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Over the past few weeks we have talked with lots and lots of prospective partner visa applicants who firmly believe that they must lodge their partner visa application on or before the 10th of June 2019.

It would be a remarkable coincidence if these peoples’ current visas were set to expire on 10th June 2018 …. and, of course, they aren’t …. so where on earth did this date come from?

On 27 November 2018, the Australian parliament passed the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill, which (amongst other things) altered the sponsorship process for family visas. On 10 December 2018, the bill received the Royal Assent by the Governor-General and it was determined to commence on either:

  1. On a date fixed by Proclamation (i.e. when the Government says); or
  2. If the government never got around to it, within 6 months of receiving the Royal Assent

If you add 6 months to 10 December 2018 you arrive at 10th June 2019!

The story gets even more confusing! Earlier this year, the government actually did get around to fixing a Proclamation date – 17 April 2019.  This means that the 10th of June 2019 date is technically redundant! And so if the new law has come into effect already, why are so many prospective partner visa applicants panicking? That’s a very good question!

So far, the new law has only been implemented in relation to the new sponsored visitor visa for parents (subclass 870), which will be open to parent applicants from the 1st of July 2019. The Department has not yet implemented the changes for partner visas and the Department has advised the National President of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) that they have not set a date for implementing these changes. It seems safe to assume that the changes won’t be implemented before the 10th of June.

The Assistant-Secretary, Skilled and Family Visa Program Branch has indicated indicated that further changes are required to the migration regulations and migration policy instruments before the partner visa processing changes can commence … and goodness knows how long this may take! What could be of interest, however, is that the partner visa fees will increase by a whopping 5.4% on the 1st of July 2019. The base fee will increase from $7,160 to $7,547 … YIKES! If you are already eligible to submit your partner visa application, you might want to submit before 1st July 2019!

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you are considering applying for a Partner Visa.

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The Department of Home Affairs decision makers (case officers) are required to take a number of factors in to account when assessing relationship evidence. 

The decision maker will need to be able to satisfy herself/himself that:

·      Your relationship is genuine and continuing

·      You have a mutual commitment to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others

·      You are living together (or at least not living apart permanently)

… and will wish to see a wide range of evidence that deals with:

·      The financial aspects of your relationship:

·      The nature of your household:

·      Social aspects of your relationship:

·      Nature of your commitment to each other

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you are considering applying for a Partner Visa.

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What is a ‘de facto relationship’

A ‘de facto relationship’ is a genuine relationship between two people who are not married but have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others and who live together or do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis. You can apply for a partner visa on the basis of being in a ‘de facto relationship’ with an Australian citizen or permanent resident.

What are the requirements?

Generally, for a partner visa, you must be able to demonstrate that you have lived (or cohabited) with your partner for at least 12 months. You will need documents showing the different aspects of your relationship and that you and your partner hold yourself out to others as being in an exclusive, committed relationship.

What if I haven’t lived with my partner for 12 months?

There are some specific exemptions to the 12 month cohabitation requirement. You may be able to meet the requirements for a de facto relationship if:

·       You and your de facto partner have a dependent child together

·       You have registered your relationship on one of the State/Territory’s relationship registers (all States and Territories except Western Australia)

·       You cannot live together for religious reasons

·       The law of your country does not allow you to live together

However, in these situations, you will still need to demonstrate that you meet the other requirements for a ‘de facto relationship’.

What sort of documents do I need?

There is no exhaustive list of documents that will work for every partner visa application: all relationships are different, and the evidence that you can provide will reflect that. You will need to provide documents that show the Department the different aspects of your relationship (e.g. financial, social, etc) and how your lives are entangled together. It is important to explain the history of your relationship and have friends or family members providing statements of support. Property ownership documents, leases, bills and letters are some of the documents you can provide to show that you and your partner are living at the same address.

What if we have spent time apart?

You do not necessarily need to have spent 12 months consecutively in order to meet the 12 month requirement. You can have spent 12 months cumulatively as long as you have not been separated or living apart on a permanent basis. A common example if where a couple moves from one country to another and one of the partners is delayed due to work, children or visa restrictions. ‘Fly-in, Fly-out’ (Fifo) workers are a little bit different as they have a structured, regular roster and the separation is on a temporary basis.

Can I be in a de facto relationship while married to another person?

Yes, you can. In most countries, you cannot obtain a divorce unless there has been a period of separation. In this situation, it is essential to show that you are separated from your current spouse and your relationship with your de facto partner is exclusive.

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you are considering applying for a Partner Visa.

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1.     Make sure you have strong relationship evidence

If you are applying for a partner visa on the basis of a ‘de facto relationship’ (please see our previous blog for more information) it’s important to understand that, as ageneral requirement you and your partner have been living together as a defacto couple for at least 12 months on the date your application is submitted … and that you can prove it!

In Australia, you are not required to “register” your residential addresses with a government department. This means that there is no offical register you can rely on to show when you moved in with your partner. Remember, departmental case officers will make a decision that is based on hard evidence. Hard evidence includes so much more than photographs, facebook posts and the statements made by your family and friends.

2.     Are you eligible to skip the provisional partner visa stage?

Becoming a permanent resident as a partner visa applicant is a two-step process: there is a provisional partner visa and a permanent partner visa. When you make your initial application you are applying for the provisional and the permanent partner visa. The Department assesses you for the provisional visa first and then two years after the initial application you can apply to be assessed for the permanent partner visa.

However, did you know that in some circumstances the Department can allow you to (sort of) skip the provisional partner visa stage and grant you the provisional and permanent partner visa on the same day? This may happen if you can demonstrate that you have been in a ‘long-term partner relationship.” A ‘long-term partner relationship is usually where you have been with your partner for at least three years (as a married or de facto couple) or at least two years if you have a young/dependent children together.

3.     Don’t rely on forums or Facebook groups

A lot of partner visa applicants begin their research by looking through forums where people share their success stories and tips from their partner visa applications. These stories can be interesting and reassuring (if they can do it, then so can I!), but be wary about any ‘advice’ that you see. Migration law in Australia is constantly changing and the Department is vetting partner visa applications more thoroughly than ever before and what worked for one person may not work for you – everyone’s application is different and has its own unique issues and weaknesses. When a partner visa is granted, the Department does not include any feedback or tell you how your application satisfied the legislative requirements.

4.     Dependent children from previous relationships

When minor children (i.e. under 18 years of age) are involved in a visa application, the Department will want to ensure that every person who has parental responsibility for the child/children has consented to the child/children being granted a visa and coming to Australia. If you are looking to migrate with your children and there are custody issues with a former partner, it is important to address these issues as soon as possible.

5.     Applying while on a bridging visa (or no visa at all!)

If you wish to apply for a partner visa in Australia and you do not hold a substantive visa (e.g. you may hold a bridging visa or no visa at all !), you will also need to satisfy a set of rules called called the ‘Schedule 3’ criteria. Failing to satisfy the Schedule 3 criteria can result in an otherwise straightforward partner visa application being refused. Schedule 3 criteria can be waived if there are genuinely compelling and compassionate reasons to do so, but the rules are very strict and the Department’s decision makers do not grant waivers lightly. For some people, it’s much safer and smarter to submit their partner visa application whilst they are overseas and then possibly consider spending time in Australia on a visitor visa whilst the application is being processed.

Top quality (assessment ready) partner visa applications lodged overseas are often processed significantly faster than onshore applications. It’s well worth thinking about!

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you are considering applying for a Partner Visa.

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People often ask us whether they can migrate to Australia with their Aussie partner. They also ask …

  • Should I apply for a subclass 820 visa or a subclass 309 visa?
  • Do I get a bridging visa?
  • Will I become a permanent resident straight away?
  • Can I work in Australia?
  • Will I get Medicare?
  • Can I get a partner visa if I’m still married to my ex?
  • What happens if I am having a baby?
  • In what circumstances would I apply for a Prospective Marriage visa?

The answer to a question depends upon an individual’s circumstances.

Our flow chart demonstrates the different pathways you can take to get a partner visa.

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you are considering applying for a Partner Visa.

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EasiVisa by Carol-ann Lynch - 1M ago

It seems that a lot of people have heard about bridging visas, but most people are not familiar with how they work and what they are for. Often we hear clients asking about how to apply for a ‘bridge visa’ or asking whether they will have to leave Australia if their visa isn’t granted in time.

Bridging visas are very different from the other types of visas in Australia and are in a category of their own. The name bridging visa gives away what the bridging visas do: they provide a ‘bridge’ between visas. Generally, in Australia, if you lodge a visa application in Australia that can be granted in you are entitled to stay here while the application is being processed. The majority of bridging visas are granted for this purpose.

However, there are many different types of bridging visa and it depends on your circumstances which type of bridging visa you are allowed to apply for. There is a hierarchy of bridging visas, from Bridging Visa A to Bridging Visa F, but the majority of visa applicants will not encounter more than two different types of bridging visas. Here are the four main types of bridging visas that you may see:

Bridging Visa A

This is the most common type of bridging visa. Generally, it is granted when you apply for a visa in Australia while holding a substantive visa, i.e. any type of visa other than a bridging visa or criminal justice visa. The Bridging Visa A (or BVA) allows you to stay in Australia and it may allow you to work or study depending on which visa you applied for and what type of visa you held when you lodged the application. It will not, however, allow you to travel outside of Australia and then come back in. If you leave Australia on a BVA it will expire. For international travel, you will need a Bridging Visa B.

Bridging Visa B

This is the ‘come back” bridging visa’. The Bridging Visa B is like a Bridging Visa A except that it can be granted with travel rights for a specified period. In order to apply for a BVB, you must hold a Bridging Visa A. You cannot get an ‘open-ended’ BVB as you need to demonstrate to the Department when you intend to leave and when you intend to return to Australia. Unlike the other types of bridging visas, you need to pay an application charge in order to apply for a BVB.

Bridging Visa C

Like a Bridging Visa A, the Bridging Visa C is granted when you apply for a visa in Australia but it is granted when you do not hold a substantive visa. This is includes if you apply for a visa while holding a BVA or a BVB. Although the BVC will allow you to stay in Australia while you wait for your application to be finalised, it does not initially come with the right to work. You can apply for the right to work but you must demonstrate that you have a ‘compelling need to work’. If you are in the situation and you are looking to apply for work rights it would be a good idea to seek advice from a registered migration agent or migration lawyer. You cannot leave Australia and come back on a BVC and you cannot apply for a BVB.

Bridging Visa E

The Bridging Visa E is granted to people who do not have any visa at all and wish to remain lawfully in Australia. Generally, people apply for a BVE in one of two circumstances:

  1. They have overstayed their visa and would like some time to prepare their departure from Australia; or
  2. They no longer have a visa (either through expiration or cancellation) and wish to make an application for a visa, apply for review to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal or wait for Ministerial Intervention.

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us as soon as possible. Becoming unlawful can have serious consequences. unlawful.

Bridging Visa FAQs

Q.      If I withdraw my visa application, what will happen to my bridging visa?

A.      Your bridging visa will continue for another 35 days* after you withdraw your application. To continue the analogy, the bridging visa is a ‘bridge’ between your current visa and your future visa. If you take away the visa application the ‘bridge’ cannot be sustained and falls away.

Q.      I have two different bridging visas, one that allows me to work and one that doesn’t. Which visa do I follow?

A.      There are a hierarchy of bridging visas (BVA>BVB>BVC, etc) and if you hold more than one, the most advantageous (or the ‘highest’) bridging visa is the one that is in effect.

Q.      I need a few more days in Australia, can I apply for a bridging visa to give myself some time?

A.      No, bridging visas are only granted in connection with an application for another visa. The Bridging Visa E is for people who are in Australia unlawfully and we rarely advise people to become unlawful as they may get placed in immigration detention and removed from Australia.

* It is important to note that the 35-day period is the current period stipulated in the migration legislation, but this can change so it is important to check.

If in doubt, consider seeking professional advice and contact us today!

GET IN CONTACT WITH US

Please send your email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com or call +61 8 9429 8860 if you would like a chat.

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The Immigration Minister has recently announced the start dates for the new five-year sponsored parent visa.

How soon can I apply to sponsor?

  • Start date is 17th April 2019 for sponsorships
  • Start date is 1st July 2019 for visa applications
  • Up to 15,000 per year will be granted
  • The Balance of Family requirement does not need to be met
  • The sponsorship application must be approved prior to the visa application being submitted

Sponsor Eligibility:

Sponsors must meet a number of criteria, which includes for following:

  • The parent(s) to be sponsored must be the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor. Special rules apply to step-parents
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • The sponsor must be an Australian citizen/permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who has been mostly resident in Australia for the past four years
  • The sponsor must have a certain amount of household income
  • The sponsor and the parents to be sponsored must provide police clearances for any country they have spent more than 12 months cumulatively in during the past 10 years
  • The sponsor must be willing to share character information with the visa applicant
  • Sponsors must also agree to comply with certain sponsorship obligations in relation to the parent(s) they are sponsoring.

How soon can I apply for the visa?

  • Start date is intended to be 1st July 2019

Visa Eligibility

  • Unlike permanent Parent visas, there is no Balance of Family Test requirement for this visa, meaning a visa applicant is not required to have more than half of their children residing in Australia.

Visa applicants must be able to meet a number of criteria including:

  • Be sponsored by a person who is an approved parent sponsor
  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Be outside of Australia at the time of application
  • Provide evidence of access to funds
  • Provide evidence of health insurance
  • Satisfy health, character, and national security requirements

Fees

  • The sponsorship application fee: $420
  • The visa application charge: $5,000 for a 3 year visa
  • The visa application charge: $10,000 for a 5 year visa
  • Plus the cost of private health insurance

We suspect there will be mad rush for these visas, especially from parents with young children who prefer to leave their kiddies with grandparents rather than in day care.

If you want to find out more about this family friendly new visa, Book a consultation or give us a call +61 8 9429 8860.  

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EasiVisa by Carol-ann Lynch - 1M ago

When people think about studying in Australia, the first places to come to mind are most likely Sydney or Melbourne. The majority of international students never consider studying in regional Australia. It simply doesn’t occur to them, which is a shame as there are a lot of lifestyle and potential longer-term benefits to studying outside the main Australian cities.

What is regional Australia?

For migration purposes, regional areas are anywhere outside of Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast, Wollongong, greater Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Melbourne metropolitan area and Perth. A full list of regional and low population growth postcodes in each state can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Statistics and fast facts

According to a government report, in 2017 only 3% of international student visa holders were enrolled at a regional campus. Just over 50% of these students were completing a higher education degree (Bachelor or Masters by coursework), and most in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

The International Student Survey, 2016 found that the overall satisfaction for students enrolled in regional institutions was 1.6% higher than for students enrolled in metropolitan areas. The government pointed out that studying in a regional area can be approximately 22% cheaper than studying a comparable course in a major city.

Benefits of studying in regional Australia

Lifestyle – Regional Australia is really beautiful! It’s not a barren ‘outback’. Regional Australia includes popular holiday destinations like Margaret River in WA, Far-North Queensland (home to the famous Great Barrier Reef), Adelaide (well-known for its wines) as well as tropical Darwin and cool Tasmania. Imagine a morning surf before class, hikes exploring nature and road tips on the weekends. Life in regional Australia is less crowded, the roads are less congested and it’s usually a more relaxed, stress-free way of living.

Sense of community and integration – Living in regional Australia enables international students to be part of a regional local community and have a greater sense of belonging. International students have more opportunity to experience an “authentic” Australian lifestyle. Being part of a tight-knit community can be very useful when looking for employment, networking and work experience.

Courses: The courses offered in regional areas generally produce graduates who can find employment in the local region upon completion of their studies. For example, Margaret River offers courses in hospitality and wine industry operations, which fits well with the local tourism industry. Geraldton offers courses in aquaculture, fishing operations and the environment, which is directly relevant to local businesses. Popular courses, such as Nursing and I.T, can be studied in regional Australia. Advantages of studying in regional Australia include smaller class sizes; opportunities to practice and improve your English and building contacts with local business owners.

Scholarships – The Australian Government is working on the “Destination Australia Program” – an initiative aimed at providing financial support to domestic and international students choosing to study in a regional area. This program will provide 4,720 scholarships of up to $15,000 per year to students enrolled at an approved tertiary education provider studying a Certificate IV to a PhD. Scholarships will commence from Semester 1, 2020.

Migration to Australia: If your long-term goal is to become an Australian permanent resident, studying in a regional area may provide you with more visa options and more points (if you hope to apply for a points tested skilled visa). A number of new regional skilled visas will be introduced in November 2019.

The government has also indicated that for students studying in regional areas, a 2-year temporary graduate visa could soon become a 3-year temporary graduate visa. How cool would that be?

Courses in regional Western Australia

South Regional  TAFE –

Albany:

Information Technology

  • Certificate III and III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
  • Certificate IV and Diploma of Information Technology

Bunbury:

Nursing

  • Diploma of Nursing

Children and Community services

  • Certificate III of Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Commercial Cookery and hospitality

  • Certificate III and Certificate IV in Commercial Cookery
  • Certificate III in Patisserie
  • Certificate IV and Diploma of Hospitality

Margaret River:

  • Commercial cookery pathway (cert III, cert IV and diploma of Hospitality management)
  • Certificate III in Wine Industry Operations

Central Regional  TAFE

Geraldton:

Children and Community Services

  • Certificate IV and Diploma in Community services
  • Certificate IV in Youth Work
  • Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care

Hospitality

  • Certificate III in commercial cookery or patisserie
  • Certificate IV in hospitality

Information technology and Digital Multimedia

  • Information Technology and Digital Multimedia
  • Certificate IV and Diploma in Digital Media Technologies

Nursing

  • Diploma of Nursing

Science and Environmental Studies

  • Certificate II, Certificate III and Diploma of Aquaculture
  • Certificate II and III in Fishing Operations
  • Certificate IV and Diploma in Environmental Monitoring and Technology

Higher Education (University) in Bunbury – areas of study include:

  • Bachelor of Education (Primary)
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor Science (Nursing)
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Health Science

If you would like more information on the enrolment and student visa application process, contact us today for an appointment or call us on +61 9429 8860.

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EasiVisa by Carol-ann Lynch - 1M ago

Australia is the world’s 6th biggest country!

When you live in a big country, getting around can be quite challenging … unless of course you have a car! Australians depend on their motor vehicles and so there is plenty of work for motor mechanics. In some parts of Australia we have an acute shortage of motor mechanics.

Trucks, mining vehicles, drilling rigs, cars and motorbikes are all very common in Australia. Australian mechanics can’t keep up with the demand this is why Australia needs skilled trades people to migrate and work in Australia. Motor mechanics are protected by work rights and are paid well for their work. The average mechanic salary is $65,483 per year. Top end mechanics can earn $150,000 or more.

If you are a mechanic you may be able to apply for a visa to live and work in Australia. Motorcycle mechanics, diesel mechanics, heavy-duty diesel mechanics, light engine mechanics and auto mechanics are all sought after skills. Motor mechanic is on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List, which can open multiple opportunities for migrating to Australia.

Most mechanic occupations will have a level of skill equivalent to the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) Certificate III including at least two years of on the job training, or AQF Certificate IV (ANZSCO Skill Level 3).

Mechanics can apply for general skilled visas and employer sponsored visas. Lots of mechanics come to Australia as a backpacker (working holiday visa) and then decide to stay.

Mechanics applying for a permanent residence visa will usually need to undergo a rigorous skills assessment. The assessment can be a paper based assessment and/or a practical assessment. Each case is different and in some instances a skills assessment will not be required.

Australian permanent residents have access to many opportunities, including:

  • Medicare
  • Work rights in Australia
  • Entering and leaving the country freely
  • State education for their children
  • Getting a mortgage to buy a house
  • Applying for Australian citizenship after a qualifying period

On the day this Blog was published thousand of mechanic jobs were advertised online. One of Australia’s most popular online job sites is Seek. The following jobs are being advertised on Seek today:

  • 1,614 Motor Mechanic jobs
  • 1,624 Diesel Mechanic jobs
  • 1,314 Heavy Duty Diesel Mechanic jobs
  • 37 Motorcycle Mechanic jobs

That’s a lot of jobs and many of the companies advertising jobs online will offer sponsorship to good candidates. Some of those companies are our clients. If you are a qualified motor, diesel or HD mechanic and are investigating job and visa opportunities in Australia, why not organise a consultation with one of our team. We have great contacts and we are really good at what we do!

Book a consultation , give us a call on +61 8 9429 8860 or send an email to catherine.hoyle@easivisa.com .

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