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New SOL & CSOL announced for 2017

The SOL (Skilled Occupation List) & CSOL (Consolidated Skilled Occupation List) is an absolutely crucial part of many visa applications and possible migrants intentions. However, it does change - which could be crucial for people intending to apply for visas that rely on these lists. Just a couple of months ago, 6 occupations were removed from the lists, including dental professionals (which is an industry largely populated by migrants & people study for years overseas to get the opportunity to put these skills into practice in Australia). The SOL and CSOL are relevant and used for 457, 402, 489/998, 189 and 190 visa programs - which covers the majority of subclasses that are based on skills/experience/qualification. So to find out...

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Criminal checks on sponsors

New regulations set to be introduced in November means that Immigration have greater powers, and obligation to refuse partner ‘sponsorship’ applications, if the sponsor (Australian) is a person with a violent history. This will come into effect in relation to the 300, 309 and 820 subclasses. The initial and obvious benefit of this is protection, and awareness. The fact that these visa applications are provisional and go in 2 stages, means that visa application would have access to information that may not have been shared, by their sponsor on their own accord until it was too late, when violence may occur. What will be considered as offences that warrant refusal – under this new regulation? According to the newest measure...

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Applied late, is it the end of the road?

When applying for any type of visa to Australia, one of the most important things to consider, whether you use a migration agent or not is to make sure that you maintain legal status in Australia. This means, having a valid visa, not letting your previous visa expire– even by one day. If you ‘overstay’ by just one day.. you are considered illegal. This can have major repercussions on the chances of success for your next and future visa applications. If you apply for a visa, in Australia while ‘illegal’ you would have troubles immediately in having a bridging visa, that allows you to stay in the country. Recently we have come across very real issues of this happening and...

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Scrutiny around RSMS

The 187 Direct Entry visa program is a steady, but increasing option used to fill specific skills shortages in regional areas of Australia. More often than not, the nominated person is at the least already known to the business and often already working for them. This of course doesn’t mean it’s not a genuinely needed position, any normal business would want to be comfortable with a person before looking at taking them on permanently. There are some more ‘common’ areas of Australia or occupations of RSMS visa applications - occur when an employer either can’t afford to lose somebody, who has presented as a unique asset and simply put – the local market doesn’t offer what they need. This can...

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Character checks increasing

How much of a deal is your character and past to your visa application? The numbers of cases and circumstances where character play a major role in the processing of visa applications is increasing dramatically. What does this mean? Immigration publications, mainly via their website – border.gov.au lays out basic criteria and considerations of visa applications, but what about the nitty gritty of how it is actually dealt with? What happens if there IS something in your character that’s unsavory, or even that is slightly unclear? Standard practice for all permanent visa applications is a character assessment, but some circumstances bring about further, details checks and assessment of character. Over the past 12 months, we have seen an increase in...

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Migration Agent, Lawyer? What is what

If all you see is a minefield of legal terms - you certainly aren't alone. How do you who is who and what is what? Australian Immigration is notorious as stringent, cut-throat and complex beyond compare; so who can really help? In Australia, generally speaking – a person who gives ‘immigration assistance’ for a fee needs to be registered – as a Registered Migration Agent (RMA) under the Act. However, this isn’t always the case. Practicing lawyers are also authorized to give the ‘immigration assistance’, just like Migration Agents. But for how long? Where is this going? Registered migration agents are overseen by an organisation called MARA. They have to have and maintain registration with MARA to claim to be...

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