Where is the Skilling Australian Fund levy going?


Since the 12 August 2018, businesses seeking to nominate a candidate under the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) 482 Visa, they are required to pay the mandatory Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) levy, in addition to the standard visa application fees. The amount the business needs to pay, depends on the type of visa and the annual turnover. The following fees are outlined below, in relation to a TSS Visa.

  • $1,200 per year if the annual turnover of the business is less than $10 million
  • $1,800 per year if the annual turnover is higher than $10 million

Example: for a four-year TSS visa, a business with an annual turnover over $10 million, would need to pay an additional $7,200 in fees.  

The SAF was introduced to address falling apprenticeship numbers across the country, however the underlying questions remains - have governments done enough to assist with the situation to date?

According to the Department of Employment’s website, the government has provided over $330 million to state and territory governments, which is aimed at supporting approximately 80,000 additional apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities. The National Partnership agreement which governs the allocation of funds, states the following industries will benefit from the program:

  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Health, Ageing, Community and Social Services
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Building & Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Digital Technologies

In terms of the delivery of the projects, priority will be provided to:

  • Trade apprenticeships
  • Rural and regional communities
  • Industries experiencing structural adjustments

Whilst there have been positive steps with the program, critics have voiced their concerns over the transparency of funds allocations, and timing of the overall program being signed with relevant states, considering 12 months has since lapsed since the implementation date.

Will there be changes to the program? According to clause E23 of the National Partnership agreement, an independent review will be completed approximately 12 months prior to its expiry, to assess whether changes will need to be implemented. If you or your business is interested with the results of the independent review, our team at Oz Migration will be able to produce findings, to assist businesses understand the actual real funding costs versus projections for various allocations & industries. 

To download the agreement, you are able to refer to the following weblink:

http://www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au/content/npa/skills/national-partnership/Skilling_Australians_Fund_NP.pdf

…………………………………..

Written by Robert Lu.

Robert is the Immigration Manager at Oz Migration Solutions. He has been working in the industry for the last 12 years, passionate about immigration and a believer in “Big Australia”.

MARN: 0848586

Should I Engage a Qualified Migration Agent?



Why would I use the services of a Migration Agent to apply for an Australian visa?

Is it possible to apply for a visa by myself?

The short answer is yes – it possible to submit your own visa application but the real question is, should you? To break it down to a more everyday example, it’s a bit like using an Accountant to assist with your tax return. You could do it yourself, but in most cases, the experienced professional will make the process easier, and give you a better chance of getting the best results. Here are five reasons to use a Migration Agent to assist with your visa application:

  1. Expertise: A good Migration Agent should be able to demonstrate broad experience in the immigration industry. They will use their expertise to make sure you are applying for the most appropriate visa type for your individual circumstances. They will then apply their skills and knowledge to ensure that your application has the best possible chance of being approved. If possible, ask around your contacts and see if anyone has a personal recommendation on which Migration Agent to use. Research the Migration Agent and the firm they work for, and read any reviews you can find. And of course, make sure you use an Agent with current MARA registration - more on this below.
  2. Time saving: Visa applications involve a mountain of paperwork, filling in forms and uploading of documents in specific formats. Migration Agents have processes in place to have this done efficiently on your behalf, and once you provide the documents and information they have asked for, they will do all the hard, time-consuming work on the preparation of your application and importantly, will ensure that it is as complete and accurate as possible.
  3. Changes and updates: The Department of Home Affairs constantly reviews and updates their visa processes, and has been known to announce major changes to some visa streams with little or no notice. A registered Migration Agent will be one of the first to know of any changes and will act quickly on your behalf if your matter is affected.
  4. Follow up and communication: Your Migration Agent should handle your case from your initial enquiry, right through until a decision is reached on your case. They should be in contact with you every step of the way and will explain any complex information such as visa conditions. If the Department of Home Affairs has additional questions about your application, they will also be able to guide you through this process.
  5. Trust and Accountability: It is important to be able to trust your Migration Agent completely. All registered Migration Agents in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct, must have appropriate insurance and must have proven their integrity as a fit and proper person to represent your immigration matter. For more information on the Code of Conduct, and to check that a Migration Agent is registered in Australia, visit www.mara.gov.au

At Oz Migration, all of our Migration Agents have over 10 years of post-qualification experience. Our team of specialists provide both individual and business services in the core areas of:

- Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visas (Subclass 482)
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) – Subclass 400 visas
- Permanent residency applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme -
- Subclass 186 visas (company supported)
- Permanent residency applications under Skilled Independent - Subclass 189
(non-company supported)
- Training – Subclass 407 visas
- Investor and Business Owner visas (high net worth individuals)
- Labour hire agreements (arrangements to allow your business to on-hire to third parties and unrelated entities)
- Partner, Parent and family-based visas

If you would like our team to undertake a visa assessment, please do not hesitate to contact our team at: info@ozmigration.net.au

……………………

Written by Caryn Spry.

Caryn is our Migration Co-ordinator, and has a wealth of experience in Human Resources/Global Mobility. Caryn has worked at Oz Migration for 3 years, and previously worked at a well-known global telecommunications company for over 10 years. 


Is migration a key driver to ensure economic prosperity?



The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has published a report which explores Australia’s migration program under the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) 482 Visa, and its predecessor the 457 visas. The report focuses on hot topics, statistical data and interesting facts surrounding the Australian migration program.

How is the report useful? It enables the public to increase their understanding of Australia’s visa system, and assists businesses by promoting predictability & sustainability for the Australian economy. The report also increases the program’s exposure to political settlement, during a time where there has been challenges from both state and federal governments.

Some of the interesting facts taken from the report include:

  • Overall, TSS/457 visa holders tend to earn more than their permanent skilled counterparts and the overall Australian population. 42% earn a salary of $78,000 to $156,000 or more, with the average salary being $95,000. The pragmatists amongst us, would conclude that these skilled migrants, not only increases competition/skills levels amongst the industry, however it also increases the overall salary levels, thus living standards etc. 
  • With an Australian workforce of 12.8 million (data taken from ABS as of June 2019), there is approximately 154,000 (as of March 2019) TSS/457 visa holders. This figure represents less than 1% of the Australian workforce. Two-thirds of these visa holders reside in Sydney & Melbourne, and the top three citizenships are from the United Kingdom, India and the Philippines.
  • Skills shortages remain evident within key sectors. By way of example, CEDA’s research indicates Australia will need 18,000 more Cyber Security Specialists by 2026, when Australia only produces 500 graduates a year. This raises questions, whether segments of the program should be implemented using an individualistic approach, versus collectivism.

Overall, the report is a great read. It provides extrinsic motivations towards shaping Australia’s migration program, and addresses localised insecurities through transparency and non-sensationalism.

To download the full report, please visit:

https://www.ceda.com.au/Research-and-policy/All-CEDA-research/Research-catalogue/Effects-of-temporary-migration

………………………………………………

Written by Robert Lu.

Robert is the Immigration Manager at Oz Migration Solutions. He has been working in the industry for the last 12 years, passionate about immigration and a true believer in “Big Australia”.

MARN: 0848586


Are you ready for Flying Cars...??


Uber unveils its vision for urban transport as a flying car to hit Melbourne city within 4 years. Uber announced Melbourne as one of its testing cities in 2023 along with Dallas and Los Angeles.

The Victorian and the Australian governments have supported Uber for its urban transport vision.  Also, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will be responsible for the approval at different stages. Though for those hoping for a curbside helicopter service will be disappointed. The service will be operated through Uber application but will have designated stations called ‘Skyports’, to take off and land.

Uber calls the concept as ‘Aerial Ride-sharing’. Yet, many of the specifics including the design or the crafts on how would it be piloted is yet to be finalised.

The future of Urban Transport?

Under the plan, vertical take-off and landing vehicles would be based in stations at Melbourne, which will offer the customers an alternative to travel across the city or to the airports.

Eric Allison, the global boss of Uber’s Elevate program says that the 19-kilometre drive from Melbourne Airport to CBD will take no more than 10 minutes using the flying car service.

Will this airport ease boost Tourism?

Airport is one of the main stations where the technology will attract. This will definitely boost the Australian tourism, says Chris De Gruyter, the vice-chancellor in ‘Centre for Urban Research’ at RMIT, Melbourne.

But, Uber will need a place to park somewhere, take-off and land their flying cars, which either will be a roof or a carpark of a mall or a designated zone at the airport, which we say can cause trouble and traffic or the commuters. As for the noise, Uber says the flying cars would be at-least 32 times quieter than the usual helicopters.

So, we ask you how excited are you for flying cars to come on board? And what do you think about the concept? Let us know on the comments below.

Let's talk about Single Touch Payroll... And its Benefits..!?



Single Touch Payroll has been in the pipeline for a few years now but it is recently that the ATO has made it mandatory for the SMEs to adopt. Usually, businesses report the payroll only once a year to the ATO, whereas now they would be required to do so after each pay day in a digital format while using a specific arrangement called Standard Business Reporting (SBR). This move by ATO signifies to make the Australian tax system smarter, more automated and more efficient.

The Benefits to the Employer:

For employers like you, once the changes are applied and understood, there are several advantages under the new system:

  • Once the STP is fully online, you will no longer need to provide annual pay (PAYG) summaries to your employees. You will not have to prepare the annual reconciliation to the ATO. This will reduce your administration and compliance overhead.
  • The STP data that you provide will allow the ATO to pre-fill the BAS PAYG amount maintaining that element accurately from your behalf.
  • You no longer would need to provide a payment summary to your employees. The ATO will make it available for them at myGov, so they can access it easily anytime anywhere. This increased visibility will give your employees more insight of their own for their tax positions.

However, make sure there are no mistakes while providing the information through STP as it would be difficult to change. Adjustments could be done at the end of the year but it will be very easy for the ATO to track them now.

Be aware that the Payroll is linked to Payroll tax which is also linked to Worker’s Compensation insurance. Hence, be prepared for Audits from any of these departments as they talk to one another automatically.

The Benefits to the Employee:

For employees like you, in terms of visibility of pay, tax and super, life just got easier.

  • The ATO will update the total year to date salary (YTD) of an employee on its myGov portal each and every time of their pay. It will also show the PAYG withholding amounts and super guarantee contributions as they accumulate. This means the employees will have more access to their pay and taxes in a timelier manner, plus they can check if their Super is being paid correctly.
  • New employees can complete TFN Declarations and Super choice nominations online for a more streamlined digital process.
  • With Single Touch Payroll being adopted, the ATO will be able to pre-fill BAS for employers. This would reduce the potential of human error and double handling.
  • The ATO will automatically track all the figures taken from the STP submissions and make them available on their myGov portal. This means the employees can access their payment information directly, hence, they won’t have to generate and distribute payment summaries saving their time and money at a crucial time- end of financial year.

However, make sure your pay is correct every time. Check with your Pay Advisor.

Let's talk about the increase in Australian Visa application fees..


The Department of Home Affairs specifies the increased Visa Application Charges (VAC) for the majority of visas with the exception of the Subclass 600 Visitor visa.

The upsurges reflect a 2.25% CPI increase published in the 2019/20 Budget Paper No 1 AND the 5.4% increase announced in the Visa Application Charge (VAC)- Uplift announced as a part of the 2019/20 Federal Budget, a total of 7.65% increase.

These VAC increases take effect from 1 July 2019, except those for the new Skilled Regional visas which will come into effect with these new subclasses on 16 November 2019.

Below is the list of the most common visa application types along-with the new fees.

Subclass Visa Type Application Fee Primary Applicant Application Fee Secondary Applicant 18 and over Application Fee Secondary Applicant under 18
482 Short-term stream $1,265 (increased by $90) $1,265 $320
482 Medium term stream $2,645 (increased by $190) $2,645 $660
482 Labour Agreement Stream $2,645 (increased by $190) $2,645 $660
400 Temporary Work Short Stay $310 (increased by $25) $310 $80
186 ENS Permanent Residence $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,010
190 Skilled Nominated PR $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,010
189 Skilled Independent PR $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,015
820/801 Partner $7,715 (increased by $555) $3,860 $1,935
600 Visitor $145 (increased by $5) n/a n/a
155 Resident Return Visa $405 (increased by $30) n/a n/a

 

Unchanged:

Nomination Fee for 482 visas (all streams) – $330
Nomination Fee for ENS PR – $540
Subsequent temporary application charge – $700

The above mentioned are all the fees/charges that go directly to the Government. On top of these fees are the Government Labour Market Testing (LMT) charges. Lastly, additional professional fees from the Migration Agents or Lawyers may apply.

If you have any further questions about Government Visa fees, please do not hesitate to contact us…

Let's talk Skilled Independant Visas (subclass 189): Top 5 Questions


 

 

(1)    Who is the 189 Visa for?

The Skilled Independent - Subclass 189 visa (commonly known as General Skilled Migration) is designed for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, the Australian government, or a family member living in Australia. If approved, you will be granted Australian permanent residence (PR), which would allow you to live, work and remain in Australia permanently.

 

(2)    What type of industries are listed to apply for the 189 Visa?

When you apply, you must express your intention to work within a particular skilled occupation.

The Australian government has a list of eligible occupations, many of which require post-secondary education or specialised technical training. The list does change, however eligible occupations at the moment includes: Health professionals; Engineers; Construction Managers; Architects; Physicians; Teachers; IT professionals; Social Workers; Mechanics; Welders; Carpenters; Electricians and others.

 

(3)    How do you apply and how many points do I need to obtain?

As part of the application process, you will initially need to submit an ‘expression of interest’ and wait for an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA).

In order to apply, you will also need to obtain at least 65 points. Points will be awarded to you, based on the following areas: 

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • years of relevant employment experience in Australia and overseas courses you have completed, and studies undertaken in Australia
  • skills from your spouse

 

Essentially, the higher number of points you will be able to achieve, will affect how quickly you will receive your invitation from DOHA.

 

(4)    Is there an age limit and English threshold for the 189 Visa?

You will need to be 45 years of age at the time of invitation, and you will need to have at least a ‘competent’ level of English. Evidence may include the following:

  • achieve the relevant score in an English test from an approved English language test provider. You must have undertaken the test, no more than 36 months before you are invited to apply for the 189 Visa.
  • you are a citizen of, and hold a valid passport from, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

Where applicants are over the age limit, Oz Migration will be able to assess whether you will be eligible for alternative pathways for PR. Other visa considerations may apply to business owners or investors who are able to invest/setup a business in Australia.

 

(5)    Why should I use a migration agent, oppose to applying myself?

At Oz Migration we consult with numerous clients where they have applied incorrectly themselves for the Subclass 189 visa, and lost thousands in fees for the same reasons. In many instances, they needed to restart their applications which meant waiting another 1-2 years. At Oz Migration Solutions, we have three dedicated Migration Agents, each with other 10 years industry experience. Our agents will be able to formulate a strategy to ensure you achieve the highest points available when applying, which will ultimately enable you to fast track your PR.

If you would like to pursue the Skilled Independent – Subclass 189 Visa, please contact our team to start the process. 

Let's talk Student Visas: Top 5 Questions


 

 

(1)    What are my work conditions on a Student Visa?

 

Generally, Student Visa holders are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight and without limitation when the course is no longer in session. E.g. during holiday periods.

 

(2)    What can I study on a Student Visa?

 

There is a wide range of areas which you are able to be trained, and in all kinds of courses in Australia on the student visa. To keep things simple, we will outline three main areas of studies:

 

  • University studies: these would include Degree programs, Masters, PhDs etc. You can study these programs in public or private universities, as well as private colleges.

 

  • Vocational Training: these courses are more practical-oriented than university studies, and some can be flexible, more affordable and to allow you time to work in many cases. Course outcomes includes Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diploma and covers professional based occupations, semi-professional and trades etc.

 

  • English Courses: these courses are able to be short tailored courses, to long term intensive programs.

 

(3)  Is my partner, child and family able to be included on my Student Visa?

 

It is possible to add a dependent family members on your Student Visa. Your spouse won’t need to study and he/she will also able to work – usually part-time jobs with a maximum of 40 hours every fortnight. Children will be permitted to attend appropriate schooling.

 

(4)    How can Oz Migration Solutions help with facilitating work rights?

 

We understand the living costs, and studying in Australia can be an expensive exercise requiring upfront payments. At Oz Migration Solutions, we would be able to provide guidance with selecting the most appropriate course, which would allow you to obtain a Graduate Visa once you complete your studies. The Graduate Visa would permit full time employment for up to 18 months to 4 years. This additional visa period with full time work rights, has proven effective with providing financial assistance, especially with the upfront fees paid during course completion. Hence, at Oz Migration we don’t simply apply for visas. We package our fees to provide advisory services - identifying the correct course and devising a strategy to apply for a work visa, and potentially permanent residency at a later date.   

 

(5)    Is it important to choose the right course of studies to apply for Permanent Residency later on?

 

We consult with many students who visit our office after course completion, because they aren’t able to obtain PR because they chose the wrong course – by this time it’s too late!

 

It is extremely important to choose the correct course, and develop a strategy to enable a pathway towards Permanent Residency. At Oz Migration Solutions, our agents track and monitor the occupations list for work visas/PR on a continuous basis. At Oz Migration Solutions, we have a team of three registered migration agents, and have devised successful plans for thousands of applicants who have since obtained permanent residence. Please contact our team and ask for Rob Lu using rob.lu@ozmigration.net.au to find out more. Rob Lu is a Migration/Visa Specialist with over 10 years of experience, who will be able to connect with you via phone/email to commence the eligibility process.

 

Business or Visitor..


The best business visa to obtain to come to Australia for general business, a visit or to look for employment is the subclass 601 visa. 

To make it easy to understand an ETA allows you to enter Australia for up to 3 months at a time as a tourist or a visitor on business purposes. 


Business visitor activities can include:  

- General business or employment queries

- investigating, negotiating and dealing with business contracts

- Tasks carried out as part of official government to government visits 

- Participating in conferences, meetings, seminars etc as long as you are not paid by the organisers for your participation


Before you apply, you need to know that if you are granted an ETA, any other visas that you do hold could be affected by this ETA. For current ETA holders the subclass 601 has replaced Electronic Travel Authority subclass (976), Electronic Travel Authority Business Entrant - Short Validity, subclass (977) and Electronic Travel Authority Business Entrant - Long Validity subclass (956).  

If you hold one of these previous ETA'S already then it will be valid until the expiry date you were given. If you apply for and are granted a new ETA the earlier one will end and the new one will be valid as soon as it has been granted. With your passport, if you plan to get a new passport, you should do this before you apply for your ETA. Your ETA is linked to the passport number you use in the application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. 

There is no cost for the ETA application, however, there is a service charge of AUD20 which applies for online applications only. 

Looking to stay longer than 3 months? 

If you are looking to stay longer than 3 months and wish to work there are other visas that may be more suitable for you. If you are 30 years or under the other visa to consider is the 417 or 462 working holiday visa. The 417 and 462 visas allow you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, work in Australia for up to six months with each employer, study for up to 4 months and leave/re-enter Australia for any number of times while the visa is still valid.

If you are looking for a more permanent work visa the 457 may also be another option for you to consider. A 457 visa allows you to work in Australia for up to 4 years, bring your family to work or study in Australia as often as you want, however please note that this is a sponsored visa which means that your employer must either become an approved sponsor or nominate you for a position. 

source:www.border.gov.au 


IT Specialists Migrating To Australia


We were recently asked what kind of problems IT specialists should expect when migrating to Australia. The below explanation can be applied not only to IT but across multiple industries when looking to migrate to Australia. Each case depends on your individual circumstances as well as your eligibility to obtain an Australian visa. 

The first step before making the move is to ensure that you are eligible to apply for a visa that will enable you to live and work in Australia.  Below are two options to consider: 

1)  Employer Sponsored Visa - This requires you to either be sponsored directly by the company who has offered you a job or through a surrogate employer or a contractor management company that has an on-hire agreement with the government to sponsor individuals with your skills


2)  General Skilled Migration Stream via SkillSelect - In order to apply, your occupation must be listed on Schedule 1 of the Consolidated Skills Occupation list, and you must also meet all other eligibility requirements https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Empl/skillselect 

The route you choose really depends on your visa eligibility as well as your future plans. You can also look at an app called MyMigrationAustralia, which allows you to asses whether you could be eligible for a 457 visa or Permanent Residency visa. 

Once you have determined the best  visa for your circumstances, you will need to find employment in Australia. Finding a job in Australia can be difficult for non-residents, especially if you don't get the right advice and help. 

If you are having difficulty, a company called Skills 2 Oz may be able to assist. They help job seekers from all around the world get jobs in Australia. Here you are not competing directly with Australian residents and you will find all the information you need to be prepared for the Australian market. They can also help you with advice and additional qualifications that will help you to succeed in the Australian job market. 

The employers that advertise jobs with Skills 2 Oz, offer a variety of jobs including temporary roles in Call Centers, Administration, Engineering, Construction and many more. 

Alternatively, these are some of the key website's to look for jobs in Australia... 

www.seek.com

www.careerone.com.au 

www.jobseeker.com.au

www.jobsearch.com.au 

www.mycareer.com.au    



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Oz Migration Blogs

Where is the Skilling Australian Fund levy going?


Since the 12 August 2018, businesses seeking to nominate a candidate under the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) 482 Visa, they are required to pay the mandatory Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) levy, in addition to the standard visa application fees. The amount the business needs to pay, depends on the type of visa and the annual turnover. The following fees are outlined below, in relation to a TSS Visa.

  • $1,200 per year if the annual turnover of the business is less than $10 million
  • $1,800 per year if the annual turnover is higher than $10 million

Example: for a four-year TSS visa, a business with an annual turnover over $10 million, would need to pay an additional $7,200 in fees.  

The SAF was introduced to address falling apprenticeship numbers across the country, however the underlying questions remains - have governments done enough to assist with the situation to date?

According to the Department of Employment’s website, the government has provided over $330 million to state and territory governments, which is aimed at supporting approximately 80,000 additional apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities. The National Partnership agreement which governs the allocation of funds, states the following industries will benefit from the program:

  • Tourism & Hospitality
  • Health, Ageing, Community and Social Services
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Building & Construction
  • Agriculture
  • Digital Technologies

In terms of the delivery of the projects, priority will be provided to:

  • Trade apprenticeships
  • Rural and regional communities
  • Industries experiencing structural adjustments

Whilst there have been positive steps with the program, critics have voiced their concerns over the transparency of funds allocations, and timing of the overall program being signed with relevant states, considering 12 months has since lapsed since the implementation date.

Will there be changes to the program? According to clause E23 of the National Partnership agreement, an independent review will be completed approximately 12 months prior to its expiry, to assess whether changes will need to be implemented. If you or your business is interested with the results of the independent review, our team at Oz Migration will be able to produce findings, to assist businesses understand the actual real funding costs versus projections for various allocations & industries. 

To download the agreement, you are able to refer to the following weblink:

http://www.federalfinancialrelations.gov.au/content/npa/skills/national-partnership/Skilling_Australians_Fund_NP.pdf

…………………………………..

Written by Robert Lu.

Robert is the Immigration Manager at Oz Migration Solutions. He has been working in the industry for the last 12 years, passionate about immigration and a believer in “Big Australia”.

MARN: 0848586

Should I Engage a Qualified Migration Agent?



Why would I use the services of a Migration Agent to apply for an Australian visa?

Is it possible to apply for a visa by myself?

The short answer is yes – it possible to submit your own visa application but the real question is, should you? To break it down to a more everyday example, it’s a bit like using an Accountant to assist with your tax return. You could do it yourself, but in most cases, the experienced professional will make the process easier, and give you a better chance of getting the best results. Here are five reasons to use a Migration Agent to assist with your visa application:

  1. Expertise: A good Migration Agent should be able to demonstrate broad experience in the immigration industry. They will use their expertise to make sure you are applying for the most appropriate visa type for your individual circumstances. They will then apply their skills and knowledge to ensure that your application has the best possible chance of being approved. If possible, ask around your contacts and see if anyone has a personal recommendation on which Migration Agent to use. Research the Migration Agent and the firm they work for, and read any reviews you can find. And of course, make sure you use an Agent with current MARA registration - more on this below.
  2. Time saving: Visa applications involve a mountain of paperwork, filling in forms and uploading of documents in specific formats. Migration Agents have processes in place to have this done efficiently on your behalf, and once you provide the documents and information they have asked for, they will do all the hard, time-consuming work on the preparation of your application and importantly, will ensure that it is as complete and accurate as possible.
  3. Changes and updates: The Department of Home Affairs constantly reviews and updates their visa processes, and has been known to announce major changes to some visa streams with little or no notice. A registered Migration Agent will be one of the first to know of any changes and will act quickly on your behalf if your matter is affected.
  4. Follow up and communication: Your Migration Agent should handle your case from your initial enquiry, right through until a decision is reached on your case. They should be in contact with you every step of the way and will explain any complex information such as visa conditions. If the Department of Home Affairs has additional questions about your application, they will also be able to guide you through this process.
  5. Trust and Accountability: It is important to be able to trust your Migration Agent completely. All registered Migration Agents in Australia are bound by the Code of Conduct, must have appropriate insurance and must have proven their integrity as a fit and proper person to represent your immigration matter. For more information on the Code of Conduct, and to check that a Migration Agent is registered in Australia, visit www.mara.gov.au

At Oz Migration, all of our Migration Agents have over 10 years of post-qualification experience. Our team of specialists provide both individual and business services in the core areas of:

- Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visas (Subclass 482)
- Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) – Subclass 400 visas
- Permanent residency applications under the Employer Nomination Scheme -
- Subclass 186 visas (company supported)
- Permanent residency applications under Skilled Independent - Subclass 189
(non-company supported)
- Training – Subclass 407 visas
- Investor and Business Owner visas (high net worth individuals)
- Labour hire agreements (arrangements to allow your business to on-hire to third parties and unrelated entities)
- Partner, Parent and family-based visas

If you would like our team to undertake a visa assessment, please do not hesitate to contact our team at: info@ozmigration.net.au

……………………

Written by Caryn Spry.

Caryn is our Migration Co-ordinator, and has a wealth of experience in Human Resources/Global Mobility. Caryn has worked at Oz Migration for 3 years, and previously worked at a well-known global telecommunications company for over 10 years. 


Is migration a key driver to ensure economic prosperity?



The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has published a report which explores Australia’s migration program under the Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) 482 Visa, and its predecessor the 457 visas. The report focuses on hot topics, statistical data and interesting facts surrounding the Australian migration program.

How is the report useful? It enables the public to increase their understanding of Australia’s visa system, and assists businesses by promoting predictability & sustainability for the Australian economy. The report also increases the program’s exposure to political settlement, during a time where there has been challenges from both state and federal governments.

Some of the interesting facts taken from the report include:

  • Overall, TSS/457 visa holders tend to earn more than their permanent skilled counterparts and the overall Australian population. 42% earn a salary of $78,000 to $156,000 or more, with the average salary being $95,000. The pragmatists amongst us, would conclude that these skilled migrants, not only increases competition/skills levels amongst the industry, however it also increases the overall salary levels, thus living standards etc. 
  • With an Australian workforce of 12.8 million (data taken from ABS as of June 2019), there is approximately 154,000 (as of March 2019) TSS/457 visa holders. This figure represents less than 1% of the Australian workforce. Two-thirds of these visa holders reside in Sydney & Melbourne, and the top three citizenships are from the United Kingdom, India and the Philippines.
  • Skills shortages remain evident within key sectors. By way of example, CEDA’s research indicates Australia will need 18,000 more Cyber Security Specialists by 2026, when Australia only produces 500 graduates a year. This raises questions, whether segments of the program should be implemented using an individualistic approach, versus collectivism.

Overall, the report is a great read. It provides extrinsic motivations towards shaping Australia’s migration program, and addresses localised insecurities through transparency and non-sensationalism.

To download the full report, please visit:

https://www.ceda.com.au/Research-and-policy/All-CEDA-research/Research-catalogue/Effects-of-temporary-migration

………………………………………………

Written by Robert Lu.

Robert is the Immigration Manager at Oz Migration Solutions. He has been working in the industry for the last 12 years, passionate about immigration and a true believer in “Big Australia”.

MARN: 0848586


Are you ready for Flying Cars...??


Uber unveils its vision for urban transport as a flying car to hit Melbourne city within 4 years. Uber announced Melbourne as one of its testing cities in 2023 along with Dallas and Los Angeles.

The Victorian and the Australian governments have supported Uber for its urban transport vision.  Also, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) will be responsible for the approval at different stages. Though for those hoping for a curbside helicopter service will be disappointed. The service will be operated through Uber application but will have designated stations called ‘Skyports’, to take off and land.

Uber calls the concept as ‘Aerial Ride-sharing’. Yet, many of the specifics including the design or the crafts on how would it be piloted is yet to be finalised.

The future of Urban Transport?

Under the plan, vertical take-off and landing vehicles would be based in stations at Melbourne, which will offer the customers an alternative to travel across the city or to the airports.

Eric Allison, the global boss of Uber’s Elevate program says that the 19-kilometre drive from Melbourne Airport to CBD will take no more than 10 minutes using the flying car service.

Will this airport ease boost Tourism?

Airport is one of the main stations where the technology will attract. This will definitely boost the Australian tourism, says Chris De Gruyter, the vice-chancellor in ‘Centre for Urban Research’ at RMIT, Melbourne.

But, Uber will need a place to park somewhere, take-off and land their flying cars, which either will be a roof or a carpark of a mall or a designated zone at the airport, which we say can cause trouble and traffic or the commuters. As for the noise, Uber says the flying cars would be at-least 32 times quieter than the usual helicopters.

So, we ask you how excited are you for flying cars to come on board? And what do you think about the concept? Let us know on the comments below.

Let's talk about Single Touch Payroll... And its Benefits..!?



Single Touch Payroll has been in the pipeline for a few years now but it is recently that the ATO has made it mandatory for the SMEs to adopt. Usually, businesses report the payroll only once a year to the ATO, whereas now they would be required to do so after each pay day in a digital format while using a specific arrangement called Standard Business Reporting (SBR). This move by ATO signifies to make the Australian tax system smarter, more automated and more efficient.

The Benefits to the Employer:

For employers like you, once the changes are applied and understood, there are several advantages under the new system:

  • Once the STP is fully online, you will no longer need to provide annual pay (PAYG) summaries to your employees. You will not have to prepare the annual reconciliation to the ATO. This will reduce your administration and compliance overhead.
  • The STP data that you provide will allow the ATO to pre-fill the BAS PAYG amount maintaining that element accurately from your behalf.
  • You no longer would need to provide a payment summary to your employees. The ATO will make it available for them at myGov, so they can access it easily anytime anywhere. This increased visibility will give your employees more insight of their own for their tax positions.

However, make sure there are no mistakes while providing the information through STP as it would be difficult to change. Adjustments could be done at the end of the year but it will be very easy for the ATO to track them now.

Be aware that the Payroll is linked to Payroll tax which is also linked to Worker’s Compensation insurance. Hence, be prepared for Audits from any of these departments as they talk to one another automatically.

The Benefits to the Employee:

For employees like you, in terms of visibility of pay, tax and super, life just got easier.

  • The ATO will update the total year to date salary (YTD) of an employee on its myGov portal each and every time of their pay. It will also show the PAYG withholding amounts and super guarantee contributions as they accumulate. This means the employees will have more access to their pay and taxes in a timelier manner, plus they can check if their Super is being paid correctly.
  • New employees can complete TFN Declarations and Super choice nominations online for a more streamlined digital process.
  • With Single Touch Payroll being adopted, the ATO will be able to pre-fill BAS for employers. This would reduce the potential of human error and double handling.
  • The ATO will automatically track all the figures taken from the STP submissions and make them available on their myGov portal. This means the employees can access their payment information directly, hence, they won’t have to generate and distribute payment summaries saving their time and money at a crucial time- end of financial year.

However, make sure your pay is correct every time. Check with your Pay Advisor.

Let's talk about the increase in Australian Visa application fees..


The Department of Home Affairs specifies the increased Visa Application Charges (VAC) for the majority of visas with the exception of the Subclass 600 Visitor visa.

The upsurges reflect a 2.25% CPI increase published in the 2019/20 Budget Paper No 1 AND the 5.4% increase announced in the Visa Application Charge (VAC)- Uplift announced as a part of the 2019/20 Federal Budget, a total of 7.65% increase.

These VAC increases take effect from 1 July 2019, except those for the new Skilled Regional visas which will come into effect with these new subclasses on 16 November 2019.

Below is the list of the most common visa application types along-with the new fees.

Subclass Visa Type Application Fee Primary Applicant Application Fee Secondary Applicant 18 and over Application Fee Secondary Applicant under 18
482 Short-term stream $1,265 (increased by $90) $1,265 $320
482 Medium term stream $2,645 (increased by $190) $2,645 $660
482 Labour Agreement Stream $2,645 (increased by $190) $2,645 $660
400 Temporary Work Short Stay $310 (increased by $25) $310 $80
186 ENS Permanent Residence $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,010
190 Skilled Nominated PR $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,010
189 Skilled Independent PR $4,045 (increased by $290) $2,025 $1,015
820/801 Partner $7,715 (increased by $555) $3,860 $1,935
600 Visitor $145 (increased by $5) n/a n/a
155 Resident Return Visa $405 (increased by $30) n/a n/a

 

Unchanged:

Nomination Fee for 482 visas (all streams) – $330
Nomination Fee for ENS PR – $540
Subsequent temporary application charge – $700

The above mentioned are all the fees/charges that go directly to the Government. On top of these fees are the Government Labour Market Testing (LMT) charges. Lastly, additional professional fees from the Migration Agents or Lawyers may apply.

If you have any further questions about Government Visa fees, please do not hesitate to contact us…

Let's talk Skilled Independant Visas (subclass 189): Top 5 Questions


 

 

(1)    Who is the 189 Visa for?

The Skilled Independent - Subclass 189 visa (commonly known as General Skilled Migration) is designed for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, the Australian government, or a family member living in Australia. If approved, you will be granted Australian permanent residence (PR), which would allow you to live, work and remain in Australia permanently.

 

(2)    What type of industries are listed to apply for the 189 Visa?

When you apply, you must express your intention to work within a particular skilled occupation.

The Australian government has a list of eligible occupations, many of which require post-secondary education or specialised technical training. The list does change, however eligible occupations at the moment includes: Health professionals; Engineers; Construction Managers; Architects; Physicians; Teachers; IT professionals; Social Workers; Mechanics; Welders; Carpenters; Electricians and others.

 

(3)    How do you apply and how many points do I need to obtain?

As part of the application process, you will initially need to submit an ‘expression of interest’ and wait for an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA).

In order to apply, you will also need to obtain at least 65 points. Points will be awarded to you, based on the following areas: 

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • years of relevant employment experience in Australia and overseas courses you have completed, and studies undertaken in Australia
  • skills from your spouse

 

Essentially, the higher number of points you will be able to achieve, will affect how quickly you will receive your invitation from DOHA.

 

(4)    Is there an age limit and English threshold for the 189 Visa?

You will need to be 45 years of age at the time of invitation, and you will need to have at least a ‘competent’ level of English. Evidence may include the following:

  • achieve the relevant score in an English test from an approved English language test provider. You must have undertaken the test, no more than 36 months before you are invited to apply for the 189 Visa.
  • you are a citizen of, and hold a valid passport from, Canada, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, or the United States.

Where applicants are over the age limit, Oz Migration will be able to assess whether you will be eligible for alternative pathways for PR. Other visa considerations may apply to business owners or investors who are able to invest/setup a business in Australia.

 

(5)    Why should I use a migration agent, oppose to applying myself?

At Oz Migration we consult with numerous clients where they have applied incorrectly themselves for the Subclass 189 visa, and lost thousands in fees for the same reasons. In many instances, they needed to restart their applications which meant waiting another 1-2 years. At Oz Migration Solutions, we have three dedicated Migration Agents, each with other 10 years industry experience. Our agents will be able to formulate a strategy to ensure you achieve the highest points available when applying, which will ultimately enable you to fast track your PR.

If you would like to pursue the Skilled Independent – Subclass 189 Visa, please contact our team to start the process. 

Let's talk Student Visas: Top 5 Questions


 

 

(1)    What are my work conditions on a Student Visa?

 

Generally, Student Visa holders are allowed to work 40 hours per fortnight and without limitation when the course is no longer in session. E.g. during holiday periods.

 

(2)    What can I study on a Student Visa?

 

There is a wide range of areas which you are able to be trained, and in all kinds of courses in Australia on the student visa. To keep things simple, we will outline three main areas of studies:

 

  • University studies: these would include Degree programs, Masters, PhDs etc. You can study these programs in public or private universities, as well as private colleges.

 

  • Vocational Training: these courses are more practical-oriented than university studies, and some can be flexible, more affordable and to allow you time to work in many cases. Course outcomes includes Certificates, Diplomas, Advanced Diploma and covers professional based occupations, semi-professional and trades etc.

 

  • English Courses: these courses are able to be short tailored courses, to long term intensive programs.

 

(3)  Is my partner, child and family able to be included on my Student Visa?

 

It is possible to add a dependent family members on your Student Visa. Your spouse won’t need to study and he/she will also able to work – usually part-time jobs with a maximum of 40 hours every fortnight. Children will be permitted to attend appropriate schooling.

 

(4)    How can Oz Migration Solutions help with facilitating work rights?

 

We understand the living costs, and studying in Australia can be an expensive exercise requiring upfront payments. At Oz Migration Solutions, we would be able to provide guidance with selecting the most appropriate course, which would allow you to obtain a Graduate Visa once you complete your studies. The Graduate Visa would permit full time employment for up to 18 months to 4 years. This additional visa period with full time work rights, has proven effective with providing financial assistance, especially with the upfront fees paid during course completion. Hence, at Oz Migration we don’t simply apply for visas. We package our fees to provide advisory services - identifying the correct course and devising a strategy to apply for a work visa, and potentially permanent residency at a later date.   

 

(5)    Is it important to choose the right course of studies to apply for Permanent Residency later on?

 

We consult with many students who visit our office after course completion, because they aren’t able to obtain PR because they chose the wrong course – by this time it’s too late!

 

It is extremely important to choose the correct course, and develop a strategy to enable a pathway towards Permanent Residency. At Oz Migration Solutions, our agents track and monitor the occupations list for work visas/PR on a continuous basis. At Oz Migration Solutions, we have a team of three registered migration agents, and have devised successful plans for thousands of applicants who have since obtained permanent residence. Please contact our team and ask for Rob Lu using rob.lu@ozmigration.net.au to find out more. Rob Lu is a Migration/Visa Specialist with over 10 years of experience, who will be able to connect with you via phone/email to commence the eligibility process.

 

Business or Visitor..


The best business visa to obtain to come to Australia for general business, a visit or to look for employment is the subclass 601 visa. 

To make it easy to understand an ETA allows you to enter Australia for up to 3 months at a time as a tourist or a visitor on business purposes. 


Business visitor activities can include:  

- General business or employment queries

- investigating, negotiating and dealing with business contracts

- Tasks carried out as part of official government to government visits 

- Participating in conferences, meetings, seminars etc as long as you are not paid by the organisers for your participation


Before you apply, you need to know that if you are granted an ETA, any other visas that you do hold could be affected by this ETA. For current ETA holders the subclass 601 has replaced Electronic Travel Authority subclass (976), Electronic Travel Authority Business Entrant - Short Validity, subclass (977) and Electronic Travel Authority Business Entrant - Long Validity subclass (956).  

If you hold one of these previous ETA'S already then it will be valid until the expiry date you were given. If you apply for and are granted a new ETA the earlier one will end and the new one will be valid as soon as it has been granted. With your passport, if you plan to get a new passport, you should do this before you apply for your ETA. Your ETA is linked to the passport number you use in the application and you must use the same passport to travel to Australia. 

There is no cost for the ETA application, however, there is a service charge of AUD20 which applies for online applications only. 

Looking to stay longer than 3 months? 

If you are looking to stay longer than 3 months and wish to work there are other visas that may be more suitable for you. If you are 30 years or under the other visa to consider is the 417 or 462 working holiday visa. The 417 and 462 visas allow you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months, work in Australia for up to six months with each employer, study for up to 4 months and leave/re-enter Australia for any number of times while the visa is still valid.

If you are looking for a more permanent work visa the 457 may also be another option for you to consider. A 457 visa allows you to work in Australia for up to 4 years, bring your family to work or study in Australia as often as you want, however please note that this is a sponsored visa which means that your employer must either become an approved sponsor or nominate you for a position. 

source:www.border.gov.au 


IT Specialists Migrating To Australia


We were recently asked what kind of problems IT specialists should expect when migrating to Australia. The below explanation can be applied not only to IT but across multiple industries when looking to migrate to Australia. Each case depends on your individual circumstances as well as your eligibility to obtain an Australian visa. 

The first step before making the move is to ensure that you are eligible to apply for a visa that will enable you to live and work in Australia.  Below are two options to consider: 

1)  Employer Sponsored Visa - This requires you to either be sponsored directly by the company who has offered you a job or through a surrogate employer or a contractor management company that has an on-hire agreement with the government to sponsor individuals with your skills


2)  General Skilled Migration Stream via SkillSelect - In order to apply, your occupation must be listed on Schedule 1 of the Consolidated Skills Occupation list, and you must also meet all other eligibility requirements https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Empl/skillselect 

The route you choose really depends on your visa eligibility as well as your future plans. You can also look at an app called MyMigrationAustralia, which allows you to asses whether you could be eligible for a 457 visa or Permanent Residency visa. 

Once you have determined the best  visa for your circumstances, you will need to find employment in Australia. Finding a job in Australia can be difficult for non-residents, especially if you don't get the right advice and help. 

If you are having difficulty, a company called Skills 2 Oz may be able to assist. They help job seekers from all around the world get jobs in Australia. Here you are not competing directly with Australian residents and you will find all the information you need to be prepared for the Australian market. They can also help you with advice and additional qualifications that will help you to succeed in the Australian job market. 

The employers that advertise jobs with Skills 2 Oz, offer a variety of jobs including temporary roles in Call Centers, Administration, Engineering, Construction and many more. 

Alternatively, these are some of the key website's to look for jobs in Australia... 

www.seek.com

www.careerone.com.au 

www.jobseeker.com.au

www.jobsearch.com.au 

www.mycareer.com.au