Visa application fee refunds – Not what they seem

In all my years of dealing with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection there is one thing I have learned. THEY DON’T LIKE GIVING MONEY BACK!

Visa application fee refunds are available to visa applicants on a limited set of circumstances.

refundThe Department assessing requests for visa application fee refunds against relevant provisions in the Migration Regulations.

A number of clients have approached us to seek refunds for visa applications withdrawn for various reasons. Unfortunately, most are disappointed to learn that refunds are selectively granted in a small number of circumstances.

Refund assessments are either ‘mandatory’ or ‘discretionary’.

Refund of visa application charges are firstly assessed against mandatory provisions. If none are found to apply, then the request for refund is assessed discretionary provisions.

 

Mandatory Provisions

Regulation 2.12F(1)(a)(i) and 2.12F(2) of the Migration Regulations (1994) specify the mandatory provisions. These include the following.

  • the application wa​s ‘unnecessary’ at the time it was made;
  • the application is made because of a mistake made by the department;
  • the applicant dies before a decision is made on the application;
  • the application was made in Australia and was for a Tourist visa or for a Medical Treatment visa;
  • the application is for an employment visa but no approved nomination was made identifying the visa applicant;
  • the application was withdrawn because the applicant does not have an approved sponsor.

As the above shows, the mandatory provisions are quite limited.

 

Discretionary Provisions

Under regulations visa application charge may be refunded if the visa application is made because of a mistake made by the applicant.

This provision allows for a refund if the visa applicant mistakenly applies for the completely wrong type of visa.

This provision is intended to cover situations where the application was not ‘unnecessary at the time it was made’ but where the visa was the wrong one for their situation.

Whether a refund is made in this circumstances is solely at the absolute discretion of the departmental officer concerned.

For questions or concerns about visa application charge refunds feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion.

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It is now a criminal offence to pay for 457 sponsorships!

Recent legislative changes introduced through the Parliament now make it a criminal offence for a sponsor to be paid by a visa applicant for a 457 visa sponsorship.

criminalThe change to the legislation was introduced as a recommendation of the recently concluded independent review of the integrity of the subclass 457 programme. The government  was very keen to adopt this measure due to the widespread nature of fraudulent applications.

The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Bill 2015 implements this recommendation and expands the application beyond the 457 visa programme to other temporary and permanent work visas.’

The permanent resident visas under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) are likely to be drawn into the scope of this legislative crackdown.

PLEASE NOTE THAT IF YOU HAVE ANY CONCERNS ABOUT EXPOSURE TO POSSIBLE SANCTIONS, INVESTIGATION OR VISA CANCELLATION CONTACT US FOR A STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.


Senator Michaella Cash stated in relation to this change, ‘Unlawful arrangements whereby payment, inducements or other incentives are promised or exchanged to try and achieve a migration outcome will not be tolerated by this Government.’

She went on to state that the practice of giving or receiving a benefit in return for visa sponsorship can have serious detrimental effects including possible exploitation, undermining of Australian pay and conditions and can damage the integrity of Australia’s migration programmes.

There will be a framework for criminal, civil and administrative sanctions against sponsors who actively ‘sell’ sponsorships, or seek to obtain an undue advantage in return for sponsoring a person.

The Bill also introduces a new discretionary power to allow for cancellation of a visa where the visa holder has engaged in ‘payment for visas’ activity.

Minister Cash said the new penalties will further strengthen the integrity of Australia’s migration programme, building on a number of initiatives announced over the past two years.​​​

 

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Strata Managers in short supply in the Australian labor market – ENS opportunities

Strata managers are experiencing increasing demand in Sydney and Melbourne as a result of an unprecedented building boom.

Strata experts internationally are now being sourced to meet the short term fall in supply of skilled workers in this industry.

For further information read a recent post on our partner website:

Strata Managers Needed – ENS Opportunities

The strata industry has undergone explosive growth in the past few years and so availability of senior strata managers is very low.

Sponsorship opportunities are now available for senior strata managers with 5 or more years experience.

Contact the team at sponsor-connect.com.au to find out more.

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ATO Data Matching Temporary Visa Holders Beware




ATO Data Matching Temporary Visa Holders Beware

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently published new protocols on data matching between Commonwealth Departments and Agencies.

ATO data matchingIntroduction of the new protocols is expected to dramatically increase fraud detection.

Possible non-compliance and fraudulent activities of up to 1 million temporary visa holders are to be scrutinized.

The period of review will cover successive financial years from 2013 and will continue to the end of 2016-17 financial year.

Details of data matching protocols for temporary visa holders available here.

Details of ATO protocols and procedures available here.




Sanctions and penalties for individuals and organisations found to be involved in activities defrauding the Commonwealth are to include visa cancellations, fines and possible jail sentences.

Information will be collected from an estimated 1 million visa holders and is likely to include:

  • Address history for visa applicants and sponsors
  • Contact history for visa applicants and sponsors
  • All visa grants
  • Visa grant status by point in time
  • Migration agents (visa application preparer who assisted or facilitated the processing of the visa)
  • Address history for migration agents
  • Contact history for migration agents
  • All international travel movements undertaken by visa holders (arrivals and departures)
  • Sponsor details (457 visa)
  • Education providers (educational institution where the student visa holder intends to undertake their study)
  • Visa subclass name.

This information will used to improve the integrity of visa program and compliance with migration and taxation laws. Efforts are expected to greatly reduce immigration fraud and assist in developing strategies to address effective operation and compliance.

If you are concerned about possible non compliance, contact us for a confidential, obligation free consultation.




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Skilled visa applicants beware IELTS requirement




IELTS Skilled Visa

A number of review cases through the MIGRATION REVIEW TRIBUNAL (MRT) for skilled visa applicants, whose visa applications had been refused by DIBP, indicated that many applicants do not pay sufficient attention to the IELTS requirement in their applications.

Now that English language testing has been expanded to cover 5 testing systems, visit our Language Center to access resources, teachers, materials and planning assistance for your language testing.

In Australian migration law Schedule 2 criteria define the requirements for the applicant to satisfy in order to qualify for the visa, either at the time of application or prior to a ‘final determination’. English language proficiency is, in most cases, essential to the grant of visa. Whilst IELTS itself is not specified in the law, an ‘instrument in writing as specified by the Minister’ is. This invariably includes IELTS skilled visa.

Language center side 2The IELTS skilled visa score (or other testing system as specified by (DIBP) an applicant will require to qualify for the skilled visa is typically defined by the Australian Classification of Occupations (ASCO) bodies. Some occupations, for example, will require ‘Vocational English’ and others may need ‘Competent English’ as defined in r.1.15C of the Regulations.

 

  • ‘Vocational English’ is defined in r.1.15B of the Regulations. For Subclass 176 visa applications, r.1.15B(5) relevantly provides that a person has ‘vocational English’ if the person satisfies the Minister that the person has achieved, in a test conducted not more than 2 years before the day on which the application was lodged:

(a) an IELTS test score of at least 5 for each of the 4 test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or (b) a score: (i) specified by the Minister in an instrument in writing for this sub-subparagraph; and (ii) in a language test specified by the Minister in the instrument

 

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What is a section 20 Notice of Intention to Cancel my student visa?




Section 20 Notice Student Visa

The Education Services for Overseas Students (ESOS) Regulations 2001 contains section 20 notice student visa.

Visa cancellationThe section 20 notice provides legal guidelines for Immigration officers to following when commencing visa cancellation. The guidelines must be followed to protect the rights of the visa holder.

Australian law provides for fair and proper treatment of students by education providers (schools, colleges, universities, etc) in respect to their visas. Section 20 notice is the formal communication from the school that they are required to inform Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) of a change in circumstances that should result in a cancellation of a student visa.

The notice should specify

– The reason for the breach of visa conditions (non-payment of fees, poor attendance or academic performance, etc)

– Requirement for the student to attend an interview with a DIBP official within 28 days of receipt of the notice.

How to stop section 20 cancellation?

It is important to act at the time you receive a section notice of intention to cancel you visa.

You need to respond to grounds of cancellation made by the department in the time required to do so. You need to address the specific breach of condition or other alleged misconduct.

You must also bear in mind that not all breaches of condition can be successfully appealed and turned back.

For FREE ADVICE of a general nature, leave a comment in the comment box on the HOME page

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10 year ban on re-applying for Australian visas now in place

Stronger measures to crack down on identity fraud have recently come into force in Australia’s immigration system.

From 22 March 2014, penalties under the so called Public Interest Criteria (PIC) 4020 were increased from 3 years to 10 years. Applicants will not be able to make application for an Australian visa with PIC 4020 requirement for 10 years if there were found to have provided false information about their identity.

This restriction will also apply to individuals found to have committed identity fraud when applying for a visa previously when they are included as secondary applicants on a visa application.

The one-fails-all-fails principle will thus apply so it is essential that members of the same family unit making combined applications for a visa were not previously found to have committed identity fraud. If so, the entire family unit will be barred from making application.

The 10 year ban applies only to refusals made under the new identity requirements, not to refusals made under pre-March 22 regulations.

The 10 year period operates concurrently and not cumulatively, so that persons banned under former arrangements (3 years) will be facing 3 and 10 year bans concurrently.

As a further sign of the government’s intent to crack down on identity fraud in Australia’s visa and immigration system, the power of the Minister to waive the restrictions (either for compelling or compassionate reasons) have now been removed. The Minister will no longer have the power to waive the restrictions.

The purpose of the new arrangement is to strengthen the integrity of the migration program and deter identity fraud by introducing strict consequences where a visa application is refused because the applicant, or a member of their family unit, knowingly attempted to gain entry to Australia with fake identification.

WARNING: If you have made application for Australian visa with PIC 4020 requirement but that application has not been finally determined, and you believe you may be at risk of PIC 4020 10 year ban on reapplying for another visa, you will need to submit a correction of information form to the Department.

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Where can I check for current Skills in Demand across all Australian states and territories?

LMIPThe Commonwealth Government has recently implemented its Labour Market Information Portal (LMIP).

As a work in progress, the information portal is still being consolidated with latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data and should be fully operational by late March 2014.

The primary objective of the LMIP is to improve reporting on skills shortage by industry and geographical areas across all Australian states and territories.

This is highly beneficial for Skilled visa applicants seeking both work and sponsorship opportunities under ENS or state and territory nomination programs.

The LMIP is to be updated on a monthly basis with the latest ABS data.

Industry and Occupation data is to be updated in late March 2014 and thereafter on a quarterly basis.

The Australian Department of Employment has also replaced its earlier static maps with Google interactive maps, greatly enhancing usability of the site.

Specific queries on seeking latest data and data search functions can be answered via at lmip@deewr.gov.au.

 

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What will happen to my (Skilled) visa application when the annual cap is reached?

Skilled visas are allocated each financial year by a system of quotas. This is to allow the government to manage visa places annually in accordance with economic and social priorities.

Quotas for the 2012/2013 financial year were recently published by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Skilled quotas

The system of allocating visas to visa applicants under the skilled migration program is called cap and queue. The ‘cap’ part is the limit of places per category, such as 10,000 ENS visas.

The ‘queue’ part of the system is simply the fact that visa applicants who have successfully applied for a skilled visa, such as subclass 186 ENS, will not be granted the visa if they are applicant 10,001 in the above example. They will, however, be the first applicant to be granted the visa in the following financial year.

Allocation of places is based on ‘first in first come’.

There is a slight risk to the applicant that priorities may change for the Australian government and more spots allocated to other visa sub-classes or categories. The change in quotas does not, however, affect eligibility criteria as applications are assessed on the criteria in migration law at the time of application.

If you have any concerns contact a registered migration agent or migration lawyer.

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WARNING: UNAUTHORISED IMMIGRATION WEBSITE

WARNING: UNAUTHORISED IMMIGRATION WEBSITE FOUND TO BE DEFRAUDING CLIENTS

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) recently warned of false and unauthorised websites attempting to defraud would be migrants of money and identities.

One website in particular, www.immigovau.co, mimics the current departmental website in appearance and layout, particularly when using certain browsers.

A departmental spokesman said it was a well-camouflaged fake which should be avoided. All Australian Government websites end with the country code gov.au.

“While there is no evidence that the department’s own web presence has been compromised, we advise web users who are looking for information on the department to make sure they visit the department’s official site at www.immi.gov.au,” the spokesman said.

“This issue is not unique to our department and is a common issue for companies and organisations which use websites to communicate information to their clients.”

Web users should ensure they have the www.immi.gov.au address in their browser when they are looking for information on the department and avoid this unauthorised website.

Consumers need also be care of other types of migration fraud, namely:

– Fraudulent phone calls from persons claiming to be a case officer from the DIBP, requesting credit card payments over the phone — NOTE: DIBP NEVER CALL TO REQUEST PAYMENTS OVER THE PHONE FROM CLIENTS. PAYMENTS TO DIBP ARE HANDLED BY A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SECTION TO DEPARTMENTAL UNITS WHERE CASE OFFICERS WORK. 

– Promises made by unregistered (and therefore NON-REGULATED) migration agents promising Permanent Residence or making claims that they know people inside DIBP and can guarantee a positive result. NOTE: DIBP employees are carefully monitored and scrutinised for signs of corruption or bribery. Heavy sentences and lengthy jail terms are imposed on government employees found to be involved in such criminal and illegal activities. Always ask for the migration agent’s Migration Agent’s Registration Number and check it for currency against the OMARA website at www.mara.gov.au.

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Partner Visa Interview preparation questions: What will the case officer ask?




Partner visa interview questionsTo be better prepared for your upcoming partner visa interview

  1. Know the types of questions to be asked

  2. Be sure there are no contradictions (after all, not all new couples are completely familiar with every detail of their partner’s life)

  3. Improve your understanding of how case officers assess answers to questions

When applying for Partner visas through to permanent residency (either subclass 820/801, 300 or 309/100 Offshore Partner visas), Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) case officers will most likely conduct a face to face or phone interview with applicant, and in some cases, the sponsor as well.

Although there are a standard range of questions you are likely to be asked, case officers will sometimes ask questions that are completely unexpected. The reason they do this is to try and weed out the genuine from the non-genuine applicants. That is, they are attempting to apply the genuine applicant test which requires looking for inconsistencies in accounts and claims by applicants.




Discovery of inconsistencies between interview notes, claims made on the initial application and supporting documentation will raise the red flag of credibility. Applicants seen to be failing the credibility test will be further investigated and are, by this action, at risk of being refused.

Download our Partner Visa Interview Preparation Guide for only $5AUD!

The Guide features

  • Extensive and exhaustive list of interview questions

  • Explanatory notes on process of evaluation by case officers assessing answers to interview questions

  • Checklist of documentary evidence the case officer should have in relation to your partner visa application. 




$7.00 – Add to Cart



Excluding 10% tax


It is important therefore that when going into a partner visa interview, and this applies for immigration interviews for a range of visas in general — that your answers are natural, genuine and accurate. It is a good practice to be yourself, and not to give answers you think the case officer wants to hear, or answers that you think will make your case more successful potentially. Failing the credibility test can lead to a visa refusal, so at all times, just be natural and be yourself!

The downloadable list of questions is an exhaustive and extensive list compiled over years of dealings with case officers and clients.

The questions are equally valid and useful for

  • face to face interviews,
  • telephone interviews,
  • Tribunal appeals,
  • Ministerial pleadings as evidence of ‘compelling and compassionate’ nature,
  • for applicants, onshore and offshore, from a range of countries.

 

 

DON’T RISK YOUR APPLICATION ON SIMPLE MISTAKES DURING CASE OFFICER INTERVIEW!

BE PREPARED!

 

 




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Beware ‘bogus documentation’ when applying for a visa to travel to or remain in Australia (Part 3)

HOW DO DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION CASE OFFICERS ASSESS FOR BOGUS DOCUMENTS?

cancelAll forms of correspondence such as email,text messaging, blogging, letters, postcards and the like are used extensively by departmental case officers to corroborate stories, accounts, claims made in applications, etc. It is important when compiling such material as documentary evidence, such as in demonstrating relationship between sponsor and applicant, that different sources and modes of communication are used. This is a form of cross-checking you can do on the case officer’s behalf.

Traditional forms of communication such as letters are carefully analysed and scrutinised for authenticity and veracity (ie. truthfulness). Envelopes are noted for origin, date of time stamp and even style.The method of postal sending and receipt is understood in order that the case officer can make an assessment of how likely or possible a form of communication can be. For example, an applicant may claim that regular mail correspondence was sent from a certain remote location in country X to country Y. In checking the operations of the postal system in both countries and the form of postal communication used, case officers can assess the claims using this sort of background analysis.

Other things to be aware of when using traditional modes of hand writing that the level of analysis used on the paper used, thicknesses, weight, colours, sealant used on envelopes (such as glue), creases and impressions on paper etc. The same applies for analysis of the hand written word, down to type and colour of pen, pressure used by hand writer and style of writing. Comparisons are made of earlier and later forms of hand written documentation evidence to ensure consistency throughout.

Communications may also take different forms according to the cultural ideosyncrasies of the region in which the applicant resides or originates. It could be worthwhile in your dealings with the departmental case officer to point such things out in order to avoid suspicion of handling and submitting bogus documentation.

The hints, tips and tricks above are a guide only and not a definitive discussion of all methods used by the Department in checking the authenticity and validity of documentation. If unsure, seek professional advice from a MARA registered migration agent or lawyer.

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Beware ‘bogus documentation’ when applying for a visa to travel to or remain in Australia (Part 2)

HOW DO DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION CASE OFFICERS ASSESS FOR BOGUS DOCUMENTS?

cancelAs Mentioned in Part 1 of this series, heavy penalties are now being introduced by DIBP for people found to have submitted — knowingly or otherwise — false or misleading documents or proven to have filled in forms with incorrect information. PIC 4020 rules now allow for restrictions on making further visa applications of up to 10 years to be applied to individuals caught out submitting false or fraudulent — and in some cases just plain wrong — information and documentation.

The following are insights into how departmental case officers assess documents and information for falseness.

Documents such as Notice of Intended Marriage (NOIM) and Statutory Declarations are used extensively in partner visa applications in particular. These are legal documents so they need to be treated carefully and with a view to ensuring that no false or misleading information is contained within. Signatures are rigorously checked by assessing officers and cross matched with databases within the DIBP and in some cases cross departmental databases in Australia and overseas.

Forms are also checked for how many different hands have written information into individual questions. Recurring signatories are flagged for further investigation and could be the trigger for an eventual refusal.

Registraiton of notaries are also checked for current status ‘at time of application’. Unregistered notaries, agents or service providers, such as Marriage Celebrants, could render the document INVALID.

Be sure to check the current state of registration of any service provider you engage for your visa application.

If unsure, as always, seek professional migration advice from a MARA registered migration agent.

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Beware of ‘bogus documentation’ when applying for a visa to travel to or remain in Australia (Part 1)

HOW DO DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION AND BORDER PROTECTION CASE OFFICERS ASSESS FOR BOGUS DOCUMENTS?

cancelBogus documentation is dealt with in s97 of the Migration Act (1954). Bogus documents are defined as being false in a material particular, which basically means documentation that is telling a lie or hiding the truth.

The Act defines a bogus document thus

‘in relation to a person, means a document that the Minister reasonably suspects is a document that:

(a) purports to have been, but was not, issued in respect of the person; or

(b) is counterfeit or has been altered by a person who does not have authority to do so; or

(c) was obtained because of a false or misleading statement, whether or not made knowingly’

The Australian government is presently stepping up efforts to crackdown on all types of migration fraud, such as fake passports and personal identification documents. Cutting edge fraud detection technology and data matching across government departments and with international agencies is further assisting the Department with this aim of reducing, if not eliminating, all forms of migration fraud.

Aside from measures to detect fraudulent visa applications, the Australian government also announced recently the increase in penalties for persons found to be submitting bogus documentation (under the PIC 4020 rule) to dis-allow an individual from applying for another substantive visa for 10 years.

It is also important to note, that ignorance is no protection under the law.

Whether you knowingly or unwittingly submitted information or documents that were false, you can still be liable for this 10 year exclusion penalty.

It is therefore CRITICAL that when you are making application for an Australian visa that all documents (including questions you answer on application forms) submitted to the Department in support of applications are true, genuine and accurate.

If you are not sure, consult a professional migration agent or lawyer.

The following are some simple insights into the way DIBP officers deal with supporting documents and evidence when reviewing your application.

NOTE: Recent MSI (Migration Series Instruction) 292 states that there is no power in migration legislation to refuse an application because the applicant ‘may not be who they say they are or may have presented a bogus document’.

1. Rules in preparing and handling official documents – Birth, Death, Marriage Divorce Certificates – There are local ideosyncrasies and peculiarities with uch official documents. When submitting your application it will help to point this out and explain the differences that may exist. This will help to remove doubts about authenticity of documents and avoid suspicion that you are giving ‘a bogus document’.

Think of other corroborating evidence such as baptismal certificates, local religious or government registries. Be aware that the Department is aware that corruption is a problem in many local official offices. There are limits upon case officers over how deeply they can delve into your past, so if you feel the Department is breaching your privacy rights, consult a legal professional.

Like with any type of visa application, and more generally in your dealings with the Department, it is important to think outside the box and to try to pre-empt the moves of the case officer before they make a decision not favorable to you. It is a good idea to consult with a good migration agent or lawyer on this point if you do not already have an appointed representative.

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Changing Course

Changing course after the first six months – Subclass 573 to 572

changing courseIf you have completed six months of the highest qualification course in which your visa was granted, you may choose to change courses or educational sectors. If you choose to change education sectors you must apply for a new visa and continue to study your original course until your new visa is granted for your new course. Names of people and education providers in this story are fictional for the purposes of this case study.

Kumar arrived in Australia on a Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) student visa.

He commenced his bachelor degree at Wattle University; studying a Bachelor of Communication to learn about the role of communication in modern society.

Kumar had aspirations to open his own mobile phone store. After two months studying Kumar decided he wanted to change to a Diploma of Marketing. He felt the diploma course was more suited to his career aspiration as it would provide him with sound theory and knowledge of marketing to enable him to progress his career prospects in sales and marketing management.

While continuing his studies at Wattle University, Kumar researched education providers and approached Bottlebrush Institute and enquired about enrolling in a Diploma of Marketing. The Bottlebrush Institute administration staff advised Kumar he would need to provide a release letter from Wattle University, before he could enrol in this diploma course.

Kumar was confused and didn’t understand why he needed a release letter.

The administration staff explained that a release letter was required because he had not completed six months of the Bachelor of Communication for which his subclass 573 visa was granted. Following receipt of this advice from the Bottlebrush College, Kumar checked the conditions of his student visa with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

The department confirmed Kumar’s visa was granted to study in the higher education sector at Wattle University. If he wanted to study a Diploma of Marketing, he needed a subclass 572 student visa, which is the correct visa for students who study a vocational education and training courses.

Upon receiving this information Kumar continued studying his Bachelor of Communication at Wattle University. He decided after completing six months of this course (his principle course) he would transfer to the diploma. He later applied for the diploma course with the other institution and obtained a confirmation of enrolment for the diploma.

He then applied for a Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) student visa.
Source: Immigration blog.

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Common breach of conditions that lead to student visa cancellations?

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Student visas are monitored for compliance by Immigration officials in accordance with Australian Immigration Law.

Schools and colleges are required to keep records of student attendance and performance.

Attendance below 80% or consistent poor performance may result in cancellation of visas.

Most often, cancellations occur because of breaches to

– 8105 Limitations on working hours

– 8202 Unsatisfactory course progress or attendance

– 8533 Failure to notify service provider of address change

Of these conditions, breach of Condition 8105 is considered very serious by the Department.

In such cases there are little or no grounds to seek ‘revocation of the decision’ by the Department. 

When cancellation is proceeding by the Department (and revocation is not possible) the next avenues of appeal are merits review, then judicial review.

Condition 8202 provides avenues of appeal for students notified of intention to cancel their visa (visa holders will have 28 days in which to speak with a Departmental officer to give reasons for revocation of the decision to cancel. Otherwise, automatic cancellation of student visa will result, in accordance with Australian immigration law.




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What are balance of family tests?




What are balance of family tests?

Balance of family tests are applied to parent sponsorship in Parent visa applications. 

The balance of family test is the weighing of eligible with ineligible children.

Eligible children are those considered to be usually resident in Australia. For example, PR or citizens of Australia.

Ineligible children are those usually resident in an overseas country.

All children and step children are considered in the test, and the nature and quality of the relationships are not considered.

The test is applied only at time of application.




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Settled Usually Resident Definitions Sponsored Visas




 

When applying to sponsor a relative through a number of the Family visa subclasses, the degree to which an applicant is considered ‘settled’ or ‘usually resident’ in Australia will influence the decision by a case officer.

Australian Immigration Law often limits sponsorship of family members to those sponsors who can demonstrate their commitment to Australia. This is contained in the Migration Regulations at (at R1.03) to be one who is ‘settled’ by being lawfully resident for a reasonable period (usually taken by policy guidance to be around two years, depending on the particulars of the case).

Persons with less evidence of permanent ties to Australia may be considered ‘usually resident’. The departmental officers will consider a person to be usually resident by such factors as:

– Their physical presence in country;

– Length of stay;

– Places where they eat and sleep and make usual abode;

– Whether they retain or seek the right to re-enter the country (for example, whilst the holder of PR);

– The demonstrated intent to make Australia their usual country of abode.

To make a stronger case for sponsorship in family visa applications, it is advisable to demonstrate strong ties to Australia through the key areas of employment, family, emotional, assets, cultural and social links. The more documentary evidence that can be provided, the stronger your case will be in showing long term commitment to a life Australia.

Passing the balance of family test requires the applicant to show that the number of eligible children or step children are equal to or greater than the number of ineligible children.




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Assurance of Support for Contributory Parent Visa




Assurance of Support for Contributory Parent Visa

Assurances of support (AoS) are administered by Centrelink and not Department of Immigration.

Assurance of SupportAoS is an undertaking by an Australian resident or organisation (the assurer) and the Australian Government.

Under an AoS, the assurer agrees to support the migrant (the assuree).

The assurer also agrees to repay any recoverable payments paid to the assuree during the AoS period.

Support for any children of the assuree may also be covered by the agreement.

Centrelink decides who can be an assurer by assessing the assurer’s financial capacity to provide support.

Before applying to become an assurer, a person should consider whether they are able to meet the legal and financial obligations of providing an AoS.

Mandatory, or bonded, AoS are required for only Parent, Aged Parent, Contributory Parent, Aged Dependent Relative and Remaining relative visas.

Assurers can be anyone (or organisation) aged over 18, Australian or New Zealand citizens and have the financial capacity to meet the assurance undertakings and is willing to assure against debts to the Commonwealth by assurees.

Assurances can cover two adults and multiple dependent minors.

Dependents over the age of 18 require separate assurances.

Assurances are evidenced with present proof of income for individuals, or financial statements of organisations, as well as evidence of income for the previous two years.

Notice of Assessment issued by the ATO are typically used.

Joint assurances are permissible where the assurer does not have the financial capacity or evidence of proof of income to be eligible to be assurer in one’s own right.




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