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Australian Immigration Daily News

Breaking Australian immigration news brought to you by Migration Alliance and associated bloggers.

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Posted by on in General

Praveen Goyal (pictured below) has created an entity called 'ME Alliance', also known as 'Migration and Education Alliance of Australia'.  

Migration Alliance members have written in and called us to ask us whether the ME Alliance has anything to do with Migration Alliance Inc.  It is on that basis that we have found it necessary to release this information.

Migration Alliance is in no way associated with ME Alliance.

By way of a background, the ME Alliance headed up by Praveen Goyal approached Migration Alliance Inc last year, and if my memory serves me well, perhaps even the year before that.  Mr Goyal attempted on numerous occasions to negotiate with me and Christopher Levingston to establish a new association.  The offer presented to Migration Alliance was, strangely, an almost-replica model of Migration Alliance Inc so naturally we did not proceed.

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Posted by on in General

From 31 January 2015 the tribunals will only accept applications for review made on M1, M2 and R1 paper forms with design date 10/14

Applications lodged on forms with any other design date on or after 31 January 2015 will be deemed invalid and will not be accepted by the tribunals.

The electronic forms generated by the tribunals’ online application system will remain valid. 

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Posted by on in General

Backpackers enticed to come to Australia with the promise of sunshine, adventure and fair wages are instead falling prey to unscrupulous businesses. DIBP needs to do a lot more to equip working holiday visa holders with information on their rights.

The Fair Work Ombudsman says that too many backpackers are being ripped off. It recently commenced legal proceedings against a Tasmanian business owner for allegedly underpaying 5 backpackers in a brazen scheme targeting backpackers desperately trying to fulfil their sc417 visa obligations.

“We will put to the court that five young backpackers from Italy, the UK and Japan were paid as little as the equivalent of $1.35 an hour when they were entitled to between $22 and $32 an hour, that’s depending on their shift and therefore were collectively underpaid almost $43,000,” Craig Bilstein of the FWO office told the ABC.

According to the ABC the statement of claim filed with the courts accuses the business owner of ‘promising to sign-off on an Italian woman’s 88day regional stint requirement in 2013. He then allegedly paid her $272 for 4 weeks work. And when Fair Work inspectors came knocking, the [the business owner] told them the staff were guests or volunteers rather than workers.”

Penalties for a breach of work conditions are severe with fines up to $10,400 for individuals and $51,000 for a company per contravention, say Craig Bilstein of the FWO office.

So far little has been done to help vulnerable entrants to Australia like backpackers and students to deal with these abuses. The sc417 visa allows those aged between 18 and 30 from 19 countries to work in Australia for 1 year with the prospect for some to extend it to another year if they work for 88 days in a regional area in specific industries, like agriculture and construction.

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Posted by on in General

Online ads seeking to exclusively employ migrants holding or capable of obtaining an sc457 visa or other temporary work visas are making their rounds on various job sites, according to a Fairfax media report.

There are reports that the Victorian anti-discrimination watchdog has rejected calls to conduct an inquiry into whether such ads were in breach of equal opportunity law, indicating that it’s a matter for the courts.

However Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz has warned that employers advertising for foreign workers exclusively over Australian candidates must be referred to authorities.

"Skilled foreign workers provide an important supplement to the Australian workforce where there is a shortage of workers, however Australian workers always have first preference," he said in a media report.

Some of the ads posted state as follows, "I am looking for someone who is interested in getting a 457 visa in hospitality”; “ ... I can sponsor two cooks and one manager [for] the restaurant,"; and "highly prefer" candidates seeking work visas.”

Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash told Fairfax that companies sponsoring 457 visa-holders were subject to strict sponsorship obligations, which included a commitment to non-discriminatory employment and having to demonstrate that suitable Australian candidates were not available.

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In move to make Australia more attractive to the media and entertainment industry and encourage them to bring productions to Australia, the Government is looking to remove most of the red-tape around Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa (Subclass 420) which is the visa issued to performers, actors, entertainers and film crews.

The proposals virtually suggest that credible applicants should be able to just walk-in to Australia to do their work as it notes that currently, “the Subclass 420 Regulations are cumbersome and at times restrictive”.

Sharp cost increases are slated for these privileges by the discussion paper on the review which in summary is considering the following:

  • Remove the Sponsorship and Nomination requirement;
  • Remove the requirement for certification from the Arts Minister Requirements, which is the grant of the Arts Certificate;
  • Remove the requirement by the sponsor to demonstrate that more Australians than foreigners would be employed in the project ie Net Employment Benefit (NEB);
  • Remove the need for Union consultation;

Should these options be found to be excessive in the consultation process, then alternatives include the consideration of easing up on the current requirements instead of completely removing them. But how that will remove the administrative burden, is yet to be seen.

The sc400 is considered a low-risk visa with the discussion paper on the review stating “the existing regulatory requirement for sponsorship and nomination seems somewhat excessive for this low risk cohort who is seeking entry for such short periods of stay.”

Over half of these visas are granted to applicants from the United States of America and the United Kingdom. During the 2013-2014 financial year, more than 90 per cent of Subclass 420 visas holders stayed in Australia less than 12 weeks (over 80 per cent of these stayed less than 27 days).

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Immigration blog

Updated MRT-RRT application forms (M1, M2, R1) only accepted from 31 January 2015
From 31 January 2015 the tribunals will only accep...
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Workplace watchdog says a Tasmanian business paid backpackers $1.35 an hour
Backpackers enticed to come to Australia with the ...
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Employers warned not to advertise jobs exclusively to temporary migrants.
Online ads seeking to exclusively employ migrants ...
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Migration Alliance is not associated with ME Alliance
Praveen Goyal (pictured below) has created an enti...
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'Walk-in' visa proposed for entertainers and their crew
In move to make Australia more attractive to the m...
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