Australian Migration Agents identify a growing frustration with perpetually changing requirements in how DIPB, their equivalent of INZ, assess visa applications, since a new Immigration Minister was sworn in in December.

“We will empower our officers to say no more often … as well as ensuring that our staff have the training and support to make defensible, adverse decisions”.

This, together with the ‘no benefit of the doubt’ rhetoric of the Prime Minister, means that there is greater scrutiny and risk profiling of visa applicants.

In the three months since December 2014, 203 visas have been cancelled, compared with 372 in the three years to July 2014.

Now, if an application for a 457 (work) visa is rejected, there is no longer a right of review for applicants.  This means that should the applicant be in Australia and the nomination for a 457 visa be rejected, then they (and any accompanying family) will have to depart Australia within 28 days from the decision by the DIBP Officer.

What does this mean for HR Managers?

Many corporates have tight deadlines on the global relocation of senior personnel, but now because of the risk of a 457 application being declined; with the potential for the applicant being required to leave must be taken into consideration. Consequently, the timing of an application and whether or not the applicant is encouraged to travel to Australia before the decision on the application, becomes critical.

Presumably the political pressures on DIPB are in response to the current economic situation facing what has in the past been called, ‘the lucky country’.

IN NZ, we can be appreciative that the INZ does not [usually] change their processing in response to political pressures.  Our experience is that INZ is willing to work with respected lawyers and advisers to facilitate senior and skilled employees to take up their positions in NZ. Also INZ does have processes whereby declined decisions can be reviewed subject to review criteria.