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26 Jan 2020

Tasmanian Migration Agents have experienced issues with the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491). Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

In Tasmania this is administered by the Department of State Growth.

There have been a significant spike of refusals since the new visa came into effect.

There are concerns about how this visa is being promoted and administered.

  • The 491 visa has additional requirements that need to be met, people came to Tasmania in the belief that they could apply for a 489 visa but by the time they became eligible the thresholds had been raised under “additional requirements”

  • Most refusal letters are generic and in many cases they are using ‘quotas’ as the reason for refusal even though applicants have met all the criteria.

  • Refusals have not been consistent based on the strength of cases evidenced.

  • Applicants are claiming that the State is ruining their lives by promoting this pathway to entry, applicants have committed thousands of dollars to come to Tasmania and then being refused even though they meet all the requirements.

  • It seems that in some cases State Growth are simply looking for a reason to refuse (for example proof of living in Tasmania. For example, applicants are providing a signed affidavit that they were subletting a room together with a copy of RTA from the person who was renting the house and bank statement showing most transfers were insufficient)

  • Tasmania State Growth are claiming that the number of students seeking a Tasmanian nomination under the graduation category will greatly exceed their nomination quota between now and the end of June 2020. The State Government claim that they are carefully managing their quota for the remainder of the year to ensure that they are able to nominate candidates who are best able to contribute to Tasmania’s skills needs and economic growth.

  • It can be argued what has this quota arrangement got to do with clients satisfying the requirements. The area of quotas is a matter between the State Government and the Department of Home affairs.

  • It can be further argued that perhaps in retrospect the State Government could have raised the threshold to alleviate the number of complaints, for example excluding specified education courses with an increased focus on specific study courses aligned to employment needs in Tasmania.

  • By introducing a more measured criteria the State Growth department could have avoided increased pressure on their quotas and as a result raise the baseline standard enabling supported applicants being more likely to contribute to Tasmania’s skills needs and economic growth.

  • The fact is that it is unfair to promote requirements under subclass 489 and then introduce additional requirements under the replacement subclass visa 491.

Applicants are requesting that the following be investigated

  • Quotas to be looked at.

  • Visa requirements to be revised so that people are not mislead into believing they can get visa entry this way.

Other Tasmanian Registered Migration agents are experiencing frustration with this but do not want to upset the Department of Sate Growth as they feel they may be persecuted.


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