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Guest Gollywobbler

Decision Ready Checklists for Employer-sponsored visas (DRCs)

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi All

 

I subscribe to Acacia Immigrations newsletter. I received an e-mail this morning giving me a link to a new article about Decision Ready Checklists. The link is below:

 

Decision Ready Checklists (DRC)

 

The boss of Acacia Immigration is a man called Mark Webster. The information that he provides in his articles is reliable. Mr Webster is also a senior office holder in the MIA (Migration Institute of Australia) whose website is below:

 

Migration Institute of Australia

 

It appears that if one uses a Registered Migration Agent in order to prepare and submit an application for an employer-sponsored ENS or RSMS visa, it is possible for the RMA to lodge a DRC form at the same time as submitting the visa application. Please note that this is not possible after the visa application has been submitted.

 

It appears that DRCs may only be used in connection with applications for ENS and RSMS visas if the applications are submitted on or after 11th October 2010.

 

As far as I know, though, DRCs can be used in connection with applications for offshore ENS 121 and RSMS 119 visas as well as for their onshore counterparts (ENS 856 and RSMS 857 visas.)

 

According to Mr Webster's article, the most recent applicants for/any prospective applicants for employer-sponsored ENS ir RSMS visa can cut their waiting times very signifcantly if they hire an RMA to lodge the application and the RMA agrees to provide a DRC at the time when the visa application is lodged.

 

Everybody else, who has been waiting for several months for an ENS or RSMS visa can look forward to their own waiting times being extended, probably significantly, whilst newcomers and their agents leapfrog the queues.

 

This means that DIAC are no longer telling the truth on their own website:

 

Migration Agents – Applications & Forms

 

The lofty claims made by DIAC are simply no longer true any more. Therefore DIAC are actively and knowingly misleading the general public. It is absolutely disgraceful for any Government to permit its public servants to tell outright lies in this fashion but that is what the Australian Government has evidently decided to allow its own public servants to do.

 

I would recommend that anybody who contemplates using an RMA in order to leapfrog the queue should make it an express, written, term of the contract for services between the client and the RMA that the RMA will submit a DRC at the same time as submitting the visa application. The contract should make it 100% clear that any failure to lodge the DRC is to be treated as a fundamental breach of the contract for services by the RMA, whereupon the RMA is to refund 100% of the fees paid by the client for involving the RMA in the first place. The contract should state clearly that this refund will be paid in full by the RMA within 7 days of the breach of contract having occurred. The contract should also make it clear that the client both can and will make a formal complaint to the OMARA if the RMA fails to lodge the DRC at the same time as submitting the visa application:

 

https://www.mara.gov.au/

 

If the client - the consumer - fails to protect himself in the specific ways that I suggest, the client will only have himself to blame if an RMA grabs all his money for the fees but fails to lodge a DRC at the same time as making the visa application. Caveat emptor applies - let the buyer beware. The prospective client is the buyer.

 

Everybody who will inevitably be disadvantaged by their own inability to arrange for an RMA to lodge a DRC should consider making a formal complaint to DIAC, via their Global Feedback Unit, demanding an explanation about why DIAC have chosen to disadvantage themselves and their visa applications in the ways described in Mr Webster's article:

 

Contact Us – Compliments and Complaints – Department of Immigration and Citizenship

 

I intend to complain to the GFU myself, demandng an explanation about why DIAC are telling blatant lies in the claims that they make about the use of migration agents. If DIAC were running their own show even vaguely competently, their statement about the use of migration agents would have been modified so that it tells the truth and a modified, truthful statement by DIAC would have been published on their website several weeks before the idea of the DRCs was ever implemented.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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DRC is pretty old school now. Anyway another agent in Study Connect forum put out some useful update on DRC.

 

Once SMPs are out, it'll no longer be available for cat 3. Only cat 2 can use it.

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Guest guest33730

Gill,

 

I can hardly believe that the DIAC is acting so dishonorably - I await any answer that you (or others) are able to extract from them. My guess is that agents will now be using this benefit as a selling point when talking with potential clients so I think they will be happy to agree to providing the DRC if it means they get the business.

 

My heart really goes to the RSMS applicants who are trying to save money by doing it themselves only to find they are penalised for this! Unfortunately I wonder if people who are caught in this will bother to complain because who wants to complain to the very people who they are looking to help them??

 

Thanks for the post and bringing this to the forum

 

Daniel

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Guest Jamie Smith

It is well known that good agents lodge decision ready applications. It is equally well known that good case officers like to receive them ahead of many DIY files that need to be handled several times.

 

If an agent only filled out the DRC then it would be a fair call to refund the fees paid. However if the agent has provided professional advice and undertaken the work, then it is fair for them to keep the appropriate proportion of the fee.

 

As for being penalised for DIY, the other applies too. Why should people who engage an agent who prepares a decision ready application be held up in the queue behind someone who didn't know what they were doing?

 

Yes there are arguments both ways, but DIAC have immense backlogs now as a result of stop and start policy changes and delays, and they will be struggling to meet visa decision quantities what with :

a) slower processing while everyone understands new rules,

b) double and triple handling of files as prorities change, pick it up, put it down etc

c) staff being diverted to support illegal boat arrivals

d) the list goes on

 

So of course DIAC reach for files that can be processed quicker, and why not? DIAC have some comeback by dobbing in shoddy preparation with misleading use of the DRC to MARA, so it's a good step forward to use reliable agent's work to play catch up.

 

Although it should be, I don't see this "queue jumping" to be a long term permanent thing.

 

That's why people pay their money, to get a good result, fast.

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Guest guest33730

So of course DIAC reach for files that can be processed quicker, and why not? DIAC have some comeback by dobbing in shoddy preparation with misleading use of the DRC to MARA, so it's a good step forward to use reliable agent's work to play catch up.

 

Although it should be, I don't see this "queue jumping" to be a long term permanent thing.

 

That's why people pay their money, to get a good result, fast.

 

Jamie,

 

Fair enough but surely whatever the rights and wrongs are, it's simply wrong when the DIAC assert that people will not be disadvantaged for applying themselves but now will be?

 

Daniel

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Guest Gollywobbler
Gill,

 

I can hardly believe that the DIAC is acting so dishonorably - I await any answer that you (or others) are able to extract from them. My guess is that agents will now be using this benefit as a selling point when talking with potential clients so I think they will be happy to agree to providing the DRC if it means they get the business.

 

My heart really goes to the RSMS applicants who are trying to save money by doing it themselves only to find they are penalised for this! Unfortunately I wonder if people who are caught in this will bother to complain because who wants to complain to the very people who they are looking to help them??

 

Thanks for the post and bringing this to the forum

 

Daniel

 

Hi Daniel

 

DIAC are not being dishonourable and dishonest intentionally. That is merely the result of their inefficiency. However a Government Department has no excuse for being inefficient in its dealings with the general public. A storm of complaints to the GFU - followed by an equally large storm of complaints to the Commonwealth Ombudsman if necessary - should ensure that some of the most senior, most sensible of the officials employed by DIAC will get the situation by the scruff of its neck and firmly under their own, senior, control once and for all.

 

There is a substantial risk for the consumer who is considering applying for an ENS or RSMS visa. The risk is that an RMA will grab this lay-person's money and then the RMA will fail to lodge the promised DRC at the same time as lodging the visa application. If that happens, the client will be out of pocket by a considerable amount but he will not have obtained any advantages at all as a result of having allowed the RMA to meddle in his and his prospective employer's private affairs. The only way that the client can be certain that the RMA will not make any mistakes is to make it abundantly clear to the RMA - via the contract for services - that the client will not tolerate any failures by the RMA where the use of the DRC arrangements are concerned. If the client frightens the life out of the RMA who wants to grab the client's cash for him/herself then it will decrease the risk of the RMA either forgetting to lodge the DRC or deliberately omitting to do so.

 

Many RMAs will be understandably frightened of getting involved with the DRC nonsense. It is impossible for an RMA to be absolutely certain that s/he has lodged every single thing that a DIAC official might say that s/he wants before s/he can make a decision about the visa application. A CO turning round later and claiming that a DRC should not have been submitted because the CO wants an extra item that was not mentioned in the DRC checklist means that both the RMA and his/her client risk taking the consequences of an omission that was not their own fault in the first place.

 

Some RMAs are so unscrupulous that they will promise the earth at the salesmanship stage but they won't then keep their promises later on. Therefore it is up to the prospective buyer to be aware of this risk and to protect himself against it.

 

If I were the Aussie employer, sitting in Gympie (in Regional QLD) waiting for my migrant Cabinet Maker to turn up on his RSMS visa, I would make the mother and father of a fuss to my Federal MPs and Senators. Why should an employer in Gympie be forced to accept a delay whilst other employers and their RMAs are now able to queue-jump? It is completely unfair to the employer and if I were the employer, I would not put up with that in meek and obedient silence. The Aussies tend to complain much more readily than the British complain when the Government treats them unfairly, so if I were the Aussie employer I would get on and complain - loudly and into every Government ear I could find. A megaphone will do for those who are not close by!

 

The whole idea causes more problems than it solves if somebody rational and intelligent considers all the potential problems instead of simply seizing on the shiny, new, money-making idea for the MIA, its own members and other RMAs.

 

According to Alan Collett, the Law Council of Australia say that the problem is that visa applicants and/or their RMAs have taken to submitting ENS and RSMS applications that are not complete (presumably the RMAs know that they are not complete) merely in order to secure the visa applicant's place in the lengthening queue:

 

http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/97458-desision-ready-applications-leapfrogging-older-856ens-applications-argh-2.html

 

Presumably DIAC hope that the introduction of DRCs to emplpyer-sponsored applications will encourage RMAs to be less sloppy than some of them have been in the past. It will also have the effect of forcing prospective Aussie employers and their hoped-for migrant staff into enriching RMAs, so as to get the benefits of queue-jumping via a DRC.

 

I don't think that DIAC have thought this one through properly and fully. A hornet's nest of angry complaints round their heads should encourage some sane and rational thought, I hope.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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It is well known that good agents lodge decision ready applications. It is equally well known that good case officers like to receive them ahead of many DIY files that need to be handled several times.

 

If an agent only filled out the DRC then it would be a fair call to refund the fees paid. However if the agent has provided professional advice and undertaken the work, then it is fair for them to keep the appropriate proportion of the fee.

 

As for being penalised for DIY, the other applies too. Why should people who engage an agent who prepares a decision ready application be held up in the queue behind someone who didn't know what they were doing?

 

Yes there are arguments both ways, but DIAC have immense backlogs now as a result of stop and start policy changes and delays, and they will be struggling to meet visa decision quantities what with :

a) slower processing while everyone understands new rules,

b) double and triple handling of files as prorities change, pick it up, put it down etc

c) staff being diverted to support illegal boat arrivals

d) the list goes on

 

So of course DIAC reach for files that can be processed quicker, and why not? DIAC have some comeback by dobbing in shoddy preparation with misleading use of the DRC to MARA, so it's a good step forward to use reliable agent's work to play catch up.

 

Although it should be, I don't see this "queue jumping" to be a long term permanent thing.

 

That's why people pay their money, to get a good result, fast.

 

Really? I thought people paid money as they were unable/unsure of completing the application without some advice, therefore sort the aid of an agent.

 

I had no idea it was to get a fast result, more fool me for sitting in the "we didn't pay an agent to get fast tracked queue" :confused:

 

Lora

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Guest guest33730
Hi Daniel

 

Some RMAs are so unscrupulous that they will promise the earth at the salesmanship stage but they won't then keep their promises later on.

 

Gill

 

Surely not :wideeyed:

 

Daniel

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Guest Gollywobbler
It is well known that good agents lodge decision ready applications. It is equally well known that good case officers like to receive them ahead of many DIY files that need to be handled several times.

 

If an agent only filled out the DRC then it would be a fair call to refund the fees paid. However if the agent has provided professional advice and undertaken the work, then it is fair for them to keep the appropriate proportion of the fee.

 

As for being penalised for DIY, the other applies too. Why should people who engage an agent who prepares a decision ready application be held up in the queue behind someone who didn't know what they were doing?

 

Yes there are arguments both ways, but DIAC have immense backlogs now as a result of stop and start policy changes and delays, and they will be struggling to meet visa decision quantities what with :

a) slower processing while everyone understands new rules,

b) double and triple handling of files as prorities change, pick it up, put it down etc

c) staff being diverted to support illegal boat arrivals

d) the list goes on

 

So of course DIAC reach for files that can be processed quicker, and why not? DIAC have some comeback by dobbing in shoddy preparation with misleading use of the DRC to MARA, so it's a good step forward to use reliable agent's work to play catch up.

 

Although it should be, I don't see this "queue jumping" to be a long term permanent thing.

 

That's why people pay their money, to get a good result, fast.

 

 

Hi Jamie

 

It is well known that good agents lodge decision ready applications.

 

Nonsense. The Law Council of Australia seem to have told Alan Collett that the exact opposite is true:

 

http://www.pomsinoz.com/forum/migration-issues/97458-desision-ready-applications-leapfrogging-older-856ens-applications-argh-2.html

 

Please see Alan's post #17 in the link above.

 

I think that Alan himself is so careful that it is unlikely that he would lodge an ENS or RSMS applicatioh that is not decision-ready. However Alan and his earlier clients now face the disadvantages caused by even longer delays than before as a direct result of DIAC's decision to allow other RMAs and their own clients to queue-jump from now on.

 

It will now need some fancy footwork by Alan to persuade the bosses of the relevant visa processing units that Alan's earlier clients should not be disadvantaged by this monstrous experiment in the game of leap-frog. Whether he will succeed or not in trying to persuade the relevant bosses is anyone's guess. However if he does not succeed, his own clients (employers and visa applicants alike) will wish that they had simply instructed him to whack in an incomplete visa application, possibly several weeks earlier than the completed one was submitted, instead of insisting that the thing must be complete.

 

Let us say that Alan acted for Bloggs in submiting an ENS application on 7th October 2010, before the DRC anouncement was made. A DRC was not submitted on 7th October because the idea had not obtained the green liight by then. The onlly way that Alan and his client will now be certain of being able to queue-jump is if Alan makes a second visa application, identical to the first one except that the second application will also be accompanied by a DRC, in order to leap-frog much of the rest of the queue. Alan won't pay DIAC for the second visa application - the client will have to pay DIAC twice instead. Alan might well charge the client extra for his own fees for organising the second visa application, though.

 

When changes like this are implemented suddenly, with no prior warning whatsoever (amd almost no prior thought and intelligent consideration either by the look of it) the net result is that both DIAC and the RMAs simply heap hot coals onto their own heads unnecessarrily. That result is avoidable, it is unnecessary but it is also the inevitable and foreseeable result of unseemly and misguided impetuosity by people who claim to be "professionals" in their fields.

 

What steps did the MIA take to ensure that DIAC must modify their own now-misleading literature before the MIA seized the latest money-making opportunity for MIA members with both hands? Or were the MIA too "naive" to worry about the fact that they were encouraging DIAC to tell lies on the DIAC website?

 

http://www.immi.gov.au/visas/migration-agents/

 

Apparently, so you said, the MIA were too "naive" to realise that some of their members would treat the introduction of DRCs for GSM applications as being a money-making business opportunity for the MIA's own members. So are you now going to offer me the feeble and unconvincing excuse that the MIA have supposedly been "naive" again, just a few short weeks after their first excursion into the world of being a completely naive but so-called "professional" body?

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Guest Gollywobbler
Surely not :wideeyed:

 

Daniel

 

Hi Dianiel

 

Surely "yes," regrettably. Some of them are absolute shockers who even tell me that they believe that being an RMA is all about achieving "sales." No genuine professional would ever even think of a client as being a successful "sale" of a product, let alone describe the person concerned in such terms, but there we go, unfortunately. It is all about "selling a product" as far as a LOT of RMAs are concerned.

 

George Lombard would never stoop to such grotty, spivvy, unprofessional ideas. He has told me snootily that whereas he provides legal advice to his clients, some of his RMA competitors simply sell visas in visa shops. I laughed when I read George's reference to "visa shops" but he is absolutely correct that this is what does happen in many cases.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Guest Gollywobbler
Really? I thought people paid money as they were unable/unsure of completing the application without some advice, therefore sought the aid of an agent.

 

I had no idea it was to get a fast result, more fool me for sitting in the "we didn't pay an agent to get fast tracked queue" :confused:

 

Lora

 

Hi Lora

 

Welcome to Poms in Oz.

 

Visa applications are now being fast-tracked, despite DIAC's own claims to the contrary.

 

Migration Agents – Applications & Forms

 

In a complete reversal of the lofty claims made by DIAC, it is now possible for an applicant for an onshore GSM visa to pay an RMA to fast-track his/her visa application. That seems to have been going on since about mid-May 2010 but it only affects applicants for onshore visas where GSM visas are concerned.

 

It seems that on 11th October 2010, DIAC decided to give the lie to their own website's claims again when they introduced the idea of DRCs for employer-sponsored ENS and RSMS applications as well.

 

Whether DIAC will ever clean their act up by telling the truth on their own blinking website is anyone's guess.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Guest Gollywobbler
DRC is pretty old school now. Anyway another agent in Study Connect forum put out some useful update on DRC.

 

Once SMPs are out, it'll no longer be available for cat 3. Only cat 2 can use it.

 

 

Hi User Name

 

The whole business about DRCs for onshore GSM applications is now old hat, I agree.

 

However using DRCs for employer-sponsored ENS and RSMS visas is a new idea that was not born, officially, until 11th October 2010, I gather. So that is a very recent extension by DIAC and it gives the lie to DIAC's own assertion that nobody will be disadvantaged as a result of whether or not they use a migration agent.

 

If they use an RMA then their applications for some of the skilled visas will now be fast tracked. They will be fast-tracked by means of leapfrogging over all the other applications in the processing pipelines.

 

So much for DIAC and their claims of treating all visa applicants fairly and equally. Wealthy applicants who can afford RMAs will obtain a significant advantage over those visa applicants who cannot afford to pay RMAs.

 

Needless to say, RMAs are rubbing their own hands in glee because just when they thought that their own businesses might go under, the Australian Government has thrown them the lifeline of being able to use DRCs.

 

I am disgusted by the sheer lack of professionalism in the whole thing, as you might have gathered by now!

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Guest Gollywobbler

Hi again, Jamie

 

If an agent only filled out the DRC then it would be a fair call to refund the fees paid. However if the agent has provided professional advice and undertaken the work, then it is fair for them to keep the appropriate proportion of the fee.

No, your watered-down idea would not be a "fair call" as you put it.

 

The reason is because unless the client frightens the life out of the RMA and nails the RMA's feet firmly to the floor via amending the draft contract for services in the way that I suggest, there is a significant risk that the RMA will wriggle out of lodging a DRC as well as lodging a visa application.

 

It will be a case of grabbing the money without taking the risk of lodging a DRC as well. What will happen is that the RMA will grab the fees, on the promise that the RMA will lodge a DRC as well. At the last minute, the RMA will claim that it is "not safe" to lodge a DRC as well and that bit will not be done.

 

The result is that the client will have paid for an RMA to meddle in the matter but the client will not gain any significant advantage as a result. The only result will be the enrichment of the meddling but "nervous" RMA.

 

For that reason, if I were acting for a prospective client I would nail the prospective RMA's feet to the floor and I would do it via express, written amendments and extra clauses in the contract for services, to make it 100% clear to both of the RMA and to the OMARA that the RMA is only involved for the sole purpose of enabling the client to take advantage of the scruffy little DRC deal cooked up between DIAC and the MIA.

 

In short, if any RMA promises any client of mine that the RMA will lodge a DRC at the same time as submitting the visa application then God help the RMA if s/he ever tries to renege on that promise, because that promise is the only thing that has induced the commercial deal between the client and the RMA in the first place. This being so, it is perfectly reasonable for the prospective client to nail the prospective RMA's feet to the floor in the way that I suggest.

 

In other words, increase the risk to the RMA. If s/he tries not to honour his/her word, it will cost the RMA a lot of time, money and effort for having acted on a basis that is 100% pro bono.

 

Your own scheme involves the RMA hanging on to 99% of the money for having done 99% of the work but having failed to do the crucial, deal-inducing, 1% that the client cannot do without the RMA. Your idea flies in the face of offering the client any genuine, worthwhile consumer protection when consumer protection is what the whole thing is supposed to be about. No way. If the RMA wants any of the money then the RMA must also take the whole of the risk. Nothing less would induce me to advise a client to spend a dime on permitting the RMA to interfere. Either the RMA provides the client with a genuine (albeit completely unfair) advantage or the RMA does not get a dime.

 

This is about protecting the consumer - the customer. It is not about running a protection racket for RMAs, much though you would prefer the latter, I feel sure.

 

Cheers

 

Gill

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Guest Jamie Smith

Hi Gill

 

Dreams are free.

 

You're assuming that ALL RMAs are unprofessional. You know that's not true.

 

Accountants and lawyers get paid to lend their names and status to their work, and still include a disclaimer passing the blame back to the client. Agents can't do that.

 

Furthermore, the agent would then be entitled to demand that the applicant never insist that the agent hurry up and lodge without providing legitimate documents in full and on time, which is what the DRC is all about.

 

DRC is in this case an agent-only thing.

 

Your idea of a refund does not cover shonkly advice.

 

Either pay the agent just to check and do the DRC, or also pay for the work involved. The guarantee can only be tied to refund what the agent was paid to do, otherwise you're encouraging agents to rort the system by degrading the work involved.

 

Guarantees should balance across rsk and effort.

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Guest disneydebbie

Hi everyone!

 

As someone who is about to lodge an 857 application I feel terrible for all those who have lodged their applications without knowing that other are able to have theirs fast tacked.

 

I am also annoyed and frustrated that even though I am perfectly capable of lodging my application myself, I now feel forced to use a migration agent for fear that all aplications from now on will be seen ahead of mine if I don't.

 

This brings with it not only the added cost but also the time effort and stress of finding an agent you feel you can trust. Sometimes it feels like immigration are just trying to get more money out of us.

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