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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 18 October 2014
SATURDAY 18 OCTOBER 2014 9 AUSTRALIA There is a constant drove of people flocking to Australia, as our promising Land of Oz still welcomes immigrants. The land of opportunity keeps looking overseas with open arms, even though a lot has changed regarding Australia's visa requirements during this last couple of years. If you are about to make the big move and attempt getting an Aus- tralian working or student visa for either yourself or a loved one, you are probably swarmed by questions and paperwork, worried about get- ting everything right regard- ing state government require- ments and all those extra steps that will pop up in the process. Regardless of the type of visa, you will come across a num- ber of application forms which might feel like obstacles block- ing your way towards the en- chanting new life experience Australia has to offer. Unless you have already found your dream job that holds hands with a sponsored high-skilled visa, or been ac- cepted at the university of your choice, you could be re- quired to first lodge an ex- pression of interest (EOI) and then only if invited to lodge a formal application for mi- gration to Australia shall you have the opportunity to flirt with this card. The pro- cedure has indeed gotten harder, thus has triggered a whole new field of expertise, manned with skilled agents, solicitors and experienced support staff able to assist applicants from overseas to come through. Neos Kosmos has there- fore met up with Ivan Chait, founder and principal of Ivan Chait & Associates (Pty) Ltd, who has consulted in Aus- tralia immigration since 1985 and is an associate fellow of the Migration Institute of Australia. Ivan is a chartered accountant by qualification and apart from dealing with all the immigration formali- ties of a vast range of immi- gration scenarios and com- pleting concurrent applica- tions for hundreds of skilled workers, he has also assisted migrants with their financial needs both before and after arrival in Australia. Ivan was the inaugural national chair- man of the Australia South- ern Africa Business Council and previously national treas- urer and director of the Mi- gration Institute of Australia, the professional industry as- sociation, which at that time included the Migration Agent Registration Authority. Immigration agents claim to be able to execute the best possible approach in achiev- ing a successful outcome. What can they do that you can't? According to Ivan, "the role of a registered mi- gration agent is to advise and assist an applicant seek- ing temporary or permanent residence in Australia deter- mining their eligibility, and if so, under which visa category they should apply, preparing and lodging the appropriate form with the Department of Immigration and Border Pro- tection and so on". It is essential for a candidate to be aware exactly of which criteria they fall under, since Australia has numerous visa categories, including both temporary and permanent residence. Respectively, they take on from employment related visas, sports, enter- tainment, student and visi- tor visas to family migration, skilled and economic migra- tion as well as humanitarian and refugee visas. But is the Australian immi- gration process so perplexing that it demands the help of an agent rather than a direct ap- plication to the Immigration Department? Ivan attempts to shed some light on said matter, predicating that it is often rather difficult to deter- mine the best visa option in particular situations. In ad- dition, registered migration agents are highly trained and qualified with the appropri- ate experience to prepare and file complete applications with the Department of Im- migration, seeing that they meet the prerequisites for ap- proval. Ivan goes on to clarify that "no registered migration agent with the office of the Migration Agent Registration Authority would ever accept an application that fails to meet basic and reasonable prospects of success within the standards of legitimacy". To conclude, we asked Ivan to break down the cost of the various visas as well as the agency's fee. He gave us an honest yet broad answer, con- sidering. "The cost of a visa application depends very much on the type of visa and the complexity of the case. As for the fee range, it sub- sequently varies from approx- imately $750 to $20,000 per application, excluding the lodging fees payable to the department of Immigration and Border Protection. Granted you have taken your drive to face new challenges and dive into new life experi- ences while working or stud- ying under the safety net of a valid visa seriously, we advise you to at least receive some on-line consultation before you attempt to apply on your own. In order to get a realistic assessment of your eligibility for permanent or temporary residence in Australia, why not provide an agency with the certain particulars, along with a questionnaire sent via email, fax or standard mail for assessment. It could save you a lot of time and trouble. Migration agent Ivan Chait. The key to success with your visa Migrating to Australia? Ivan Chait explains how an immigration agency can significantly raise the chances of your application being approved A swathe of visa subclasses in the Australian govern- ment's Family Stream of the Migration Program are once again open to new applica- tions, but because of long processing times, may be impractical for many. The legislation that closed the Non-Contributory Par- ent and Other Family visas in June was overturned in the Senate on 25 September, and its reopening allows - in theory - applications for par- ents of an Australian citizen or permanent resident to live in Australia. Most applicants for the Parents visa (sub class 103) need to be sponsored by their child, who must have lived in Australia for two years prior to the application be- ing lodged. Other visas reintroduced in- clude the Aged Parent visa (subclass 804), Aged Depend- ent Relative visas (subclass 114 and 838), and Remaining Relative visa (subclass 115 and 835). Remaining Relative visas allow a foreign national - whose only near relatives are living in Australia - to come to Australia as a per- manent resident. Carer visas (subclass 116) are also available through the scheme. Carer visas are provided for someone need- ing to move to Australia to care for a relative with a long-term medical condition, or to assist a relative who is already caring for a family member with a severe medi- cal condition. Asked how the visas' rein- troduction might benefit the Greek Australian community, lawyer and registered migra- tion agent Penny Dimopou- los told Neos Kosmos: "Any expansion of the Fam- ily Visa Stream is welcome. However, these visas are sub- ject to extremely long wait- ing periods. "For Non-Contributory Par- ent visas - approximately 30 years, for Carer visas - ap- proximately 4.5 years and for Remaining Relative and Aged Dependent Relative - approximately 56 years. "The re-introduction of these visas effectively achieves very little, and po- tential applicants will have no choice but to seek alter- native visa options." Parents and family visa scheme reopened Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Matthew Guy have commended the multicultural media's role in ensuring all Victorians can access information and feel connected to the com- munity. Attending the October mul- ticultural media conference, Dr Napthine said the pur- pose of the conferences was to provide multicultural me- dia representatives with ac- cess to senior members of the Victorian government, and to provide information on the Victorian Coalition government's key initiatives, including those specifically relating to multicultural af- fairs and citizenship. Mr Guy said more than $24.4 million has been al- located to the Multicultur- al Affairs and Citizenship portfolio in this year's State Budget. "Multiculturalism is a huge success in this state, it de- fines us and makes our so- ciety stronger. Migrants are coming from a broader range of countries than in the past - meaning Victori- ans will be speaking a larger number of languages, and practising a wider range of cultures and religions, than ever before," Mr Guy said. Napthine government recognising the value of multicultural media Victorian Premier Denis Napthine.
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