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27th June 2012
Volume 219

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In This Issue
Is the EOI the End Of Immigration?
Are you really an accountant?
Dear students, 


Welcome to our e-newsletter, IMMIGRATION NEWS for 2012 and a special welcome to our new subscribers. This free service is brought to you by Australian Immigration Law Services. You can subscribe by using the link on the right hand side or by visiting our web site. Please feel free to forward this email to any of your friends.

It is only 3 days to go before the new Skills Select system will come online and the dreaded Expression Of Interest will spring to life. Will this computerised thingamagig form a mind of its own like Skynet in the Terminator chronicles or perhaps become just a little wacky like the HAL 9000 in 2001?


Many say it means the End Of Immigration, read on and see what you think.

Is the EOI "The End Of Immigration"?


Many of the onshore students have come to my office to discuss the new EOI system which begins on the 1st July 2012 where they have used this alternative definition, the "End of Immigration".


Our international visitors are correct to feel the EOI will severely restrict their ability to apply for permanent residency. Currently any student who can meet the pass mark (and other basic requirements) can apply for their visas and obtain the bridging visa to stay here in Australia.


The EOI is really making an application that is not really an application. One must receive an invitation by the EOI computer before an actual application can be made for the new GSM visas.


However students must remember that the current onshore GSM visas, the 885, 886 and 487 will remain in operation until the end of December this year. This information was released in our last newsletter ( click here to read). This means that students do not have to use the new EOI until the 1st January 2013 if they choose not to.


Last week DIAC reduced the pass mark for the new GSM applications which begin on the 1st of July to 60 points, probably as an opening special marketing campaign. How long the pass mark remains at 60 is yet to be seen. However is you are a former student who is struggling to reach the pass mark at 65 for the current visa classes, then you should lodge an EOI of you can reach the new visa passmark of 60.


With the EOI what does the pass mark mean?


The EOI system does not require you to reach any particular pass mark. However invitations will not be issued unless your score has reached the pass mark level for any particular visa. Remember it is not like the current system that when you lodge an application as long as you have reached the pass mark, the visa is granted. There is no benefit to having a score higher than the pass mark. This changes dramatically with the EOI.


Remember EOI is not an application. Since DIAC is not charging for the EOI they have very little (if any) legal obligations to you. Within the EOI then the pass mark means, very little. It is a marketing tool to be able to attract applicants to lodge their EOI and that is all. It will be like a tender system really, regardless of the base grade entry level allowed to lodge a visa application (currently 60), whether one receives an invitation to apply for the visa will be competitive and the highest scores will be chosen first. If there are any places left over once the high scorers are chosen then the base level entrants (those at 60), may receive their invitations.


So how long do you have to wait for an invitation?


At the moment know body knows. Given the migration system is quota based per financial year, it is likely that in the first half, July to December, EOI's may be issued quickly. DIAC says it is going to issue more invitations than it actually needs to combat what they call "inbuilt fraud" but more of that later.


Quota's per occupation?


In the new regulations coming into effect on the first of July, it is not widely known that DIAC has given even more power to themselves. They will soon be able to decide on the number of applicants to be chosen under the EOI based upon their occupations. This provision is clearly aimed at some of the occupations which up to date have dominated the GSM program. The management at the DIAC policy section has complained for many years that the Accountant occupation has dominated up to 30% of total onshore applications.


It is reasonable to see from their perspective that having a tool to regulate the number of certain occupations per financial year. Accounting applicants in particular should be mindful of this new change from the 1st of July. It is not known if DIAC will release the information concerning the numbers selected per occupation and when this quota may be filled during the financial year.


Basic Critreria for the new GSM visas change


With the current GSM visas there are a number of specific requirements former international students need to meet in order to lodge the current 885,886 and 487 onshore applications. With the new visa classes these change.


For example there will be no more need to have met the two year study requirement before an invitation is received and an application lodged. The issues about being within 6 months of course completion or being on a 485 visa also dissappear.


For example


Jim has lodged his 485 visa back in march 2012. He completed his course back in December 2011 and as such is now outside 6 months from his completion date. Since he is on a BVA for his 485 visa he cannot apply for the current 885 visa. He has to wait until his 485 visa is granted before he can do that. Jim is currently doing a PYP program that he plans to finish by November this year. This will give him the 65 points he looking to lodge an 885 visa before they close at the end of December 2012.


However Jim has a positive skill assessment and an IELTS result that would enable him to reach 60 points. On the first of July Jim can lodge an EOI for they do not require his 485 to be granted and he can reach the lower pass mark of 60 points now.


This actually gives Jim two possibilities for PR. Lodge the EOI but if has not received an invitation by December and his 485 is granted by then, he can apply for the 885 visa.


One can see how these changes have benifited Jim. Hoever one has to see if he can actually receive an invitation but it is certainly worth trying for.


Time of Invitation Criteria


In creating this Skills Select system they have developed some unique set of laws to adjust to the EOI structure. The main one is what is called "Time of Invitation".

"Time of Invitation" has been written into the legislation to begin on the 1st July in the new Schedule 6D points system, where some information will be frozen, meaning it cannot be updated or changed after the "invitation" is sent to potential applicants. These criteria are, English ability, Age, Work Experience, Skill Assessment Result, Education qualifications, Professional Year Program (PYP), Australian Study requirement, Community Language Ability, Study in Regional Australia, Partner Skills, Sate Sponsorship and Designated Area Sponsorship.


For these criteria you then must have the supporting documents to prove your claims at the time the invitation has been sent to you. For example, one cannot apply for a skill assessment after the invitation has been issued, the result must have been in existence beforehand.


Your age is then set at the time of Invitation, not at the time you put in your EOI. If you have been unfortunate to turn older during the wait for the invitation and this has caused you to loose points, then that will be unfortunate.


Once the invitation has been sent you will no longer be able to upgrade your IELTS score before your application is lodged.


Work experience claims will also not be able to be upgraded after the invitation.


A completed PYP program must have occurred before the invitation is sent. If an applicant is studying a PYP but receives an invitation before its completion then it is not possible to upgrade the points score afterwards.


Educational qualifications must have been completed before the invitation is issued to obtain the points. Currently under Schedule 6C Education points are a time of decision criteria so extra points can be obtained after lodgment if in some case that becomes necessary ("time of decision").


Community language ability and the accreditation by NAATI must be in existence before the invitation not as it is now, "time of decision".


In claiming the Partner Skills points all the requirements must be met at time of invitation; Skill Assessment in an occupation on the current SOL, be under 50 and have at least Competent English. Like the main applicant the current need for recent work experience requirement will be dropped. However in the current Schedule 6C, Skill Assessment result can be supplied after lodgment.


So does this Time of Invitation really matter? We can see that the loss of age points may be a real issue in the future for some, but otherwise it doesn't really make much of an impact. When someone lodges an EOI then they are already meant to meet the criteria for the points they are claiming. You are not meant to lie in your EOI. For example, applicants are not meant to be claiming points for a PYP they haven't finished, or an IELTS result they don't have yet, or for a course they haven't completed just yet in Australia.


Having set a time of invitation criteria, it is really keeping applicants honest. Don't claim for points that you are not yet entitled to. DIAC is going to on the lookout for applicants who fib in their EOI's. If an application is lodged and the information doesn't match in what has been claimed it is highly likely they will rejected using the Character 4020 provision (to read more click here) which them places a three year ban on visas to Australia.



EOI required visas if applicant is in Australia


When one receives an "invitation" to apply for a GSM visa, the applicant or the applicants family maybe in Australia or outside of Australia.


If in Australia then you must have the right type of visa and regulations make this quite clear;

(c) An applicant in Australia must hold:

(i) a substantive visa; or

(ii) a Subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa; or

(iii) a Subclass 020 (Bridging B) visa; or

(iv) a Subclass 030 (Bridging C) visa.


This means that there is no benefit trying to stay unlawfully in Australia while your EOI is processed or by having your visa cancelled and going onto a BE for you will not able to lodge whilst you remain onshore.


However the regulations are meant to be altered to allow those who have been rejected for a visa application and currently onshore waiting at the MRT on a BVA, they will be allowed to lodge an onshore file again and then another Bridging Visa will be issued.


Lack of Transparency?


What we do not like is the lack of transparency of how the EOI is going to operate. It gives rise to suspicion and if history has taught us anything, government powers and a lack of transparency means trouble.


The lodgment of the visas after being invited is not a problem for once DIAC receives a fee with the application then it has obligations and there are strong powers to review.


The EOI Game?


I am sure DIAC is waiting nervously to see how many false EOI are going to be lodged. I'm sure some bright computer whiz will probably develop a program to lodge thousands of EOI lodgements with the press of a button. The danger DIAC has created in making this system free is that there may be a high percentage of fraudulent applications made either for the fun of getting an invitation or worse a malicious attempt to corrupt the system.


If this occurs then it will be genuine applicants who will suffer. If a high percentage of false EOI's are lodged then you can be they will use a high points score to attract the invitation's. This will mean those at the pass mark end, say 60 points, will have to wait a long time to get noticed.


A small fee to lodge an EOI would eradicate this fraud issue. Do you think DIAC would pass up the opportunity of gathering potential millions of dollars in EOI fees when they do not have to guarantee an invitation? Of course they would love to get their hands on this money but there is one important point why shy away from this path. If the government takes money for an EOI then it becomes an application, not just an expression of interest. As an application this creates a nightmare of obligations by DIAC and also review procedures would be open to applicants along with formal complaints and also don't forget, it has to then be transparent.


You can see why then they have decided not to charge a fee.  


 Secondary applicants


After 1 July 2012, spouses, de facto partners and dependent children can be added to the application even after applications are lodged. They can be added until the time of visa decision. This is the same way the offshore visa subclasses currently operate.


The current onshore classes do not allow this process which is a great disadvantage to those current GSM applicants who have been waiting years in Australia, on bridging visas for a decision to be made on their applications.



End Of Immigration?


In summary the new EOI is not so different as far as the point structure goes. The difference is the competitive nature the new system will operate. Now we do not believe competition is such a bad thing as this just reflects the way the economy operates anyway.

The problem onshore students will face if they are using the EOI, there is no guarantee as to how long it will take to receive an invitation. Since there will be bridging visa when one lodges an EOI, then onshore students will have to use the current 485 visa process to remain onshore or some other visa application. Of course they can return home to wait but in reality most do not like this option. Time will tell in the next 12 months what the waiting periods will be.




Other 1st July Changes

DIAC Fees increasing


From the 1st July 2012 the fee to lodge for a GSM visa will be $3050. If the secondary applicant (who has turned 18) does not have Functional English then there is a $4,250 charge.


Cancellation of Certain visas


Under the new Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas there is a standard requirement to work and reside in a regional area just like the old version of these subclasses. In these new ones however DIAC has made it clearer when applicants are expected to move to the regional zones. The law is outlined below;


1) Subclass 119 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa;

6 months from the date the holder first entered Australia as the holder of the visa

2) Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa;

If the holder was in Australia on the date of grant of the visa, 6 months from the date of grant of the visa. If the holder was not in Australia on the date of grant of the visa, 6 months from the date the holder first entered Australia as the holder of the visa

3) Subclass 857 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa;

6 months from the date of grant of the visa


If DIAC discovers later that these requirements were not met then is possible your visa may be cancelled. In the future we will be writing a newsletter specifically about cancellation provisions and readers will be shocked to discover the powers DIAC has at its disposal to cancel visas.


Automatic Waiver or 8503 and 8534


From the first of July, those who lodge applications under the new GSM visa classes can receive automatic waivers of conditions 8503 and 8534. Currently there is provision to waiver the 8534 restriction but not the blight of the 8503 (No Further Stay) requirement.


For example if an applicant residing in India receives his Invitation whilst in Australia on a tourist visa with the 8503 attached, he will be able lodge onshore and remain in Australia with a bridging visa if he so chooses. They may also return to India and then lodge his application and in that case no bridging visa will be issued. Amazing isn't it, how DIAC can be so considerate for these new visa classes but has done nothing to help the tens of thousands of students waiting in the Group 5 priority processing que.


Eastern Australian Standard Time applies

It is easy to forget when on the other side of the world that when lodging internet applications you have to be aware of meeting the Australian time zone requirements. This is important if applicants are lodging on the internet close to their cut off times specified in their Invitations. Read below what the regulations stipulate;

"Note An Internet application is taken to have been made at the time, identified using Australian Eastern Standard Time or Australian Eastern Standard Time incorporating Daylight Saving Time in the Australian Capital Territory, that corresponds to the time at which the Internet application is made: see regulation 2.10C."


New Points Test 


The new points test DIAC has released at this moment is similar to the current one. The pass mark is currently set at 65 points but is designed to be changed.


Have a look at: 1 July 2012 Points Test

The major difference in this point system is that you need to meet the points at time of invitation, not time of visa application or decision.
In essence, after you have received your invitation to lodge you will not be able to upgrade your points score to your advantage by obtaining a higher IELTS test result or having completed more work experience.
Overall this really will not matter because if you are invited to apply then you can assume you will be granted the visa once all the evidence of claims have been checked.
Some light reading?
Have a few spare minutes and nothing to do? Try reading one of our riveting historical newsletters to give you a buzz.

Won't exactly blow your mind but might rattle loose a filling.


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Kind regards,

Karl Konrad, Managing Director


Jee Eun HAN, Executive Manager     

Australian Immigration Law Services

MARN: 9904238, 0850073 

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저희 회사에는 한국인 스탭도 일하고 있습니다.








So the new EOI is about to begin. You may have gathered from my article that we are not great fans of this new system where a computer is put in charge of who receives an invitation and who doesn't. Don't be fooled either by the hype of having your resume being placed on a web site so potential employers can select you for a job. What a load of rubbish and a waste of taxpayers money to keep such a system maintained.


I remember when DIAC wasted such money on a similar previous system which was a complete flop. On their web site they rolled out one success story but in reality I never heard of anyone being chosen by a potential employer who has never met you and then suddenly are prepared to sponsor you for a visa.


So putting that aside what about the rest of the EOI? It is not the process we and other professional are concerned about, it is the lack of transparency. For example, what numbers are going to be set for each occupation per financial year, what is the statistical breakdown of those who have used the EOI and the total number of which occupations have been registered. There also needs to be some system of keeping DIAC honest in how they program HAL (my own pet name for the DIAC computer) so we don't end up with a secret white Australia policy or some other modern variant in how the invitations are issued.


As far as I am concerned if unnamed rich woman in Australia can get DIAC permission to import labour from one particular country to keep her mining empire running, then anything can happen.


There is no doubt that as word spreads for the new free Immigration possibility in Australia there will be significant interest. There is also no doubt that there is going to be large percentage of fraudulent applications from all those desperate migrants out there who may be taken advantage of by unscrupulous operators who con people to think that applying more migration to Australia is free. All one has to do is fee online form, that's all. I'm sure there will be those who can't even speak a word of English who will be conned into applying.


Our concerns are for the genuine applicants like the international students who study here who may be disadvantaged because they have told the truth and are only just able to reach the pass mark. How long will they have to wait while the fraudulent ones get invitations that they never will use? One can bet the fake ones will give themselves points to ensure they are at the top of the tree. Strange how DIAC does not mention any of this possibility and how they are going to combat such misuse. Waving a stick and saying we have strong character provisions in Australia is not going to scare someone overseas.

Is HAL going to tell us how many invitations are going to be issued and how many genuine applicants have applied? Probably not.

Competition is good but it must be administered in a manner that is fair and transparent. DIAC's system leaves much to be desired but that doesn't mean it has no potential.





Karl Konrad

Karl Konrad

Managing Director

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 Executive Manager

Jee Eun HAN


Australian Immigration Law Services  

phone: 61 2 92791991 | fax: 61 2 9279 1994
email: | website: 


 Level 13, 37 York Street Sydney NSW 2000

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