NZ citizens in Oz snookered by 1 July 2012 changes

Bad news is on the horizon for New Zealand holders of Special Category  (sc 444) and New Zealand Family Residence (sc 461) visas, with the proposed revamp of the existing 2 year temporary visa pathway to permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). Under the current on-shore ENS visa regulations, there are a number of temporary…

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New Resources Sector Jobs Board goes live today!

The new Resources Sector Jobs Board goes live today to help Australians make the most of employment opportunities in the mining boom, the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, and the Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis, announced today. The Jobs Board is part of…

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New Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMAs)

Australian mining projects are lining up to take advantage of a new program to bring in foreign workers on 457 visas, but unions say Australians should have priority. The federal government says a plan to allow up to 1715 skilled and semi-skilled foreign workers to be brought in for a major mining project makes good…

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LAFHA update

  Employees receiving LAFHA prior to 8 May budget reforms Latest updates have confirmed that there will be no transitional rules available to temporary residents currently receiving LAFHA. All temporary residents who are not maintaining a home in Australia (that they are living away from), will lose access to the concession as of 1st July…

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LAFHA survives- for a while!

As part of this week’s Commonwealth Budget announced on the 8 May 2012, the Australian Government has announced a major concession for people currently claiming the Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA). The government had previously announced that the LAFHA would be closed to most temporary visa holders from 1 July 2012. However, this week’s…

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Budget news – Skilled Migration Program

Targeted migration increase to fill skills gaps Tuesday, 08 May 2012 The Federal Government today announced a targeted increase to the 2012–13 migration program, providing additional places to help fill skills shortages in parts of the Australian economy. Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP said the planned migration program in the 2012–13 Budget…

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457 visa health insurance

Under current migration law, your 457 visa will not be granted unless you can prove you have appropriate health insurance that will cover you and your accompanying family. This health insurance must be at least as comprehensive as the minimum level of coverage required by DIAC under the subclass 457 visa program. There are now…

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457 visa company sponsorship obligations

Company sponsors quite often fail to understand the full implications of the obligations they take on as Standard Business Sponsor approved to nominate 457 visa holders. Often when information is provided by an agent or to in- house HR staff, the information is filed -never to again see the light of day! Regrettably this approach can and does…

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Drawbacks of a 457 visa vs. Permanent Residence (PR)

Generally Speaking for employment, family and travel reasons it is advisable to seek Permanent Residence and indeed Australian citizenship as soon as you can. Whilst applicants often don’t have choice – this article considers some of the drawbacks of  temporary residence and also benefits of holding a temporary 457 visa. Summary of 457 Visa drawbacks 1….

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Partner visa versus Prospective Marriage (fiancé) visa

Clients often ask what the best partner visa to apply for is, and the only starting point can be the background of the parties and the relationship circumstances. Human beings are eternally optimistic and when dealing in matters of the heart often rationality and logic are the first casualties.  All sponsored partner visas -to a…

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Partner visas – De facto relationships – civil unions

In March of 2012 Queensland joined a number of other states (including Victoria, NSW, Tas, ACT and the NT) which now recognise civil unions or partnerships (including same-sex) for general purposes. The Migration Act (and recently amended Regulations) now recognises de facto relationships registered under the new Queensland legislation – Civil Partnerships Act 2011 (Qld)…

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Changes to the Permanent Employer sponsored categories

On 9 March 2012, The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced reforms to the ‘Permanent Employer-sponsored’ (PES) visa program to commence on 1 July 2012. To avoid being overly technical,  in 2011 DIAC was tasked to look at ways of reforming the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS)/Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and has come back…

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