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.

Age exemption for eligible medical practitioners in regional Australia

To attract and retain vital health services in rural areas, there is an exemption to the age requirement for eligible medical practitioners who are 50 years of age and over, work in regional Australia and who wish to apply for the Subclass 186 Visa and Subclass 187 Visa (i.e. permanent residence visas) From 1 July 2015, the age exemption available to medical practitioners in regional Australia will no longer require employment with the same employer while holding a Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 Visa or a Medical Practitioner (Temporary) Subclass 422 Visa.

Instead, medical practitioners applying for a Subclass 186 or Subclass 187 Visa must demonstrate at least four years employment in the nominated occupation. These medical practitioners must demonstrate that at least two years of the required four years employment was located in regional Australia and the nominated position will also be located in regional Australia.

More information about exemptions to age, skill and English language is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s website at .

The relevant legislative instrument IMMI 15/083 is available at

Please contact Putt Legal if you are an overseas medical practitioner either in or outside Australia and are interested in Australian permanent residence

Are you currently unlawfully (i.e. hold no valid visa) in Australia?

If so you should contact the Department of Immigration & Border Protection (and Putt Legal!) as soon as possible to discuss your options – it is possible that the Department will grant you a bridging visa (BVE) which temporarily allows you to remain in Australia while your immigration matter is resolved. BVEs are most commonly used where:

  • a visa application is being considered
  • a legal process is underway
  • a person is making plans to depart Australia.

If your visa has just expired, you should come and see us as soon as possible to apply for a new visa. If you are located in the community without a visa, you could be detained and removed from Australia. The sooner you see us, the more options you may have.

To be considered for the grant or renewal of a BVE, you will need to visit the Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS), who are located in departmental offices in every capital city.

You can phone CSRS for information about expired visas or BVEs. You can do this anonymously and seek general information or you can speak to the operator in more detail about your circumstances.

Telephone: 1300 853 773 131 450 (for interpreting assistance)

More information, including frequently asked questions, is available at:


The Australian government announced today changes in how people invest $5 million if they want Australian permanent residency

The Australian government announced today changes in how people invest $5 million if they want Australian permanent residency (they have to invest in certain investments for 4 years). They can also get permanent residence if they invest $15 million over 12 months. Could you please put on the web blogs? – I will now produce a high wealth email that we (i.e. you) can email to identified individuals – many thanks  Changes to Australian permanent residence investment visas

 Today the Government announced the new complying investment framework (PDF) for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme (media release (PDF)). The Government intends that the new framework will be implemented from 1 July 2015 and will encourage investment into innovative Australian ideas and emerging companies. From 1 July 2015, Austrade will also become a nominator for the SIV, alongside State and Territory Governments, and the sole nominator for the PIV.

The new arrangements are part of the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, announced by the Prime Minister in October 2014. Since the announcement, Austrade has undertaken extensive consultations with interested stakeholders, including public consideration of complying investment design options through two rounds of public written submissions (receiving approximately 170 submissions). Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to consult with stakeholders to explain the investment framework ahead of the changes to the programme being implemented on 1 July 2015.

Under the new arrangements, SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million over four years in complying investments, which must now 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 per cent limit on residential real estate).

Previously, investment through the SIV programme was largely going into passive investments like government bonds and residential real estate funds – areas that already attract large capital flows.

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.

The Government intends to introduce a new PIV from 1 July 2015, targeting talented entrepreneurs and innovators. The PIV will offer a more expeditious, 12 month pathway to permanent residency than the SIV, for those meeting a $15 million threshold. The PIV will be available at the invitation of the Australian Government only, 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.

Further details at

Changes looming for Australian investment visas

The Australian Government has today released a draft investment framework for an enhanced Significant Investor Visa Scheme (SIV) and design options for a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) as part of its broader competitiveness agenda. The reforms are aimed at better directing investment through the visa schemes into more dynamic areas of the economy, including venture capital and small emerging companies.

The framework and design options were developed by Austrade following initial rounds of stakeholder consultation which attracted 68 written submissions.

Under the existing SIV scheme investment is directed largely into passive investments like government bonds. Applicants are required to make an investment of at least $5 million in complying investments for a minimum of four years. Under the proposed changes government bonds would no longer be a complying investment class.

The proposed complying investment framework for the SIV scheme includes:

  •          Specifying that at least 20 per cent ($1m) of the applicant’s $5m investment must flow into early stage, growth capital investments, through approved venture capital funds.
  •          Specifying that at least 30 per cent ($1.5m) of the applicant’s investment must flow into emerging listed companies, through managed funds investing in small Australian stock exchange listed companies
  •          Reinforcing the existing rules banning direct investment into residential real estate, and introducing new measures to clamp down on indirect investment into residential real estate. A portion of funds will continue to be permitted to flow into commercial real estate, via managed funds.
  •          Enhanced measures to improve protection for investors.

The Premium Visa scheme would require a minimum investment of $15 million and offer an accelerated 12-month pathway to citizenship.

This scheme will be more flexible in terms of investment class and will be aimed at attracting exceptional business people to Australia, including high-calibre entrepreneurs.

Changes to complying investment policy for the SIV and new PIV would take effect from 1 July,

Further information is available at: