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Major Changes to the 457 Visa Category

On April 18, 2017 the Australian Government announced major changes to the main business visa category (the “457 visa”) – describing them as the biggest changes since 1996. Below is a brief summary of the changes announced. Clearly a lot of the detail is missing at this stage and there is likely to be [...]

April 21st, 2017|

International Cost of Living comparisons

Understanding cost of living differences between the home and host location is a common concern of employers and international assignees. Many assignees trust that the employer will take care of them, while employers can struggle to know what is “fair”. Organisations such as ECA, AirInc, and Mercers maintain large databases of prices in many [...]

February 3rd, 2017|

Cultural training: a low-cost high-impact approach

Preparing international assignees for the work and daily living experiences they are likely to encounter in the host location is a form of risk management. Interacting appropriately with, customers, government, business associates, as well as employees is important in protecting the organisation’s interests. Furthermore learning about, and understanding, host country practices helps new arrivals prosper [...]

February 3rd, 2017|

Visas and Immigration update – 457 visa processing times

Finally some good news ! Benchmark 457 visa processing times by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection have become shorter in recent weeks. From 2.5 months in August 2016 their guidance is now 35 working days, and in practice this has been our recent experience over the Christmas and New Year period. As the [...]

February 3rd, 2017|

Data Matching By Tax & Visa Authorities Brings Increased Risks For Employers

In 2015 the Australian Government announced that The Department of Immigration would be sharing information with the Australian Taxation Office. Among the risks Kumar Krishnasamy, Tax Partner at BDO Melbourne, draws to the attention of employers is in connection with visitor / short-term visa categories where an employee subsequently receives a longer term visa (such [...]

June 3rd, 2016|

457 Visa Processing Times : From 10, to 20, to 40+ working days!

Organisations seeking to bring employees to Australian under the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) program, the most common visa category of business visa, are experiencing increasing delays.   Organisational changes at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection: It may be helpful to describe some changes to the operating practices of the Department of [...]

April 15th, 2016|

Visa Processing Times

Visa Processing Times One common surprise for employers and employees is the increase in the time the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is taking to assess and approve 457 visa applications. Currently it is taking 2 -3 months, meaning that good forward planning is required in order to ensure recruits from overseas can take [...]

February 1st, 2016|

Transferring Personal Data to Australia from the European Union (by Gordon Kerr Director, Employee Mobility Unit, Morton Fraser LLP, Edinburgh)

On 6th October, the European Court of Justice declared as invalid the well-established accreditation system, called Safe Harbour, for transferring personal data from the EU to the United States.  The basis for the decision was the lack of protection for personal data in the US, particularly in the wake of a series of revelations about [...]

December 8th, 2015|

Rental yields have not kept pace with property value increases – potential increases in home rental costs.

As many will be aware, property prices have increased substantially in recent years, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne. However rents have not shown a similar increase. We have begun to see noticeable tightening in the availability of properties to rent & this can be expected to lead to rent increases in the period ahead.   [...]

November 17th, 2015|

Client Alert – August

In this Client Alert: ·         Serviced Apartments / Unserviced apartments/ Hotels – the hot market for short-term accommodation ·         Visas: Data sharing – Australian Taxation Office and Department of Immigration ·         Webinar – “Laughter or Loneliness – housing choices in retirement” 23 September 2015 from 1.00-1.45 pm     CLIENT ALERT     Serviced Apartments / Unserviced apartments [...]

August 25th, 2015|