Government has announced as
part of its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) the
following increased Visa Applications Charges (VACs) to come into effect on 1
Partner visas: increase from $3060 to 'around' $4000
Partner visas: increase from $2050 to 'around' $2700
Graduate (Subclass 485) visas: increase from $315 to $1260
457 visas: increase from $350 to “around” $455
Holiday visas: increase from $280 to “around” $360
to English language requirement for AITSL skills assessments as of 1 January
2013. From new year will need
Academic version of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Test Report Form (TRF) that shows:
a score of at least 7.0 for Reading and Writing; and
a score of at least 8.0 for Speaking and Listening.
IELTS test scores must appear on a single IELTS TRF and be the result of a test
undertaken during the 12 month period prior to submitting an application.
DIAC's new visa application database, is now live for all offshore applicants,
and open to onshore applicants to use if they choose. Contact the office is you
have any questions about your eligibility to apply, and see this link for
information on the DIAC website: http://www.immi.gov.au/skills/skillselect/
Migration Pass Mark 60 points from 1 July 2012
has issued a media release announcing
that the pass mark for SkillSelect (Subclasses 189, 190 and 489, to which
the new Schedule D Points Test applies) will be 60 points from 1 July
pass mark for current General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas, which will remain
open until 31 December 2012, will remain at 65.
Processing Times Update
While there has not been an official change in DIAC policy with regard to Priority 5 processing (http://www.immi.gov.au/about/charters/client-services-charter/visas/8.0.htm) in recent weeks we have started to see some of our oldest onshore skilles applications starting to process (subclass 880 visas, circa late 2007). As such, we are hopeful that DIAC will soon start to reduce the backlog of skilled applications currently in its 'pipeline', said to number approximately 46,000.
Student Visas: Further
Knight Review Reforms Announced
The Minister for Tertiary
Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations, Chris Evans, and the Minister
for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, today announced
an extension of the post-study work arrangements from 2013.
Post-study work arrangements for
university graduates will be available for:
Graduates who complete their
Bachelor degrees after at least two academic years’ study in Australia will be
eligible for a two year stay;
Graduates who complete their
Masters degrees after at least two academic years’ study in Australia will be
eligible for a three year stay; and
Graduates who complete their PhD
after at least two academic years’ study in Australia will be eligible for a
four year stay.
The existing Temporary Skilled
Graduate (Subclass 485) visa, which provides for a stay of 18 months for those
with qualifications in eligible fields of study, will still be available.
The announcement also states that
post-study work arrangements would apply to Bachelor or higher degree graduates
from other education providers accredited to offer degree level programs, in
addition to university graduates.
ATO Temporary Visa Data Matching Program
The following November 2011 update could have a substantial impact on visa holders and their dealings with the Australian Tax Office
The Commissioner of Taxation has issued a
Notice in the Commonwealth Gazette No 45 (16 November 2011), available as a PDF and online,
regarding a Data Matching Program that is intended to identify any taxation
fraud and non compliance and reads in part:
Australian Tax Office (ATO) will request and collect the names and addresses
and other details of entities who have applied for visa Subclasses 406, 410,
411,415, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420, 421.422, 423, 424, 426, 427, 428, 442, 457,
462, 570, 571, 572, 573, 574, 575, 576, 580 between the period 1 July 2008 and
31 March 2011 inclusive from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship
will be electronically matched and analysed with certain sections of ATO data
holdings to identify potential refund fraud and other non compliance with
lodgement and payment obligations under taxation law. Records relating to
individuals who applied for and were granted visas under the above subclasses
will be matched.
Priority processing arrangements - 1 July 2011A new Ministerial Direction came
into effect on 1 July 2011 establishing new priority processing arrangements for
Skilled Migration applications.
This Direction determines the order in which
the department considers applications. Applications accorded a higher priority
under these arrangements are assessed ahead of lower priority applications,
irrespective of when the application is lodged.In line with these
arrangements GSM has commenced assessing skilled migration applications which
fall within its processing responsibility in the current order:
New points test - 1 July 2011
The new immigration points test has now been introduced. There are
significant changes to the old system, and the new pass mark is now 65
Please refer to this link http://www.immi.gov.au/skilled/general-skilled-migration/pdf/points-test.pdf for a detailed overview of the new points test system.
News from the TRA - Voluntary Work Experience will no longer be accepted - 20 June 2011
TRA will not consider unpaid
employment for the purposes of the Provisional Skills Assessment. Unpaid
vocational placements undertaken as a requirement of an education or training
course and authorised under a law of administrative arrangement of the
Commonwealth, a State or a Territory will be accepted for the purposes of the
Provisional Skills Assessment.
For any employment claimed as time
spent in work, TRA will require:
employer statement for each period of employment claimed detailing the work
undertaken, the period of employment, the location of the workplace and contact
details of the employer; and
evidence of time spent in employment, such as pay slips, group certificates,
payroll printouts, time sheets, and/or bank statements (for employment
undertaken after 1 July 2011).
For any vocational placements
claimed as time spent in work, TRA will require a letter of confirmation from
the relevant Registered Training Organisation that:
the vocational placement has been undertaken as a requirement of their training
course (for placements undertaken after 1 July 2011);
exact dates, hours and location of the vocational placement;
a description of the nature and content of the work undertaken (note: this
description may be supplied by the Registered Training Organisation or the
approved work placement supervisor).
DIAC has announced further refinements of the new points test due to be
implemented on 1 July 2011. One of the most significant clarifications is that
IELTS will now be a time of application criteria, reversing the effect of the
recent Berenguel High Court of Australia decision which allowed applicants to
lodge without a valid IELTS test.
This means that applicants will need a valid IELTS test BEFORE lodging their
applications (together with all other necessary requirements).
See this link for an important recent development (2 April 2011) which
introduces a potential re-entry ban for anyone accused of submitting fraudulent
documents as part of their application.
Carina Ford Immigration Lawyers
28 Hall Street Newport VIC 3015
PO Box 2539
Footscray Vic 3011
tel: (+61 3) 9391 0677fax: (+61 3) 9391 0655