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Call for Submissions
The Case for an Independent Immigration Commission (IC)
SYDNEY, NSW - 25 June 2014 
In anticipation of the announcement of the Minister regarding the review, Migration Alliance prepared a white paper which was sent to the incoming government, including the Minister last year.
The white paper outlines the case for an Independent Immigration Commissioner to be appointed by the Minister and to be accountable to Parliament on an independent basis.
Migration Alliance is seeking your feedback in relation to the white paper which reflects the draft formal position of MA at this point in time.  We would like your feedback and suggestions prior to making a formal and final submission to the Minister.
We invite contributions from individual members of MA and any other industry stakeholder, including the DIBP, MRT-RRT and other government, corporate and other entities.
Please send all contributions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with "IC" in the subject header.
Thanks go to Allan Hornery, Beatrice Leoncini, Christopher Levingston and Kurt Kraues for their contributions. 
Please find attached the white paper.
The announcement received from the DIBP yesterday is as follows:

 The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) as an industry regulator will be the subject of an independent review, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash said today. 

Minister Cash said the review is consistent with the government's commitment to de-regulation.

"The review will examine and report on the OMARA's organisational capability and challenges, as well as the quality and effectiveness of its internal controls and governance," the Minister said.

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This book is primarily aimed at Registered Migration Agents (RMA), but may be of interest to people considering a career as a RMA or learning about how the world of an RMA works.

Buy book now

As an RMA you are subject to the Migration Act 1958. Yet day-to-day practice as an RMA is a multi-faceted dynamic affair. So this book is designed as a compendium to support you in achieving enhanced daily work practices. As such, it is distinct from other ethics or compliance focused material you may have read. You are invited to use this book as a helpful starting point to build a stronger performing and better integrated migration practice. Enjoy gaining and implementing practical information sourced directly from experienced successful migration experts.

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Exploring the good that Australian Registered Migration Agents do.

The Registered Migration Agent profession is an important profession.

It is often asked "Does Australia really need another Registered Migration Agent?" or "Why do we need so many Registered Migration Agents?" or "And why do we have an increase in the number of Registered Migration Agents Annually?"

The picture of Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) as Tribunal and Ministerial Intervention Unit (MIU) gladiators fails to capture the way most RMAs work.

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Overseas student enrolments in Australian educational institutions have surged 10%  year-to-date May 2014. This growth rate is over twice the average growth rate in the last ten years with there now being 404,909 enrolments by full-fee paying international students in Australia on a student visa, according to the Monthly Summary of International Student Enrolment Data from the Department of Education.

Notably, the VET sector saw a year-to-date 13% increase in commencements after a 5.9% increase in enrollments.

The report notes that the Vocational Education and Training (VET) accounted for 23.6% of total enrolments and 27.0% of total commencements. Enrolments and commencements in VET increased by 5.9% and 18.0% respectively on YTD May 2013. India had the largest share of total enrolments (18.6%) and of total commencements (16.2%). China accounted for the next largest share of enrolments with 9.9%, followed by the Republic of Korea (7.8%) and Thailand (7.0%).

“The boost spells good news for the sector considering a recent Students and Courses report released by the state-owned National Centre for Vocational Education Research revealed that overseas visa holders studying onshore in 2013 dropped 1.7% year-on-year at TAFE and government providers, multi-sector HE institutions, community providers and private providers,” states a report by Professionals in International Education

Overseas visa students studying onshore in VET fell from 208,300 in 2009 to just 135,200 in 2013 despite continuing to represent one-quarter of all student visa holders in Australia.

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Fund managers are making more trips to China to drum up the SIV program to Chinese multi-millionaires, with some reports stating that at least 30 fund managers have jumped into the business of luring China's wealthy to Australia using a SIV program.

The Associated Press reports that the flow of money into Australia could reach as much A$10 billion a year. “More than 1,000 people, almost all from China, have applied so far, and more are expected after Canada cancelled a similar program in February amid a flood of applications. The number also may be boosted by a government review to hasten approvals. More than 60 funds have been started to capture the money, including by the largest banks in Australia” the report notes.

"These are not your usual equity or private-equity type of investors," said Bill Fuggle, a partner at Baker & McKenzie in Sydney who advises immigrants on the process and asset managers on compliance with visa rules. "Fund managers need to visit China and convince them of investing not just for a visa, but in turn to preserve their wealth and improve their lifestyle."

The pace of visa approvals has stepped up since the Liberal-National coalition government was elected in September, with 282 granted in the 12 months through June, compared with just four in the program's first seven months.

The report notes that the investment inflows from people with approved visas as well as those expected from 610 people on the waiting list totaled A$4.5 billion as of the end of June. About 39 percent of that money went into managed funds as of March, according to data from the office of Michaelia Cash, assistant minister for immigration and border protection.

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Immigration blog

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