Alternative to State Sponsorship

Alternative to State Sponsorship

EOI is a system where you can only express your interest but invitation depends upon the other party: immigration or state. When the Expression of Interest (EOI) started, my first observation was: what if you express your interest but are never invited. You need to maintain a visa for a long time and sometime may have to go back to the student visa. When the state was accepting every other application and so applicants had no other plans, my fear was what if state sponsorship is tightened up. In fact, NSW State Sponsorship was not such an easy thing that it would be simply granted by being able to apply then the whole point based system or EOI would be a disgrace. State so far as July has proven my fear as unwarranted; now in November, I see the dark cloud on the horizon again.

State Sponsorship is not an alternative as easy as it was. It is not an assured, dependable solution. If anyone or everyone can apply for state sponsorship, be nominated and granted permanent residency (PR) based on that, what is the point of immigration changing the PR visa system via the introduction of EOI. Everyone coming to Australia want to stay on and should be able to obtain a PR visa, if the criteria are met, however, we cannot anymore depend on state nomination for this.

We have experienced by now how unpredictable and unreliable state sponsorship is. We don’t have any better hope now that there was two unmanaged intake due to the unknown, uncertain and persistence system issues and failure. We cannot live without planning for a matter as important as permanent residency in Australia. Now that there are few thousand more applicants added to the growing list for February intake and so on; the comfort of waiting for the limited state nomination and the chances of getting one have a slim hope in my assessment.

Finding alternative is important. It’s about making sure you plan to your residency rather than just rely on such an unpredictable thing like state nomination.  It’s like creating a portfolio with multiple investments rather than the risky investment-putting all eggs in one basket. PR is a constant war between your point score and the required pool score; an uphill battle between immigration changes and your circumstances. And so there must be a contingency plan. There must be a way out or a plan to move on. You will always be in a better position if you have an Ace card in your hand. What if it never re-opens? What if there are issues like in the past? What if there are too many applicant and too little allocation? What if there are other new issues? Anything of the above can happen. You must be prepared. You must be ready to divert your pathway. There will be causalities if things are not planned and you don’t want to be one by investing in things that can help. These things you should do and do now will prevent you from being a casualty. Yes, it may be expensive and may need a lot of resources – time money and effort, but it is worth it.  

You cannot put your life on this one thing (state) and just wait. We cannot be that positive in life in a matter as important and where there is such uncertainty. We must start to analyze all our alternative, find the solution, plan ahead and determine a course of action. If you keep a backup plan, you won’t be left in a limbo or chaos as many are now in, should we not be able to get nominated in the coming intakes. There are other alternatives to an individual which must be reviewed. Talk to a professional migration agent or your present migration agent for analyzing all the alternative that you may have and plan ahead to beat the future. After all your future is much more important than the mere time and money you invest in the present. Investing in PR has a long-term positive net return in its own right.

You are welcome to discuss your concern; we are here to assist you in bringing your dream come true. You must act now for your future. There is no time to waste now to act in future to regret the present decision. There is some alternative to NSW state sponsorship. Look for it.

Hem Raj Bhatta

Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1466471)

Residency Guide


Replacement of the 457 Visa

457 Changes

457 have been chopped for now by swiping changes; it will be abolished overtime with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa system form March 2018. Some suggest the changes are not as significant as it has been reported at the media release. They might be right in suggesting it to be political hype. It was a political move attempted to show certain character of the government and is aimed at the constituencies disgruntled with the performance of the government or the visa program as such. These individuals believe that their work (or rights over work) and benefit therein has been taken over by the 457 visa holders or otherwise, by migrant, in general.

Despite these suggestions, there are a lot of people who has or will suffer significantly. Especially, of those greatly affected by the changes are individual in the process of making a 457 application or has worked hard over the period in doing so who might not have other immediate option available. Further, a lot of people are dependent upon such an employer sponsor visa as a mean to entry, stay and gain permanent residency in Australia. I have at least 80-100 people around me that will suffer the most.

457 has been one of most popular class of visa which has assisted wide range of people in coming to Australia for work and in obtaining permanent residency therein. These range from cook to IT specialist, from hairdresser to contract administrator. The visa subclass was specifically important for individuals who were skilled but didn’t have good English ability or student who has spent years trying their options without success to continue their stay in Australia or for one who has money with less or no ability whereby you can even self-sponsor oneself. All these categories of people will suffer seriously and would not have such an easy, peaceful and anytime available option.

Further to those businesses including agent assisting individuals, migration agent assisting in visa application and multiple of business that thrive with the assistance of the 457 needful will suffer. There were a lot of business that were or has been operating in the back of the 457 program. A lot of business has open, survived and grown with the 457 applicant’s assistance. These will suffer. 457 has equally been one of most money-making option for migration agent working in assisting the client in different aspect of the visa process. It was huge and that is one of the reason even Register Migration Agent felt the pain and hurt of the visa being abolished as there will not be such big money in near future from any other program. Fortunately, for me I was able to lodge 5 application on the day of the announcement (the fate of which we are yet to learn), while a further 3 pending should not have any issue even in the new system; but a few more applications dead and dusted for now. A costly lesson learned though, as always, never leave things till the last minute.

Particular of the furore, are the caveats in many occupation and the requirement as to the sponsoring business. Caveats in occupation like cook, restaurant manager and even chef in the hospitality industry will be a big blow to many employer who have just started a business and were keen to sponsor individual in the business on those occupation for some obvious advantages. Likewise, contract administrator, accountant and other IT professional will be a big blow to many in the pipe line which were the easy option for many recent graduates. This is particularly so especially as there are a lot of people that are stuck in the middle without any valid option of continuing their stay in Australia and who had an option to lodge a 457 therein.

However, there were a lot of changes that were obvious like experience requirement or the size of the business for many occupations. For example, just a day before the changes, I had a request for a 457 as an accountant by an Indian client. My simple explanation to them was how would one justify sponsoring an accountant on a 457 unless they have at least 5-10 employee or more and unless the turnover is at least 5-10 hundred thousand. They have been thinking otherwise that any company with any sales with an ability to pay 54k can sponsor a full-time accountant. Such a misconception that has prevailed and should not have been promoted by professionals. It has been all but clearer with the changes that was obvious to some of the occupation as it is understandable that you would not need a fulltime accountant unless you are of the size and scale as I have been explaining to my clients at least.

As it has been definite to be chopped and tightened even if it comes in different form or name; we can only be positive and hope the tide will change especially in days where migrating to the western world is getting difficult day by day. Yet, we have survived and will rise again.


Hem Raj Bhatta

Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 1466471)

Residency Guide



This is a personal, opinion piece only and is not intended to be a professional advice to any individuals. Please consult your professional Registered Migration Agent for more details and actual migration service.

Changing State Sponsorship

Changing State Sponsorship

State Sponsorship has changed and in fact, it is no more the state sponsorship as it is supposed to be. It is the same thing as the SkillSelect itself, in the sense that both are the selection based invitation process. Both have the same principle and procedure, the only difference is you can apply for State Sponsorship with a score of 55 points while SkillSelect needs 60 points score to be accepting you. As well as this, for you to be nominated by the state you should apply as you would for SkillSelect and that both have now become an invitation-based system.


So, what has changed and what is the impact upon individuals. By being a selection based invitation system, you just apply for state sponsorship as most of the others and wait for you to be invited for being a better-qualified applicant than others. This would be the same as in SkillSelect which would prefer to invite for application to the applicant with 65 over 60. In state sponsorship, it’s not the point score as all of the applicant will have the same score rather it is the quality of the applicant in terms of English, experience and when they have applied that is important for selecting of an applicant over others. It’s like a job application where your selection is based on your qualities compared to others.


Now, isn’t it the same in SkillSelect processing as well? So, what’s the point? For you, if you are the last two applicant and if there is only one spot left in the occupation ceiling and the body has to choose one of the two or more, they will look at point score which is based on English and experience predominantly and then they would look at the time applied and can go further into individual qualities. The only differences at this stage that separate between SkillSelect and the present state sponsorship, in my view, is that state doesn’t care about the age factor while SkillSelect may not care about the individual aspect of English or experience something that can score a point.

Then there is another aspect of the equation mostly ignored or forgotten –the occupational ceiling that may be applied to occupations by the department. What if you could get selected but there is a ceiling that would prevent you. Occupation ceiling is crucial as there is a huge volume of applicants in one occupation over others and people might not get a chance in both systems just because of this. The lower the ceiling is filled, the higher your chance of getting selected, which often we ignore.

The future o the state is more uncertain as the present system is meaningless and it’s not much different and supplementing to the SkillSelect process as it should be. And, the fact that the state has opened the entire occupation list now merely shows that they just want to look like a party to the visa rather than completely getting out of the equation. There is not much meaning to state sponsorship if there is not a specific skill that the state, in particular, may want from the general SOL list. Add to that, the state system is not much different to the SkillSelect rather than just that you can express the state nomination and be granted one at 55 while SkillSelect at 60 only points. It may just be undermining the 60 point score required and may be giving someone a preference over others and may have a risk of internal preference going on. The point score is a merit based system and should not just act as a lottery system where an individual at 55 score can get lucky over other, without strict and clear preferential system, and get an opportunity to apply for residency which one would not have been able to apply should they require a score of 60 in State nominated programs.

If the applicant is more than likely to stay in Sydney and the EIO score is 60, isn’t the state opening whole list of skills to be able to apply and the mere individual quality as a test at 55 just another way to retain, attract or confuse individual and keep pressing the power they may have. Or, is it merely their position and their ability to be a player and staying being a player in the immigration management of the GSM that they are playing about.

Perhaps it’s time to think beyond the box.

Planning Residency Journey

PR Struggles

Gone are the days when you can pass the final exams and then start to think how and when you are going to obtain permanent residency. The rules, then, were not changing as frequently and the decision would be quicker. Once qualified, residency could be granted in less than a week with merely passing the exam and mere 6 IELTS score or so.  This seems like amusing grandfather’s time story.

Things have changed and are changing constantly. Currently, residency rules would change more frequently than the season and are getting tougher. Moreover, the same rules do not apply to all and will depend much on your individual situation. Of course, there are still a lot of options for one to get around and get the residency we all want so much and struggling towards for years. But, you must do one thing at least – you must plan; plan well ahead, plan from the beginning and plan with the right advice or guide.

By plan I don’t mean your mere thoughts and consideration only – it does not lead to residency. You need military styled, strategic planning – analyzing time, action and results with a strict guideline and process to be followed at specified times for reaching your residency goal. It’s not that people without a strategic direction cannot get a permanent residency, they can and they will. The only thing is it will take more resources and if you plan and invest time and money now you will save or spend less than what you would otherwise. After all, you don’t want to lose in your future than your present resources. I am cynical rather trying to be practical in stressing the need for planning ahead and leading your way to residency – without this as well people can get residency. It is just to stress the need for more organized, practical and more focused approach to achieve the end result.

Permanent residency is not a right nor is it something you curse your luck for. Rather, it is a specified system of getting your quality and essentials right. If you meet the checklist, you get the score and you will get the residency. It is such simple things which still people don’t understand, plan and act upon accordingly. And, the sooner you get it, the higher is the chance of avoiding future score changes and or the higher chance of staying at a higher score in future. Simple it is the game of meeting or exceed the score and waiting the best way. And for meeting the score required, you need to know where you are and where you want to go and how you will go there and when.

All these need simply planning, organizing and act accordingly. Sometimes some professional advice and some thought on basic from them will help but mostly your thoughtfulness will matter the most. It is simple, so you can do it yourself, however, it is always a good idea to invest on professional advice so that they can plan ahead and guide you and remind you of your action plan and course of action. And trust me, this is a wise investment and one you should rather do. It is for your better life and future and the future of your family that you need this investment of time and money and this planning ahead and acting on those plans with the guidance from the professionals.
After all, the professionals, I am talking about will merely charge you a lot compared to what you would end up in saving in the end. Further, the assistance will save you a lot in the future and in losses otherwise in visa renewal and visa maintenance, should you go lose on an unplanned permanent residency journey.

Who do you trust for your life – yourself or a professional or BOTH?


Hem Raj Bhatta

MARN: 1466471


This is an opinion piece only and not a professional advice. Please consult a professional Registered Migration Agent for more details.



Yes! The rules have changed regarding IELTS for Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485 (popularly
known as TR). This is the best and positive sign that we have seen in years. Be Careful! However,
because as of now, it may not apply to you personally.

DIBP has changed its requirement regarding IELTS for TR to overall 6 with each band score of at least
5 which is good news for many of the students who have been hanging at just under 6 in one of the
band. This is also a progressive sign or a sign that the government is willing to welcome and retain
more people in Australia unlike the previous government policies during the GFC where they were
repelling the migrating and securing Australian employment. The rules can be followed by several
other good news for us as an industry and as a countryman.

However, at its current position, the rule does not favor all but limited people. Even if, DIBP has
changed its position and requirement, the main skill assessment bodies have not changed or moved
down their requirements. General, it is expected (and let hope) that they do change alongside with
the immigration department, however, it is not necessary or compulsory for them to change or lower
their own requirement. Skill Assessing Bodies are independent and can determine their own
industries’ English language requirement for the skill assessment along with other requirements that
are different than as required by the department. Given that Assessing bodies have not changed the
required as yet, not all of occupations can be assessed and hence not everyone will be able to
benefit from the rule changes.

Some of the skill assessment bodies do not need English requirement for skill assessment. As such,
Students in those occupations will definitely benefit from the rule changes. In particular, the IT skill
which is assessed without the English language is going to be most beneficial at present with the
policy change and it might be true that the rule is favoring the sector which has been hard hit due
to lack of skill occupations even in the regional sponsorship list. At the same time, it is going to be
good for other skill that does not require English score of 6 to be assessed.

And then, there is the Post-Study Work (PSW) students who have applied and were granted a visa
after Nov 2011. These people do not need a skill assessment as such. And so, not requiring skill
assessment they will be able to apply for TR with the reduced score than the previous score they
were not able to obtain. This is as the PSW are granted TR without skill assessment just once they
complete their studies. And, so they will widely benefit from the changes. This might also be a
reason the changes were implemented as they want to attract and retain these new students and the
next lot that is coming. After all, Australia need students for the good life of Australian as much as
students need Australia for good life in a developed country. Without the students flow, the city will
literally stop. And I am serious; half of the building in the city is related to education industry
whether it is an educational institute, migration consultancy or some other related one; without them Sydney bends on its knee.

Back to the rules changes. Please be careful of what you doing, do not try to step in an unknown territory. If the changed rule does not apply to you it does not apply to you and you cannot take
benefit of it. It is not meant or made for you and so you cannot somehow try to get benefit from it;
my friends.

And here is the biggest trap. Even if you get TR by less than 6 score as per the new rule, you will
need 6 for the PR though. Unless further rules changes, you will need each band score of 6 to apply
for PR once you have sufficient points. So it is like ya you will be allowed to obtain TR but you will
not get PR unless you get 6. Now for the movement the choice is you’re whether you want to get 6
now or in future. Think Hard! Or let’s think together!

Hem Raj Bhatta
Registered Migration Agent
MARN: 1466471

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement

This is based on the Ministerial Direction at the time which will assess students based on their circumstances in home country or at the time of visa application, their immigration history among others.

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement is one of the measures which the government uses to determine and manage student’s stay and the reasons and determine student’s intention to stay in Australia. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement does not however prevents one from developing and planning for permanent residency

Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) is a crucial subjective measure in student visa with substantial ability to influence the visa decision

DIBP considers following factors for Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) Requirement in determining the intention of student to stay and study in Australia temporarily:

  • Student’s circumstances in home country including academic, work or professional career and determine whether the past study qualification and work experience are in closely related field
  • Intention of studying and commitment  reasons to return after completion of studies
  • Immigration history of applicants already in Australia and their compliance with the Australia laws and visa condition after arriving in Australia
  • Relevancy and consistency of studies between student’s past and intended course of study
  • Potential circumstances in Australia and connection to Australia
  • Value of the course to student’s future, employment and income and their career

Other circumstances influencing the applicant’s stay in Australia temporarily