Page 6 - Oil&Gas-AustralAsia-2017-Issue-12
P. 6


Department of Immigration and Border
Protection to reduce their staffing levels

The cutbacks being enacted by the        working days. Wonderful news for         $1365.0. Compare this to the pres-
Turnbull Government are request-         businesses trying to bring in highly     ent day where the nomination fee is
ing Government departments such          skilled specialists!                     now $540.00 – a 1545 increase and
as the Department of Immigration         In addition, the mood in the             the visa application fee for a family
and Border Protection to reduce          Department seems to have moved           with two adults and two children is
their staffing levels to 2006 levels.    from one where there was a positive      $7,200.00 a $537% increase.
The cutbacks do not take account         attitude and a willingness to grant      In fairness to DIBP, the money
of any increase in visa applications     a visa to one where there is less        raised from visa application fees
or the significant increase in the       inclination to explore any issues        goes into Consolidated Revenue
standards of integrity that visa         of concern on applications but to        rather than the Department itself.
applications must address to be suc-     move straight to a refusal with no       But it does seem that companies
cessful. DIBP has very sophisticat-      communication to clarify even            sponsoring individuals are paying
ed equipment to detect fraudulent        the simplest of issues. We now see       significantly more for a service that
documents and case officers will         that the rate of refusal of 457 Visas    is not providing value for money.
initiate checks in the visa holder’s     has increased from around 3% to          While the Turnbull Government
country of origin if there are any       around 10%. This results in new          needs to be applauded in attempt-
indications that a document might        applications being lodged – and I        ing to reduce costs, some common
not be valid. And they are very          suppose increased revenue for the        sense needs to be brought into the
often right. The Student visa section    Government!                              equation and adequate staff em-
have found that the documentation        There are no two ways about it, in       ployed to allow businesses to nom-
attached to applications from some       2006/07 year there were 7,687 staff      inate candidates with some confi-
countries is almost 50% fraudulent.      and in the 2015/16 year there were       dence that they will be allowed to
While some of the documentation          15,432 staff. On the face of it, a good  bring in highly skilled professionals
is of very poor quality, the availabil-  pace of shears is needed! However,       and trades persons that are suitably
ity of sophisticated software makes      consider the cost of visas and the       vetted in a reasonable timeframe to
document fraud ever more difficult       picture presents a little differently.   allow business in Australia to grow
to identify. DIBP has a very good        In 2006/07 a Standard Business           and develop. §
rate of success in identifying such      Sponsorship cost $270.00, a nom-
documents but like everything else       ination application was $55.00           Jacqui Ure
it takes time.                           and a 457 visa application, which        MARN: 0301504
The result of such cutbacks is now       included all members of the family,      WA Vice President,
being demonstrated in the ridic-         was $185.00. Compare that to the         Migration Institute
ulous length of time that visas are      present day situation. The Standard      of Australia
taking to be granted. The Employ-        Business Sponsorship has increased
er Nomination Scheme and the             to $420.00 – a 155% increase; a          Telephone: +61 4 1621 8127
Regional Sponsored Migration             nomination application has in-           	 or +61 8 9474 1308
Scheme Visa Subclass 186 and 187         creased to $330.00 - a 600% increase     Email:
which relate to visas where the          and the cost of a visa application for
individuals are being sponsored          a primary applicant, a spouse and
by Australian employers are now          two kids under 18 has increased to
taking in excess of 8 months before      a massive $2650 – a mere 1432%
a case officer is initially assigned.    increase as the 457 visa applica-
And in some cases, it can be over 10     tion now charges per applicant at
month!                                   the rate of $1060.00 for adults and
In the 457 program Standard              $265.00 for children. The Employer
Business Sponsorships are taking         Nomination Scheme fees have also
in excess of 40 working days to be       increased dramatically, the nomi-
allocated to a case officer, nomina-     nation fee was $350 and the appli-
tions in excess of 20 working days       cation fee for the whole family was
and visa applications in excess of 30

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