2014 has been a busy year for MSM, not least of all because of various legislative and government activity both here in South Australia and federally.

The Temporary Skilled 457 visa is rarely out of the spotlight. The program has been under review with the Minister for Immigration announcing that changes are afoot following an independent review. The Government has accepted some of the recommendations of the review including providing greater flexibility around the English language  and skill requirements, extending the length of sponsorship approval for start up businesses from 12 to 18 months, retaining the current TSMIT level of $53,900.00 for the next two years and rewarding low-risk applications with streamlined processing arrangements.  No formal dates have been set so it is a matter of ‘watch this space’.

In South Australia, Immigration SA has been keen to attract more skilled and business migrants. The sponsorship requirements have been tweaked over the last 12 months making South Australia more competitive and attractive to new residents. Immigration SA has introduced the ‘Chain Migration’ pathway which offers relaxed  skilled migration sponsorship requirements to those who have an immediate family member already living in the State.

This year we saw the Carer, Aged Dependent Relative, Remaining Relative and Aged Parent and Parent visas get the chop in the month of May, followed by the reintroduction of the visa categories in October after Senator Hanson-Young’s successful disallowance motion was passed. The visas are now back in business, but the waiting times are extensive.

With Australia and China negotiating a Free Trade Agreement this month, the Minister for Immigration has announced that Australia is committed to providing visa pathways for business entrants from China and a Work and Holiday visa program for up to 5000 educated Chinese nationals each year. When will all this happen? Watch this space.

For people already living in Australia, a written Will establishing how you would like your estate divided upon your death, and to whom, can help the Department see that your intention is to live and work here in Australia, or that you are in a relationship with an Australian partner. Leases on premises (either residential or commercial), business contracts, Australian Company Registration and the other many business documents that show your connection  to life in Australia are all useful to demonstrate your intention to live here. We can assist you will all of these documents, ask us for further information.

We take this opportunity to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas season, and a safe and successful 2015.

From all the team at MSM