International Students ..Mark this very special date 15/03/2017…Act sooner …

The fifteenth  of March every year is a very special date for international students in Australia . 

It is on this day when most of the student visas are about to expire . Sometimes , the international students are not even aware that their student visa expires on this date .
It is therefore imperative that students check their visa status on a regular basis via the Department’s VEVO portal . The Department has most recently caught with technology and the VEVO app is also available in the App Store .

There are quite a few options available for international students when their student visa  is about to expire . You should prepare well in advance and not wait for the last day to take action . It is not unusual for the Department’s online lodgement portal to be down due to maintainance especially on weekends

Thankfully , 15/03/2017 falls on a Wednesday but this does not at all  mean you should wait till this date to lodge an extension .

So let’s discuss the options available for international students when their visa is nearing the expiry date .

Student visa extension : This option is usually chosen by students if a part of their course is unfinished or they do not have any options available other than extending their visa  . This is not a very popular option and is considered as a last resort by students who may not qualify for General Skilled Migration ( GSM) or Employer Sponsored Visas . If you are opting for an extension , please make sure that you are not hopping from a higher to lower level course and have genuine access to funds . These two factors are responsible for most of the refusals in student visa extensions .

Student Dependant Visas: If  a husband and wife are separately on student visas , then it’s worth every cent to get one of them dependant on the other . In most of these cases , the primary aim is to save the college fee and get full work rights ( if the  partner is pursuing a Masters program ).

Skilled Graduate ( SC 485) visa : This visa has two streams namely the Post Study Work Stream and the Skilled Graduate Stream . The post study work stream visa has recently been very  popular  because there is no skills assessment required . The completion of your  Bachelors or Masters degree with an English language score of 6 overall in IELTS or equivalent makes you eligible for the post study work stream visa . The Skilled Graduate stream however requires a skills assessment for which you need to have work experience in most of the occupations  . Both the streams are a perfect segueay to the permanent GSM visas.

Other  GSM Visas ( SC 489, 189, 190 ) : In the current scenario with capped occupations , the very first thing required for these visas is a full skills assessment coupled with a legendary English language score .  Although SC 485  ( discussed above ) is the common path chosen before applying for these visas , it is possible that you may qualify directly for these visas especially if you have overseas qualifications and work experience .

Employer Sponsored Visas ( SC 457, 186 or 187) :  If you are a very switched on international student who works in the same field that he/she is studying and your employer is happy to sponsor you, then depending on your geographical location and English language proficiency , you may qualify for any of these visas . SC 457, considered to be the easiest to get is actually not that easy . It is popular for the low English language proficiency and in some cases no skills assessment requirement . The SC 457 has been recently infamous for mass refusals due to trivial reasons which do not add up .   To qualify for a SC 186 popularly known as Employer Nomination Scheme , you will need to have a full skills assessment ( in most of the trade occupations ) and an IELTS score of 6 each or equivalent . SC 187, popularly known as RSMS , requires your sponsor to be in a regional area and an IELTS score of 6 each or equivalent . Skills assessment under RSMS is exempted for most of the occupations .

Partner Visa ( SC 820/801) : Chances are low but it is possible that you meet the love of your life whilst pursuing your studies in Australia . You can apply for a de facto or spouse visa if your partner is an Australian Citizen or permanent resident . The only major  requirement here is that the relationship should be genuine and continuing .

With less than a month left , it is in your best interests to plan well in advance and act sooner . The team at Lakshya can assist with all the visa options including arranging your enrolment into your desired course . You can call us at 0433 840 304 or 0433 737 306 for a confidential discussion regarding your case . 

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Why has the love been lost for Customer Service Managers, Restaurant Managers etc


Yes..you are right in assuming that I am referring to the recent refusals by the Department in pretty much every occupation that has got the word ” Manager” attached to it  . The golden question though is why is this happening ?
The answer is simple..the Department is fed up with approving nominations where the so called ” Managers ” have no one to manage . Sounds funny ? Not really.

Consider this example…..Sukhmeet ( Sukhi ) has been working as a kitchen hand at ” Chak De Phatte ” Indian Restaurant in suburban Melbourne. Sukhi has just finished a Diploma of Hospitality and is pursuing a Diploma of management course just to seek a 457 sponsorship as a Customer service manager . The business has already applied for a Nomination of  a Cook and a Chef . The annual turnover of the business is $ 120000 and the org chart shows that there are four people including the employer ( Charanjeet  aka Channi ), the cook , the chef and of course Sukhi .

The application gets lodged ( hopefully not by a migration agent ). What do you think are the chances of Nomination being approved ?

The questions to be asked are :

Who is Sukhi going to manage ?

Would Channi be paying the salaries out of his pocket ? ( Deficit would be $ 53,900 x 3 plus operating expenses minus $ 120,000).

Is ” Chak De Phatte ” going to survive for more than a year ?

Lodging a nomination similar to the one above is suicidal. You are looking for a definite refusal here .

Let’s consider another example …..Jaswinder ( Jazzy without a B) has pursued his MBA from Melbourne university . Jazzy has 5 years experience working as a customer service manager at TESCO in the UK and secures a job as a customer service manager at Coles Australia . He wants to apply for a 457 visa and Coles is happy to nominate . I would love to take this case because I know the chances of success here.

I agree that these two examples are very extreme and there are businesses which are not as big as Coles but do need the services of  managers . The advise to these businesses is to tread carefully and present your case in the best way possible .

There is no rule of thumb here but here are some pointers to judge if the nomination of a manager has got any chances of approval :

Would the nominating business be able to justify the proposed position of a manager ?

Is the business financially capable of hiring the services of a manager?

How well does the proposed occupations fits within the organisational chart ?

The skills, qualifications and experience of the Nominee.

How well does the duties and responsibilities in ANZSCO rhyme with the duties of the Nominated occupation ?

Before you seek an appointment with a migration agent , please ask yourself if you are qualified and experienced enough for the role . Be very careful with the managerial positions as the Department has no apetite for  employers trying to fit managers in their nuclear business families.

Always remember ” If it doesn’t smell well, it definitely won’t sell “. 

 That’s it from us this week . Speak to you soon .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is attending a wedding worth your student visa cancellation ?

 

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Don’t get me wrong . I love weddings and I am sure I am not alone . It would be very hard to match the sheer lavishness of Indian weddings and the mere thought of attending a wedding back home could give anyone an adrenalin overdose. We all have a brother or a cousin whose wedding has been awaited for ages and we would  trade our arms and legs to attend the event ( not literally though …).

It was just last month ( 10/01/2107 to be precise ) that Gurwinder ( Garry ) and his younger brother Gagandeep ( Gaggy) visited our office . Now, Garry is a very good client of ours and has been referring us business for the last 2 years . He very well fitted the category of a FRIENT ( more of a friend than a client ).  Garry now was a permanent resident and was ready to settle down and I was very well aware that his parents were looking for a suitable match for him .

Garry advised me that his wedding has been arranged , handed me a box of sweets and  an invitation to attend. I congratulated Garry and started the usual wedding talk . After a few minutes Garry brought to my attention that he wanted to discuss his younger brother , Gaggy’s case with me . I was a bit disappointed sensing that the purpose of the meet was not to invite me but to seek advise ( I am very used to this by now ). With my very usual artificial smile I said ” Not an issue ….How can I help ?”.

As it came out, Gaggy was initially here on a Student TU 573 visa ( not anymore since all of them have been merged to SC 500) with a condition 8516 attached to it . Gaggy soon realised that pursuing an MBA was not the “love of his life” as mentioned by him  in his Statement of purpose when he initially applied for his student visa from India. Gaggy hopped a few courses and course providers and therefore breached condition 8516. He was now enrolled in Diploma of Automotive and was hopeful of finding a sponsor to lodge his RSMS .

Sounded like a plan …right ?  With Garry’s wedding just a few weeks from then, the question was whether it was safe for Gaggy to travel . I was very upfront in advising that he should not travel as he is already risking a visa cancellation. The discussion went on and on where I cautioned them on the risks and both the brothers used every emotional weaponry they could to hear a “Yes “from me . The discussion didn’t end well and there was a stage where I feared for my box of sweets .

Flash forward a  few days and I got a call from Garry advising that they were willing to take the risk and were catching a flight the next day . I wished them luck and congratulated Garry once again . The call was very short and ended well.

Flash forward another few days and I got  call from Garry again . He was in utter shock . It was easy for me to presume that Gaggy would have received a notification from the Department  requesting him to comment on why his visa should not be cancelled ? To make matters worse , the email was received just a day before the wedding . End of story .

I wish this was not a real case but unfortunately it is and Gaggy is not alone. There have been multiple student visa cancellations recently especially where the students are overseas or ” outside the migration zone ” in Department’s language. The Department wants to make sure that the NOICC is handed to you when you are overseas to devoid you of any review rights at the tribunal . The make sure that it becomes an open and shut case where the visa holder has  no chances of returning back to Australia .

The question I want to ask is …..was it worth it ? My answer is definitely “No.” and I am sure most of us would agree.

Cancellations ( onshore ) are the worst thing to happen as they leave the student with no work or travel rights . If you are offshore , you can’t apply for a merits review . Also, you can’t lodge any application onshore and won’t be able to come back if you lodged an application offshore .

Any travels offshore by people breaching the visa conditions is automatically flagged and a notification gets sent at the earliest.

I am sure you would be thinking how to avoid the situation . So, here is our advise to students  with an 8516 condition attached.

  • Try not to hop courses or course providers.
  • Seek a release letter from your initial course provider if you do not wish to proceed with them.
  • Try avoid travelling overseas if you believe you have breached the condition  . Nothing worse than having a visa cancelled offshore with no review rights .
  • Aim for applying for permanent visas. The Department can still ask you questions about breaching 8516 but this could still be argued with the Department .

I am sure you don’t want to be a mere statistic in the visa cancellation report presented by the Department every year. Stay safe . Weddings can wait but the Department won’t wait to cancel your visa until you come back.

Also, wish me luck with Gaggy’s case . Will keep you posted

 

One Wrong click And You Have lost Your Only Chance Of Being a Permanent Resident.

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It sounds scary. Isn’t it ? Well… the purpose of the header of this article was not to scare you but to make you aware of the impact of  what is usually termed as a “silly mistake ” by most  visa applicants .

Just imagine this . You are about to  transfer money through your bank’s online portal and the amount of money involved in quite considerable . You have just hit the final “OK” on the transfer and realised that the recipient’s name has changed to someone you hardly know. Thanks to the silly error , you are now probably worse off by a lot of money.

If you think that was the worst thing to have ever happened to someone , let’s consider another hypothetical scenario. You clearly are eligible for a visa and have lodged an application but have clicked on the wrong visa option when submitting an application. Your visa application gets refused after a painful wait for six to eight months . I am sure you would agree that even your worst enemy shouldn’t have to go through the trauma of  getting such a refusal.

To give you a feel of the impact of these small yet catastrophic mistakes,  we have shared some real life examples ( names changed ) where the applicants had no option but to leave the country for good . One wrong click made all the difference here.

First Example :

Sanmeet ( we will call him Sam) has just graduated and is in the process of applying for a Post Study Work Stream Visa . Sam has done all the research and has even created an immi account . All this sounds hunky dory for  Sam who is at the very first page of the online application and guess what ?  Sam clicked on the Graduate Stream rather than the Post Study work stream.

Sam wasn’t even aware of what could arguably be the biggest mistake of his life  till the case officer sent a nasty email hinting at refusing his visa . The chances of Sam getting out of this situation were next to nil .  The ramifications of Sam’s actions were disastorous with no recourse available.

The  image ( below)  is of what Sam clicked in his application .The correct option to click was the one after that  ( Post Study Work Stream )

electronic-visas-application

Second Example :

Baljeet ( It has to be Betty because Sanmeet is Sam ) rushes through the questions on the immi form and hits ” NO’ at all of them.  Betty has spent a considerable amount of time in the UK on a student visa and was deported from UK due to not maintaining her legal status after her student visa expired. Betty doesn’t even read all the questions ( and let’s be honest …not most of us do ) and clicks ” No” for all of them including the question ” Has any  applicant ever been removed, deported or excluded from any country ( including Australia )?

The case officer after a good six to eight months sends an email to Betty requesting her to comment on the  inconsistent and misleading information in her visa application . The request letter also mentions that  a PIC 4020 ( 3 years of ban for providing misleading information ) may be applicable .

Despite some very compelling  arguments provided by Betty , her visa gets refused and she also gets slapped with a three years ban on lodging any application . I would like to highlight here that another unsaid rule of the Department is that a PIC 4020 is a ban for a lifetime and not three years as mentioned in the regulations . This rule should be considered as another addition to the unsaid rules mentioned in our previous blog .

https://ranbirsinghblog.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/five-unwritten-rules-of-the-department-the-success-of-your-case-depends-on-the-case-officer-you-get/

Most of the applicants don’t even bother giving a thought to these questions ( below ) and repeatedly click ” No” without even reading them.

application

A very important point to note here is  that the Department makes no distinction between an honest mistake or  a deliberate attempt by the applicant to hide critical information . The end result would be same regardless of the intent .

Summarising the article, our advice to the prospective applicants is to be very careful whilst feeding information in your visa application . If you are using the services of a migration agent, then be very upfront about issues relating to your character or any other information which could have an adverse impact on your application . Disclose everything regardless of how embarrassing it is . Always remember that a Migration agent can only help you out if he or she is aware of all the issues in advance and their hands are tied if there are any surprises in the future.

The best practice is to always check the draft of your application before it gets submitted on your behalf .

It is also very important to  make sure that the information provided in Form 80 and 1221 is consistent with the information provided in your visa application forms . This could again be a killer if there is a material mismatch between the two.

Your years of hard work could be a waste in a matter of seconds . It’s your future, don’t let a wrong click  ruin it . Stay alert and good luck.

 

Would appreciate your comments below :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Five unwritten rules of the Department: “The success of your case depends on the case officer you get.”

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There are written rules and there are the unwritten ones which could only be figured out  by monitoring the Department’s approach towards refusing or granting applications related to a specific visa subclass.

So here are our top five picks of the unsaid or unwritten rules of the Department and  some tips to set you up for success  :

The success of your visa depends on the case officer you get : Believe it or not, it is a fact .While all the case officers follow the same rules and regulations whilst assessing an application, their interpretation of the law could vary substantially . It also depends on the nature of the individual as some case officers would like to dig a bit further if they have any doubts and some may not . With this being true , one can only wish that their case officers are as understanding as Salman Khan’s ( famous Indian Actor ) judges have been  in their recent verdicts . Regardless of the nature of your case officer, your aim should be to try be as articulate as you can be with the presentation of your case . Make sure all the issues raised are addressed in a timely manner with justifiable submissions and evidence attached with it.
Decision ready files have  higher chances of approval and are processed faster : A very important point to note here is that contrary to the popular belief,  the case officer is under no obligation to provide you with the 28 days timeframe to provide the documents . There have been numerous applications refused without giving the applicant the 28 days timeframe and the decision has been made  based on the information attached with the application . It is therefore in your best interest to present a decision ready application with all the documents attached .
No news is good news : It’s okay if you haven’t heard from your case officer for weeks or even months after all the requested documents have been submitted .  No sarcasm intended here and we are damn serious when we say this . As long you have a valid visa ( even bridging ) which allows you to legally stay in Australia , its all good . Seeking regular updates  would do you more harm than good as it may lead to further delays . One needs to understand that the Department is highly understaffed and the case officer would rather spend time making decisions than providing updates . Also, there is no way you can expedite the process unless you have exceptional compelling reasons to do so .
If you qualify for a visa today doesn’t mean you will qualify for it tomorrow: Migration planning levels are assessed on a regular basis by the Department .  Most of the visa subclasses are capped with a limit on the maximum intake per year . Changes to the Skilled Occupations lists and State Nominated Occupations list is also a very a common phenomenon exeperienced at least once every year .  It is therefore always advisable to avoid any delays in lodging a visa if you qualify for it because there is no guarantee that you will meet the eligiblity criteria if the rules change .
Follow the trend and you win : The Department wants you to act smart and follow the trends . The best example is that the 457 visa recently has been in news for all the wrong reasons. The Department therefore has been forced to go on what we term as a ” Mayhem Mode ” with 457s. The trend at the moment is that the refusal rate with 457 is going to be high and you should be seeking any alternatives you are eligible for. Another trend to watch out for is which tap the Department would open after cutting off the water supply to 457 applicants. ( Hint: Start admiring the country life ).
Concluding our article , we would like to say that up to date knowledge of the changes in migration law and being  proactive in your actions is the key to success here . That’s all from us today. Speak to you soon .

What should you be expecting from the Department in 2017.

I think we are a bit late here in wishing everyone a Happy New Year but we guess its better to wish a belated something than not wishing at all. So, Happy New Year everyone! With 2016 a year full of policy changes and a very tough stance taken by the Department in almost all the visa categories , we can only hope the Department doesn’t make the ride any bumpier than it already is . Now, let’s do a quick flashback on the trends observed in 2016 :

There was a huge push from the Department to crack down on the so called rorting  of the Employer sponsored visas namely 457, 457 to ENS transition , ENS and RSMS. The most affected subclasses were 457 and 457 to ENS transition . The bulldozer approach by the Department resulted in  a lot of genuine employers seeking a merits review .

The world of Accountants fell apart with the bar raised so high that even the best and brightest applicants couldn’t secure an invite. IT professionals and Engineers didn’t fare any better with the qualifying points increased by 5 and 10 points respectively.

Liberals announced the introduction of  Long term stay visa for parents by July 2017. We have mixed views on this announcement as the visa comes with a lot of fine prints .

Here are our predictions in terms of Department’s policy towards various subclasses :

 

Group of Diverse Multiethnic People Various Jobs Concept

General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas – subclass 189, 190, 489 and 485

Let’s start with Accountants . Despite the Department flagging it,  it is highly unlikely that Accountants are going to be removed from the Skilled Occupation List . CPA Australia and other prominent accounting bodies have been lobbying hard for Accountants and it will be surprising to see the Department turning a deaf ear to the same bodies it seeks advice from in regards to the yearly planning levels. Having said that, the trend regarding higher points for expecting an invite would continue . Aiming for 8 each or equivalent in IELTS/PTE, passing the NAATI test, gaining work experience , pursuing a professional year , seeking state sponsorship from Tasmania ( provided you have a job offer ) or NSW are some of the things you should seriously consider . The aim should be to achieve 75 points to secure an invite . Think of it as your dream job with too many applicants  where you have shine like a star to impress the interviewers.

IT professionals and Engineers should also expect tough times with the points to secure an invite expected to increase from current 65 to 70 or even higher . With the number of Expressions of Interests steadily  increasing , the  professionals in these fields should be ready to face the same hardships as Accountants and implement similar strategies ( mentioned above ) to score higher.

The 485 Post study work stream is expected to be a smooth ride as it already has been in 2016. Recent graduates planning to apply for or already on  485 Post Study Work Stream should use the two years to gain work experience or try improve  their english language skills . If you are thinking that a professional year is a waste of money , Think again ! The five additional points could make all the difference between getting the invite or missing the flight . A PY is definitely a bang for your buck if you are struggling with points.

Chef and his helper at bistro kitchen

 

Employer Sponsored visas – subclass 457, 186 ENS, 187 RSMS

We expect the Department to continue monitoring the already approved Employers and visa holders for compliance . The trend with refusals based on ” Genuine need for a paid Employee”. ” Genuine Positions ” and sponsoring business’ poor financial capacity is also here to stay. The Department will also tread carefully whilst making a decision on lodged applications especially if it’s a new business .  Needless to say that a decision ready application with all the documents attached is likely to win the heart of your allocated case officer.

Meeting the training benchmark requirement is one area which will be closely monitored by the Department this year. Please make sure that the Training benchmark requirements are met year after year rather than clubbing them together .

The occupations of Cafe Managers and Customer Service managers is something to watch out for in 2017 . With a already high refusal rate , it comes as no surprise that the Minister has  flagged these ( and many other ) occupations that are likely to be removed from the Consolidated Skills Occupation list .

So, that was the bad news . The good news is that the Department has already shown signs that it has relaxed its approach towards RSMS , SC 187 visas. Even the regional certifying bodies infamous for a vey low approval late have shown some positive signs . The point we want to make is that  if you have got a choice between a 457 or RSMS ( provided you have 6 each in IELTS or equivalent score in PTE ), then you should definitely be choosing the latter.

Teenagers Young Team Together Cheerful Concept

Student and Student Guardian Visas – subclass 500 and 590

Student visas are expected to be continuing at the same pace and the Department is going to follow the same trend as it did in 2016. With the streamlining of the visas to just two subclasses ( 500 and 590 ), there would be an even stronger focus on the dreaded Genuine Temporary Entrant criteria. Your profile to the Department should be presented as a student rather than a temporary resident seeking permanent residence .

Prospective applicants with no justification for higher gaps in their studies , low IELTS/PTE score or lower percentage in their year 12 or bachelors should not apply and seek other options .

Monitoring of non compliance with the student visa conditions will also continue . Zero tolerance policy would still apply to hoppers of courses and course providers.

 

Family visas – Partner, Parent – subclass 309/100, 820/801, 103, 143, 173, 101/802

Patience is virtue . It would hard for anyone to understand this phrase any better than the applicants for the above subclasses  waiting for a case officer to be allocated .Sadly, these waits will continue to be longer in 2017. There have been a few odd cases where a case officer has been allocated within three months of a partner visa application being lodged. This however, cannot be considered a benchmark as more than eighty percent of the partner visa applications are still taking over a year to be picked up by a case officer. A partner visa is one of the most mismanaged streams despite a premium fee being charged for it.

Applicants were a schedule 3 applies will have to prove that compelling reasons existed for the lodgement of their application onshore.

The contributory parent visa category , SC 143 will continue to have longer wait times for over two years and discussions are already on the table to double  the 2nd instalment fee which currently stands at $  43,600 . So, delaying  the lodgement could result in the applicants with a very deep hole in their pockets.

Non contributory parent visa , SC 103 will continue to have the unrealistic wait times of 30 years with no change expected in 2017. The fee for SC 103 may be reviewed and increased further.

The long term visitor  visa for parents is going to be introduced in July this year . It will be a visa for 10 years but our assumption is that it won’t be as popular as expected due to  a higher application fee , possibility of a bond being requested and the requirement for the sponsors to prove their financial capablity .

Australian Citizenship

The Minister has already announced that the Australian Citizenship test is going to be tougher with more focus on the applicant’s integration to the Australian way of life and social values . The Department will also make it tougher for applicants with an adverse character record to secure their Australian Citizenship .

 
Rear view of teacher giving a lecture.

Summary of our predictions for 2017

Accountants, IT professionals and Engineers would have to score higher points to secure an invite .

Stricter 457 compliance monitoring by the Department . RSMS to have a higher approval rate . Restaurant and Café Manager and Customer service manager likely to be removed.

Success rate with Post study graduate visa to continue.

Longer processing times for the Partner Visa and  The Contributory Parent Visa . 2nd instalment fee for contributory parent visa may increase significantly . Long term parent visa to be introduced in July 2017.

The Australian citizenship to get tougher .

There are no two doubts that there are tough times ahead but we assure you that  there will be light at the end of the tunnel provided you stand apart from the crowd and plan your journey well. It’s anyways easier to fight if you have a fair bit of an idea what to expect from the future . On a motivational front , we will leave you with  these popular lines from the movie Godfather which should be on the back of your mind when presenting your application to the case officer .

“I will make him an offer, he can’t refuse “

So,  get the ball rolling and start preparing for your offer. Best of luck and Happy New Year once again.

 

 

The writing on the wall couldn’t be any clearer. The Department tightens the noose on 457’s and ENS’s . — Lakshya’s Migration Blog

I am sure you would relate to this article if you are a practicing migration agent dealing with 457 visas and the transition of 457 to ENS visa . In case you are not a migration agent, you can still relate to this if you recently applied for your 457 or the transition from a […]

via The writing on the wall couldn’t be any clearer. The Department tightens the noose on 457’s and ENS’s . — Lakshya’s Migration Blog

The writing on the wall couldn’t be any clearer. The Department tightens the noose on 457’s and ENS’s .

I am sure you would relate to this article  if you are a practicing migration agent dealing with 457 visas and the transition of 457 to ENS visa . In case you are not a migration agent, you can still relate to this if you recently applied for your 457 or the transition from a 457 to ENS visa after completing two years on your 457 visa and your nomination was refused due to trivial reasons provided by the delegate.

There has recently  been a  lot of noise created by the news that the Department is in the process of reviewing the CSOL list but what’s surprising to me is that hardly anyone is talking about the real issue with the 457s and the ENSs.

The Department in it’s very usual manner has passed on a strong message to the sponsors  by going on a rampage in refusing the 457 and ENS nominations especially the 457 to ENS transitions.  Migration agents have been discussing horror stories where the delegates have refused the nominations because of reasons unheard of in the past.

The reasons for refusals are ranging from training benchmark not being met  although the sponsor and the migration agent believed otherwise. Another flimsy reason is that the delegate believes that the business hasn’t got the financial capacity to sponsor the nominee although the business has been running  successfully since people my age were in their nappies.

My favourite pick amongst all of these reasons is the ” Genuine Need for a Paid Employee” requirement which I am sure has stung almost all of us in the migration agent fraternity. This is an area where the migration agent ( and the applicant ) are at the mercy of  the delegate’s discretion . It’s a well known fact that this very grey area has been used and abused by the Department and often leads to a refusal  unless the sponsor makes the delegate believe that the Nominee is as dear to them as their own kids and he/she is the only person who would take care of them in their yesteryears. In case you think I was being sarcastic, this very reason was suggested by one of my clients who badly needed the services of a Motor mechanic at a busy workshop in Melbourne.

Please don’t get me wrong . I am no way condoning a process where the Department should not be conducting any probity checks to curb the 457 or ENS rorting. The point I want to make is that may be it is a great idea to not apply a ” one size fits all approach ” and view every case on it’s merits.

My recent conversation with a well known immigration law specialist in Melbourne was indeed very interesting. I can’t name the gentleman as I haven’t got his permissions to do so . He said he believes that the Department has got a very uncanny habit of trying to let loose on a particular visa class and after a specific timeframe try to be in the damage control mode by refusing the visas left, right and centre .

I strongly believe that most of these cases would be remitted back by the AAT which would be followed by the AAT providing the Department with some harsh feedback in terms of unnecessarily increasing it’s workload where a fair decision could have been made at the very first go.

Having lamented enough at the recent trend observed, I think it’s imperative to share the ” Must do ” list which would help achieve a successful outcome . I personally  will put my 2 cents on having these checks in place to present a strong case. So here we go.

  • Every effort should be made to make sure that the application is decision ready and all the required documents have been attached immediately after the application is lodged. There is no harm in attaching documents which may not be in the checklist but may help present a strong case .
  • Sponsors should make sure that the Training Benchmark is met year after year and is not left to the last moment. A very important point to note here is that the training expenses could only be claimed for training provided to Australian Citizens or permanent residents only .
  • In case of new businesses,  the most recent financials should be  in sync with the business plan that was submitted when the initial 457 visa was lodged.
  • In case of established businesses for the last few years, the financials should be able to justify the  proposed salary of the 457 and ENS applicants.
  • Submissions regarding ” Genuine Need For a Paid Employee ” should be robust and thorough enough to convince the delegate that the services of the nominee would add value to the business. Needless to say that poor quality submissions would lead towards a  refusal. The fact that the case officer has asked for the submission even when it was submitted initially is the best proof of a low quality submission.
  • Organisational chart should clearly highlight how the proposed position would fit within the business . It’s a good practice to add a submission related to this which also explains any sharing of duties between the employees or their superiors.
  • Last but not the least, add photos of the workplace including the signage,  staff time sheets, any recent resignations from the positions similar to the proposed position .

The video below ( although in Hindi ) would be quite handy to help avoid some of the common errors whilst lodging the 457 visa application.

 

The key to success at the moment lies in being very articulate with the presentation and leaving no room for the case officer to dig deeper.

That’s all from me in this edition . Would love to hear your comments or recent experiences on the same topic. More from me next week. Till then prepare for the worst and hope for the best.