Newsletter 161

Victoria extends permanent residency pathway for skilled migrants as visa places slashed this year. 

The Victorian government welcomed skilled workers under the Department of Home Affairs to register their interest for the Subclass 190 skilled nominated visa stream and the Subclass 491 skilled work regional (provisional) visa last week when it opened its migration programme for 2023–2024.

2023–24 Victoria Migration Programme

With a few minor adjustments, the state administration has announced the start of its Skilled Migration Programme for 2023–2024 for both onshore and offshore candidates.

“Onshore applicants must be residing in and employed in regional Victoria at the time of nomination in order to be eligible to apply for a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) nomination in the 2023–24 programme,”

The state government noted, “As a result of this change, you will need to submit a new Registration Of Interest (ROI) if you are still eligible if you submitted a Subclass 491 ROI in 2022-23 and were not selected.

Victoria has been given 3,300 spaces for skilled visa nomination for the 2023–24 programme by the federal government, of which 2,700 are reserved for the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190).

This year, there are only 600 openings for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491).

There was no funding allocated for Subclass 188 of the Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP) for the 2023–24 programme.

eVisitor eligible passports – change of country naming – Slovakia 

The clarifies the preceding instrument’s reference to Slovakia, which was identified as the Slovak Republic.  This modification complies with the naming guidelines for European nations provided by the authorities.

The start date for these amendments was September 19, 2023.

Purposes of managed funds – Significant Investor stream 

The purpose of this change is to make it possible for individuals with valid Subclass 188 visas in the Significant Investor stream who applied between 23 November 2013 and 30 June 2015 to meet the requirements for the Subclass 188 Significant Investor Extension stream or the Subclass 888 Significant Investor stream.

The beginning of this transition was September 20, 2023.

Removal Health Workforce certification 

As a result, employers no longer have to provide Health Workforce Certificates (HWC) or Health Workforce Exemption Certificates (HWEC) for the following medical occupations in order to sponsor overseas-trained doctors on SC 482 and SC 494 visas:

  • general practitioner (253111)
  • resident medical officer (253112)
  • medical practitioner (nec) (253999) 

These changes are being made in acknowledgment of the severe medical doctor shortages that exist across all of Australia, to relieve the administrative burden on health workforce certifiers, and to speed up the visa application process for both employers and candidates.

Both Occupations for Subclass 494 Visas, 2019 and Specification of Occupations – Subclass 482 Visa, 2019, are amended as a result of this.

This started on September 16, 2023, and it applies to any nominations made at that time that haven’t been decided upon yet.

VETASSESS – Trade occupations application pause 

Starting from September 25, 2023, VETASSESS, the assessing authority for trade occupations, will be temporarily pausing the acceptance of new applications for assessment. This temporary break will allow them to enhance their assessment processes and ensure the highest level of service for our valued applicants.

During this period, we kindly request your understanding as VETASSESS focuses on their commitment to excellence. The trade occupations affected by this temporary pause include:

  • Chef, ANZSCO Code 351311
  • Cook, ANZSCO Code 351411
  • Diesel Motor Mechanic, ANZSCO Code 321212
  • Motor Mechanic (General), ANZSCO Code 321211
  • Fitter (General), ANZSCO Code 323211
  • Electrician (General), ANZSCO Code 341111
  • Metal Machinist (First Class), ANZSCO Code 323214

Contact Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) for an alternate assessment authority.

New Pathway 1 applications for the occupation of plumber (general), ANZSCO Code 334111, will likewise be halted as of September 30.

The CPC32413 Certificate III in Plumbing, which has been superseded and is not equivalent to the new CPC32420 Certificate III in Plumbing qualification, is currently being assessed for this occupation by VETASSESS. VETASSESS is awaiting guidance from Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) on the assessment requirements for the new qualification. 

Partner Visas – Form 888 and statutory declarations 

The new Form 888—Supporting statement in regard to a Partner or Prospective Marriage visa application—will make applicants aware that it no longer takes the form of a statutory declaration. However, for Subclass 801, applicants who are s48 impacted must submit two statutory statements in support of the application at the same time and location as the application. 

In order to maintain the integrity of the Partner Visa programme, S48 impacted candidates must meet a higher standard than other applicants and submit statutory declarations in support of their applications.

TRA – Offshore skills assessments update – Vehicle painters 

From September 11 onward, TRA will no longer require vehicle painters (324311) with passports from the following countries to complete an offshore skills exam.

Brazil, China, Fiji, Guam, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, India, Iran, Ireland, Macau Special Administrative Region, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

All certified vehicle painters may begin applying for a skills evaluation on Monday, September 11 under the less complicated and more affordable Migration Skills Assessment programme. 

Applicants who are not eligible must get a qualification from their home country, their country of residence, or through an Australian RTO.

Sydney solicitor admits deception of David Jones in failed defamation bid 

A Sydney lawyer who testified that he committed fraud in a David Jones store lost his defamation lawsuit against a small website.

Simone Selkirk admitted lying to David Jones on 17 different occasions over the course of two years by producing fake online purchase invoice emails in order to get a reimbursement for “returned goods” during testimony before the Federal Court.

She was found guilty of dealing with the proceeds of crime on seven charges and was found guilty on 16 counts of dishonestly acquiring a financial benefit by fraud. Because the prosecution was unable to show how Ms. Selkirk obtained the products, she was able to successfully appeal all of her convictions.

The sole specific or substantial harm, according to Justice O’Callaghan, was that Ms. Selkirk’s “professional reputation depends on her integrity as an admitted member of the legal profession,” which had been put at “serious risk” by the imputations.

“The immediate difficulty with the plea, and with the evidence led in support of it, is that neither address[es] the critical question of whether the publication of the article caused any, let alone any serious, harm to Ms Selkirk,” said Justice O’Callaghan.

For these reasons, Justice O’Callaghan concluded that Ms. Selkirk had not established that the publication had really caused or posed a serious risk of doing so.

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