Citizenship Update

Following the removal of the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment Bill 2017, the Minister plans to reintroduce an amended version of the Bill, with a proposed introduction date of 1 July 2018.

The English language test will be amended to a ‘modest’ level of English.

Applications made before 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation), will be assessed against the current eligibility criteria.

Applications made on or after 1 July 2018 (subject to the passage of legislation), will be assessed against the new eligibility criteria.

1 July 2018 proposed amendments, subject to the passing of legislation, include:

  • increasing the general residence requirement, which means applicants for Australian citizenship will  need to have a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship with no more than one year spent outside Australia during that period.
  • completing a separate English language test, where applicants will need to demonstrate English  language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at the modest level before applying for  citizenship by conferral.
  • strengthening the Australian values statement to include reference to allegiance to Australia and requiring applicants to undertake to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community.
  • strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions about Australian values and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship.
  • a requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community.
  • strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia, and extending the requirement to make the pledge to applicants aged 16 years and over for all streams of citizenship by application, including citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.

Please contact us if you believe you meet the present criteria in order to apply ASAP before the new changes become law.

Grandfathering provisions – 1 March 2018

Affects 457 visa holders, that have had their occupations taken off the list, or now on the STSSL, or over 45 but under 50.

Grandfathering provisions relating to March 2018 have finally been clarified in the recent 457-reforms- December 2017 newsletter.

The following Transitional arrangements will be put in place in March 2018:

Subclass 457 holders as of 18 April 2017, and anyone having applied before that date but granted thereafter, can apply for the subclass 186 and 187 Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRT) Stream.

These applicants will be able to apply currently, and after March 2018, even if their occupation is not on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), provided that:

  •     they are under 50 years; and
  •     have worked for at least two out of the three years prior to a 186 nomination in the same position, in their occupation, for their employer on a subclass 457 visa.

Applicants will however still be required to meet additional subclass 186 and subclass 187 eligibility criteria in place at that time of application.

NOTE: The above applies, even if their occupation has been removed from the relevant occupation list or their occupation is on the Short-Term Skills List (STSSL)! 

The New Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

The new TSS visa will replace the subclass 457 visa from March 2018. The TSS visa will have two distinct streams, a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.

Eligibility criteria:

  •    occupation lists;
  •    onshore renewals;
  •    minimum English language levels;
  •    market rate min salary not less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT);
  •    at least two years’ relevant work experience;
  •    mandatory labour market testing (with exemptions);
  •    mandatory criminal history checks;
  •    a requirement to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund; and
  •    a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.

How will employers sponsoring skilled workers contribute to training Australian workers?

From March 2018, employers nominating workers for the TSS visa, the subclass 186 or 187 visas, will contribute to the training of Australians through a Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy.

The levy will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated, and will depend on the size of the business.

Please contact us if you wish to discuss any of the above and believe you meet the grandfathering provisions and are eligible to apply before or after March 2018.

Interesting migration cases

Interesting migration cases

As migration agents we often feel that we have become part of a migrant’s personal story and have had the opportunity to change people’s lives, forever.

We’d like to share some of those story’s with you here. All names, countries of origination and identification have been changed to ensure confidentiality.

Choosing a General Skills visa vs Business skills

Doreen and her husband visited our office a number of years ago and were both focused on a business skills visa whereby they would need to buy a business in order to meet the criteria for the relevant visa. After assessing both their skills we found out that Doreen rather qualified to apply for a skilled visa and we pursued that option.

Fortunately Doreen had family in Victoria who could sponsor her and the family unit, and within a number of months their provisional skills visa got granted and a number of years later their permanent visa was approved. Today Doreen and family live happily settled in Melbourne.

Urgent appointment of a Manager of Power Station (Character issue)

A large multinational infrastructure organisation required a UK citizen to take up his position as soon as possible. After gathering all his documents we found out that he had been excluded from another country due to possessing a small amount of illegal drugs 25 years ago.

We immediately organised to get a full statement from him and his police clearance and his temporary visa. This allowed for the expediting of his temporary work visa and he was able to take up him position.

Waiver of Medical Issue

Our Asian client was the child of a highly skilled employee of a large organisation being the father’s sponsor. He unfortunately had been diagnosed with a dreaded disease.

After pursuing a health waiver where the sponsor was prepared to support the child and after gaining support from the local government, the family were successful in securing their visa.

MRT Appeal involving a Domestic Violence

Our client experienced domestic violence in her relationship but found difficulty in proving this when she first applied for her permanent partner visa.

Immigration Law Specialist Harry Grossman, with our office’s support, successfully assisted this applicant with this matter and she was able to stay in Australia. This was a tremendous outcome.

Overseas recruitment

Recruit overseas staff?

This is a common scenario we see time and time again:

Your organisation has just won a new contract and therefore needs additional staff. A preliminary search shows that all the necessary skills for the position cannot be found onshore.

Your HR department head has asked you as the organisation’s HR Coordinator / Officer to search, find and employ a number of local and overseas employees.

Where do you start? Most organisations have undertaken a local recruitment drive previously and would treat the search for local and overseas employees as being much the same process.

When you come to the realisation that these are two different processes it might be too late and you find to your dismay that the overseas applicants have major challenges getting to Australia to take up their position. At that stage you realise that you need to get smart about the search for the overseas employees and get external advice and put more effort into planning.

You have a discussion /consultation with a migration consultant / mobility advisor and these are some of the issues that get raised:

  • Create a relevant Mobility Checklist with all the relevant issues and challenges listed;
  • Ensure to screen ALL your overseas candidates that respond to your adverts, by interview and have them complete a detailed screening questionnaire;
  • Ensuring to not only focus on their necessary skills and experience for the position but ensure your migration consultants fully assess the candidates regarding their ability to meet the stringent migration criteria;
  • Create a strategy for the various settlement issues and ensure to check when the candidates will realistically be able to move to Australia, should their visa get granted;
  • Provide enough time for the migration process and relevant relocation issues;

Contact our office to make a time to discuss these issues in more depth and allow us to create an effective migration strategy for your organisation and its overseas candidates. Click here for our office’s “Mobility Advisors Checklist for Overseas Recruitment”.

Best migration consultants and mobility advisors

Best Australian Migration Consultants and Mobility Advisors

Acquisition International Announce the Winners of the 2016 Global Mobility, Immigration and Logistics Awards

United Kingdom, May 2016 –  Acquisition International Magazine have announced the winners of the 2016 Global Mobility, Immigration and Logistics Awards. MCA Migration were proud winners of the category “Best Migration Consultants and Mobility Advisors – Australia”.

Discussing the awards, AI Coordinator Steve Simpson commented: “With these awards we highlight the tireless efforts of firms and individuals around the world who are working to transport the world’s resources and ensure their safe delivery. It is a real privilege to be able to turn the spotlight on our award winners, and I wish them every success in the years to come.”

Acquisition International prides itself on the validity of its awards and winners. The awards are given solely on merit and are awarded to commend those most deserving for their ingenuity and hard work, distinguishing them from their competitors and proving them worthy of recognition.

You can read the full interview with Farrel about the awards and what he believes, makes the firm unique here.

Best migration consultants and mobility advisors