Ever wonder what Migration Solutions does on a day-to-day basis whilst working on visa applications? The following is a behind the scenes insight into the Migration Solutions engine room – a team of 14 dedicated and committed people working towards getting visas approved and granted for our clients.
As a company, in the month of September we have met with approximately 80 people for the first time to discuss visa opportunities and to gauge their eligibility to successfully obtain an Australian visa. We have also had numerous skype consultations with people from all over the world and received a large number of emails from people seeking guidance and advice. We have commenced 54 new visa applications, lodged 44 visa applications to either Immigration SA or to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, along with five new appeals to the Migration Review Tribunal and a number of ongoing and active matters with the Ministerial Intervention unit. In addition to this, we currently have over 300 applications currently active across the business.
Its pleasing to know that approximately 40% of new inquiries this month have been as a result of referrals from existing clients that we have assisted in the past. We believe this figure speaks volumes of our company’s customer satisfaction levels, and the lengths to which our staff go to in order to assist our clients.
In addition to having between 4-5 appointments most days, as Managing Director I spend a lot of time writing to Ministers and Assistant Ministers – both locally and Federally – lobbying for improved migration policy, outcomes and highlighting the challenges faced by visa applicants, employers and those working in our local economy alike. This month I have also met with and spoken to various industry bodies and skills councils regarding issues faced in South Australia as a result of the nature and structure of the existing migration program, as well as attending a very interesting migration conference held by the Don Dunstan Foundation. I have also received feedback from the Department in response to letters written to the Minister and Assistant Minister about cooks working in food courts, and more broadly, the 457 programme in general.
We have had many positive and successful outcomes this month, none more so than a successful Ministerial Intervention application for Mr Swart and his family. We have received a total of 43 visa grants, consisting of six Family visas, 12 successful 457 nominations and visa grants, six General Skilled Migration visas, four RSMS/ENS visas, and six other visas from various categories. This month we have also had four successful outcomes at the MRT, with another three submissions being made and two hearings attended.
With regards to the corporate businesses we assist, we have continued to provide ongoing advice and assistance for many temporary and permanent employer-sponsored visa applications. We are also providing ongoing monitoring programs for many businesses that employ multiple 457 employees, which acts as a measure to help ensure compliance with the 457 sponsorship obligations.
Recently we have also commenced hosting of an IELTS preparation training program in our office boardroom in conjunction with external English-language training provider Feegrade Consulting. Rohan and Susan are both highly experienced English-language tutours with an intimate knowledge of the IELTS, OET and TOEFL assessments, and we would encourage any clients that are required to take an English-language test of some description to engage in their services.
Along with the recently released 457 report, the Department has also recently announced a new review into the 400 series of visas and Australia’s skilled migration program. The review is understood to be the biggest of these programs in the past 20 years, which provides a golden opportunity for South Australia to have our voice heard. The success of Senator Hanson-Young’s Disallowance Motion against the Family visa repeals earlier this year also saw the Parent, Carer, Last Remaining and Aged Dependent relative visas re-opened, although for what may only be a short period of time.
In addition to this, every month we receive hundreds of phone calls and emails across the business from new and prospective visa applicants, our highly valued customers and their husbands, wives, employers and families. This also includes calls and emails from the Immigration Department, the Migration Review Tribunal, the Australian Federal Police, skill assessment bodies or in relation to translations of documents. Each phone call, letter, fax or email is recorded, saved to a particular file before a deadline is set detailing a particular action for completion.
And it doesn’t stop there. This month’s newsletter marks our twelfth released so far. We also continue to regularly update our social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, in conjunction with our regular distribution of media releases regarding various issues of interest within the Australian migration industry, all of which is designed to keep you informed of the latest news, rules, regulations and trends in Australian Immigration.
As you can read, some exciting and busy times around the Migration Solutions office. I hope this gives you a better insight into the way our business operates, and most importantly, the work we put in to ensuring we achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.
All the best,