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A Message from Praveen Goyal – CEO, McKkr’s and Executive Director, Me Alliance

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Dear Colleagues,

McKkr’s is approved as a CPD and PRP provider under Regulation 9N of the Migration Agents Regulations – the new CPD Framework effective from 1st Jan 2018.

It’s that time of the year when we’ve got excellent news for RMAs, lawyers and other industry members; and the end of the year and the beginning of the new one couldn’t get any better.

I feel immensely pleased to inform you all that McKkr’s has been approved as a Professional Development Provider for the migration industry by the Office of MARA and will be offering CPD and PRP courses Australia-wide and overseas under the new framework effective from 1st January 2018.

I welcome the decision of the OMARA to provide an opportunity to McKkr’s to offer PRP (Practice Ready Program) for the new RMAs in the first year of their registration. While welcoming new RMAs into the ever-growing and ever-changing industry, I would also like to assure them that McKkr’s will also be offering PRP courses in 2018 in all major cities in Australia.

McKkr’s has been recognised as one of the top CPD providers in the industry with clear focus on learning and raising industry standards. We currently have one of the largest number of approved CPD Papers which have been regularly updated with legislative changes to maintain currency. Our CPD Workshops have been rated as the best in the industry by hundreds of RMAs and we are quite focussed in developing and delivering Professional Development Courses (CPD and PRP) reflecting highest possible quality to gain clear leadership in the industry.

While writing to you, I would like to highlight the major change in meeting your CPD requirements in 2018 under the new framework. RMAs will need to get minimum 5 of the 10 (or all 10) required CPD points by attending Workshops. Though completing a programme of education in migration law at a tertiary level (AQF Level 8 and above) can be used in place of Workshops but this may not be a suitable option for most RMAs. This means that all required 10 CPD points cannot be claimed through Private Study, Seminars or Conferences.

It is our members’ confidence in us and the quality of our workshops that our positive ratings continue to stand at 100%; and under the new framework, McKkr’s will only reciprocate this trust by offering one of the best CPD and PRP courses throughout 2018 and beyond.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you for your tremendous support throughout 2017 and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2018.

Good luck and please do not hesitate to write to me whenever you are in doubt and need to discuss your clients’ cases to firm up your opinion. I assure you of my commitment of continuing support to you as my colleagues to help raise industry standards in terms of knowledge, ethics and professionalism.

Sincerely,
Praveen Goyal

15 migration agents sanctioned

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The Office of the MARA has sanctioned 15 migration agents since 1 January 2017 so far, as a result of 26 complaints. Of these, five registrations were cancelled, seven suspended temporarily, two barred and one cautioned.

Details of Disciplinary Decisions can be found at The Office of the MARA’s website, here.

Most of these sanctions were due to the violation of the Registered Migration Agents’ Code of Conduct. It is probably a good idea to have a look at the amended version.

What’s up with the November 2017 invitations round?

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Invitation rounds are held twice a month. The last invitation round results were announced on the 18th of October 2017 and while applicants and agents are eagerly waiting for the November roundup results, the Department has yet to announce them.

However, we know one thing for sure (thanks to the DIBP website) that the maximum numbers of invitations to be issued in the November 2017 invitation rounds are as follows

9 November 2017
Visa subclass Maximum number
Skilled - Independent (subclass 189) 700
Skilled - Regional Provisional (subclass 489) 5

 

22 November 2017
Visa subclass Maximum number
Skilled - Independent (subclass 189) 700
Skilled - Regional Provisional (subclass 489) 5

VIC government announces grant for international students

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The Victorian government has announced 14 new projects worth $337,000 to help the state's international students through the International Student Welfare Program.

One of the key projects is a $75,000 grant for Inner Melbourne Community Legal to provide legal support for international students studying at universities, TAFEs and private education providers. The funding will go towards delivering legal education that will help nearly 600 newly arrived international students with important issues like practical legal knowledge, personal safety and common legal issues.

Access the press statement here.

Will a Robo Cop soon be determining who should get Australian visas?

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection may soon introduce a computer system that will automatically determine whether a foreign national is permitted to live or visit Australia. This once-in-a-generation overhaul of the country’s visa processing system will be run by a private company. Under the new arrangements, the Immigration Department would still directly handle…
Read more

Training package recommendations due by end of the year

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The process of reform of training packages will begin in earnest when a report is delivered to the federal government by the end of the year, Assistant Minister for Vocational Education and Skills Karen Andrews has said.

A Training Product Reform Joint Working Party is currently examining the structure of training packages.

"It will determine whether there are alternative approaches to qualification design more suited to the changing nature of work into the future," Ms Andrews said.

She said the working party will deliver a report by the end of the year on the case for change to the design of qualifications.

"This is likely to be followed by a consultation process to seek feedback on any proposed changes," Ms Andrews said.

Labor calls for urgent action on “systemic abuse” of foreign worker visas

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The Labor Party has expressed its concern over the “systemic abuse” of subclass 400 visas and has called on the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton to urgently safeguard it.

Labor Party says this little-known visa is being used as a "backdoor" to undermine the government's foreign labour crackdown.

The three-month 400 visa was introduced by the former Labor government in early 2013.

Make immigration to SA easier: SACES

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Overseas migrants to South Australia should be enticed by offering an easier path to citizenship and opening up job visas for more occupations, a recent report by the SA Centre for Economic Studies (SACES) has recommended.

The think-tank has proposed that SA must boost the population in the country towns and small cities with foreigners who want the jobs that locals refuse.

More South Australians have moved interstate than people from other states have moved to SA since at least 1981. Keeping this in mind, the SACES report altogether made 14 recommendations to create a regionally focused migration program to boost population across the state.
Some of the most important recommends were:

  1. removing caveats from skill lists for employers in regional areas;
  2. improving post-study work rights for vocational education and training graduates working in regional areas;
  3. creating a start-up visa for those in the country temporarily on other grounds such as student visas, 457 visas, or working holiday; and
  4. targeting the Business Innovation and Investment visas; among others.

Senate inquiry makes four recommendations to citizenship changes

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A parliamentary Senate committee last week made four recommendations on the government’s planned citizenship changes. The report can be accessed here.

The four recommendations are:

  1. The senate committee recommended that English language requirements should not be so high.
  2. The committee also suggested that Australian permanent residents, who were granted visas before the April 20th, should be allowed to apply for citizenship under old rules
  3. It also called for the government to reconsider its plan to ban applications for two years if the applicant failed the citizenship test thrice.
  4. And finally, to pass the bill.

Greens calls on government to take in 20,000 Rohingya refugees

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As the situation for Rohingya Muslims worsens in Myanmar, Greens have called on the government to take in 20,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed.

The political party has suggested Australia organises an emergency intake similar to the Syria program launched two years ago.

According to United Nations, at least 300,000 people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks.As the situation for Rohingya Muslims worsens in Myanmar, Greens have called on the government to take in 20,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed.

The political party has suggested Australia organises an emergency intake similar to the Syria program launched two years ago.

According to United Nations, at least 300,000 people have fled Myanmar to Bangladesh in recent weeks.