New temporary Sponsored Parent visa to be available from April

Migrants who wish to bring their parents to Australia for longer periods will be able to lodge a sponsorship application to sponsor their parent for the much-debated new temporary Sponsored Parent visa from April 17th this year.

The legislation tied to this new visa which allows sponsors to bring their parents to Australia for longer periods was passed in November last year.

“Sponsors will be able to lodge an application to sponsor their parent from 17 April 2019,” Immigration Minister David Coleman announced.

Once a sponsorship application has been approved, a sponsored parent will be able to apply for a Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa. Applications for the visa are intended to open from 1 July 2019.
The Sponsored Parent (Temporary) subclass 870 visa provides parents and grandparents with a new pathway to reunite and spend time together through having the opportunity to visit Australia for a continuous period of up to five years.

There is also the opportunity to apply for a second visa for another five years after a short period outside Australia, meaning parents and grandparents will be able to spend up to 10 years in Australia.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the new visa the new visa will deliver great social benefits to families across Australia.

“Up to 15,000 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visas may be granted each year, ensuring reunions are possible for many families. This will make a big difference to many Australian families.”

Measures have been put in place to strengthen the visa framework, and require Australian sponsors to act as a financial guarantor for any outstanding public health costs incurred by the visa holder whilst in Australia, including hospital and aged care fees. This ensures taxpayers are not required to cover additional costs.
The new temporary Sponsored Parent visa being introduced by the government has disappointed certain members of the Indian community, who have said the new visa is ‘too expensive’.

The new parent visa will cost migrants $5000 for a three-year visa, $10,000 for a five-year visa and $20,000 for a ten-year visa.

Along with visa fees, children will have to bear the financial burden of healthcare for migrant parents, with sponsors legally required to act as a financial guarantor for any outstanding public health costs incurred by the visa holder.

Arvind Duggal, an Adelaide resident, who kick-started the ‘Long Stay Visa for Parents’ campaign that saw national participation before the federal elections, told SBS Hindi they will continue to fight for a fairer visa.

“Our fight to make it fairer and affordable to everyone in the community will continue regardless,” Mr Duggal told SBS Hindi.

https://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2019/03/01/new-temporary-sponsored-parent-visa-be-available-april?fbclid=IwAR24cEZTQy-Pt9O4Kz_BfcTtChLh7buqtovmr2h7sn0qiAkyzRBDXVHNImo

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The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn

AUSTRALIA 2070 NOMINATION FOR 482 VISA REFUSED PLUS 257 NOMINATION WITHDRAWN BETWEEN 14TH AUGUST 2018 TO 31ST DECEMBER 2018 UNDER STANDARD BUSINESS SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM BUT COLLECTED $ 7 MILLION AS LEVY FROM EMPLOYERS UNDER SKILLING AUSTRALIAN FUND WHICH IS NOT REFUNDABLE

The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn under a standard business sponsorship between 14 August 2018 and 31 December 2018, with a shocking 2324 failed applications over a 4-month period.

A recent Freedom of Information (FOI) report obtained by a colleague in NSW and shared by our peak membership association, the Migration Institute of Australia, implies a staggering $7 million dollars has potentially been taken by the Australian Government for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) nomination applications that went nowhere.

The FOI report shows the number of TSS nominations that have been refused or withdrawn under a standard business sponsorship between 14 August 2018 and 31 December 2018, with a shocking 2324 failed applications over a 4-month period.

This money has been generated via the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, a fee payable per applicant, per year of nomination, with an amount based on the turnover of the company (under or over $10 million per annum). Payments into the SAF are intended to be used to fund apprenticeships and traineeships in the vocational education sector in order to ‘boost the number of people who choose and succeed in this pathway and help address skills shortages across Australia’1

The SAF – payable up-front and in full at the time of lodgement – is not refunded if the TSS Nomination application is refused or withdrawn. In fact, there is no legislative ability to even apply for a refund on this basis!

Representatives of our peak membership association, the Migration Institute of Australia, have been canvassing politicians on the subject of SAF payments and refunds – even going directly to Canberra to raise the issues – but there have been no reports on what has been discussed or decided.

It is surprising that business groups do not appear to be complaining about this money-raising exercise, as many of these applications would have been lodged by businesses themselves.

The moral of the story? It is crucial to ensure that your TSS Nomination application is accurate, compliant, and complete. Not only could your business miss out on skilled workers to meet your needs, you could also incur losses of thousands of dollars that cannot be recovered.

Small (annual turnover less than $10 million) AUD1200 per year or part thereof AUD3000 one-off
Other business (annual turnover of $10 million or more) AUD1800 per year or part thereof AUD5000 one-off

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Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas

Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas
Visas for General Practitioners: Health Workforce Certificate – a new requirement for employer sponsored visas commenced on 11 March 2019.

New requirements for employers sponsoring overseas doctors to work in Australia will commence on 11 March 2019. When employers lodge employer nomination applications for a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa, Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa for an overseas trained doctor (OTD) in any of the occupations listed below, they must ensure the application includes a Health Workforce Certificate issued by a Rural Workforce Agency.

Occupations nominated in visa applications:
General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111),
Resident Medical Officer (ANZSCO 253112); and
Medical Practitioner not elsewhere classified (ANZSCO 253999) occupation.

The certificate will only be provided where the advertised position responds to genuine workforce need. Without the certificate the nomination cannot be accepted by The Department of Home Affairs and the related visa cannot be granted.

For information how to obtain a Health Workforce Certificate go to:
Fact Sheets (PDF 199 KB)

Forms – Request an application form for a Health Workforce Certificate from visasforgps@hrplustas.com.au

The Department of Home Affairs

http://www.doctorconnect.gov.au/internet/otd/publishing.nsf/Content/visas_for_GPs?fbclid=IwAR1VO_yAD_BI0s352vd-yCF3SGQ1eqyoaz9yV-larg0TvjnNNnKkOADK0DY

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Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists Added to MLTSSL

Changes to Skilled Occupation Lists
Added to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047; LIN 19/048; LIN 19/049; LIN 19/051

Telecommunications network planner (ANZSCO code 313213)
Pressure welder (ANZSCO code 322312)
Environmental Manager (ANZSCO code 139912)
Musician (Instrumental) (ANZSCO code 211213)
Statistician (ANZSCO code 224113)
Economist (ANZSCO code 224311)
Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO code 233611)
Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO code 233612)
Engineering Professionals nec (ANZSCO code 233999)
Chemist (ANZSCO code 234211)
Food Technologist (ANZSCO code 234212)
Environmental Consultant (ANZSCO code 234312)
Environmental Research Scientist (ANZSCO code 234313)
Environmental Scientists nec (ANZSCO code 234399)
Geophysicist (ANZSCO code 234412)
Hydrogeologist (ANZSCO code 234413)
Life Scientist (General) (ANZSCO code 234511)
Biochemist (ANZSCO code 234513)
Biotechnologist (ANZSCO code 234514)
Botanist (ANZSCO code 234515)
Marine Biologist (ANZSCO code 234516)
Microbiologist (ANZSCO code 234517)
Zoologist (ANZSCO code 234518)
Life Scientists nec (ANZSCO code 234599)
Conservator (ANZSCO code 234911)
Metallurgist (ANZSCO code 234912)
Meteorologist (ANZSCO code 234913)
Natural and Physical Science Professionals nec (ANZSCO code 234999)
University Lecturer (ANZSCO code 242111)
Multimedia Specialist (ANZSCO code 261211)
Software and Applications Programmers nec (ANZSCO code 261399)
Horse Trainer (ANZSCO code 361112)
Physicist – no longer restricted to medical physicist
Added to STSOL

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/048

visual arts and crafts professionals (nec) (ANZSCO code 211499)
textile, clothing and footwear mechanic (ANZSCO code 323215)
watch and clock maker and repairer (ANZSCO code 323316)
chemical plant operator (ANZSCO code 399211)
library technician (ANZSCO code 399312)
Moved from STSOL to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments – LIN 19/047; LIN 19/048; LIN 19/049; LIN 19/050

arts administrator or manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
dancer or choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
music director (ANZSCO code 211212)
artistic director (ANZSCO code 212111)
tennis coach (ANZSCO code 452316)
footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
Removed from STSOL

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/050

Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals (ANZSCO code 211499)
Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic (ANZSCO code 323215)
Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer (ANZSCO code 323316)
Chemical Plant Operator (ANZSCO code 399211)
Library Technician (ANZSCO code 399312)
Arts Administrator or Manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
Dancer or Choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
Music Director (ANZSCO code 211212)
Artistic Director (ANZSCO code 212111)
Footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
Aquaculture Farmer (ANZSCO code 121111)
Cotton Grower (ANZSCO code 121211)
Fruit or Nut Grower (ANZSCO code 121213)
Grain, Oilseed or Pasture Grower (ANZSCO code 121214)
Mixed Crop Farmer (ANZSCO code 121216)
Sugar Cane Grower (ANZSCO code 121217)
Crop Farmers nec (ANZSCO code 121299)
Beef Cattle Farmer (ANZSCO code 121312)
Dairy Cattle Farmer (ANZSCO code 121313)
Mixed Livestock Farmer (ANZSCO code 121317)
Pig Farmer (ANZSCO code 121318)
Sheep Farmer (ANZSCO code 121322)
Livestock Farmers nec (ANZSCO code 121399)
Mixed Crop and Livestock Farmer (ANZSCO code 121411)
Dentist (ANZSCO code 252312)
Anaesthetist (ANZSCO code 253211)
Tennis Coach (ANZSCO code 4542316)
Added to Regional Occupation List

Applicable Instrument LIN 19/048

deer farmer (ANZSCO code 121314)
goat farmer (ANZSCO code 121315)
Added to Regional Occupation List, removed from STSOL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/048;

aquaculture farmer (ANZSCO code 121111)
cotton grower (ANZSCO code 121211)
fruit or nut grower (ANZSCO code 121213)
grain, oilseed or pasture grower (Aus) / field crop grower (NZ) (ANZSCO code 121214)
mixed crop farmer (ANZSCO code 121216)
sugar cane grower (ANZSCO code 121217)
crop farmers (nec) (ANZSCO code 121299)
beef cattle farmer (ANZSCO code 121312)
dairy cattle farmer (ANZSCO code 121313)
mixed livestock farmer (ANZSCO code 121317)
pig farmer (ANZSCO code 121318)
sheep farmer (ANZSCO code 121322)
livestock farmers (nec) (ANZSCO code 121399)
mixed crop and livestock farmer (ANZSCO code 121411)
dentist (ANZSCO code 252312)
anaesthetist (ANZSCO code 253211)
Removed from Regional Occupation List moved to MLTSSL

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047; LIN 19/049

arts administrator or manager (ANZSCO code 139911)
dancer or choreographer (ANZSCO code 211112)
music director (ANZSCO code 211212)
artistic director (ANZSCO code 212111)
tennis coach (ANZSCO code 452316)
footballer (ANZSCO code 452411)
telecommunications network planner (ANZSCO code 313213)
pressure welder (ANZSCO code 322312)
Occupations with added conditions

Applicable Instruments: LIN 19/047 (SC 187); LIN 19/048 (SC 482); LIN 19/049 (SC 186)

The following medical practitioner occupations now require a Health Workforce Certificate for the position and occupation to be presented with the nomination application

general practitioner (ANZSCO code 253111)
medical practitioners (nec) (ANZSCO code 253999)
resident medical officer (ANZSCO code 253112)
Applicability conditions added/changed

Condition 25

imposes a minimum salary of $120,000 pa for footballers
replaces Condition 23 for ship’s masters and gas or petroleum operators
Condition 26

replaces Conditions 23 for recruitment consultants on the STSOL and reduces the annual salary required to $80,000

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Government relaxes visa rules to help farmers and football clubs

Visa rule changes will allow skilled foreign workers hired for seasonal work on farms to stay in Australia for up to four years.

Sponsored sportsmen and artists will also be able to get new eight-year visas, under the changes announced by the Immigration Minister David Coleman on Monday.

The changes to the Regional Occupation List, which build on the Working Holiday Maker visa program and the Seasonal Worker Program, are designed to target workforce shortages.

“We want Australians filling Australian jobs but when this isn’t possible action is needed to ensure farmers can continue to operate,” Mr Coleman said in a statement.
John Fairley, who runs a dairy farm in Picton, south-west of Sydney, told SBS News there was an issue but said it’s most acute in regional areas.

“We can find good enough labour around here because we’re close to a big city but if you’re (far) out west it would be a challenge finding skilled labour.”
Gracia Kusuma, from New South Wales Farmers, said changes will entice more skilled overseas workers to come and work in Australia.

“Previously these roles were only in the short-term shortage list, which means that the visa was only available for two years. Yes, it’s renewable, but for somebody who needs to uproot their entire family to a foreign country, it doesn’t provide the certainty, to give them the motivation to want to move.”

But some in the industry said limitations remain, particularly in areas such as horticulture, where there is a demand for less-skilled workers.
Dr Joanna Howe, from the University of Adelaide, co-authored a three-year-study into labour shortages in the horticultural sector.

“Today’s announcement doesn’t actually do anything to help those farmers because they need pickers, packers and graders.”

The study’s findings revealed that 40 per cent of farmers have not been able to recruit enough workers at some point over the past five years.
In January, the Morrison government loosened restrictions on two schemes that bring temporary farm workers into Australia, lifting the cap on the 462 visa for working backpackers from particular countries.

Under the latest changes, migrants hired for agriculture work will get four-year working visas but must remain in a specified region and work in some type of farming.

Sponsored artists and sportspeople, including footballers and tennis coaches, are also among eight professions added to the long-term skills list.

Mr Coleman said the changes are aimed at helping Australian football clubs attract elite international talent and develop Australia’s competitiveness on the international stage.

“These changes recognise Australia’s passion for sports and the arts,” Mr Coleman said.

“Having access to highly skilled professionals helps to develop local talent and facilitate skills and knowledge transfer.”

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/government-relaxes-visa-rules-to-help-farmers-and-football-clubs?fbclid=IwAR31oxXSseNZYI_PVqJw4xmYeJnF1T7W3n27nmcEoLkpnV71KX3fg2kCf3Q

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International education boom predicted, despite decline in Chinese students

International education boom predicted, despite decline in Chinese students

New analysis predicts Australian universities will continue to enjoy “booming” demand from international students despite a forecast drop from China, which dominates the market.

While Australia is predicted to this year overtake Britain and become second only to the US as the most popular destination for international students, the analysis notes the dangers of over-reliance on China and the opportunities to diversify into other countries.
The report, published at the end of last year by Austrade under a collaboration with global education platform Studyportals, said Australia is on track to reach an ambitious target of 720,000 international enrolments by 2025, with the country seen as offering safety, quality degrees and promising employment prospects.

The explosive growth of the international student numbers at universities over recent years has led to concerns about foreign students being treated as “cash cows”, the impact on education standards, and the potential for political complications stemming from the heavy reliance on China.

But, as government funding has been squeezed, the massive revenue from foreign students has become increasingly critical for the sector.
“Australia is showing booming interest and is continuing to consolidate its position as a strong international education player,” concluded the new report, which analysed interest in the programs aggregated on Studyportals platforms.
The report noted the dependence on Chinese numbers has emerged as a “not ideal” challenge. Chinese students currently account for 30 per cent of all students.

“However, as Chinese outbound student numbers began to level off around 2013, the current forecasts indicate that the number of college-aged students in China will decline by about 40 per cent between 2010 and 2025,” it said.

“While Australian universities are very reliant on China, where the numbers of college-aged students are flattening, we do see a strong potential in recruiting students from other key sending countries which are showing a strong interest in Australia.

“While their numbers can never fully replace the reliance on Chinese students, they can help universities protect against possible dips or slowdowns from Chinese students.”
The analysis found large spikes in interest from India, Sri Lanka, Britain, the US and Canada for Australian undergraduate courses.

It found the disciplines offering the greatest opportunities for growth were agriculture and forestry, medicine and health, hospitality, leisure and sports, engineering and technology, and applied sciences and professions.

The growth of the sector in Australia is challenged to an extent by increased competition from providers in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden and some Asian countries, including China.

 

https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/international-education-boom-predicted-despite-decline-in-chinese-students-20190130-p50ujz.html?fbclid=IwAR0Q5rkAhp3yrbOllIuu8tYShuIWp14kr-OFQhA5JSaIQRvufUVan2MiTOM
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Premier intervenes as international students’ English fails to make the grade

International students who speak little English are struggling to keep up with their peers at Australian universities, prompting the Victorian government to call for a review of entry requirements.

Premier Daniel Andrews has written a letter to the National Tertiary Education Union promising to take up the issue of English entry standards with the federal government.
Acting Minister for Higher Education James Merlino said the situation was unfair on international students and teachers.

“International students are a vital part of Victoria’s education system but it’s concerning that some students are enrolled in courses without adequate English language skills to complete them,” he said.

Academics, tutors and students say some international students are struggling to understand instructions in class, complete assignments and communicate with other students.
They say English standards have been set too low and can be bypassed by enrolling in bridging courses.

The National Tertiary Education Union’s Victorian president Nic Kimberley, who has tutored and lectured at many universities and works at RMIT, said many international students at Australian universities lacked the English proficiency needed to succeed.
“This is something that should concern everyone,” he said. “If they fail, they have to repeat and there is often a lot of shame. We don’t want to see international students fail.”

Mr Kimberley said he often received emails from international students begging him to increase their grade to a pass.
“It is incredibly stressful. As someone who teaches students, you do feel very guilty about it because of the high stakes.”

He said while many international students had a strong grasp of the English language, local students tried to avoid working with them for group projects.

The union is calling for a review of the English standards required for student visas and those set by universities for different courses. It’s also pushing for more English language support for international students.
Federal government rules require those wanting a student visa to achieve a score of at least 5.5 in the International English Language Testing System. This test gives students a score out of 9 for listening, reading, writing and speaking and most universities require students to receive a score of between 6 and 7.

But students can also receive a student visa with a score of 4.5 – which means they have a limited or modest grasp of English – if they enrol in a 20-week intensive English course before embarking on their university course.
While they must pass the course, they do not have to resit the international English test.

About one-quarter of all international students enter Australian universities via this pathway.

The peak body for overseas students, the Council of International Students Australia, is backing the calls for higher English entry standards.

The council’s national public relations officer, Manfred Mlestin, said while fewer international students would be accepted into courses, potentially eroding the country’s $31.9 billion a year international student industry, the quality of graduates would improve.

“If a student doesn’t understand what a teacher is saying, how can they finish their assignments?” he asks.
When John Chen* arrived in Melbourne on a student visa, he couldn’t order food in English.

“I would just use pointing, it was horrific,” he said.

The Chinese student spent 18 months at Trinity College in the hope of improving his language skills.

At university, he struggled to understand his lecturers and write essays, and barely spoke in tutorials. He switched from arts to science at the end of his first semester, hoping it would be easier.

While it wasn’t easier, he eventually improved his English by watching Youtube.
Chinese student Adam Zhao* said he failed a subject last semester because of his language difficulties.

He was working on a group assignment with three native English speakers who struggled to understand him.

While Adam has been in Australia for five years and completed two years of high school here, he still struggles with the language barrier.

His communication difficulties have affected his mental health, leaving him feeling isolated.

“I felt like I should be able to communicate, but I couldn’t,” he said.
A recent report by the Coroner considered the extreme stress experienced by some international students, highlighting the case of a 24-year-old Chinese international student who died in a fall that was later ruled to be suicide. He was believed to be suffering from depression and struggling to understand his English-language course.

Universities Australia chief executive Catriona Jackson said Australian universities set English language requirements that were comparable to other world-leading education sectors.

“Many universities have standards for particular courses that go above the minimum standards set by the student visa,” she said.

She said students who passed bridging courses had the English skills required to complete a higher education qualification and succeed.

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan said it was the responsibility of universities to ensure that the students they enrol had the language skills to participate fully in their education.
“You can judge the quality of Australia’s sector by the number of international students that we attract,” he said.

*Names have been changed.

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Student placements

Student placements
What is a vocational placement?
Further information
Contact us
Download the fact sheet:

Student placements (PDF 154.3KB)
Vocational placements provide students with the opportunity to apply the theory and skills they learned while studying in a professional workplace.

Under these arrangements students can gain the skills they need to transition successfully from study to work, while giving industry the opportunity to enrich student learning experiences and increase the number of work-ready graduates.

Vocational placements that meet the definition under the Fair Work Act 2009 (the FW Act) are lawfully unpaid. Students completing vocational placements are not considered to be employees and therefore are not entitled to the minimum wage nor other entitlements provided under the FW Act.

What is a vocational placement?
Under the FW Act, a vocational placement is lawfully unpaid if it meets all the following criteria:

There must be a placement. This can be arranged by the educational or training institution, or a student may initiate the placement with an individual business directly, in line with the requirements of their course.
There must be no entitlement to pay for the work the student undertakes. Where a student’s contract with the host business or organisation entitles them to receive money for the work they perform, the vocational placement will likely have turned into an employment relationship. Similarly, work arrangements covered by industrial awards or agreements are not vocational placements.
The placement must be done as a requirement of an education or training course. The placement must be a required component of the course as a whole, or of an individual subject or module of the course. It doesn’t matter whether that subject is compulsory or an elective chosen by the student.
The placement must be one that is approved. The institution delivering the course which provides for the placement must be authorised under an Australian, state or territory law or an administrative arrangement of the Commonwealth or a state or territory to do so. Courses offered at universities, TAFE colleges and schools (whether public or private) will all satisfy this requirement, as will bodies authorised to offer training courses under state or territory legislation.
When all of the above criteria are satisfied, hosts are not required to pay students entitlements under the FW Act. However, a host may elect to provide payment(s) at their discretion and under no obligation.

If the placement doesn’t meet all of the above criteria, it won’t be a vocational placement under the FW Act. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that the person is an employee and entitled to payment. The next step is to determine whether or not the person is in an employment relationship.

For more information on determining whether or not an employment relationship exists see our Unpaid Work Fact Sheet

Example 1
Katrina is in her 3rd year of a nursing degree. As part of her course, Katrina is required to complete a minimum of 4 weeks’ work experience with a registered hospital in her state in order to graduate. Katrina approaches her local hospital as they have a pre-existing relationship with her university and have regular student placements. The placement is authorised by her university, and Katrina understands it is a learning exercise and that she won’t be paid. As the arrangement meets the definition of a vocational placement under the FW Act, it can be unpaid.

Example 2
Jayne is in her final year of a mechanical engineering degree and has completed her formal class studies. As a requirement to graduate, Jayne has to organise professional engineering work experience at a business for 12 weeks. While Jayne has to organise the placement herself, the University has strict criteria about needing to assess an employer to ensure her vocational placement provides the relevant learning environment, and gives final sign-off on the placement. As this arrangement meets the definition of a vocational placement under the FW Act, it can be unpaid.

If the business decides to get Jayne to sign an employment contract and pay her wages for her work, it may turn the placement into an employment relationship. If an employment relationship is created, Jayne is entitled to at least the legal minimum rate of pay for the type of work she is performing.

Example 3
Mitchell is choosing his elective units for the following year’s study as part of his undergraduate degree. One of the electives is a 3 month unpaid placement organised by the university at a host business that provides a structured learning experience related to his degree. This placement counts as credit towards meeting his total course requirement. Because the elective forms part of his course, Mitchell’s placement meets the definition of a vocational placement under the FW Act. As this arrangement meets the definition of a vocational placement under the FW Act, it can be unpaid.

Important
While the FW Act does not provide entitlements to students doing vocational placements, there may still be obligations in other legislation, such as those about work health and safety or discrimination that apply to them

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/…/unpaid-work/student-placements

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Corrupt migration agents swindling ‘desperate’ customers face crackdown

A widespread problem of corrupt migration agents  poses a “high risk” threat, and may require greater investigative powers to combat, according to the Department of Home Affairs.

Disciplinary investigations by Home Affairs found some migration agents have swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from desperate clients, while others regularly falsify documents to obtain visas which should never have been issued.

Newly released findings from the probes show eight migration agents were suspended or barred from the profession in the final two months of last year alone, and 34 faced penalties in 2018 for inappropriate conduct.

Assistant Home Affairs Minister Linda Reynolds said she would “not tolerate this kind of behaviour by migration agents who think it is acceptable to defraud clients”.

In one of the worst of the findings, Destiny Visa migration agent Maryam Shahi was found to have required a $50,000 “bond” to obtain a visitor visa for an Iranian citizen in November 2017 despite no bond being required nor requested by Home Affairs for the application

Ms Shahi later said she had sought the bond because another migration agent in Tehran had previously helped a client obtained a visitor visa, but that family had refused to return to Iran after the trip and applied for protection, harming his “livelihood”.

In another complaint against Ms Shahi, lodged in October last year, a client known as Ms EGS was also asked for a $30,000 deposit to “guarantee the grant of the visitor visa”.

No application was ever lodged with Home Affairs, and at the time of the complaint, Ms Shahi – who has since had her license cancelled – still owed Ms EGS $9000 of the bond deposit paid.

There were at least five other occasions, according to the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority, that Ms Shahi was paid for visa services – once more than $9000 – where no application was every received by Home Affairs and despite the “desperate circumstances” of her client

https://amp.smh.com.au/politics/federal/corrupt-migration-agents-swindling-desperate-customers-face-crackdown-20190110-p50qj3.html

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Designated Area Migration Agreements – The Future of Immigration?

Designated Area Migration Agreements – The Future of Immigration?

Last year no doubt has been challenging both for Migration Agents as well as businesses trying to fill in skills shortage. The introduction of subclass 482 visa has seen a decline of 28% of sponsored visas granted, leaving businesses with severe skills shortage.

The government’s response is to enter into a Designated Area Agreement (DAMA). By way of background, the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) programme has been developed to supplement the workforce strategies of states, territories and regions, to support economic performance and help them adjust to changing economic conditions.

The DAMA is a two-tier agreement: the first tier consists of an overarching three-year deed of agreement with a designated area representative setting out occupations, ceilings and concessions; and the second tier comprising individual labour agreements with direct employers.

DAMAs establish collaborative arrangements, with shared roles and responsibilities, between the Australian Government and regional or state and territory authorities.

The overarching nature of a DAMA allows employers streamlined access to a broader range of overseas workers than available through the standard subclass 482 visa programme, without the need to individually negotiate terms and conditions. DAMAs are attractive to small businesses which may not have the resources to develop a labour agreement directly with the government.

Whilst DAMAs vary from state to state, the key elements for DAMA similar to those of a labour agreement, however specifics include:

· The utilisation of labour agreement stream of the TSS programme for businesses enter into a labour agreement with the Australian Government and workers are then granted a subclass 482 visa.

· pathways to permanent residency for DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)

· a broad range of occupations that reflect skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply

· English language concessions for some occupations

· salary concessions that in some instances however these are generally specific from state to state, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and state businesses and consumers are not subjected to inflationary costs

· a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure that the rights of both employees and employers are protected

As an organisation at the forefront of skilled migration, at this point in time Northern Territory has negotiated DAMA and NSW submitted a Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) to the Federal Government. As the first of its kind in NSW to streamline the visa application process, the DAMA is set to make it easier for migrant employees and employers to fill vacant positions.

As mentioned earlier, DAMAs are custom-designed arrangements which support a tailored, regional response to labour needs. They are an important tool in assisting regions to manage workforce strategies that support local growth. The over-arching nature of these agreements allows employers targeted and streamlined access to a broader range of overseas workers than allowed under standard State and National skilled migration programmes. The DAMA will negotiate terms and conditions, cutting down on individual employer visa worker hiring costs.

Similar to Labour Agreements, DAMA’s are granted for five years.

Businesses can access the DAMA if they are actively operating in a particular state and:

· are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months

· have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees

· are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the State Specific DAMA list

· can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents

· can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.

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