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Steve Elliott

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  1. Steve Elliott


    I am in the process of moving my UK funds to Australia and am using the one retail fund which is (Q)ROPS compliant. To be clear unless you are taking (paying) for financial advice, the selection of investments is pretty much your own personal choice. It's not like many superfunds whee you have the option of selecting various sleeves such as growth, balanced, conservative etc where performance relies on the asset allocation, investment skills of a fund manager, instead, the investor has a menu of funds and ETFs to chose from. There's a fair bit of choice for the typical investor. Many of the ETFs and funds have low/competitive fees however the administration fee is relatively high. So really, its not fund manager performance/investment track record which we need to look at as it will be different for everyone. It's more about the integrity, compliance of the trustee, custodian etc all of which have very stringent reporting obligations.
  2. It's a bit like having to ask for a divorce due to the fact that you have found someone more attractive. I'm not sure they will be jumping with joy to release you doing cartwheels to release you as they will be wasting that precious spot they allocated to you. If you do not get their permission to release you, and you relocate interstate, asking for nomination at the PR stage might be as likely as Sheffield United winning the FA Premier League. .
  3. The 491 is a temporary visa with a potential pathway to PR. It's a two stage process. The best way to sabotage your chances of PR, is to snub your nominating state by going interstate. You need to understand, the program of state sponsored visas is intended to address skills shortages of each state. Each state has a finite number of places which are allocated to them by the Australian Government. So by going interstate, you are effectively torching that place which results in another state benefitting. You will need a very good reason indeed to be released. Consequences of non compliance is that you will not be nominated for PR. Remember, the Australian visa system is structured to serve the needs of Australian business, States and Territories, not applicants. - It sounds a bit harsh, but that's the reality!
  4. Steve Elliott

    Migration agent help

    I would be going back via your MD in the UK to connect you with the HR/recruitment team in Australia. Based on your description, I would be gobsmacked if they do not have a dedicated person who is a specialist in global mobility within the global business. I would be gobsmacked if they don't have policies in place to manage the whole process and will more than likely have a dedicated migration agent they use. They should also be acutely aware of the rules as to who has to pay for what visa costs and the consequences of falling foul of the regulations. I am surprised the agent you are working with has not already mentioned this. From experience, many line managers are blissfully unaware of all the rules and regulations which often results in promises made which are more complex and time consuming than first appears. Good luck with your adventure.
  5. Steve Elliott

    Do I have any choices

    I am aware of a number of RRVs which have been granted in the past few years where the submission wasn't the strongest. It is quite possible the sands may have shifted in he past 7 years. Australia has different needs today so maybe your professional background, skillsets may potentially add weight to our case. I totally understand you may not wish to post these personal details on a public forum but for the sake of clarity, the nominal cost of a consultation would likely be insignificant in the broader context. - It has to be worth the small investment?
  6. Steve Elliott

    Do I have any choices

    I would tend to agree with Paul. More personal details are needed to assess any possible pathways. Your age, profession, qualifications, family situation, remaining links to Australia (if any ) etc etc. Much has changed in recent years, so it would be worth investigating more thoroughly even if such an exercise concludes you have "Buckleys". At least you will know where you stand and can get on with your life...
  7. Steve Elliott

    Visa Refusal? What does it mean?

    A visa refusal is where the application for a visa is unsuccessful and thus, the visa was not granted/issued. A cancellation is where the initial visa application was successful, but the visa was subsequently cancelled. In the scenario you describe, the applicant must answer YES. If the response provided is false, every likelihood is that the false answer will be detected and this could cause further consequences down the track.
  8. Steve Elliott


    Yes, it's a real shame Many offshore operators prey on the vulnerable and misrepresent the chances of successfully obtaining an Australian visa.
  9. Steve Elliott


    All RMA's are required to display their "MARN" on their website. The MARN is a unique number which is given to every migration agent in Australia. It means they have undertaken extensive studies, passed the required exams and undertake ongoing study. RMA's are also bound by a very strict code of conduct which stipulates how agents must operate including handling monies giving advice etc. You simply can't provide immigration advice in Australia if you are not registered. If however, the "agent", and I use the term "agent" loosely, operates physically outside Australia, they are beyond the reach of Australian law, so anyone could potentially set up shop and call themselves an agent. In order to try and legitimise their business, they often claim to work in collaboration with Australian RMA's but this is typically untrue or they pay an Australian RMA a commission to "borrow" their RMA status. The problem for you, the consumer, is you have zero protection unless you are dealing with the RMA directly. This not only could result in the loss of money, but also visa refusal or worse! I have looked at the website and it is very clear that they wish to give the impression they are based in Sydney and Melbourne. It is very clear to me that much of the information is clearly out of date as several of the visa pathways listed are no longer available. My advice is to tread carefully!
  10. Steve Elliott

    Sponsored visa

    As Paul Hand mentioned above, the QPS International recruitment campaign is centred around what is known as a Labour Agreement. These are essentially "tailor made" agreements between the Australian Federal Government and certain industries, businesses and organisations who have a critical need to source skilled employees and have typically struggled to recruit applicants within Australia. Examples include, Meat processing, horticulture, fishing and fine dining. As Paul mentioned, often there are concessions such as wages and age. This is not the first time the Queensland Government has done this. I had some first hand involvement with the recruitment of Paramedics from the UK back in 2006/2008. Almost 200 paramedics were successfully sourced from the UK. I recall part of the orientation/induction program when recruits were introduced to some Queensland residents rarely encountered in the UK such as venomous snakes, crocodiles, and spiders - The session was hilarious.
  11. Steve Elliott

    AESF exit options

    As a financial adviser of 30+ years, and given the information provided, I would suggest seeking out some financial advice from a specialist in the area of UK pension transfers. Given the modest balance, paying an agreed "fee for scaled advice" is possibly going to be your best option. AESF's reluctance to provide you the advice you are seeking, while frustrating, is correct. You need to obtain personal financial product advice which AESF can't provide. Also, they would potentially be conflicted. Bear in mind you can potentially rollover non QROPS into AESF where the funds would be segregated from UK sourced funds. Getting something like this wrong could potentially be very costly and there are many moving parts including fees, insurance, asset allocation and so forth. I would suggest having a conversation with Andrew Williams at Vista who can put you on the right track. Good luck.
  12. Steve Elliott

    Ship Master Immigration & Study Route

    UTAS is recognised as a leading Maritime Campus.
  13. Late last week Registered Migration Agents were advised that there will be no allocations of places for Business and Investment visas for this financial year (ending June 30 2024). Thus in effect the program is closed until further notice. If and when the program does re-open, it is highly likely the program will have undergone an overhaul, with potentially some streams discontinued and others, changed in terms of eligibility criteria and conditions. This is unfortunate for many aspiring applicants as this was potentially the only possible pathway to PR. For a very small minority of candidates with a track record of career and or business achievement in specific sectors, a Global Talent Visa might be a worth considering, but will be out of reach for most. Lodged valid sc188 applications will continue to be processed as will the permanent 888. This is an unfortunate state of affairs at it conveys a message that Australia is not interested in attracting skilled business owners and investors. This will simply result in Austalia missing out as these talented individuals explore other options! In the meantime, the priority rightly remains on attracting skilled talent to address Australia's skills shortage. It's just a shame both pathways can't be open and operating side by side.
  14. Does anyone have the info on how many 188B visas were granted in the 12 months ending June 2023, and is so by State & Territory?

    1. Steve Elliott

      Steve Elliott

      The department used to publish this data periodically which I tracked, however, I haven't seen any recent data. Numbers published annually no longer breakdown into subclass streams. Even if available, my opinion is that the figures would be meaningless as the BIIP is effectively suspended at the moment with no indication if and when it will re-open. 

      Processing of applications already lodged also seems to be on hold, or progressing at a snail pace at best. 

      I'm sorry this might not be very helpful but the current paralysis with the BIIP is causing everyone a great deal of angst. 

  15. Steve Elliott

    Moving my UK Pension to QROPS (AESF)

    I am a financial adviser but not in this specialist area. I too am in the process of transferring a UK pension to AESF and would strongly suggest seeking out specialist advice both in terms of when you became resident in Australia, the type of visa you initially entered Australia on arrived on etc. The ATO website does have a section on this which is helpful. Flight ticket might be a useful starting point as well as visa grant notice. In terms of taking income /lump sum from your QROPS, the fund still has reporting requirements back to HMRC for several years but this is something the trustee will usually take care of on your behalf. - If I were you, I would talk to an experienced and qualified professional as mistakes can be costly. Andrew Williams at Vista would be a good person to talk to. Good luck