WELCOME!

After many years' service, our old website has been retired and this space is being prepared for our new one. If you would like to be alerted when the new site is live, please click here, in the meantime, here is some basic information you may find useful, as well as current vacancies.

AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION NEWS FLASH - 27th April 2024

In recent days, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has made several significant announcements, marking a shift in Australia's migration landscape. Last week, adjustments were made to the English language requirements for the Student and Temporary Graduate Visa Streams. Additionally, the introduction of the Pacific Engagement Subclass 192 Visa ("PEV") was announced. The PEV will be a pathway for obtaining permanent residence for eligible visa holders from certain Pacific Island countries and Timor Leste.

These reforms are aligned with the Migration Strategy released on 11th December 2023, which addresses the need to overhaul the existing system and ensure that permanent skilled migration contributes to long-term prosperity. The Strategy emphasises the importance of, "planning migration to get the right skills in the right place."

One of the key changes outlined in the Migration Strategy is the transformation of the current Temporary Skills Shortage visa program. The Government plans to introduce a new four year 'Skills in Demand' visa, aimed at providing workers with more flexibility to change employers and offering clear pathways to permanent residence. It is expected that this visa will replace the Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) visa. Notably, visa holders will have 180 days (instead of the current 60) to find a new Australian sponsor, if their employment relationship with their current sponsor ends. To facilitate this process, there is a proposal to mimic the UK and create a Public Register of Sponsors.

Employers will also welcome the introduction of a trailing fee system, replacing the upfront nomination and Skilling Australians Fund ("SAF") Levy. This change aims to improve small business access to the migration system and will end the current unfortunate system, wherein both the application fee and the payable-upfront SAF levy are forfeited in situations where a Nomination application has been refused.

Furthermore, the Migration Strategy outlines plans to introduce new visa pathways within the Skills in Demand Visa framework. These could be as follows:

  • Specialist Skills Pathway – targeting highly skilled migrants in various occupations with a minimum salary threshold of AU$135,000.
  • Core Skills Pathway – available to applicants in occupations listed on the new Core Skills Occupation List, with salaries above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold ("TSMIT" – currently AU$70,000). Certain trade occupations may also be eligible. A draft CSOL has been put together, which can be accessed here https://www.jobsandskills.gov.au/topics/migration-strategy/draft-core-skills-occupations-list-csol-consultation. However, the final draft may include additional occupations in order to comply with Australia's international trade obligations.
  • Essential Skills Pathway – a regulated pathway for lower-paid workers with essential skills, focusing on sectors critical to Australia's 'quality of life', such as care and support workers.

Other proposed changes include the indexation of income thresholds, a tripartite approach to identifying skills needs involving government, industry, and unions, streamlining of Labour Market Testing processes, and the establishment of service level agreements and modernised accreditation pathways.

Some of these reforms are expected to take effect as early as 1st July 2024. As always, our ASG Team is available if you or your clients have any questions.

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AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION NEWS FLASH - 9th November 2023

We have some exciting news to share that will make a significant difference in the lives of temporary skilled workers in Australia. Pending regulatory approval, with effect from 25th November 2023, the Australian Government is introducing changes to the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (subclass 482) and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) visas. These changes aim to simplify the path to permanent residency, providing more clarity and ease for everyone involved.

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa: Removing Restrictions

One of the most notable changes for Short-term stream TSS visa holders is the removal of limitations on the number of applications that can be made within Australia. This alteration, effective for new TSS visa applications submitted after 25th November 2023, ensures more flexibility for those seeking to extend their stay in the country. However, Short-term stream TSS visa holders whose second two-year visas will expire before 25th November will still need to travel outside Australia to apply for a third short-term stream TSS application, while offshore.

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (subclass 186) Temporary Residence Transition Stream: Simplified Requirements

Changes to the TRT stream Permanent Residence nomination requirements include:

  • Employers will now be able to nominate holders of all streams of TSS visas for PR, including Short-term and Labour Agreement streams.
  • The requirement for nominated occupations in the TRT stream to be assessed against a skilled migration occupation list is being removed. However, the nominated occupation must still be listed in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) and the nominated worker must continue working in the nominated occupation for their TSS visa(s).
  • The period of time a TSS visa holder must work in their nominated position or occupation to be eligible for employer nomination in the TRT stream is being reduced from the current period of three out of four, to two out of the three years before nomination.

These changes will apply to new ENS and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme nomination applications as well as applications that have been filed but where no decision has been made before 25th November 2023.

Further changes to TRT stream visa application requirements include:

  • Adjustments to age exemptions for regional medical practitioner applicants and high-income earners aged 45 years and over, allowing for a two-year pathway.
  • Conclusion of COVID-19 related age exemptions due to the introduction of the two-year pathway.

These changes are a positive step forward in providing more equitable access to permanent residency for all TSS visa holders, paving the way for a brighter and more stable future for them and their families.

As always, our ASG Team is available if you or your clients have any questions.

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UKRAINE

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has led to many people fleeing the country and making their way to safety in other parts of Europe and further afield. Please click here for information and resources that may be of use to those wishing to travel to the UK.

KEY CONTACTS

Ann Symonds, Director, UK
ann.symonds@asgvisa.com

Picture of Ann Symonds

Matthew Amoils, Director, Australia
matthew.amoils@asgvisa.com

Picture of Matthew Amoils
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OUR OFFICES

London

n.b. The address below is for correspondence only and is temporary. Please contact the team member you are working with, should an in-person meeting be desired.

ASG
91 Wimpole Street
London W1G 0EF
United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)20 7299 3330

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Sydney

n.b. Our Sydney office is not open to callers - in-person meetings are by appointment only.

Suite 604, Level 6
12 O'Connell Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Australia
T: +61 (0)2 8901 3834

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CURRENT CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

IMPORTANT NOTE - DIRECT APPLICATIONS ONLY PLEASE - NO AGENCIES!

We are currently seeking to recruit two experienced advisers. We are flexible with regard to the level of seniority as our focus is more on high standards of expertise and client service than on a fixed number of years in this field. Please feel free to contact Ann or Matthew directly for a confidential chat, or send an e-mail to jobs@asgvisa.com

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PRIVACY & DATA PROTECTION POLICY

ASG Business Central Limited (UK)

ASG Immigration Limited (UK)

ASG Global Services Limited (UK)

ASG Global Services Pty Ltd (Australia)

Introduction

ASG takes all aspects of privacy and data protection very seriously and is aware of its obligations under data protection regulation, including the requirements of the GDPR (from 25th May 2018).

The basis for collecting and using personal information

We collect and use personal information to conduct matters under engagements with our clients, to run, improve and develop our business and services and to maintain contact with clients and others who are interested in our work or with whom we have made connections.

With regard to the GDPR, we rely on the following legal grounds:

  • Performance of a contract
  • Consent
  • Legitimate interests

How we collect information

Most of the personal information we collect is provided to us by the individuals themselves, for example when making enquiries, requesting information or fee quotes from us, entering into client engagements with us, interacting with our team members at events, providing / exchanging business cards or attending events (including technical, networking and social events). We may also gather and update information from public / semi-public sources, such as entries on websites and social media platforms.

How we store information

Databases holding personal / contact information are held on our server and our "cloud" service, with data stored only in the EU and Australia, which is a country determined by the EU Commission to have an "adequate level of protection". Although we, in common with many businesses, are currently transitioning our systems to make greater use of external "cloud" services, we do not permit any data to be held outside of such countries.

How we use the information we collect and hold

  • To provide our services
  • To improve and develop our services and business
  • To respond to enquiries
  • To manage our client engagements and the conduct of matters
  • To manage our relationship with clients, suppliers and other contacts
  • To market our services
  • To provide news regarding ASG companies
  • To provide news and technical information that may be of interest
  • To send invitations to events, including technical briefings, seminars, networking events, social events and parties/functions
  • To comply with our legal obligations
  • For any other legitimate business purpose

Sharing the information we collect and hold

Data collected and held by any ASG company may be shared with other ASG companies (listed at the head of this document). While data may be stored in one or more of these companies, the central database is held and run by ASG Business Central Limited (as a data processor) on behalf of all ASG companies.

Data may be disclosed to third parties where required in order to provide our services (for example, courier services, external agents and service providers, outsourced services, and lawyers / other professionals working alongside our own teams) in the conduct of matters. It may also be disclosed where we are required to do so by law.

We have never and will never sell the data we hold and nor have we ever bought lists/data.

Rights under the GDPR

EU resident have certain rights under the GDPR, including the right to see the data we are holding, to request corrections of data held and to be removed from our database (subject to certain exceptions). Should you wish to exercise any of these rights, please inform us using the e-mail address ann.symonds@asgbiz.com Should you wish to be removed from mailing lists that supply marketing messages and/or invitations to briefings and social functions, please inform us using the e-mail address contact@asgbiz.com or click the "unsubscribe" link at the end of relevant e-mails you have received from us. Please note that this will only remove you from the mailing list(s) and not from our database. To be removed from our database completely, please contact us using the e-mail address contact@asgbiz.com and/or contact Ann Symonds (see below). Please note that there are certain circumstances in which removal will not be possible (for example where we are required to keep data relating to matters conducted under engagements with our clients) and that additional correspondence may be required before removal can be completed.

ASG website(s)

Our website is free to access without the need to provide any personal information.

We do not currently have, nor have we had in the past, a website that collects data or uses "cookies". At the time of updating this policy, we are building a new website. It is not anticipated that this will collect data or use cookies but, should that become the case, the details will be published on the site and this policy will be updated accordingly.

Questions & concerns

Please note that the new GDPR does not require us to have a formal Data Protection Officer and therefore we have not appointed one. However, responsibility for our policies and procedures rests with Ann Symonds. For any questions concerning this policy, or should you have any concerns or wish to make a request relating to the date we hold regarding you, please feel free to contact her on this e-mail address ann.symonds@asgbiz.com

Changes to this policy

This policy may be updated from time to time, either because we need to make changes ourselves or because we are required to as the GDPR and other new regulations are implemented. Any such changes will be posted on the ASG website and a copy can be supplied on request.

Policy last updated

25th May 2018

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ASG Immigration is a trading name of both ASG Immigration Limited and ASG Global Services Pty Limited. ASG Immigration Limited is a company registered in England & Wales (number 4342040, registered office 4 Cleveland Square, London W2 6DH) and is registered with the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC - number F200100201). ASG Global Services Pty Limited is a company registered in Australia (ABN 68 167 940 249, registered office Level 2, Piccadilly Court, 222 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW 2000).

Due to UK SRA regulations, advisers at ASG Immigration Limited who have qualified as solicitors are employed on a non-practising basis. Due to NSW Law Society regulations, advisers at ASG Global Services Pty Limited who have qualified as solicitors are employed on a non-practising basis and those advising on Australian migration matters are registered with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA). Under certain circumstances and for certain recipients, some of the material contained herein may constitute Attorney advertising within the meaning of the Attorney Advertising Regulations of the relevant US states. The following statement is made pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct of New York regarding Attorney advertising: Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

© ASG Business Central Limited, ASG Immigration Limited, ASG Global Services Limited & ASG Global Services Pty Limited. All Rights Reserved.