LaunchVic, an independent body established by the Victorian Government to oversee Victoria’s innovation fund, has announced that they will encourage particularly first generation migrants and current refugees in developing tech companies and support them through their next round of grants.
LaunchVic published a new strategy for the next two years. The organisation aims to support the development and growth of the local start-up ecosystem.
LaunchVic has 2 main goals:
- Engaging the Victorian community in the start-up economy
- Positioning Victoria as an internationally recognised start-up economy
LaunchVic is specifically looking to invest in organisations that will provide quality educational, acceleration, incubation, mentoring, or other programs that will support Victorian migrants and/or refugees to develop start-up businesses.
Applications for their third round of funding are open now! Applications must be submitted via LaunchVic online application system by 5 July 2017 (5pm AEST). Applicants will need to address the eligibility criteria.
The following types of organisations are approved for round 3 funding:
- A registered company headquartered in Victoria
- A registered company with offices in Victoria
- A registered company located outside of Victoria proposing a project to be delivered in Victoria
- An unregistered company that agrees to setup a registered company in Victoria
The projects eligible for round 3 funding are:
- Projects that primarily benefit Victorian migrants and/or refugees
- Projects must also primarily benefit:
- Existing start-ups and/or
- Entrepreneurs looking to launch a start-up (Start-up entrepreneurs)
LaunchVic is looking to invest between $50,000 and $500,000 per application for programs that run up to 2 years.
Innovation Minister Philip Dalidakis said that research shows that migrants and refugees are twice as likely to start their own business as those born locally, and are more likely to take risks. He also pointed out that this funding round exclusively designed for refugees and migrants in the start-up sector should demonstrate the organisation’s inclusiveness, diversity, tolerance and plurality.
With this new focus, LaunchVic is pursuing its goal of establishing Victoria as a world class start-up ecosystem. We encourage all eligible migrants and refugees to apply for this outstanding opportunity and support from LaunchVic.
On Sunday, 21 May 2017 the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection announced that unauthorized maritime arrivals (UMAs) must lodge their Temporary Protection visa (TPV) or Safe Haven Enterprise visa (SHEV) application by 1 October 2017. Those who do not lodge an application by 1 October 2017 are expected to leave Australia and will be banned from applying for any type of temporary or permanent visa in Australia.
The Minister’s announcement will affect around 7,500 UMAs who are yet to lodge their application. Included in this cohort are upwards of 2,000 UMAs who are on waiting lists to receive legal assistance to lodge their application.
Received a reminder letter to apply?
- If you have received a reminder letter you must apply within the time frame specified in the letter. This means that your deadline might be earlier than 1 October 2017.
- If you do not apply within the specified time frame:
- You may be banned from applying for any type of temporary or permanent visa in Australia.
- You may lose access to Government services.
- Your Bridging visa may also be affected.
What do you need to do?
- You must ensure that you lodge a TPV or SHEV application by 1 October 2017.
- Once a valid application is lodged, your protection claims will be assessed and you will stay eligible to access Government services while your application is being processed.
- If you do not lodge a valid TPV or SHEV application by 1 October 2017 or your application has been refused by both the Department and at merits review, you are expected to make arrangements to return home.
- There is information available on the Department’s website in languages spoken by most UMAs to help you understand the application process. This includes written information, videos and guides on the TPV and SHEV application process.
- If you would like assistance from a registered migration agent to lodge a TPV or SHEV application please contact us.
Which Government services will be cut off by 1 October 2017?
If you do not lodge a SHEV or TPV application by 1 October 2017, you will cease to receive:
- Income support; and
- Rental assistance.
While making arrangements to return home you may continue to hold a temporary visa that gives you:
- Permission to work;
- Access to Medicare; and
- Access to education for school-aged children
Why have these changes been made?
The Minister has stated that the purpose of the October cut-off for lodgement of protection claims is to ensure that Australian taxpayers are not providing financial support to people who have no right to be in Australia. The Minister’s rationale for the deadline is said to be because asylum seekers have “failed or refused to take any action to present their case for protection” in the “more than 5 years” that they have been in Australia on “government funded support”.
What is missing from the Minister’s statement is an acknowledgement that many UMAs did not have work rights when they first arrived in Australia and were therefore wholly reliant on government and community support, despite wanting to support themselves. It was also only 2 years ago, not 5 years ago, that the government first began allowing UMAs in this cohort to lodge a visa application and in that 2 years, 23,000 UMAs (over 75%) have lodged a valid application.
See the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection’s Media Release here.
How can we help?
We can assist you to lodge a TPV or SHEV application before the 1 October 2017 deadline. If you are not sure whether the Minister’s announcement will affect you and you are an asylum seeker living in the community who has not yet lodged a TPV or SHEV application, please contact us today for assistance or more information.
A new temporary visa for migrant parents is being planned by the Australian Government. Under this new scheme parents could stay in Australia for up to 10 years but would never be allowed to settle. Additionally, this new temporary visa would require children to pay for their parents’ private health cover.
The sponsors will legally be required to pay private health insurance for their migrant parents and to act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents may incur in Australia. This requisite is of importance to the government as many countries around the world struggle with the immense healthcare fees for elderly people.
Eligible sponsors will be Australian citizens, permanent residents or eligible New Zealand citizens. The visa will not permit holders to work. The government hopes these people will take on family and child care duties and thus, reduce the pressure on childcare facilities in Australia. The elderly parent visa holders will not be allowed to remain in Australia beyond the 10 years and they will have no pathway to permanent residency.
This new temporary parent visa will involve significant costs. Applicants will have to pay $5,000 for a three-year visa and $10,000 for a five-year visa with a single renewal option at the same price. As many as 15,000 people could take advantage of this new visa category. If legislated, this visa would significantly impact the government budget – Treasury could make up to $150 million in fees alone.
The costs of the visa have already been criticized as too high for a temporary visa and people have been alarmed by the fact that temporary migrants will be liable for public health cover. On top of that, the private health insurance premium would most likely be reasonably high. The extreme limitations to healthcare access for elderly migrants follows last year’s productivity commission report that found the average lifetime cost of a single parent visa holder to be between $335,000 and $410,000.
The introduction of this new visa category follows calls from migrant communities, who have been pressuring the government to reform parent visas, known to be complex and lengthy to obtain. Currently, parent visas are split across multiple visa streams, including the Aged Parent visa and the Contributory Parent Temporary or Permanent Visa.
The Government is planning to announce further details along with the Budget next week and to implement the new visa in November if it passes parliament.
Article sourced from Special Broadcasting Service Corporation (SBS)
‘Australians must have priority for Australian jobs – so we’re abolishing the 457 visas, the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country’ – Malcolm Turnbull.
News about the 457 Visas
The Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says he is ‘putting Australians first’ through abolishing 457 visas and giving Australians priority for jobs currently open for overseas workers.
The Australian Government will abolish the 457 visa category and instead, create a new temporary visa category. This new temporary visa shall better address the genuine skill shortages in Australia. Furthermore, it will include new requirements such as work experience and better English language proficiency. The new temporary visa will be particularly designed ‘to recruit the best and brightest in the national interest’.
Malcolm Turnbull announced that a new training fund will be established to provide training for Australians to fill certain skill gaps.
Bill Shorten has previously promised to take measures on the use of the 457 visas. In particular, these measures include strengthening labour market testing, reviewing the list of qualifying jobs and banning certain fast food chains from sponsoring foreign workers.
More about the 457 Visas
The visa is designed to fill job vacancies with overseas skilled workers, for which there are not enough skilled Australian workers. This visa allows holders to bring members of their family to Australia on a 457 secondary visa.
The latest figures from the Australian Immigration Department in September 2016 stated there had been a reduction in 457 visas holders to 95,758. The majority of these visa holders were coming from India, followed by the UK and China.
Picture sourced from The Sydney Morning Herald.
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