The NSW government released a statement that it would possible offer off list nominations to individuals who have moved to their perspective areas in anticipation of their 487 visas to be granted.
However they have included a whole new set of rules not in existence there when applicants lodged their visa applications, some more than 3 years ago. Many applicants will now find that no longer will meet the requirement to have their visas granted.
One of the rules created is that applicants must have moved and began living in the regional areas before the 1st July 2012, another one, that they must demonstrate at least 6 months of living in this region before they can be considered.
Can the NSW regional areas be trusted then? Remember these are the bodies that did not even send to DIAC all the appropriate forms to DIAC in the first place and if they had there would not have been a problem in having the visa's granted. It seems incredulous to IMMIGRATION NEWS that these same properly have the gall to impose further restrictions on applicants where as they could do there jobs properly in the first place.
Our office has been flooded with email from adversely affected students who have now found themselves with little chance of being granted their visas because the regional office failed to supply DIAC with the signed Form 1100. We couldn't think a greater demonstration of incompetence in handling applications whereby they did not complete such a simple task.
But does this let DIAC off the hook, not by a long shot. We raised the following questions to Mr.David Stewart, then Program Director of the GSM program at the Adelaide Skilled Processing Centre;
1) Please supply the appropriate sections in the Migration Regulations
your department is threatening to reject the application by not accepting
the state sponsorship Form 1100 which has been issued? We require this as
part of the natural justice procedure so an appropriate response can be
made on behalf of our client.
2) As previously mentioned there has been no information released by DIAC,
to my client or to my knowledge any other 487 or 886 applicant, that a
cutoff date existed where the Form 1100 would not be accepted by the
sponsoring bodies. Please provide the date when my client was affected in
this instance whereby any Form 1100 sent by the MRDB regarding my client
would become invalid?
3) On the MRDB board web site a statement has been released regarding this
problem with 487 applications. They state "The Department of Immigration
and Citizenship (DIAC) Adelaide Skills Processing Centre (ASPC) has
advised it will recognize officers of sponsorship by State Territory
Governments or their delegates where the "nomination" does not occur
promptly after the offer of sponsorship." This implies that they have only
recently become aware of the issue of old sponsorships not been honored by
DIAC if the Form 1100 was not sent "promptly. This public release is only
about one week old and confirms information received by our office that
the MRDB was not aware previously of any cut of date where the Form 1100
would become invalid. This seems to contradict your statement that the
participating governments were informed earlier regarding this issue. Can
you provide an explanation for the contradiction?
4) Do you know what the definition of "promptly" is as the statement made
by the MRDB seems to indicate this comes from a recent DIAC requirement?
5) Your letter indicates you are aware of communication sent to the MRDB
(or to the NSW state government) regarding nominations no longer being
accepted unless they were on the new SMP. Please provide any evidence
where the communication was sent to the MRDB or to the NSW state
government that any Form's 1100 sent to DIAC after the implementation of
the SMP would not be valid?
6) As you mentioned the nomination acceptance provision is "time of
decision". The ASPC would be well aware that in many cases in the
processing of these files, agents have to chase sponsoring bodies to send
of Form 1100. This was often done at the request from the case officers as
they did not have the Form 1100 in the applicants file. Please provide an
explanation as why no information was released publicly or to us as the
authorized agent or to my client whereby DIAC created a critical cutoff
date that would have to be adhered to make the nomination valid?
7) The ASPC would be well aware of the various requirements of sponsoring
bodies in order to gain such sponsorship. In most cases applicants have
been recently notified of this issue and they have no possibility of
meeting the current sponsorship requirements. This has put applicants in
an impossible position to provide a new nomination approval before a case
officer is allocated and a decision needs to be made. Please provide an
explanation as to why the ASPC, knowing this problem was going to arise at
a later date, left it so late to notify applicants that a problem existed
in their files? Would not DIAC have a duty of care to notify applicants of
a policy change that would affect their applications possibility of being
successful? Why was this policy change not put into the Procedural Advice
For the record not a single question above was answered.
Remember from one of our previous newsletters, Mr. David Stewart is the same Program Director who wrote to our office condoning intimidation and terror tactics and a legitimate DIAC policy where truthful answers are being sought from applicants.
We note with interest that Mr. Stewart if now the Principle Migration Officer for Kabul. I'm sure the tactics that he believes in will sit quite well with the locals there. We covered this issue of DIAC condoned Terror Tactics in Volume 208.
Well while Mr. Stewart escapes the limelight of this monumental disaster at the ASPC these questions will now be for the Minister to address. Let see if we can get an honest answer from him where the efforts to date have failed.
For the record it is clear both the regional certifying bodies and DIAC are equally responsible. It is grossly unfair to apply new rules and regulations upon those who lodged their visas years ago, especially where in many cases they are impossible to meet. It would have been far simpler to provide an adequate response from the start that to dribble out new rules that favours some but not others.
Read more in the Editorial.