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Guest burgledad

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Guest burgledad

Here we go again!

My skills are on the CSL and my particular expertise is needed for the economic benefit of Australia. In fact, employers are throwing money at me in an attempt to secure my services, so in this respect I am very lucky. However, my 11-year old daughter has moderate learning difficulties which changes everything.


Two years ago I had a family 457 granted with a health waiver because my daughter failed the PIC4005 health criteria on schooling cost grounds. However, the financial crisis killed the job and therefore the visa. During that process, I built up a good detailed knowledge of the legal issues surrounding visas, waivers, the MOC and so on. This was helped by striking up an informal dialogue with a top Australian migration barrister. I say all this because I don't want anybody to waste their valuable time explaining the basics to me. However, updates to the visa situation are welcome. For instance, do I have to have medicals for a 457? What other visa options could work?


Since building my knowlege base, the health waiver has been signed by all states & territories apart from NSW. I've just returned from Sydney and I think they haven't signed simply because they are the most disorganised political team in Aus.


I'll get to the point. I have a good job offer in Sydney with 457 sponsorship and they desperately need me for business reasons. Having informally discussed with the migration barrister, it seems that without the waiver there is no way to eventually gain permanent residency in NSW so I will have to turn them down. Before doing so, I would like to explore visa options formally with a Registered Migration Agent with the relevant expertise in health aspects. The barrister's fees are too high to get formal advice in writing although I'm sure it will be spot on; he's the man that RMA's go to when things get complicated. Can anybody recommend a top RMA? The good ones seem to be lawyers as well.


All is not lost. I have an option in Perth to fall back on.

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Guest 666dame

When it comes to RMA's specialising in medical conditions, one name keeps cropping up time and time again,... George Lombard. He post regularly on this site giving up to date, invaluable advice to PIO members



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Peter Bollard is another migration lawyer with many positive recommendations - also been selected as one of Australia's best lawyers in an Australian Financial Review 2010 survey.

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Guest burgledad

Thanks for the tips, much appreciated. George Lombard's name keeps cropping up so perhaps he's the one to approach.

The 457 visa no longer mandates medicals for UK applicants. Does anybody know if this remains so in our case? I suppose this is the kind of advice to get from the RMA.

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi Burgledad


Welcome to Poms in Oz.


Your daughter would have to undergo a full visa medical even for another sc 457 visa for two reasons:

1. She would be likely to go onto a "classroom environment"; and


2. "Special circumstances" apply in her case because DIAC already know that she has what they consider to be a medical problem.


NSW is not a total non-starter. All that is happening is that the relevant visa applications are being put on "hold" for the time being because it is expected that NSW will eventually sign up to the State Health Waiver. If you e-mail or phone Beth Bull in NSW, she would be able to find out and let you know how much longer that bit is likely to take, I feel sure:


State and Territory Migration Sites - australia.gov.au


Skilled Sponsored Migration: Business Migration: Industry & Investment NSW


Ms Bull might not be the exact right person to ask but she is very helpful. She would find out who the right person is and either put you in direct touch with the other person or she would get the information that you need and would relay it.


If you find out how much longer NSW think it will take before they sign up to the Health Waiver, please could you let me know?


In the meantime, you have not mentioned the JSCM's recent Public Inquiry into this issue and their recent report entitled "Enabling Australia." Are you aware of everything that the JSCM has been doing?




I would suggest that you read the Report carefully. They recommend a complete overhaul of both the legislation and the Australian Government's attitude in cases like that of your daughter. Please also see the thread below, which was started by the Inquiry Secretary for this particular Inquiry:




Some of the Submissions (or rather, the people who made them) may be able to help you as well:




For example, I am in touch with a lady who is in touch with Cynthia Muir. Mrs Muir's sister suffered from oxygen deprivation whilst she was being born, it appears. Mrs Muir is willing to help anyone else who is suffering with the migration process in the same way as she and her sister are suffering. However you have not said why your daughter has learning difficulties and it might be that one of the other submitters is involved with the cause of your own daughter's learning difficulties.


It is also worth reading the Hansards of the Public Hearings held in Canberra on 24th Feb and 17th March 2010 because in those two Hearings, the Committee heard evidence from Dr Paul Douglas, who is DIAC's Sydney based Chief Medical Officer:




Dr Douglas gave a very clear description of how his own instructions from his paymasters require that he should approach the whole issue. Subsequently, I had a go at Dr Douglas via DIAC's Principal Migration Officer in London. Dr Douglas did not flinch from answering all of my questions and points, and explained what he had told the Inquiry Committee in more detail to me.


The two lady Senators who wrote an addendum to the Report are absolutely correct. DIAC is using the "medical model" in relation to disability instead of using the "social model" of disability which is now the international norm under the CRPD. That, together with the stupidly low and hopelessly old (and therefore out of date) threshold of $21,000 are the two central causes of the problem that people like you have encountered.


The Committee has recommended strongly that the Australian Government must pull its sox up. I completely agree.


The new Guidance Notes for the MOC are supposed to be completed during July 2010, so Dr Douglas told the Committee and he has told me the same thing as well. The current plan is to hide the Guidance Notes and the Health PAM on Legend:




If you are anywhere near a State Library, you can access Legend for free:




Commonwealth Library Deposit and Free Issue Schemes (LDS) - Department of Finance and Deregulation


Or you can use the Freedom of Information Act to demand that DIAC provides whatever you want to see.


The JSCM recommends (rightly in my view) that these crucial documents should NOT be hidden on Legend. They should be made properly available to the public via the main DIAC website instead. It is ridiculous that somebody who needs the information that you need should have to play cat & mouse with a Government Department in order to drag all the necessary information out of them by force and by brains. They will act thick and continue to hide the information unless you can identify exactly what you require.


Dr Douglas is under the vague impression that anybody can access Legend and that they can do so for free, partly because he can access it for free from his own desk in the Health Operations Centre in Sydney and partly because he has been given to understand the idea by his own boss in Canberra, one Mr Matt Kennedy, who runs DIAC's Health Section at the moment, apparently.


Please send me a PM if you would like direct dial phone numbers, e-mail addresses and so on.


In your shoes, I wouldn't consult another RMA for the time being. I would do every scrap of the necessary research by myself at this stage, and get hold of every relevant source document myself. The barrister has already told you what he thinks. In your shoes, I would be double-checking from the source documents in order to decide whether or not I agree with the barrister/whether I can find any chinks in anybody's armour etc.






PS: Are you aware of the Panel Doctors Gateway and the Agents Gateway, both of them accessible via the DIAC website and both of them relevant to you? If not, the links are below:






The Health PAM was altered on 1st July 2010, I see. The very pretty but otherwise meaningless "summary" is here:




I don't think that the link to the greater detail that is promised on the Agents Gateway is working properly. I am getting this page:




When I tried the link for the Health PAM, it took me back to the pretty document above. I suspect that the new Health PAM might not have been published on Legend as yet. However, if anything in it is relevant, the barrister did not tell you about it because he would not be able to access the new Health PAM himself unless it has been published on Legend.

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Guest burgledad



Thanks for taking the time to put together such a complete and helpful response. Plenty to consider.


I suspect that you are corrct in that DIAC will invoke the special circumstances clause to request another medical for the 457. This will be a pity. My daughter's difficulties are the result of an acquired crush injury from a benign brain tumour as a baby. MOC are already satisfied that there are no lingering medical issues.

Pupils attending school do not invoke the classroom environment clause.


I know that NSW are considering the waiver but making such a massive move on the basis of what might happen would not be a sound judgement on my part. Nevertheless, thanks for the contact. I will make inquiries and if anything useful comes of it, I'll post on PiO.


I've read the JSCM report. It makes some good points and puts them across well. However, moving Australia away from their current 1950s approach to disabled immigrants will require a massive shift of policy and attitude away from the MOC/DIAC financial excuse model. It may well happen one day but there remains significant resistance from the people who still hold power. This will take more years than we have got.


I have been looking at the inquiry secretary's thread from time to time. The process seems to be running out of steam. Let's hope that it completes it mission.


Your information on Dr. Douglas is new to me. I will look into it further. I will be in Perth in a couple of weeks so will try to get to a library. Personally, I believe the medical model is a disgrace and that the MOC's function requires to be radically revised or dissolved.


The A$21k limit is very conveniently low. It acts as a filtration barrier to constructively exclude; it's difficult to see how anybody with needs will not exceed this threshold. I have not seen any indication that this is going to shift any time soon.


My instincts are to forget NSW as a first step. Even then, I would need to plan the visa strategy properly and to robustly deal with DIAC's requests. A decent RMA may be needed.


btw: what is a PM? Any info would be welcome at this stage.




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Hi John


I am reading this thread out of interest and concern for you as a family, but with no expertise to offer.


However I DO know what a PM is!!!


It is a Personal Message. Useful if you want to correspond with another member privately. You can access it by clicking on the name of the member you wish to "PM", this will give you a drop down menu. Just click on "send member a personal message" and proceed from there.


I wish you all the best.


Annette, Steve, Ben and Buddy the dog.

<>< :wubclub:

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