Category Archives: AES Information

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Changes to Migration Assessments – Accountants and External Auditors

Changes to the assessment criteria will be implemented with effect from Wednesday 1 July 2015. The total number of core knowledge areas will be consolidated to nine (9) from the current twelve (12).

Pre-July core knowledge areas   Post-July competency areas
 Accounting Systems and Processes  Accounting Systems and Processes
 Financial Accounting  Financial Accounting and Reporting * including both Financial Accounting & Accounting Theory
 Accounting Theory
 Management Accounting  Management Accounting
 Finance  Finance
 Audit and Assurance  Audit and Assurance
 Commercial Law  Business Law * including both Commercial Law and Corporations Law
 Corporations Law
 Taxation Law  Taxation Law
 Accounting Information Systems  Removed – no longer required
 Economics  Economics
 Quantitative Methods  Quantitative Methods


Candidates must meet at least seven (7) core knowledge areas, with the exception of External Auditors and Taxation Accountants, who must meet at least eight (8) as outlined in the table below.

Core Knowledge Areas 


















Accounting Systems and Processes compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Financial Accounting & Reporting compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Management Accounting compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Finance compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Audit & Assurance optional optional optional compulsory optional optional
Business Law compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Taxation Law optional compulsory*Australian Taxation Law optional optional optional optional
Economics compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory
Quantitative Methods compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory compulsory


The Degree and English language requirements will remain unchanged.


All applications received on or after Wednesday 1 July 2015 will be completed under the new criteria.


If you have already received a positive assessment outcome from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, your assessment remains valid and these changes will not affect you.


If you have received an assessment outcome from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and have been advised to complete further studies to meet the core knowledge criteria, you will need to consider the new competency areas when choosing your study plan.


Source: Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand


Please contact us for further information and consultant Tel: (613) 9654 3409

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DIBP Polio and Visa Application Update

Visa applicants who have spent 28 days or longer in Afghanistan, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia or Syria, or in any combination of these countries, on or after 5 May 2014 should provide a vaccination certificate as evidence that they have been vaccinated against polio if they are applying for a visa from outside of Australia. This is in response to the World Health Organization’s declaration of polio as a public health emergency of international concern.


For further information see:


Source: DIBP

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NSW set to introduce special 5-year SHEV work visa

Australia’s most populated state has become the first one to sign up ‘in-principle’ to the Safe Haven Enterprise Scheme (SHEV) which will give asylum seekers an alternative to the Temporary Protection Visa, with a five-year option to live and work in regional NSW, according to a media statement by NSW Premier Mike Bard.


Currently there are an estimated 32,000 asylum seekers in Australia eligible for refugee assessment and waiting for final determination, most of whom are living in communities on bridging visa. About a quarter of that number live in NSW, mostly in Sydney’s west and south-west.


Under the Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) scheme announced by the Premier, eligible asylum seekers will be able to apply to reside in NSW — excluding Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong — for five years, on the condition that they live and work in a country area.


 “This is good news for regional NSW as it will help provide labour in our regions while providing longer term security for these asylum seekers,” Baird said.


While there is no promise of permanent residency, asylum seekers will be able to apply for onshore visas granted they stay off welfare for a minimum of three-and-a-half years.  Those choosing to live in the city will give up to right to apply for an onshore visa and apply for a three-year Temporary Protection Visa instead.


NSW’s introduction of the SHEV scheme is pending final agreement with the federal government, and a memorandum of understanding is being negotiated that will cover the cost of support services for visa holders, Guardian Australia was told.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection website does not provide details on how to apply for a SHEV, indicating only that information will be made available. It does not include family reunion or re-entry to Australia provisions.


For additional information on the Temproary Protection Visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visas (SHEV) follow this link: TPV-and-SHEV-briefing.pdf (


Source: Migration Alliance

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Swinburne International Postgraduate Loyalty Scholarship

Scholarships are now available to students graduating from a Swinburne bachelor program who apply to study a Master’s by coursework program at Swinburne in semester 2 2015 or semester 1 or 2, 2016.



Scholarships are valued at 10% of the annual tuition fee for the duration of the postgraduate program.


Courses eligible

Any Master’s program at Swinburne.


Eligibility / selection criteria

·         Students must be 2015 graduates of a Swinburne bachelor degree

·         Students must be eligible for an offer for a Master by coursework program

·         Students must commence their eligible Masters program in 2015 or 2016

·         Students must accept the scholarship offer within 2 weeks of offer date, if the offer is unconditional

·         Students who hold a conditional offer must accept their offer immediately after meeting their condition

·         Students must not be:

o    a citizen or permanent resident of Australia

o    in receipt of another form of scholarship or reduced fee arrangement

·         Standard course progression rules apply. Scholarships will cease for students who fail a unit of study

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Minister to get powers to revoke citizenship

Regardless of whether a crime is proven, the minister for immigration will be allowed to strip the Australian citizenship of dual-nationals, under proposed amendments to the Citizenship Act.


The intended changes are reportedly aimed at people with links to terrorist groups. The government has started a broad review of Australian citizenship and is looking to tighten that grant criteria as part of its measure to counter radicalisation and safeguard the nation’s social cohesion, according to a report in The Australian.


“Under the legislation that we intend to introduce in the next few weeks, if the minister is satisfied …, he may, subject ultimately to judicial review, strip the Australian citizenship from those individuals and obviously they will then no longer have an entitlement to return to Australia,” announced Prime Minister Tony Abbot.


Dual-nationals stripped of their Australian citizenship by the Immigration Minister would be allowed to seek review of the decision to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and Federal Court.


The immigration minister will rely on the advice of intelligence agencies in the decision. Mr Peter Dutton, admitted that it will be “very difficult of course to gather sufficient evidence to satisfy an Australian court beyond reasonable doubt that that person committed that offence in that part of the world.”


Former attorney general and immigration minister, Mr Philip Ruddock has been appointed as a special envoy for citizenship and community engagement in the broader review of Australian citizenship. Mr Ruddock said: “We offer people respect for their race, their country of origin, their religion, their cultures, but we do have expectations that all who make a commitment to this nation and its future, will observe the laws of Australia. There is nothing new in that.”


Source: Migration Alliance

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DIBP and Centrelink targeting relationship fraud

To assist in a Department of Human Services (DHS) investigation into social welfare fraud, DIBP will release more than 5000 individual records to DHS–Centrelink for data matching purposes.


These records will be electronically matched against DHS–Centrelink data holdings to
identify non-compliance and fraud through declarations regarding relationship status and details.  The DHS is particularly targeting:


  • Centrelink customers who are failing to declare their correct relationship status to the ​department


  • Visa applicants suspected to be involved in migration fraud in the partner visa programme


  • Facilitators / organisers / professionals involved in migration fraud using the partner visa programme as a pathway for their clients to obtain permanent residency in Australia


Source: Migration Institute of Australia

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Guess which country’s nationals have the highest rate of visa cancellations on character grounds?

Figures just released by the department of immigration revealed that some 450 foreigners in Australia have had their visa cancelled since July 2014 after being convicted of serious crimes in Australia. Another 100 visa applications were refused under character provisions.


Compared with the previous year this represents an increase of over 450 per cent in visa cancellations and an increase of over 40 per cent in visa refusal decisions. Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton said these actions prove the Government is serious about protecting Australians from foreign criminals.


The DIBP media release noted that in the same period, of the 450 visas cancelled, 34 removals have taken place from New South Wales, with Western Australia (13), Victoria (11) and Queensland (10) together accounting for another 34 removals.


“My message to the minority of people who travel to Australia and violate community standards is that they should consider themselves on notice; we will continue to target you by cancelling your visa and will remove you from Australia as soon as possible,” stated the Minister.


Under changes made by the Australian Government, mandatory visa cancellations can apply to non-citizens convicted of serious crimes like murder, rape, sexual assault and drug crime.

Over the last year, seventy-one people have been deported following criminal convictions in Australia, including nine pedophiles, six rapists and one murderer.


One hundred people had their visa applications refused for failing Australia’s character test in migration laws, including 40 from the United Kingdom and 22 from New Zealand.


The DIBP figures revealed that New Zealanders make up more than half of the 450 foreigners who have had their visas cancelled: 254 Kiwis had their visas cancelled, the highest of any nationality, followed by 40 British nationals.


Source: Migration Alliance

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Live in Victoria – Significant Investor Update

This update provides information about the Victorian Government’s activities to support and attract investor migrants to Victoria through the Business Innovation and Investment Program’s Significant Investor Visa stream.


Significant Investor applications summary

The final program outcomes of the Significant Investor Visa under the previous complying investment framework, which closed on 22 April, are as follows:


From the commencement of the SIV program on 24 November 2012 to 22 April 2015, Victoria has nominated 1,745 investors, whose combined intended investment value is estimated to be in excess of $8.72 billion.


More than 90 per cent of these funds have been invested in government bonds and managed funds.


As at 31 March 2015, the Commonwealth Government had granted 751 visas nationally, of which 428 (57%) were granted to Victorian nominated investors, 245 (33%) to NSW nominated investors, and the remainder to other jurisdictions.


Commonwealth reforms of investor visas

The Commonwealth Government has announced the new complying investment framework for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme. The Government intends that the framework will be implemented from 1 July 2015.


Austrade will also become a nominator for the SIV, alongside State and Territory Governments, and will be the sole nominator for the PIV.


Under the new framework, SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million over four years in complying investments which, under the new rules, must include:


At least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds;

At least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and

A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate).


Direct investment in real estate has never been a complying investment for SIV and this will not change under the new arrangements. Indirect investment in residential real estate through managed funds will also now be limited. Importantly, a SIV holder can still independently invest in residential real estate so long as it complies with foreign investment rules, but this would not count as a complying investment to qualify for a visa.

Premium Investor Visa

The Commonwealth Government intends to introduce a new Premium Investor Visa from 1 July 2015 targeting talented entrepreneurs and innovators. The PIV will offer an accelerated 12 month pathway to permanent residency, for those meeting a $15 million threshold.


It is understood that the PIV will be available at the invitation of the Australian Government, with potential recipients to be nominated by Austrade. This programme will be rolled out over the next year, focussing on attracting a small number of highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals. States and Territories will play an important role in helping to identify potential applicants.


Source: Victorian Government

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‘Backpacker tax’ could send shockwaves through the English language course sector

One of the shock announcements of the Budget was that working holiday visa holders will be required to pay about a third of their earnings in taxes. The Treasurer announced that from July 2016, those on a working holiday in Australia will no longer enjoy a tax free threshold of up to $18,200, and will instead be forced to pay 32.5 per cent tax from their first dollar earned. That measure will apparently save the budget $540 million over four years.


What is the real cost of this? Backpackers might go elsewhere like New Zealand. Fewer backpackers here could also mean a dive in the enrolments in the ELICOS sector – the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas students. The ELICOS visa has been used by many backpackers to remain in Australia at the end of their work/holiday stint and some go on to full student visas for other courses.


Sue Blundell, English Australia’s executive director told The Australian that taxing backpackers will affect the ELICOS sector badly as these working holiday-makers could start looking elsewhere and drastically damage a $2 billion dollar industry.


The ELICOS sector accounted for 15.0% of total student enrolments and 21.5% of total commencements in YTD February 2015. A report by EA and the federal Department of Education has found that almost 164,000 students started English language courses last year, with student numbers increasing by 11 per cent on last year and revenues climbing to $2 billion.


China accounted for the largest cohort of enrolments and commencements in ELICOS with shares of 26.1% and 21.7% respectively. Brazil was the next largest nationality for ELICOS enrolments with 8.0%, followed by Thailand and Colombia (7.8% and 6.9% respectively).


Ms Blundell said ELICOS colleges faced a tougher time from July next year following last week’s budget decision to remove the tax-free threshold from working holiday-makers’ earnings.


“But the tax status of working holiday-makers is a huge thing,” she said. “We’re going to see ourselves losing working holiday-makers hand over fist — they’ll go to New Zealand, where they can still have those tax benefits.”


Source: Migration Alliance

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Further information on biometrics collection for Australian visa applicants in Hong Kong

From 22 May 2015, we will commence the collection of biometrics in Hong Kong.

Biometrics will be collected from visa applicants who are in Hong Kong at the time of making a visa application to enter Australia, unless they are excluded or exempted from doing so under Australian Government policy.


Holders of Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, British National Overseas, and People’s Republic of China passports do not need to provide biometric data when applying in Hong Kong for visas to enter Australia.


Visa applicants residing in Hong Kong who lodge their application at the Australian Visa Application Centre (AVAC) in Hong Kong will be asked to provide their biometrics at the same time.


Visa applicants who send their applications by post to the Australian Consulate-General in Hong Kong or to the AVAC, will be sent a letter requiring them to attend the AVAC, in person, to provide their biometrics.


Some applicants lodging their visas online might be sent a letter informing them that they need to attend the AVAC in person to provide their biometrics.​​​​​


Applicants will need to contact the Australian Visa Application Centre to make an appointment and have their biometrics collected.


Biometric data will be collected by the Australian Government’s service provider VFS Global through a quick, discreet and a non-intrusive process that captures a facial image and a 10-digit fingerprint scan.


More information about these new arrangements is available on DIBP’s Hong Kong page. ​​​​​​​​​​​


Source: DIBP

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