The First Golden Rule of Migration – Never Ever Delay Your Migration Application

Almost without exception, apply to migrate now, not later!

Here are the 5 little known secrets on to make sure your migration is both cheaper and more likely to succeed. As successful cartoonist Scott Adams, creator of the extremely popular Dilbert cartoon said, “Losers have goals. Winners have systems.” Unless you know these secrets, migration be very hard to complete and downright depressing without discipline, professional support and a real sense of urgency.

As there is so much to write about on this topic we have divided this article into 2 parts.

Here is Part A:

Secret No. 1: Eight shocking client case studies prove you should get advice to migrate now and never later!

  1. One of our English clients worked illegally (without telling us) breaching the terms of a temporary work visa which we had previously obtained for him. He was hoping to obtain enough work experience to use for a later permanent residence application. Then the Immigration Department (DIBP) changed the rules making it impossible to claim such work experience – so he had to wait about 3 years before he could obtain permanent residence another way. The client should have just obtained advice earlier before working illegally and the problem would never have occurred. Another migration strategy could have been found.
  2. An Asian client is a world chess champion and involved at the highest international levels in chess journalism, judging and officialdom. Yet she took time off to have children, which is normal for a woman. In applying for a distinguished talent visa she risked losing her eligibility to apply at all. Being able to prove that she was still prominent in her sport as she came very close to the policy limit which requires that that an applicant claiming to possess a distinguished talent within a particular area, but who had not been active within that area for more than 2 years, would not be considered as being prominent within that area. If she had waited just one more month than she did she risked losing her entire application and over twenty years of her striving to be one of the best in the world at chess would have been wasted as far as her moving to Australia on that basis.
  3. Another Irish client wanted to apply for migration with a sponsor in Sydney and while we were advising her to do this DIBP changed the rules on 8 September 2004 and didn’t add her occupation to the new list of occupations available to such visa applicants. If she’d engaged us earlier we could have easily obtained her permanent residence that way.
  4. Many of our business skills clients from Indonesia and Kenya from 1998 – 2000 obtained 4 year temporary business visas only because they had a $250, 000 in assets and a business plan to start in Australia – DIBP removed that visa in 2003 making it much harder to obtain a visa to start up business in Australia. This proves that the rules often get harder; so you should apply now for any visa you can get before the rules make it impossible later on.
  5. A Canadian client was sponsored on a temporary work visa by her Australian employer. She was also eligible for permanent residence but put off applying. Unfortunately, when she went back to Canada for a funeral she was unfairly sacked here in Australia and was stranded there trying to quickly get back here on a student visa – she should have applied for permanent residence while she was here in Australia and had the chance.
  6. Several Brazilian clients have overstayed their visas by many years before coming to see us for advice. They think that is OK and it is more important to enjoy the sun and the surf. For them it would all be OK one day. One returned to Brazil and was punished by DIBP for his illegal behaviour in Australia. DIBP in Brazil prevented him returning to Australia for several years even though he had married an Australian. He should have applied earlier before his reputation was ruined with DIBP by illegally overstaying his visa. The last we heard the couple were living in New Zealand as his Australian wife could not work easily in Brazil with the Portuguese and Spanish language issues.
  7. Another client of ours in the Ukraine sent her de-facto to us in Sydney for advice. We strongly advised she move as soon as possible as their case was complex for many reasons and not likely to get easier as time went by. The totally unexpectedly, her country became the target for an expanding Russia and President Putin, now her case is even harder than before, far harder, in fact, as her motives for leaving the Ukraine will be even more doubted by the Australian Immigration dept., cf.
  8. Two wealthy clients, one an American and another English, wanted to apply for the Significant Investor Visa which requires an investment of $5 million into government approved investments. Industry rumours began.

Secret No. 2: You can actually save money on migration, but only if you act fast

Migration can be very expensive and it almost never gets cheaper. This is not helped by the fact the Australia’s Immigration dept. just keeps on putting the fees up all the time and often by enormous amounts. They have all sorts of “justifications” for doing this (not often related to truth or reality) but they cannot stop themselves. The only way to make a bad situation better is to lodge your application before their next greedy price hike.

Here’s what another respected migration agent has to say about their rapacious fees on his blog:

“…Can anyone anywhere point out to me any organisation (private or any level of government) who has managed to increase its fees at a rate equal to or greater that the Department of Immigration & Citizenship? Can you even point out someone who would rate a close second to DIAC?

It is really hard to know where to start when looking at the truly amazing escalation in DIAC fees over the last decade so I’ll start with some simple summary facts. The average rate of inflation in Australia over the last decade has been 2.7% (Lowest of 1.7% highest of 4.4%).

If we take the Partner visa category as a sample where an Australian citizen or permanent resident sponsors a spouse / life partner either married or de facto the increase in the DIAC visa application charge (VAC) from November 2004 to June 2013 is 115%.

In January 2013 DIAC increased the VAC for the Partner by 30% (between November 2012 and January 2013). On 1 September 2013 the base VAC will go up again by 15.1% to a staggering $4575 for the onshore 820/801 Partner subclasses.

It is also worth pointing out that DIAC have just changed their pricing strategy from a single fee which covered all applicants (primary and secondary) to a system that charges per person applying.

So if you’re onshore partner has a small child (under 18 years) this fee increases to $5720. If they have a dependent child over 18 it is much more at $6865. It is not just Partner visas that are affected in this way it is all applications for sponsored permanent residence massive fee increases.

It is an amazing business model, where you can vastly increase prices while lowering service standards to levels that are actually causing physical, psychological and financial hardship and not have the ACCC dragging you to court and imposing huge fine.

Is money the only arbiter in their decision making?

As these price gouges prove – there is money to be saved by applying now.

Who knows what fee hikes the Immigration Dept. have in mind next?