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Justin - Rickard

Justin - Rickard

Justin - Rickard has not set their biography yet

Posted by on in Skilled Migration

DAY 1 of a MULTI DAY SERIES

 

Two Fridays ago I was privileged to run LTA’s first “Reliable and Profitable Marketing for Migration Agents” seminar in Sydney. It was a fascinating training session. We explored what marketing means as opposed to advertising, creating your own marketing plan, defining your marketing niche and succeeding with joint ventures and 3 key areas of business growth:

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Expansion of Australia’s Investor Visas and 457 skilled worker visa program

The Federal Government is planning on expanding the investor visa scheme along with making it easier to hire potential new employees in accordance with the 457 visa program.

The SIV provides a pathway to gaining permanent residency for foreign nationals who invest at least $5 million dollars into Australia for at least four years. The current Government proposes to create a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) which will offer a 12 month pathway to attaining permanent residency for these who invest at least $15 million. Accompanying the possible implementation of the PIV will be changes to the SIV including the speeding up and streamlining of visa processing along with greater levels of promotion in an international capacity.

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The Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has introduced a new type of visa to parliament today named the “Safe Haven Enterprise Visa” which will be a visa of a temporary nature will offer similar support as that offered by the Temporary Protection Visas which will be reintroduced six years after they were abolished by the Rudd Government This Bill will also create the Immigration Assessment Authority which would have the purpose of fast tracking and processing the backlog of over 30, 000 current asylum seeker applications leftover from the previous Government.

Titled the Migration and Maritimes Powers Legislation Amendment (resolving the asylum legacy caseload) Bill 2014, the Bill itself amends the Migration Act 1958, the Migration Regulations 1994, the Maritime Powers Act 2013, the Immigration (Guardianship of Children) Act 1946 and the Administrative Decisions (Judicial Review) Act 1977 with the goal being in  order to support and implement the current Government’s strategies for combatting people smuggling as well as implementing policies which will greatly assist in managing asylum seekers both onshore and offshore.

The Bill introduces some key changes to the current approach adopted by Australia in regards to people smuggling and the managing of claims for asylum, namely;

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OMARA has just released some figures in a sort of passing snapshot of the current migration agency profession.

Most agents have not had a complaint, but over a quarter have, which is about 1340 agents.

Well over a third have less than 4 years’ experience and 14% less than one year’s experience. So a third of those with under 4 years’ experience are in their very first year of practice.  This may indicate the profession is growing as OMARA states, but we need to know how many are leaving the profession every year before we can conclude that.

Average age is 44, so most have had substantial other work experience before becoming an agent. This is most likely a good thing. Experience can bring wisdom.

However, almost half of us operate as a sole trader (and this is probably understating it depending on other business structures). Certainly, there is an aversion to or avoidance of working together. There could be many reasons for this. One reason could be the average age, an age where most people have the skills and experience not to want or even perhaps need a job or to be in business with others anymore.

What can we draw from these figures? Many things I presume upon deeper reflection. 

Initially the “profession” seems as a whole fairly cautious, experienced and self-reliant. Perhaps however, there are too many inexperienced with the legalities of migration law and migration agency procedures and the realities of migration’s cut and thrust and or with running a business (closer examination of the complaints would reveal more here).

The figures leave much to work out and could be more detailed.

It is agreed that the need for initial and ongoing education is paramount.

Let’s see what the future holds. It is up to us to make it a good one.

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Author:

JUSTIN K. RICKARD

B.A LL.B M.A (SYD.) M.M.I.A

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