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Michael Arch

Michael Arch

Michael Ephraim-Arch has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in General

It has finally happened!

On 21 June 2017, the Turnbull Government introduced legislation (the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents Bill) 2017”) into the House of Representatives that, if enacted, would end the dual regulation of lawyers by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

The Kendall Report, which was issued on 24 September 2014, and which detailed the results of a study of the functions of the MARA that was commissioned by then-Assistant Minister Michaelia Cash, had made a recommendation that the system of dual regulation by  the MARA be ended.  However, legislation to implement this change had not been widely circulated until the introduction of the bill last week.

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Posted by on in General

Imagine that you were asked to comment on the chances that a Registered Migration Agent could avoid disciplinary action  - in the form of cancellation of his registration  - in the following scenario:

The RMA has the following “track record”:

  • Found by the AAT to have been a “key player” in an attempt to mislead the Trades Recognition Authority by providing a false work reference for a visa applicant;
  • Disqualified from acting as a “law associate” of a legal practitioner or law practice by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal by lying to a magistrate and a barrister by holding himself out to be a legal practitioner when in fact his application for admission as a legal practitioner had been rejected on the basis that he had failed to disclose that he had been charged for perjury and theft and had been convicted in the UK on counts of handling stolen goods, forgery and obtaining property by deception;
  • Had his registration as a tax agent terminated by the Tax Practitioners Board on the basis that he had ceased to meet the requirement of being a “fit and proper person”;
  • Has been permanently banned by ASIC from engaging in work as a finance broker after it was found that he had provided misleading information and had not made full disclosure on a credit licence application;
  • Had submitted an application to the MARA for renewal of his registration as a migration agent which was false or misleading in a material particular because he had failed to disclose in his application for repeat registration that the Tax Practitioners Board had made a decision to terminate his registration as a tax agent; and
  • Was found by the MARA to have engaged in a pattern of dishonest conduct in his dealings with the MARA, the ASIC and the Tax Practitioners Board by representing himself to be a legal practitioner when he had not been admitted to practice as a lawyer.

Against such a background, would you “reckon” that this person’s “goose was cooked”?

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Posted by on in General

Suppose you have a client who is seeking a 457 visa (yes it is still possible!)

Suppose also that the client was not able to satisfy the English language proficiency requirement of sub-regulation 457.223(4)(eb)(v),  which specifies that the applicant must have “achieved within the period specified by the Minister in (a) legislative instrument, in a single attempt at the test,  the score specified by the Minister in the instrument”.

(For readers having difficulty finding this sub-regulation, I will be happy to loan you my electron microscope for a small fee!!)

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Are things always as difficult/impossible as they seem?

Assume, for example, that you were asked for advice about the following circumstances in relation to a Partner visa application:

1. That during the period when an applicant and his sponsor claimed to be living together in a de facto relationship, the sponsor had been granted a “parenting payment single” by Centrelink, accompanied by a letter from Centrelink which stated that the sponsor was “not partnered”;

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There has been another extremely important decision from the Full Court on the issue of visa cancellation on character grounds.

This decision was handed down by the Full Court yesterday, 13 June 2017, and just appeared on Austlii this morning: BCR16 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2017) FCAFC 96 (13 June 2017).

The case defines a new possible basis for challenging a decision made personally by the Minister or Assistant Minister to refuse to revoke the mandatory cancellation of a visa on character grounds.

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