Celebrating Australian citizenship history with a modern twist (DIBP 28th January 2014)
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection today launched a yearlong social media campaign to kick of the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship, highlighting the unique stories of those who have recently become Australians.
More than 4.5 million people have become Australian citizens over the past 65 years, with a record 17 863 people set to officially become Aussies on Australia Day.
A spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said the social media campaign would both share journeys of those who have adopted Australia in the past 65 years and focus on those taking the final step in their migrant journey.
UNIS WELCOME RISE IN FOREIGN STUDENTS (Nine News 14th January 2014)
Universities have welcomed a surge in the number of overseas students seeking to come to Australia.
Total student visa lodgements rose by 7.1 per cent in the September quarter, making it the highest period for lodgements in the past four years, new immigration department figures show.
The rate of visas being granted also rose by 13.6 per cent in the quarter compared with the same period in the previous year.
At the end of September 2013 there were 346,965 international student visa holders in Australia - almost a quarter of whom were from China and 10 per cent from India.
The impact of adverse publicity over attacks on Indian students appears to have waned, with offshore grants of visas to Indian applicants rising by almost 160 per cent in the quarter compared with September 2012.
Greg Evans, from Universities Australia, said a recovery in the sector was under way.
"There is potential for Australia to reach the high international student numbers experienced before the sector was hit by the combined negative impact of changed visa conditions, concerns over safety and an elevated currency," Mr Evans said.
He said it was also encouraging that the rises were coming from a diversity of nations such as Nepal, India, Vietnam and China.
"The more diverse our international student base, the less risk that this growth carries - which means a stronger, more stable international education industry," Mr Evans said.
Given the trends in the latest data it was possible student numbers could return to the more buoyant levels of pre-2010, he said.
More streamlined visa conditions and regulations and the effort of universities to make universities more responsive and attractive were some of the reasons behind the surge.
URGENT NEED TO BOOST IMMIGRATION TO 220,000 (Migration Alliance 13th January 2014)
Australia’s productivity is steadily slipping down and will continue to do so if skilled migration numbers are not increased quickly.
The current migration intake of 190,000 a year is not enough to sustain productivity, says the Australian Industry Group (AIG). It says that Australia needs a steady increase in migration intake every year with an emphasis on skilled migration in order to meet current and future skills shortages.
IMMIGRATION REVISIT SOUTH-WEST NSW (DIBP, 6th December 2013)
Immigration officers will visit Griffith in south-west New South Wales on December 12, to provide immigration information to people who have overstayed their visas.
A Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) spokesman said the Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS) outreach program enables people in regional communities, who do not have a valid Australian visa or are on a bridging visa, to talk with immigration officers about specific issues they might be facing.
“Where appropriate, officers will also be able to grant a short-term bridging visa to people while they work through their immigration matter,” the spokesman said.
“The department is committed to ensuring the integrity of this country’s migration and visa programs.
“People must have a valid visa to remain in Australia.”
In April, immigration officers visited Griffith to conduct seminars explaining new laws and penalties for employing or referring people who are not allowed to work.
WARNING TO AVOID UNAUTHORISED DEPARTMENTAL WEBSITE (DIBP, 22nd November 2013)
Be careful when researching Australian Viasa
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) today warned web users to be aware of an unauthorised website posing as an official departmental site.
The website, 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 atwww.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.
ARRIVE BY BOAT, YOU WONT SETTLE IN AUSTRALIA (DIBP, 19th July 2013)
If you come here by boat without a visa you won't be settled in Australia.
Australia's migration policy has changed. From 19 July 2013 if you travel to Australia by boat with no visa, you will not be settled here. You will be sent to Papua New Guinea for processing. If found to be a refugee, you'll be settled in Papua New Guinea, or another participating regional state, not Australia. This includes women and children. These changes have been introduced to stop people smugglers and stop further loss of life at sea.
If you are not found to be in need of protection, you will stay in Papua New Guinea until you can be sent to your home country.
There will be no cap on the number of people who can be transferred or resettled in Papua New Guinea.
Don't risk your family's safety. Don't waste your money.
Don't risk your life or waste your time or money by paying people smugglers. If you pay a people smuggler you are buying a ticket to another country.
Arriving in Australia by boat means:
being sent straight to Papua New Guinea for processing
being settled in Papua New Guinea, not Australia, even if you are found to be a refugee
not being reunited with family and friends in Australia.
1ST JULY IMMIGRATION LAW CHANGES
Many law changes were affected on 1st July 2013. A significant portion of these were retrospective, meaning the new law is applied to lodged but not yet approved applications as well as any new applications.
If you have been preparing to lodge a visa application, you will need to confirm your continued eligibility and any changed requirements under the new legislation.
A Registered Migration Agent can assist you with this and advise the most current up to date legislation for your situation.
NEW VISITOR VISA SYSTEM IS HERE
rd March 2013, many changes were made to the Australian Visitor Visa System. Several of the most popular visas have disappeared with new streamlined visas coming into effect. These changes will cut red tape and simplify the visa process for short term visitors.
To receive the latest update on this major amendment to Migration, please email or phone our office during business hours.
UPCOMING CHANGES TO TOURIST AND MEDICAL TREATMENT VISAS
From 23 March 2013 the government intends to introduce significant changes to the Visitor and Medical Treatment visas. These changes are subject to the approval of the Governor-General in Council.
Immigration will no longer be accepting new applications for the following visas:
Tourist visa (subclass 676)
Sponsored family visitor visa (subclass 679)
Business (short Stay) visa (Subclass 456)
Sponsored business visitor (short stay) visa (subclass 459)
Medical Treatment (short stay) visa (subclass 675)
Electronic Travel Authority (business – short validity) (subclass 977)
Electronic Travel Authority (business – long validity) (subclass 956).
Applicants who were previously eligible for the visas listed above may be eligible for one of the following five visa subclasses below.Temporary work (short stay activity) visa (subclass 400)Visitor visa (subclass 600)Electronic Travel Authority (subclass 601)Medical Treatment visa (subclass 602)eVisitor (subclass 651) Our Migration Agents will be able to assist you with these visas. Further details and requirements will be available after 23rd March 2013. Please feel free to email our office should you wish to apply for one of these visas listed above.
This is email is sent on behalf of Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. - Received 6th March 2013 ____________________________________________________________________
IT Security within DIAC has received a number of reports that an email has been sent to personal email addresses of several DIAC staff and some migration agents with an attachment that contains malicious content, more commonly known as 'malware'. The email, when received, has the appearance that it has been sent from DIAC.
The email will appear to have been sent from 'firstname.lastname@example.org' and the content of the email has information that appears to contain legitimate DIAC information such as phone numbers and links to the DIAC website.
If you have received this email, you should
- immediately delete the email, - not reply to the sender, - not forward the email and - not open the attachment. - reply o this email advising that you have received the spam email as this will assist DIAC in follow up investigations.
While DIAC is aware of these emails being distributed and have reported the incident to the appropriate authorities to assist with investigations, DIAC cannot control the source that is sending the emails.
Kind regards Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority
Temporary skilled migration
Skilled temporary residents make a significant contribution to the Australian workforce, bringing new ideas, international contacts and access to cutting edge technologies and business practices. These temporary residents come to Australia to undertake a variety of roles, for example as doctors, engineers, academics, researchers, entertainers and media personnel for overseas networks. Through working in these positions, they further Australia's economic relations in the context of an increasingly global workforce and they assist businesses to fill key and emerging skill gaps, particularly in regional areas.
By meeting specific skill needs in Australian businesses, skilled temporary residents help Australia to remain a strong competitor in the international market. The program also ensures a balance of benefits to Australia by protecting the employment and training opportunities of Australian workers. Many also help businesses train their Australian staff and open up opportunities for Australian workers.
Temporary economic visas, some offered under reciprocal arrangements and bilateral agreements with other countries, allow skilled workers from overseas to come to Australia and broaden their work experience and skills. Visa applicants are required to have the skills, qualifications, experience and employment background needed to perform their nominated position. They may also be required to demonstrate English language proficiency.
Sri Lanka test cricketers join in anti-people smuggling push
Two professional Sri Lankan cricketers have joined forces with the Gillard Government in a campaign to discourage asylum seekers taking dangerous boat journeys to Australia, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O'Connor announced today.
The campaign 'Don't be sorry' is targeted to reach ethnic communities whose members often encourage family to seek asylum on risky boat journeys with people smugglers.
High profile cricketers Lasith Malinga and Muttiah (Murali) Muralitharan signed on to the campaign, targeting the Iranian, Iraqi, Afghan and Sri Lankan diaspora in Australia.
The cricketers are part of a wider campaign in six languages using ethnic press, radio, TV and online platforms to reach the target audiences throughout Australia.
Malinga and Muralitharan recently completed their Big Bash League commitments in Australia, and agreed to help the campaign because of their concerns for countrymen, women and children who were dying at sea.
'If people want to consider travelling to Australia, our message is do it the right way; don't be sorry you didn't tell you friends and family to do it the right way,' Malinga said in his message.
'In recent years, hundreds of people have lost their lives making the journey to Australia by sea. If you want to travel, do it the right way, the safe way. Don't be sorry,' Muralitharan said in his message.
Mr O'Connor said this campaign asks diaspora communities to tell their family and friends about the increased humanitarian visa places, about the family migration option, and the risks involved travelling to Australia by boat.
'We want them to tell their family and friends the law has changed, which includes the no advantage principle whereby new arrivals are liable to be transferred to Nauru or Papua New Guinea, and be processed there no sooner than had they remained abroad and registered through the UNHCR.
'The lawful way is the right way and the safest way into Australia,' Mr O'Connor said.
The government will also be interacting at key ethnic community events, on social media and working directly with community leaders as part of its campaign.
URGENT WARNING: another scam – inform your clients!
25th January 2013 (Source: Migration Institute of Australia)
One of our Members has reported that the family in India of one of his Subclass 489 clients today received a telephone call at home from "someone" stating they were from Customs in Canberra and were calling to advise there is a discrepancy in his visa payment and that he will not be able to get back into Australia until the family pays money.
The scammer gave them a name “Rachel Morgan” and the number 1300558287 (which is the number for Australian Customs and Border Protection Service). Our Member has since called Customs and they have confirmed there is no one by the name of Rachel Morgan working there.
Australian Customs and border protection service advised that have received a number of complaints from Indian visa applicants saying they have received phone calls demanding money. One person that they know of has been stung and paid these people money today.
This latest scam, according to Customs, has just started today and is not yet listed on Scamwatch.
Members should consider alerting their clients to this scam by whatever means possible: emails, Facebook, etc.
The MIA has alerted DIAC which is now investigating this scam.
ENS / RSMS Processing Issues
22 October 2012 Source: Migration Institute of Australia
There is no immediate and instant solution to the ENS / RSMS processing issues caused by the huge number of pre-1 July 2012 applications combined with deficiencies of the new computer system.
DIAC has advised the MIA that though it is gradually getting on top of things with the employment of extra staff, it will still be some weeks before there will be real improvements.
The deficiencies in the computer system are such that much work has to be done manually, and this will remain so until a major IT upgrade happens towards the end of November. This is also the reason why the Decision Ready system has not been able to be properly maintained.
Becoming an Australian citizen
If Australia has become your home and you want to make it official in your documentation then you should consider the transition from migrant to citizen.
Generally speaking, if you are a permanent resident who has resided in Australia for the last four years, then you fall under the umbrella for eligibility. However, you must have held that permanent visa for the last 12 months.
The application process involves submitting a number of documents, including a proof of identity like a passport, and supporting papers that stipulate you haven't been convicted of any serious crimes.
Once you have completed all the necessary paperwork, the next stage will be to wait to hear back from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship. You will be summoned by a case worker for an interview or a test, depending on which applies to you. They will also verify your documents to make sure you haven't missed any important papers.
The test requires a pass rate of 75 per cent or more, which is at least 15 out of the 20 multiple-choice questions they ask. They refer to issues that affect how the country operates, from judicial to legislative, as well as Australian customs such as when the national day of celebration is.
Should you be successful, you will then attend a citizenship ceremony where you will complete your transformation to an Australian. These occasions usually occur within three months of being approved, however, this will depend upon where you live.
Becoming an Australian citizen entitles you to many rights and responsibilities including voting in elections and referendums, seeking assistance from Australian offices overseas, standing for public office and applying to work in public sector jobs such as the defence force.
Duties that citizens are obliged to carry out include serving on a jury if the situation presents itself, voting in referendums and elections, obeying the law and serving in the defence force if you are called to do so.
Migration is important to Australia's growing population, with multiculturalism playing a vital role in enhancing the nation's rich cultural background.
The country is known for welcoming in those who are looking to make a valuable contribution and positively impact upon the future.