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Employer Sponsored Visas / 457 News

Experienced Motor Mechanic required!

Experienced Motor Mechanic required!

Work Visa Lawyers has been in touch with an employer who is looking for an experienced motor mechanic to join his business. Please find details about the opening below:

  • at least 6 years experience required (work references essential)
  • Australian qualification Cert III or Cert IV or equivalent
  • able to complete a TRA Migration Skills Assessment
  • better than functional English ability

The position is located in regional South Australia and the employer is willing to sponsor under a 457 visa arrangement.

If you think that you meet the requirements above please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will provide you with the employer's contact details. You will then need to contact the employer directly and undergo a standard interview process with the employer.

Work Visa Lawyers does not guarantee an employment or visa outcome with regards to this job opening.

Good luck!

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Australian Immigration Changes – changes to skilled occupation lists, 457 visa list, 2-stage Australian visas, character and criminal records, integrity checks

Australian Immigration Changes – changes to skilled occupation lists, 457 visa list, 2-stage Australian visas, character and criminal records, integrity checks

In an earlier blog published in June this year, it was mentioned that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has been getting tougher in relation to the processing of visa applications and monitoring of granted visas. Six months later the trend seems to be continuing where the DIBP is looking to tighten policies surrounding the Australian visa programme.

 

Changes to the Occupation Lists – Skilled Occupation List (SOL), Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL), Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Occupation List, 457 visa occupation list

There has been recent talk about possible changes to the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) with a suggestion that 52 occupations will be removed. The occupations reportedly under scrutiny include:

  • Production Manager (Mining)
  • Accountant (General)
  • Management Accountant
  • Taxation Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Land Economist
  • Valuer
  • Ship’s Engineer
  • Ship’s Master
  • Ship’s Officer
  • Surveyor
  • Cartographer
  • Other Spatial Scientist
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer
  • Geotechnical Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Structural Engineer
  • Transport Engineer
  • Electronics Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Production or Plant Engineer
  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Engineering Technologist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Naval Architect
  • Medical Laboratory Scientist
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Medical Radiation Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Podiatrist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • General Practitioner
  • Anaesthetist
  • Cardiologist
  • Endocrinologist
  • Gastroenterologist
  • Intensive Care Specialist
  • Paediatrician
  • Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • Medical Practitioners (nec)
  • Barrister
  • Solicitor
  • Psychotherapist
  • Psychologists (nec)
  • Chef
  • Boat Builder and Repairer
  • Shipwright

Source: SBS

While these occupations are flagged for removal there is no certainty that they will be removed. However with the current trend of tightening the door on migration to Australia, prospective visa applicants are urged to submit an application as soon as possible to avoid any negative impact policy changes.

 

What does it mean if my occupation is removed from the SOL?

When your occupation is removed from the SOL it means that you will be unable to apply under the Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa or the Skilled Regional Sponsored (Relative) subclass 489 pathways. Instead you will need to apply via the Skilled Nominated subclass 190 or the Skilled Regional Sponsored (State/Territory) subclass 489 visa pathways. This is assuming that your occupation is on the CSOL and relevant Australian state/territory occupation lists.

 

What about the CSOL and RSMS occupation lists?

DIBP may also make changes to the CSOL and RSMS occupation list. However it may not come as a surprise if changes are made, especially since the DIBP has been adopting a closing-the-door mentality to the migration programme.

 

Changes to the 457 visa occupation list

The Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton recently spoke to the media and mentioned that the 457 visa occupation list will be “condensed”, signalling a potential shortening of the list and removal of some occupations. Although the occupations to be removed have not been specified, occupations which have been monitored heavily by the DIBP such as Café and Restaurant Manager, Chef, etc. may be likely to be removed from the 457 occupation list. Read our previous blog on the topic here.

 

Leaked discussion papers indicate a possibility of universal two-stage visas for migrants to Australia

On 30 November 2016 media reported a leaked Cabinet document which discusses the probability of a universal two-stage visa process for all migrants looking to migrate to Australia. This means that all migrants will have to undergo a provisional visa stage before being granted a permanent visa.

While it is stated that the cause for such a change is to ensure migrants are able to assimilate and adapt to the Australian way of life, the Department of Social Services have indicated a fear of creating social divisions between Australians and migrants.

 

Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

There are currently a large number of visas where applicants obtain permanent residency immediately upon visa grant. These visas include the subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa, the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa, the subclass 187 RSMS visa, the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa, the subclass 143 Contributory Parent visa, the subclass 858 and subclass 124 Distinguished Talent visa and the subclass 132 Business Talent visa. The proposed changes will enforce a provisional visa stage for the visa applicants above. This means a delay in Medicare eligibility, and possibly the need to pay international student fees for school-age children. Essentially the attractiveness of the visas is reduced.

From a migration perspective this means that migrants may be facing checks at three separate stages. Migrants will be assessed at:

  • the initial visa application stage
  • the provisional visa to permanent visa application stage
  • the permanent visa to citizen stage

During the application stages above it provides the DIBP an opportunity to conduct checks on a migrant and their suitability for further stay in Australia. With the increasing emphasis of s501 – Character and PIC 4020 – Bogus and Misleading Information, migrants will need to be very careful to ensure all documents and information submitted to the DIBP are accurate and genuine.

 

Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 – Visa cancellation powers

Section 501 part (3A) of the Migration Act allows the Minister of Immigration to cancel provisional and permanent visas when a visa holder fails the “character test”. This would apply to provisional and permanent visa holders who:

  • are charged with a sexual offence involving a child;
  • have a substantial criminal record, which includes:
    • receiving a death sentence
    • receiving a sentence of life imprisonment
    • sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or more (can be cumulative)
    • plead of insanity and detainment in a facility or institution
    • not being fit to plead, but found guilty of an offence and detailed in a facility or institution

The application of such powers was evidently demonstrated when convicted bikies and other charged criminal offenders had their visas cancelled and were forced to leave Australia.

It is expected that the DIBP will continue to utilise this cancellation power to remove visa holders who are of negative influence or character. The DIBP will be checking on visa holders at the visa and citizenship application stages, as mentioned in the earlier paragraph.

 

Sources:

http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/punjabi/en/article/2016/11/21/52-jobs-may-get-removed-skilled-occupation-list

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/leaked-cabinet-papers-warn-secret-visa-overhaul-would-create-twotier-society-increase-violent-extremism-20161129-gt0h7s.html

http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/ma1958118/s501.html

 

Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

The trend in policy changes from the DIBP is that the doors are closing. There have been knee-jerk reactions to the 457 visa abuse reported earlier in the year and thus the DIBP is taking a tough stance to all visa applications and compliance with visa and sponsorship obligations. In fact Australia was recently mentioned in a travel article to be one of the toughest customs and immigration authorities in the world.

The current DIBP mentality also means that visa applicants and sponsors should not think that they are safe from scrutiny once a visa application is complete. There have been increasing reports of compliance monitoring for sponsored work visas, especially in the hospitality industry. Provisional and permanent visa holders are also subject to monitoring as mentioned in the section 501 write-up above.

These policy discussions and changes indicate a “closing-the-door” trend and are in stark contrast to Canada, a country similar to Australia in terms of geography (large land mass but concentrated population in a few areas) and economy. Just yesterday the Canadian government announced a new Global Skills Strategy programme which will target highly skilled migrants and encourage them to move to Canada. If Australia continues to tighten its migration policies, we will be losing out in terms of attracting skilled and highly qualified professionals from overseas, which will help in boosting the Australian economy, innovation and cushion the effect of our aging population.

This information is accurate on 2 December 2016

 

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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Minister states 457 visa occupation list to be cut – more 457 visa applications likely in short term

Minister states 457 visa occupation list to be cut – more 457 visa applications likely in short term

457 visa occupation list to be cut – surge in 457 visa applications likely in short term  

The Minister has said the 457 visa occupations list will be ‘condensed’ - which means cut or reduced.

The Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton has been reported to have said on Sunday 20 November when speaking to Sky News:

"We are having a look at it right now and I think it will be condensed," (Herald Sun, 19 November 2016)

In the interview, Minister Dutton  acknowledges that there are shortages in regional areas for occupations which do not have such shortgages in larger cities.  He states:

"So it is a different picture across the country and we need to respond accordingly. That is the nuance that we try and provide for, but I think the list at the moment is expansive and I think we will condense it and that work has already been under way for sometime and we will have a look at that very soon." (Herald Sun, 19 November 2016)

This comment follows on from comments last week which included a press release about the changing of condition 8107 to allow less time for 457 holders who lose their job.  In the press release on the 16 November 2016, Minister Peter Dutton’s office states the following:

“The Subclass 457 programme was not effectively managed by Labor, as with so many other areas of government

“Labor’s mismanagement saw the Subclass 457 program grow from around 68,000 primary visa holders at the end of June 2010 to more than 110,000 when they were removed from office. 

In comparison, under the Coalition the number of 457 visa holders in Australia has fallen by around 13,000, while over the same period almost half a million new jobs have been created for Australian workers”

With the Minister making such strong statements on the 457, you can be confident that change is on the way.

How will the condensing of the list take place?

The current system is that all occupations on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List ( the CSOL) are available for 457 visa applications.

The CSOL is also the reference point for General Skilled Migration visas including the 190  and 489 visa.

It may be that the Minister will specify a new list under Regulation 2.72(10)(aa), which will be narrower than the current CSOL list.  This could effectively create a list that is narrower than the CSOL and is just for the 457 visa.

Lodging 457 visas before the list is cut may be something to consider for some businesses

When the list is cut, then it will be impossible to lodge visas for occupations that have been removed.  At the moment we do not know what occupation will be removed.   But it may be that businesses choose to lodge their 457 visas soon, to avoid missing out on being able to.  

In situations where there have been similar changes to criteria, such as raising the English standards for the RSMS 187, there was a very large surge in applications.  

457 visas in the news this week includes:

There seems to have been more press about 457 in the last week than there was in the last six months.

Several politicians have made statements about the need to cut 457s:

http://www.minister.border.gov.au/peterdutton/2016/Pages/457-visa-changes.aspx

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/work/crackdown-on-457-visas-to-benefit-australian-jobseekers/news-story/271e8f7a7263ee54d966e6bea47f6d49

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-15/george-christensen-demands-457-visas-rethink-for-his-electorate/8026934

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/15/bill-shorten-vows-labor-will-crack-down-on-457-visa-program?CMP=share_btn_tw

Commentary on the 457 visa has included:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-playing-to-fears-over-457-visas-bad-in-any-language/news-story/17d0258adc3cf1a725737ab891ff170b

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2016-opinion/pressuring-foreign-workers-the-wrong-way-to-reform-457-visas-peter-mares-20161117-gsrpy6.html

Time of Writing:

This information is accurate on the 19 November 2016.

Sources:

457 occupation list to be 'condensed', says Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, Amy Remeikis, 20 November 2016

http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/457-occupation-list-to-be-condensed-says-immigration-minister-peter-dutton-20161120-gst9wg.html

Upcoming change to the subclass 457 visa, Wednesday, 16 November 2016

http://www.minister.border.gov.au/peterdutton/2016/Pages/457-visa-changes.aspx

Fact check: Are there 'over a million 457s' in Australia?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-02/fact-check-are-there-over-a-million-457s-out-there/7463706

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Changes to Australian 457 Visa condition 8107 – four problems 8107 causes and how a solution could be found

Changes to Australian 457 Visa condition 8107  – four problems 8107 causes and how a solution could be found

Changes to Australian 457 Visa condition 8107  – four problems 8107 causes and how a solution could be found

What is the change to condition 8107 applying to 457 visa holders?

The Government has made change to the Migration Regulations by amending condition 8107 to provide that a 457 visa holder can only cease employment with an approved sponsor for 60 days.  The relevant section used to provide that the holder could cease employment for 90 days. The change to condition 8107 applies from 19 November 2016.

The regulation now provides:

“8107 3(b)  if the holder ceases empl​oyment — the period during which the holder ceases employment must not exceed 60 consecutive days”

The effect of this change is that if a 457 visa holder loses their job, they now only have two months to find a new employer and get a nomination approved to work for that employer.

How does the change effect 457 Visa holders?

When a family unit makes the brave decision to move to Australia in pursuit of work opportunities it is often a category 457 visa that is granted to them by the DIBP. For example, a 457 visa may be issued to provide entry for two parents and two school aged children under strict conditions. Typically these families have gone to considerable expense to fulfil the required medicals , move to Australia and begin the resettlement process with new home and schools etc.
The ever-present risk for those who arrive under a 457 visa is that the work that they have come to do may not stay available.  For example the primary visa holder may lose his or her job at short notice. The government will be applying a change to condition 8107 from 19th 2016 by reducing the amount of time that a Visa holder has to secure a business sponsor from 90 days to 60 days.

Problems caused by Condition 8107 for 457 visa holders

When a job has been lost, there are four main problems with condition 8107 in terms on how it impacts on the 457 holders. 

The first problem is that condition 8107 does not allow the primary visa holder to work for anyone other than the company that made him or her redundant. Therefore, even if the visa holder is fortunate enough to find another employer willing to be a sponsor, they cannot start working for this new sponsor until DIBP has processed the application which can take several months. This places great financial pressures on 457 Visa holders and increases the risk of holders taking up unlawful employment to make ends meet.

DIBP currently takes several months to process any stage of the 457 process.  It is commonly taking more than 90 days to get a decision from the time of lodgement, compounding the financial implications for the Visa holder. The DIBP is taking 40 working days, which is 54 calendar days, just to allocate a case officer.  The primary 457 holder cannot start employment for the new employer until the sponsorship application is approved.  This application process is likely to go a long way beyond the 60 days, and even if DIBP does not cancel their visas for ceasing to work beyond 60 days, they face an extended period without income.

Thirdly, a 90 day window to find a new employer (offering an identical position) and lodge requisite paperwork was already a difficult challenge. The 457 visa holders are often professionals with specialised skills.  For example, for a Biochemist 457 holder, finding another Biochemist role in 60 days is a difficult task. A 60 day window is unreasonable for both prospective employer and visa holder.

The fourth problem with reducing the time to cease work from 90 to 60 days, relates to exposing visa holders to exploitation by employers.  This current initiative will actually increase the power of employers and make 457 visa holders more vulnerable to threats.  457 holders will know that the possibility of finding a new sponsor in 60 days and getting then nomination approved is low. So 457 holders may be forced to stay with the current employer even if they are not being paid correctly or are subject to other forms of exploitation.

An alternative approach to condition 8107 – let them work if they lose their job until the visa cancellation

A more compassionate approach from the Department of immigration would have been to give 457 Visa holders who have lost their jobs, the right to work for other employees during that period so that they can financially support themselves. This would also enable them to do work trials and find another employer more effectively.

An exception could be inserted into condition 8107, lets call it 8107 part (5), which currently does not exist.  The exception could allow for the circumstances where employment is terminated, to give them the ability to work and support their families and also to facilitate finding a new sponsor.  The new exception to 8107, which we could call it 8107 part (5) could provide along the following lines:

“If employment is terminated by the employer in relation to which the visa was granted, then the work restrictions of condition 8107 no longer apply.  The employee can work in any position without restrictions.  If an application is lodged for another sponsor, and processing extends beyond 60 days, the ability to work will continue up until such time that a decision is made regarding the new business sponsor. The work restrictions of 8107 will no longer apply, up until the time that the visa is cancelled.”

This is not such a radical suggestion. There are approximately two hundred thousand of working holiday makers visas granted each year, who can do any type of work.  The number of 417 visas granted in the year 2014 to 2015, was 214,830. There are also students visa holders that can do any type of work, capped at 40 hours per fortnight.  The number of 457 holders including family member in the quarter ending March 2016 was 177,390. The number of 457 visa holders, that had lost their job would be very small, probably less than 5,000 at any time.

The current changes to condition 8107 could be described as kicking people when they are down.  Rather than supporting vulnerable workers and their families, the changes deny them any income and then force them to leave ASAP.  Whilst there appears to be empathy for student visa holders when exploited by employers there is little empathy or compassion for 457 skilled workers and their families when they lose their jobs.

If the 457 holder cannot find another employer then they will ultimately have to leave Australia when their visa is cancelled. The process, as proposed by this change, does not have to be so mean and humiliating.

Time of Writing:

This information is accurate on the 19 November 2016.

Sources:

Working Holiday Makers in Australia: a quick guide 22 June 2016 http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1516/Quick_Guides/WorkingHoliday

Fact check: Are there 'over a million 457s' in Australia?http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-06-02/fact-check-are-there-over-a-million-457s-out-there/7463706

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Australian Government Targets Vulnerable 457 visa holders. Condition 8107 changed by slashing time 457 holders have to find a new employer from 90 to 60 days!

Australian Government Targets Vulnerable 457 visa holders. Condition 8107 changed by slashing time 457 holders have to find a new employer from 90 to 60 days!

Government Targets Vulnerable 457 visa holders. Condition 8107 changed by slashing time 457 holders have to find a new employer from 90 to 60 days!

Change to Condition 8107 on 457 Visa:

The Government has changes Migration Regulations by amending condition 8107 to provide that a 457 visa holder can only cease employment with an approved sponsor for 60 days.  The relevant section used to provide that the holder could cease employment for 90 days.

The regulation now provides:

“8107 3(b)  if the holder ceases empl​oyment — the period during which the holder ceases employment must not exceed 60 consecutive days”

The effect of this change is that if a 457 visa holder loses their job, then now only have two months for find a new employer and get a nomination approved to work for that employer.

Processing time for a decision upon a 457 Nomination

Processing standards quoted by DIBP are currently 40 working days until allocation to a case officer, which if you also count the weekends, is about 56 calendar days until first allocation.  

But part of the DIBP integrity push is that they almost always ask for evidence of genuine position for a nomination, which will then start the request further information (RFI) - a cycle which usually takes 28 days at a minimum.

So with one request, the timing to a decision on a nomination is 56 plus 28 = 84 days for a nomination decision with one request.

 

Sources:

  1. Migration Legislation Amendment (2016 Measures No. 4) Regulation 2016, https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L01696

Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

This policy will make it practically impossible for most 457 visa holders to find a new position and to stay in Australia if they lose their job.

The timing was already very difficult when only three months (90 days) were allowed.

One of the big problems facing the 457 holder is the time that it takes for DIBP to make a decision on a 457 nomination.  

 

 

 

So even if you find a new employer on the day you lose your 457 job, you will most likely not be able to get the nomination approved in 60 days.  So the 457 holder will be exposed to having their visa cancelled.

There have been a number of policy changes to try and increase the integrity of the 457 program.  Many of these policy changes have been targeting potential abuses by employers. For example the no payment for migration outcome regulations.

This current initiative will actually increase the power of employers and make 457 visa holders more vulnerable to threats.  457 holders will know that the possibility of finding a new sponsor in 60 days and getting then nomination approved is low. So 457 holders may be forced to stay with the current employer.

This information is accurate on 02 November 2016

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business visas, Employer-Sponsored visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review, and Ministerial Intervention. Based in Adelaide South Australia, our Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents provide migration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

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