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  1. http://law.ato.gov.au/atolaw/view.htm?docid=%22AID%2FAID201153%2F00001%22 This Ruling might be of interest to some who maintain high quality contact with both countries. Note: It is recommended that those with complex tax affairs (those who migrate generally fall into the complex category, at least to the generality of tax practitioners and financial advisors) take advice from a competent tax professional about their personal tax position. Best regards.
  2. Hello My husband and I arrived in Sydney in January and have both started our new jobs. We are very confused about LAFHA so any advice is appreciated. I worked in London but liked the idea of moving abroad. I managed to secure a new job with the same company in Sydney and was advised that I could get the LAFHA allowance. However, now that I am here I have been told that I must obtain a Private Ruling from the Australia Tax Office, as my Company has provided LAFHA to another employee only to find out that they were not eligible. So now I need to apply for a private Ruling so that we can be certain that I am eligible. I am on a 457 visa and plan to move back to the UK at the end of the 4 years. However, I am on a permanent contact with the Australian company. I wanted to move to Australia, but I would only have moved if I had been offered a job with my Company. Does this qualify as relocation? We did not own a house in the UK so ended our tenancy when we moved here. However, most of our possessions are being stored at my parent's house for when we return. A second question - my husband is on my 457 visa and has secured a job in Sydney. Would he qualify for LAFHA? (He was offered the job while we were in the UK) Also, has anyone applied for a private ruling and how does this work? Many thanks for your help! Jo
  3. sourse : Ombudsman finds DIAC dodged visa ruling A woman initially refused a partner visa by the immigration department has been allowed to come to Australia following an official investigation into her case. Commonwealth ombudsman Allan Asher said that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship had made a "flawed decision" to skirt a Migration Review Tribunal ruling and refuse a permanent partner visa to a woman who satisfied the criteria. The woman, known as Ms B, first applied for a provisional partner visa for herself and her children from Cairo in 2008. She wanted to join her partner, known as Mr A, in Australia but the department rejected her original application. The Migration Review Tribunal then overturned that decision on appeal and visa processing continued for 18 months. Mr Asher said Ms B was granted a provisional partner visa on May 3, 2010, but two days later the immigration department refused her a permanent partner visa. "It is concerning that this action may have been an attempt to avoid a tribunal decision that (the department) disagreed with but had not challenged appropriately," he said on Monday. Because Ms B hadn't entered Australia she could not have her most recent rejection reviewed, so Mr A lodged a complaint with the commonwealth ombudsman on her behalf. After an investigation by Mr Asher, the department granted Ms B a permanent partner visa.
  4. A HIGH Court victory by Brazilian student Marcos Berenguel is increasing the already considerable pressure on Australia's skilled migration policy. It allows graduates to overturn the refusal of skilled migration visas on the basis that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship failed to take into account up-to-date English test results. "It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say there could be thousands [of former foreign students] to take advantage of it," Sydney immigration lawyer Peter Bollard said. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has launched court challenges to try to limit the fallout from the Berenguel case. If Berenguel helps some former students, others with applications in an already long queue will be pushed back as the government sharply reduces the number of places for independent skilled migrants. This category was blown out by student demand, distorting the migration program, the government said. In March, the High Court found for Mr Berenguel, saying it was absurd and unfair for the department to refuse to accept an English test result that came in after his application for permanent residency as a skilled migrant. Under the rules, Mr Berenguel had to show results from "a test conducted not more than two years before" the visa application. But there was plenty of demand for an International English Language Testing System test, which enjoys an immigration monopoly, and Mr Berenguel could not book an exam until a month after his visa application. The High Court said the rules simply meant he had to show "recent competency" in English. The case has created a boom in retesting because there are long delays between visa application, a decision by the department, and any review by the Migration Review Tribunal. Former students, required by the rules to get higher IELTS scores these days, can take tests right up to a tribunal hearing. "I've seen [ex-students with] eight [iELTS tests]. I've heard of cases where they've gone into double figures," Mr Bollard said. To date, the Berenguel ruling is cited by 133 published cases in the tribunal and 10 in the Federal Magistrates Court. The courts have sent more than 30 cases back to the tribunal for rehearing. Nobody could say exactly how many applications already in the system could be affected. One reason for uncertainty is disagreement over which visa categories and criteria other than English test results are affected by the High Court's ruling in favour of up-to-date information. On November 3 in Sydney, a full bench of the Federal Court will hear the minister's appeal in a case called Habib, where a federal magistrate applied the Berenguel rule to a temporary skilled graduate visa. In effect, the minister argues magistrates have been interpreting Berenguel too liberally in favour of former students. His department said it was "closely monitoring" these decisions. The minister has not always lost the argument. In a case called Gill, a former Indian student failed in an attempt to extend Berenguel to a medical test result obtained after his visa application. Finally some justice for foreign students. Ruling opens door for retesting of language skills | The Australian