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Did You Say …Defacto Relationships?

What is a de-facto relationship? 

You might think you know but the Court may think something else!  This can be a really complicated issue and some people pretend it didn’t happen.  This may be happening to you.  If you believe you are in a relationship with someone that is more significant than just ‘dating’, you may be in a de-facto relationship.

Basically if you live with another person as a couple (‘on a genuine domestic basis’) for 2 years, you are in a defacto relationship. There are many variations to this that come before the Courts. If you have a child together or buy property (‘substantial contributions’), there is a defacto relationship.  Other considerations include the length of the relationship, whether there was a sexual relationship, whether there was a financial relationship, whether you appeared together in public as a couple, whether you shared your life, whether you cared for children together.  It does not matter if one party was married to someone else, in a defacto relationship with someone else or whether both parties are of the same gender.  A party can’t deny the existence of the relationship if it is established by the Court.  If there is a relationship, there can possibly be a property settlement.

When a de-facto couple separates, one of the parties must apply for a property settlement within 2 years from the date of separation.  You should record the date of separation somewhere or refer it to a specific event as you might need to prove it later.  If neither party applies, the Court can refuse to hear your application.  The Court has refused many such applications.  In a recent case before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, an out of time application was refused even though the party claimed she would suffer financial hardship.  The Court found that the applicant had no excuse for the delay in proceedings and dismissed the application.

If you end a de-facto relationship, you should get legal advice from a specialist family lawyer as soon as you can.

Posted in: Our Blog at 27 April 17


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Thunder in Paradise: Major changes to Australian immigration that may change your eligibility for a skilled or work visa

On  19 April 2017 the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) as we knew it has been abolished and replaced with the completely new work visa system. Although the final changes will be implemented gradually by March 2018, the first phase of a number of intended changes to the approved occupation list has already been implemented by significantly reducing the list of eligible occupations.

As you would be aware, the occupations eligible for visas were listed previously in two schedules.

 The Skilled Occupation list (SOL) was relevant for applicants who needed a visa for:

Independent points-based skilled migration who are NOT nominated by a state or territory government agency. This is for subclass 189.
Family Sponsored points-based skilled visa in subclass 489.
For those who have completed their studies in Australia, Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work stream.

Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)

The CSOL contained the occupations for:

Points-based skilled migration who are nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan.
The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), who must have been nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the CSOL
The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
The Training and Research visa (subclass 402)

As of 19 April 2017, the lists have been re-named:

• the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) as the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL); and

• the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) as the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).


You must nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) if you are applying for any of the below:

    Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

    Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) - Family nominated

    Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work Stream.


You must nominate an occupation on the combined list of eligible skilled occupations if you are applying for any of the below:

    Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) – Direct Entry Stream

    Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

    Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)  - State or Territory nominated

    Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)

    Training visa (subclass 407)​​​​

From a subclass 457 perspective this includes:

• 216 occupations removed from the list of eligible occupations; and

• caveats added to 59 other occupations.

Caveats contain additional requirements for certain occupations which are mandatory conditions for approval.

The caveat for the occupation of Accountant (ANZSCO 221111) for example excludes its use under the standard subclass 457 programme for any of the following:

• clerical, book keeper and accounting clerk positions;

• positions in businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $1M (AUD);

• positions in businesses that have fewer than five employees.

This caveat is designed to ensure that in the context of this occupation, the subclass 457 programme continues to be used for skill level 1 accountants positions only – that is, positions where the nominee will be involved in planning and providing accounting systems and services relating to the financial dealings of organisations and individuals, and advising on associated record-keeping and compliance requirements.


Similarly, a caveat for Baker (ANZSCO 351111) excludes any of the following positions that are:

• related to mass or standardised production, including positions based in a franchise or factory, as opposed to specialist production;

• involve full or partial production of food product for distribution to another location;

• predominantly involve the use of pre-prepared food product from another location.


What happens with pending applications?

Existing 457 visas will continue to remain in effect. However, clients who lodged subclass 457 nomination and visa applications prior to the Government’s announcement for occupations now no longer approved for the purposes of the programme, which remain on hand, will be given the opportunity to withdraw their applications and a refund provided.


If you are affected by the changes or want to know what your chances are to secure a skilled, temporary or permanent work visa call our office today to arrange a confidential consultation with a senior migration lawyer.


Posted in: Our Blog at 21 April 17


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Parent Visa

The Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) allows for older parents to permanently live in Australia. The primary requirement is for the applicant(s) to be a parent(s) of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen who is settled* in Australia. Applying for this type of visa can often be time consuming and feel overwhelming, which is why we’re here to help you get started.

Benefits of an Aged Parent visa

The Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) is a permanent residence visa for aged parents. It enables you and any member of your family who has been approved for this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

Requirements for Aged Parent visa Application

There are a number of specific requirements you need to meet in order to be eligible for an Aged Parent visa. You can apply for an Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) if you:

have a child who is a settled* Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen
meet the Aged Parent visa age requirements
meet the balance-of-family test which measures a family’s ties to Australia
meet health and character requirements
have a sponsor who is a settled* Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible New Zealand citizen.

If you’re unsure about whether you meet these requirements, our qualified Migration Agents will be able to assist you.

Alternative Options to the Aged Parent visa

There is significant demand for the Aged Parent visa (subclass 804) and, as a result, the visa may not be granted for years to come. Rather than waiting this time, you could also consider a Contributory Aged Parent visa, which is typically approved within two years.

If you do wish to speed up the process by applying for a Contributory Parent visa, you will experience a higher application charge. There are two options for the Contributory Aged Parent visa:

the Contributory Aged Parent (Temporary) visa (subclass 884) gives you a two-stage visa pathway in which you can first apply for a temporary visa and later for a permanent visa

the Contributory Aged Parent visa (subclass 864) is a permanent visa that lets you pay the full costs of Contributory Parent migration through just one visa application.

More Information about the Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)

If you have any questions about your eligibility or need some assistance with the application process please get in touch with our qualified Migration Lawyers. We are experts in migration law and have helped thousands of people with their visa applications.

To see whether you are eligible for this visa, to find out more information, or to apply, visit our Aged Parent visa page.

*Settled: A person is considered settled if they are an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen who is lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period. In normal circumstances, two years is considered to be a reasonable period. Sponsors who have been absent from Australia for extended periods prior to lodging their sponsorship may be required to provide documentary evidence to determine whether the settled requirement is met.

Posted in: Our Blog at 24 January 17


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