa.

So far, details of the visa can be summarised as follows:

When will this visa be implemented?

This visa is proposed to be introduced in July 2016. We will keep our clients, contacts and colleagues informed when it does come into effect.

Length of the visa

The visa is intended to be valid for a 12 month period.

Terms of the visa

This visa will allow multiple entries into Australia by the visa holder to undertake specialised work for a short-term period.

An advantage of the Short-Term Mobility visa for Australian businesses requiring the services of overseas workers is that visa applicants will not be required to meet a minimum level of English language proficiency and no market testing provisions are intended to apply to this short-term visa.

Applications can be made from Australia or offshore. However, family members will not be able to be included as secondary applicants on the Short Term Mobility visa.

Intended purpose

The Short-Term Mobility visa is 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. This visa will allow employers to fill short-term vacancies for specialised workers and may include intra-company transfer.

The Short-Term Mobility visa will also enable businesses to bring skilled workers to Australia without the pressures and costs of the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, which can be bureaucratically cumbersome.

For advice regarding Australian work visas and sponsoring overseas workers, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance or call our office:

Australia: +61 3 9021 0986
London: +44 20 3670 4586

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 Immigration 2016

This should be an interesting year for Australian immigration. The Government of Malcolm Turnbull is focused on improving Australia’s technological and scientific developments through the “National Innovation and Science Agenda” in 2016.

We are likely to see the following changes implemented:

  • Labour Market Testing exemption provisions introduced to the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa to accommodate the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA);
  • Possibly an increase in the Temporary Income Salary Migration Threshold (TSMIT) for the subclass 457 visa from the current $53,900;
  • The introduction of the new Entrepreneur visa in November 2016; and
  • Pathways to permanent residence for postgraduate research graduates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) qualification will be enhanced.

We will update our clients, colleagues and contacts throughout the year regarding Australian immigration changes affecting businesses and individuals.

Please contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance or call our office:

Australia: +61 3 9021 0986
London: +44 20 3670 4586

We look forward to assisting you in 2016.

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.