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Liana - Allan

Liana - Allan

Liana Allan is probably Australia's best known migration agent. Liana is the owner of Legal Training Australia Pty Ltd which is a professional development firm training Australian migration agents and owner of Visacorp Pty Ltd migration agency. Liana's main passion is serving the needs of the migration agent community and providing migrants with information that can truly assist them as they seek to create a new life in Australia. Liana plays netball twice a week and enjoys great food and the occasional glass of Shiraz. Liana lives in Sydney, Australia and has two children. Liana is married.

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As the Federal Government shapes a budget blueprint to deal with the recession, it's got its eye on luring big foreign companies to our shores. It set up a taskforce with the goal of attracting advanced manufacturing, financial services, and health companies to call Australia home and create jobs. The Acting Immigration Minister is Alan Tudge, and the ABC radio stations have spoken earlier.

Below is the transcript from this interview:


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Today is World Day against Trafficking in Persons. Australia has joined a global awareness-raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its devastating impact on society. 

Australia has passed a Modern Slavery Act requiring the Commonwealth Government and more than 3,000 large businesses to publish annual statements on their actions to address modern slavery in their supply chains and operations.

Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator Marise Payne has released a statement today about fighting human trafficking:

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Migration Agents have been contacting Migration Alliance over the past few weeks about the "state of the profession". 
Probably the best email I received was from Registered Migration Agent, Rajwant Singh who managed to sum up my thoughts on the "state of the profession" almost entirely.  I wanted to share some of these thoughts regarding this new-look profession we are heading into over the next few months. 
1. False information being propagated regarding the future of registered migration agents
Agents are reporting in that they are seeing a lot of posts from "outraged agitators" in various online forums, namely Facebook groups, proffering the notion that somehow Registered Migration Agents (RMAs) will have no place in a new system and new style of profession.   These "outraged agitators" views promote a view that there will suddenly be thousands of of lawyers out there who will try to take over the profession.  The incorrectly promoted view is that lawyers will flood in and take the work that RMAs are currently doing, and create more competition in an already overcrowded market.
I, along with many other RMAs believe this notion is totally unfounded.  As professionals we already have enough competition.  All seven-thousand plus RMAs already compete against each other.  On top of this we also compete against "unregistered" agents.  I call these people "unregistered persons", "criminal entrepreneurs", or "unlawful operators".   RMAs also compete against family, friends and fools who help unwitting visa applicants.   Finally, we compete against the DIY visa applicants who also help other DIY visa applicants.
As qualified professionals we should be more worried about the unqualified people providing migration help instead of a few thousand lawyers who will (probably not) decide to work in the migration profession.   The current government, namely the Hon Minister Jason Wood and Hon Minister Peter Dutton have worked hard to pass legislation helping to stamp out unregistered practice, as we have seen over past year.  That's some of the competition already gone.   
Lawyers will have have the same challenges RMAs have, which is to attract, then convert, then retain clients.  
If we look at the system we had previously, a lawyer simply had to apply to the Office of the MARA for  registration and they got registered.  No special special qualifications were required.   If thousands of lawyers were genuinely interested in the field of migration law, there was nothing stopping them from joining the profession previously.   
I run Legal Training Australia, and I haven't seen a sudden spike in interest from lawyers in joining our CPD classes or events.  I have listed an event just for immigration lawyers in September.  There has so far been zero interest.   That's right.  Zero.  Most lawyers are already in our system already and have been completing ordinary CPD with us for years.  That means the lawyers who want to be in this profession are already well established within it.  There is no flood of lawyers "chomping at the bit" to enter the profession.
Prior to the recent change, lawyers used to pay the annual registration fee to the Office of the MARA and they were registered.  If this registration fee was the only thing stopping lawyers practicing migration law, then as RMAs these lawyers are the last people we need to be worried about.  
In short, RMAs need to focus on gaining soft-skills like digital marketing, Facebook advertising, social media, lead generation, marketing funnels, client retention, and technology instead of wasting the next year worrying about what is to come.  We can all spend some time working out how we can work hand-in-hand with lawyers.  There are complimentary skill sets there.   The government is not looking to remove RMAs from the system.  Our profession is simply becoming even more professional.
2. Scaremongering
Agents have reported they are noticing scaremongering taking place in the profession, in the name of all the points raised above.  This scaremongering by "outraged agitators" is creating an unnecessary divide between two very closely related, and complimentary professions.   This scaremongering is in my view about people giving themselves some kind of personal legitimacy. Nothing more.
As RMAs we will co-exist alongside lawyers and create professional synergies.  RMAs are asked many questions about many things, sometimes in areas we are not authorised to talk about.  These questions can easily be referred to a competent lawyer to carry out that type of work, and and vice-versa.   Many lawyers will advertise their services in migration law, but ask RMAs to carry out that work, as part of their total offering to their own clients.
I would like to create a positive atmosphere around this subject before these toxic comments and posts by "outraged agitators" create further, unnecessary division between lawyers and agents.  There is and always was enough work to go around for everyone.
Let's all be proud of one another and not spend our time segregating ourselves off as if we are under threat.  RMAs have our own unique skill sets that lawyers can lean on when they feel unsure in this ever-changing space, just as we can lean on lawyers when we need something from them that's not our core area of expertise.  This is not an "Us v Them" moment. 
I for one will fight tooth and nail to ensure that the high status of RMAs continue to thrive, alongside our fellow lawyers. 
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The Joint Standing Committee on Migration shall inquire into and report on the breadth of migrant settlement strategies and migration settings including for skilled and humanitarian migrants in regional Australia, with reference to:
- national and international best practice strategies to encourage people to settle and stay in regional areas;
- strategies to develop regional skilled migration;
- strategies to develop regional humanitarian migration;
- key local, state and federal initiatives for successful regional settlement outcomes;
- local volunteers, employers and community organisations and their role in facilitating regional settlement;
- relevant migration policy, including administration and state specific migration mechanisms;
- related infrastructure matters; and
- any other related matter.

The Committee shall give particular consideration to how communities and settlement services can best assist migrants to gain successful employment outcomes in regional Australia, including local work experience opportunities, skills certification and training, knowledge of Australian workforce regulations, accommodation and travel to and from the workplace.

Source: Report-of-the-Inquiry-into-Migration-in-Regional-Australia.pdf

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The instrument operates to specify foreign currencies for the purposes of paragraph 5.36(1A)(a) of the Regulations, as well as their relevant exchange rate in relation to the Australian Dollar. The currencies’ corresponding International Organization for Standardization (ISO) code has also been noted in the instrument. The instrument assists in working out the amount of a payment of a fee, as defined in subregulation 5.36(4) of the Regulations (other than a visa application charge payment to which subregulation 5.36(3A) of the Regulations applies).

The purpose of the instrument is to undertake a biannual update of the foreign currency exchange rates.


LIN20003.pdf and LIN20003-Explanatory-Statement.pdf

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