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Australian Immigration Daily News

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Natalie O'Brien, a reporter from the Sydney Morning Herald has written a news story today.  She says "A blacklist of registered migration agents and lawyers the Department of Immigration tried to keep secret has been reproduced online, escalating calls for an inquiry and a possible class action against the department."

As migration agents would already be aware, Migration Alliance's Convenor, Accredited Specialist immigration lawyer, Christopher Levingston said that the creation and maintenance of what he called a "shi* list" of registered migration agents  "is a complete disgrace and shows the absolute contempt that the department has for the profession".

Mr Levingston said the department had acted deceitfully and in a manner that damaged the clients of agents because of some unspecified criteria. 

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Sydney based lawyer and migration agent, Issam Sam Issa has been banned from acting as a migration agent for five years by the OMARA. Acting on several complaints against Mr Issa, the OMARA’s investigations found that he encouraged and assisted clients to fabricate claims for protection visas in order to remain in Australia.

The Daily Mail reported that Mr Issa allegedly advised clients to say they were gay in order to obtain a Protection Visa. Mr Issa is reported to have taken a wannabe migrant to Oxford Street and Kings Cross, areas of the city popular with the gay community, and advised him to tell a tribunal that he was homosexual.

However, Mr Issa told The Daily Mail Australia he is launching an appeal with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal against the Migration Agents Registration Authority's ruling.

‘I obviously deny that allegation,’ Mr Issa said, highlighting that he believes the whole story has not been told. His solicitor Adrian Joel added: ‘We are preparing an appeal urgently. We are beyond appalled by the nature of the allegations that have been presented, they are gravely defamatory.’

Protection visas generally allow migrants to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident if they are a refugee facing persecution.

Commenting on the case in a recently issued media release, Senator Michaelia Cash said, 'This former agent lodged applications with little or no prospect of success and created statements purporting to have originated from his clients. Minister Cash added that the former agent had failed to demonstrate that he understood the significant level of trust his clients placed in him as a migration agent.

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 WHAT EVERY SIGNIFICANT INVESTOR VISA APPLICANT SHOULD KNOW ABOUT AUSTRALIAN DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW

 

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The department of immigration has released its latest annual report in which it claims that it has achieved one of its key objectives (beside border protection) of granting the ‘best and brightest’ in the crop of migration applicants a quicker pathway to permanent residency so they can get on with their life and contribute to the Australian economy at the earliest.

In its latest annual report the department boasts that skilled migration application are being finalised between 6 and 12 months from the time of lodgement. The employer nominated scheme is the quickest pathway where the DIBP claims to have achieved almost 90% of its service standard of finalising 75% of the applications within 6 months.

In sharp contrast to this is the processing times for the family stream visas. The case in point is the Partner Temporary visa which has a similar service standard of 75% finalisations in 6 months. However, DIBP has achieved this only in about 1 in 5 cases with most being finalised in 12 months. RMAs have complained that DIBP has intentionally done this in order to spread out grants over the year and that some delays are due to applicants lodging applications without professional guidance due to the high deparmental application charges.

The sc457 Visa grants has seen a dramatic drop across the states. In 2013–14 the 457 primary visa grants for Western Australia (down 41.3 per cent to 8605) and Queensland (down 31 per cent to 7547) both fell. DIBP explained that this is in line with the slowing-down of the mining industry. The 457 primary visa grants for New South Wales (down 18.5 per cent to 19,693) and Victoria (down 14.8 per cent to 12,261) also fell.

The top three source countries for the 457 visa in 2013–14 were India with 23.3 per cent grants, followed by the UK (18.3 per cent) and the Republic of Ireland (7.2 per cent). These were the same top three source countries in 2012–13.

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Here is  a tip sheet for migration agents in regard to the re-opening of applications tomorrow. We encourage agents to read this in conjunction with the Essential Information document.

useful-information-for-migration-agents-nsw-nomination-190-visa.pdf

 

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