New Innovation Visa to be Offered

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s innovation policy has included plans to encourage the best and brightest to choose Australia to start their business. A new innovation visa, which will be introduced in December next year, will be used to actively promote Australia as a destination of choice for many entrepreneurs and business people, and will serve to offer a more direct pathway to permanent residence for those with science, technology, engineering, mathematics and ICT qualifications.

The visa will be open to those with innovative ideas, and the financial backing of a third party. Prime Minister Turnbull has said that the higher-quality and more innovative they are, the more they will drive jobs and meet the demands of Australian businesses.

If the business of those entrepreneurs who have obtained a provisional visa is successful, they would gain more points towards a skilled independent visa, giving them a greater chance to gain permanent residence.

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide updates on the new innovation policy and visa as information becomes available. If you have any migration matters that you would like to discuss, please call one of our migration agents on 02 9922 5188.

Labour Market Testing and the China Australian Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA)

It has been determined that the imposition of Labour Market Testing would ultimately be inconsistent with Australia’s international trade obligations arising under the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), hence, Labour Market Testing is not required for the following occupations when the ChAFTA comes into force:

  • Executives, senior managers, and managers, as intra-corporate transferees
  • Specialists and intra-corporate transferees
  • Independent executives
  • Contractual service providers

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide updates on ChAFTA’s effect on Australian visa programmes as information becomes available. If you have any migration matters that you would like to discuss, please call one of our migration agents on 02 9922 5188.

New Legislation Outlaws Payment for Visa Outcomes – Update

Following on from our news item dated 25 September 2015, it has been announced that The Migration Amendment (Charging for a Migration Outcome) Act 2015 received Royal Assent on 30 November 2015.

The legislation brings into effect a new criminal and civil penalty framework for organisations and individuals found to have received, offered or provided payment or other benefits in return for a range of visa sponsorship related events. These offences may now be punishable by a maximum of 2 years imprisonment or a fine equivalent to $64,000 for an individual, or $324,000 for a body corporate. Civil penalties faced by sponsors, visa applicants or third parties who receive or provide or offer a benefit related to a sponsorship related offence, include fines of $43,200 for an individual, or $216,000 for a body corporate.

Visa cancellation may also occur if an individual is found to be engaged in “payment for visa” conduct, or any conduct relating to the aforementioned offences.

FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide updates on new migration legislation as it becomes available. If you have any migration matters that you would like to discuss, please call one of our migration agents on 02 9922 5188.

Migration Regulations Amendment – Required Medical Assessment

On 20 November the Department of Immigration and Border Protection released a number of policy and health systems changes. These will have an impact on all visa applications requiring a medical examination and include the following:

  1. Moving all health functionality from the department visa processing system to the Health Assessment Portal
  2. Changed arrangements for the re-use of health examinations and health clearances for subsequent visa applications

The department has an existing automated re-use functionality for online applicants who have already completed all health examinations and who already have a HAP ID. This will now be extended so clients can re-use individual health examinations. This will be applied to both paper-based and online applications.

  1. Revised health matrix and tuberculosis (TB) screening for children

There will now only be two risk levels. No health examinations will be required for temporary visa applicants unless they are from a country where health examinations are required and their visa will allow a stay period of 6 months or more. Health examinations would also be required if the applicant is likely to:

  • Work in a childcare centre;
  • Work as a doctor, dentist, nurse, or paramedic;
  • Enter a healthcare facility;
  • Pregnant and intending to give birth in Australia; or
  • Aged 75 years and older.

This would have an effect on all 457 visa applicants from higher risk level countries such as China and India as they would now need to complete a full medical examination rather than just chest x-ray.
Children aged between 2 and 10 year will require a TB test if they are:

  • Applying for an offshore humanitarian or onshore protection visa;
  • From a higher risk country; or
  • Applying for a temporary visa and declare close family contact with TB.
  1. An updated “prejudice to access” list

The “prejudice to access” has been amended to no longer include blood/plasma products and radiotherapy. The only services on the list are dialysis and organ transplants

  1. Automated referrals to state and territory clinics for health undertakings

This will serve to streamline the process of health undertakings and allow clinics to automatically update the status of their patients. It will also allow the clinics to view a client’s health records online and record results of the health undertaking.
FCB Smart Visa will continue to provide information relevant to medical assessment requirements when they becomes available. If you would like to discuss how these changes will affect you, or you are interested in further information, please call an FCB Smart Visa migration agent on 02 9922 5188.