CLIENT ALERT: THE IMMIGRATION SAGA CONTINUES
PIC 4020 LEGISLATION DISALLOWED
The legislative instrument Public Interest Criterion or PIC4020 for short, allowed the Migration Department to refuse a visa if it was found that fraudulent, misleading or plainly untruthful documents and information were submitted in support of a visa application or where the Minister is not satisfied of an applicant’s identity.
Prior to the recent amendment to PIC4020, an individual found to have submitted fraudulent information or documents would be subject to a 12-month waiting period before they could re-apply for another visa. In short, a 12-month exclusion period would apply.
As you may have read in our Client Alert of 16 November 2017, the Australian Government attempted to increase this exclusion period to 10 years as well as broaden its reach. Thus, applications lodged after 18 November 2017 had the risk of being refused if fraud was found in any earlier applications made within the last 10 years, which we found to be excessive and unfair.
The consequence of such a lengthy exclusion period would have been widespread as it could have prevented families from being re-united, employees taking up job opportunities in Australia, employers from accessing foreign talent, and genuine students from upgrading their education and skills in Australia – all because of a mistake they may have made 10 years ago. Further, it could have affected the eligibility of current visa holders, such as preventing a Subclass 457 visa holder from making a permanent residence application before the age cut-off.
Fortunately, PIC4020 was disallowed by Senate after only 17 days of operation, which means that the exclusion period has been reduced back to the original 12 months.
Please note that the effect of the disallowance is only effective from the Senate vote, which means that applications lodged or visas granted between 18 November 2017 and 4 December 2017 are still subject to the now disallowed regulations.
LABOUR MARKET TESTING & INTERNATIONAL TRADE AGREEMENTS
The Legislative Migration Instrument F2017L01533 – IMMI 17/109: Determination of International Trade Obligations relating to Labour Market Testing 2017 will commence operation once the amended Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement comes into force (expected 1 December 2017).
As soon as this comes into force, Singaporeans will be exempted from labour market testing which is welcome news for both our Singaporean clients and the Australian business community.
LONG VALIDITY VISITOR VISA SC – SINGAPOREAN NATIONALS
In appreciation of Australia’s longstanding close relationship with Singapore, all Singaporean Nationals now have the option of applying for a long validity Visitor visa (subclass 600). The perks of this visa include:
- Allowing individuals to stay in Australia for up to three months for tourism and business visitor activities and
- A 6-year validity.
Applications for this visa are to be made through the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Singapore, and the following criteria must be satisfied for a successful application:
- Applicants must satisfy all health criteria;
- Applicants must meet the character requirements;
- Having access to adequate funds during the proposed period of stay in Australia;
- Demonstrate that they intend to visit Australia temporarily and meet the requirements under the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria.
This will continue to build the close ties between our countries and promote business and tourism in Australia.
BSMQ – FINANCE MANAGERS / CAFÉ & RESTAURANT MANAGERS
Fellow friends from sunny Queensland, a bit of under the weather news for you, Business and Skilled Migration Queensland will not be issuing any further invitations for applications lodged after 27 November 2017, for the following occupations:
- 132211 Finance Manager
- 141111 Café or Restaurant Manager – only for visa subclass 190 (still available for the visa subclass 489)
THE END OF THE YEAR
Now that we have come to an end of what was one of the defining years of immigration policy in Australia, our office will be closed from 12:00pm on Thursday, 21 December 2017 and reopen on Tuesday 2 January 2018.
For those preparing for the rush to lodge applications before March 2018 and Australian Citizenship applications before July 2018, we suggest using this time to collate all necessary documents and brace yourself for the new year.
Until then, we here at Gilton Valeo wish you a joyful festive season and the happiest of New Years. We look forward to working with you in 2018.