AS A NEW MIGRANT TO AUSTRALIA ARE YOU THINKING OF PURCHASING A HOME?

WHAT ARE THE DO’S AND DON’T’S REGARDING TAKING OUT A MORTGAGE?

Understanding how the various everyday Australian systems work is difficult and settling into a home, especially if you plan to buy, can be a daunting process.

To purchase a home in Australia you must follow quite a structured process and one of the most complicated (and often very stressful) parts of this process can be organising your finance. It important to speak to a mortgage broker that intrinsically understands the unique set of challenges a migrant goes through when setting up a new home.

The right loan amount – how much should I borrow?

‘How much can I borrow?’  Is one question just about every client thinks to ask!

But it’s not the right question. A better one is ‘How much should I borrow?’ And this is where a good broker can be of most help – to ensure you understand the right loan amount for your individual needs.

The risk in choosing the wrong loan amount

It’s a scenario that plays out all too often – people overextending on a purchase with a ‘buy now and worry about the consequences later’ mentality. It causes a great amount of financial pressure and stress; all of it unnecessary.

While banks have measures in place to avoid borrowers overextending, they’re still in the business of making money … by lending it to you!

A suitable home loan is measured by the balance between:

  1. Being able to purchase a property, and
  2. Being able to comfortably meet the repayments

Steps to working out right loan amount

Loaning up to your maximum borrowing power will always be a risk if you are not familiar with your cash flow. To familiarise yourself, pick a 6 to 12 month period and review your cash flow over that time. Then realistically ask yourself these questions:

  • How much do you need to maintain the lifestyle you want?
  • Do you have a safety net of savings (a store of a few months’ worth of loan repayments in case something happens and you can’t make one or two)?
  • Will you have any major life changes in the foreseeable future (ie starting a family, changing careers)?
  • Do you have to significantly change your lifestyle to take on the loan? If so, are you up for making those sacrifices?
  • What would happen if interest rates rose by 1 or 2%?

Over-borrowing causes immense stress. You end up spending more time wondering how you’re going to pay your mortgage each month, than enjoying the beautiful property you’ve worked hard to purchase!

A good mortgage broker is indispensable in helping you determine the right loan amount for you.

Boutique Mortgage Broking business, Professional Partners was established in 2004, by business partners Sean and Craig, both migrants from South Africa, one an accountant the other an actuary. They encountered a number of challenges when adapting to life in Australia and would love to make life a little easier for others.

For an obligation free chat, you can contact them via https://ppartners.com.au/

Image of a world map juxtaposed over a young woman's face.

TSS Sponsored Work Visa and Global Mobility

The new TSS Sponsored Work Visa and challenges for Global Mobility

Australia is soon to have a new visa for highly skilled overseas sponsored workers as well as tighter criteria for the permanent sponsored visa pathway. There will no doubt be higher associated government fees. The relocation industry is also evolving and constantly responding to global shifts, new technology with the ever present cost/ budget constraints.

Companies are expanding globally as new opportunities arise with countries like Australia welcoming the introduction of innovative technology-driven products and services being rolled out seemingly moments after their launch overseas.

There is a real need to move the workforce ever more quickly and efficiently to exploit these opportunities. So how can we best navigate and assist those organisations, seeking to bring quality skilled workers to Australia in the most effective manner?

Here is what to expect in global mobility over the next two to three years:

  • The further rise of global expansion as small business harnesses technology to take their goods and services to places in a way which would hitherto have seemed impossible and with this expansion will come a greater reliance on experts who will make quick decisions possible.
  • The expectations of these younger, faster moving companies means that the relocation assistance they seek will need to be delivered seamlessly first time, and there will not be a second chance if things do not meet expectations; they will expect that the information they seek about the move is correct, comprehensive and that those managing the move will respond at times convenient to them.
  • Companies will be looking for ways to curb costs and invest in expansion. Many cost savings over the past few years have concentrated on reducing the cost for the provision of a service to such an extent that the resulting service has left additional costs in its wake.
  • Smarter ways of reducing costs without jeopardising the quality of service will replace the low price/bad service model with all the hidden costs. Whereas previously relocatees would arrive at their destination, spend time in short term accommodation and have a full blown home and school search service, destination service provides are already seeing an increase for singles and couples of an orientation, followed by unaccompanied services home search service, thus reducing costs and time in short-term accommodation.
  • Information apps such as ‘Applocation Australia’, supplement the relocation experience allowing relocatees to access information anywhere on their phones. Cookie cutter relocations will be replaced by relocations allowing for greater flexibility and tailored solutions within a given budget. The value of expertise in assisting relocatees to save time better spent on work matters, is becoming more important as key staff demand high touch personalised support and shrinking global mobility teams, seek reliable experts to alleviate their work load.
  • A shift in thinking around moving personal items and the rise of moves where there is very little furniture and whitegoods being moved and items are being bought online pre-arrival. Companies are realising that to move goods from origin city to destination and back again, three years later does not make sense particularly for singles and couples, who are not emotionally attached to their furniture. Where surveys are required, the uptake of an app to video, of what needs to be moved, avoiding the time of a surveyor and allowing the person moving, to do the survey at a time suitable to them, is becoming increasingly welcome.
  • Insurance for moved goods is increasingly sourced online rather than always through the removalists.

These are exciting times and as technology advances are changing many industries, into the future the one unchanging thing is the value of expertise, of heeding the advice of your trusted relocation specialists – Elite Executive Services and Migration Consultants Australia, experienced migration consultants. Contact our respective offices for a confidential meeting.

Group of professional people working

Navigating the upcoming TSS Visa immigration changes

Navigating around the upcoming TSS Visa immigration changes to sponsored overseas workers

The New Temporary Skill Shortage (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 for occupations on the Short-term Skilled Occupation
    List (STSOL) and
  • A Medium-Term stream for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List
    (MLTSSL) for up to four years.

You must be sponsored by an approved business. A business can sponsor someone for this visa if it cannot find an Australian citizen or permanent resident to do the skilled work.

You can be in or outside Australia, when you lodge your application.

What eligibility criteria will underpin the TSS visa?

Both streams of the TSS visa will be underpinned by eligibility criteria including:

  • Be listed on one of the two occupations lists;
  • Onshore renewals under certain conditions;
  • Minimum English language levels;
  • The Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) to be introduced, with all calculations based on guaranteed earnings;
  • Guaranteed earnings must not be less than the AMSR or Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT);
  • At least two years’ relevant work experience;
  • Mandatory labour market testing (with few exemptions and subject to the passing of the necessary legislation);
  • Mandatory skills assessments for specific occupations;
  • 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 much will the TSS visa Cost?

  • Visa Application Charges TSS visa
    – Short-Term stream
  • Primary Applicant – $1,150
    Adult Dependent – $1,150
    Child Dependent – $290
  • Visa Application Charges TSS visa
    – Medium/Long-Term stream
  • Primary Applicant – $2,400
    Adult Dependent – $2,400
    Child Dependent – $600

In addition, the organisation’s TSS sponsorship filing fee will be $420 and nomination filing fee $330. Employers nominating workers for the TSS visa from March 2018 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:

(The training levy is also subject to the passing of the necessary legislation)

-Businesses with annual turnover of less than $10 million, are to pay $1200 per year or part thereof;
and
-Businesses with annual turnover of $10 million or more, are to pay $1800 per year or part thereof.

Looking at two scenarios –
A. a family of four, for a 4 year temporary work visa, in an occupation on the MLTSSL (T/over $10mil and over); and
B. a single applicant on a STSOL for 24 months (T/over under $10mil),

The fees and levies can quantify from $4,300.00 to over $13,000.00.

Those organisations who are already 457 sponsors or those who are thinking of sponsoring foreign skilled workers into the future, should immediately begin to plan ahead and contact our office to discuss the changes.
Over the past 15 years, we have always maintained a very high success rate and can assist you in navigating around the upcoming challenges.

Grandfathering provisions – 1 March 2018

Affects 457 visa holders, that have had their occupations taken off the list, or now on the STSOL, 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 (STSOL)! 

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.

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.

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