"Payment for visa" law comes into effect 30 November 2015

The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Act 2015  received Royal Assent on 30 November 2016.  The Bill that was approved by the Federal Parliament is available here. The legislation introduces a new criminal and civil penalty regime that will make it unlawful for a person to ask for, receive, offer or provide payment…

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Are you complying with business travel rules?

Business travel is one of the least understood areas of immigration. A recent PwC survey confirmed business travel is one of the most common types of mobility, yet it is one of the least supported in terms of policies and compliance procedures to manage it. Most company surveyed admitted that short term business travel needs…

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Know your employees’ work rights

This case comes at the same time other Australian businesses have faced very public investigations by the Department of Immigration and Border Patrol (DIBP) for alleged breaches of sponsorship and visa conditions of foreign workers. Many employers are not aware immigration compliance is relevant for all businesses regardless of size or whether they hire local…

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New Bill Prohibits "Payment for Visa" Schemes

This week the Australian Government introduced new legislation to make it unlawful for a sponsors to seek payment from visa applicants for providing sponsorship for a skilled work visa. The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015 amends the Migration Act to make it unlawful for a party, such as a sponsor, an intermediary,…

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China working holiday makers now welcome

The Australian Government has added China to list of eligible countries for Work and Holiday (462) visas. This change allows young, educated Chinese citizens to stay in Australia for up to 12 months with the ability to leave and re-enter Australia any number of times. Visa holders are allowed to work six months with an employer…

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SkillSelect Update September 2015

The Report on the September SkillSelect Invitation Round has been released by the Department of Immigration and we provide an overview of some key changes and insights below. Places filled in September Round The occupation ceiling for Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers has now been reached for the 2015-16 financial year. There will be no more…

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Australian Border Force enforcement action against Pie Face

Earlier this week the fast food business Pie Face was raided by immigration officials following reports of exploitation of foreign workers. What was the issue? The raid was triggered by a tip-off regarding the underpayment of a group of 457 visa workers. The surprise visit on Monday was part of an integrity and compliance operation by…

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ATO data matching for 457 visa holders – issues for business

The Commissioner for Taxation has announced a comprehensive Data Matching Program for visa holders. This will allow the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to acquire from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) details of visa holders, their sponsors and migration agents, particularly relating to the 2013-2017 financial year periods. The program will collect data…

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Short term business travel

In today’s global economy business invariably need to move their people fluidly and expeditiously across borders. But there is much more to a global mobility strategy than work and residency permits and ensuring unimpeded business travel (as critical as these requirements are). Global mobility requires businesses to take a strategic approach to immigration and have…

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New APEC Business Travel Card – 5 Year Validity

Travel for business people within the Asia Pacific region has been made easier with the introduction of APEC Business Travel Cards with a 5 year validity. The APEC Business Travel Card is a short stay, multiple-entry visa to enter participating member economies and provides priority immigration clearance at major airports. The 5 year validity APEC Business…

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Occupation Ceilings for 2015-16 Skilled Migration Program

The Department of Immigration has released the occupational ceilings for the 2015-16 financial year. Which visa subclasses are affected? The occupational ceilings apply to Skilled Independent Subclass 189 and Family Sponsored Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visas. Occupational ceilings do not apply to, State or Territory Nominated, Employer Sponsored or Business Innovation and Investment visa…

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Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists

Following a review of the Australian Skilled Migration Program, the Australian Government introduced changes to the Skilled Migration Program and in particular to the occupations which are eligible to participate in the Skilled Migration Program on an independent or sponsored basis. Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists take effect from 1 July 2015. The Skilled Migration Program…

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