A good news story! Successful Ministerial Intervention outcome for Linda Oppel

Putt Legal acted for Linda Oppel in her appeal for Ministerial Intervention.

‘Ministerial Intervention’ is where the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has the power to intervene in a case where they think it is in the public interest to do so. The Minister is not legally bound to intervene and will only intervene in a small number of cases, for example where there are unintended consequences of legislation, or the application of legislation leads to unfair or unreasonable results.

Putt Legal assisted Linda, a South African citizen who applied for a Subclass 835 Remaining Relative visa in 2014. Linda was sponsored by her biological sister Monica, an Australian citizen, and no longer had any family in South Africa after her husband of 30 years passed away.

Linda and Monica’s parents were killed in a car accident in 1965 and they were placed in foster care together for the following 7 years. In 1972, when Monica turned 18, she left foster care and Linda (then 12 years old) was adopted by a much older half-sister to allow her to leave the foster care system around the same time.

Linda’s visa application was refused on the basis that her adoption in 1972 meant that, under Australian migration law, she was not considered a ‘remaining relative of an Australian relative’ as required for a Remaining Relative visa. That is, according to Australian law, Linda and Monica are not considered to be related to each other.  With no other visa options, Linda was told by the immigration department that she would have to return to South Africa for good, leaving behind not only her sister Monica but also Linda’s son and his partner and Linda’s newborn grandson.

Initially, as reported in The Australian newspaper (and elsewhere) , the Assistant Minister decided that it was not in the public interest to intervene in Linda’s case.

However, after further submissions by Putt Legal, the Hon Minister Peter Dutton intervened and on 10 July 2017 Linda was finally granted a permanent visa to stay in Australia.

Linda is pictured above with son Martin, daughter-in-law Anika and grandson Leon.

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Visa Application Charge increases from 1 July 2017

The 2017-18 Federal Budget included increased Visa Application Charges (‘VAC’) from 1 July 2017 for most visas.

The increase in the VAC is only in line with the Consumer Price Increase (‘CPI’), i.e. in line with inflation, so the new prices are not drastically higher. The increases will only apply to 1st instalment charges, and 2nd instalment charges are unaffected. Adult and child dependent charges will also be increased in line with the CPI.

For example:

Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme – will increase from $3600 to $3670.

Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme – will increase from $3600 to $3670.

Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent – will increase from $3600 to $3670.

Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (ending March 2018) – will increase from $1060 to $1080.

Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate – Work – will increase from $1470 to $1500.

Subclass 188 – Business Innovation – will increase from $4780 to $4875.

Subclass 100/801/300 – Partner or prospective marriage – will increase from $6865 to $7000.

Subclass 20 – Bridging visa B – will increase from $140 to $145.


The VACs will not be updated on the Department’s website until the 1 July 2017, but you can contact Putt Legal to enquire about the new prices.


Source: DIBP

Change to Employer’s Obligations – subclass 457, 186 and 187 visas

Current Training Benchmarks imposed on employers sponsoring workers for subclass 457 and subclass 186/187 visas will soon be replaced with a levy.

“Training Benchmarks” are requirements that employers must satisfy to become an approved sponsor.

Currently, businesses can satisfy this requirement by demonstrating:

a)       Recent expenditure by the business of at least 2% of the annual payroll of the business is paid in to an industry training fund; or

b)      Recent expenditure by the business of at least 1% of the annual payroll of the business paid for the provision of training Australian employees of the business.


From March 2018, businesses will instead pay a levy into the ‘Skilling Australians Fund Levy’.

For each employee on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (which is the visa replacing the subclass 457):

·         businesses with a turnover less than $10 million per year will pay $1200 per year.

·         businesses with a turnover more than $10 million per year will pay $1800 per year.

For periods of less than a year, the full levy will be charged.


For each employee being sponsored via the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186 visa) or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187 visa):

·         businesses with a turnover less than $10 million will make a one-off payment of $3000.

·         businesses with a turnover more than $10 million will make a one-off payment of $5000.


Source: Migration Institute of Australia & DIBP.


New Temporary Sponsored Parent visa

From November 2017, a new temporary sponsored parent visa will be available, allowing children to sponsor their parents for up to ten years.

Visa applicants can apply for a three-year visa for $5,000 or a five-year visa for $10,000. One single renewal for a further five years can also be made for $10,000.

To sponsor their parents, sponsors must be Australian citizens, permanent residents, or eligible New Zealand citizens.

Sponsors must pay private healthcare costs for their parents, and undertake to be a financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents may incur while in Australia.

Visa applicants will be unable to work on this visa, and applications will be capped at 15,000 for the first year (with a review of the visa programme being held by the Department after the first year).

After the 10 years, applicants will not be able to reapply and will have no onshore pathway to permanent residency.

Note: Existing contributory and non-contributory parent visas will remain unchanged and open to new applications.

Source: Migration Institute of Australia, DIBP & http://www.sbs.com.au/yourlanguage/hindi/en/article/2017/05/04/new-parent-visa-announced