The month of July is always the perfect time to be informed on the changes to visas and taxation in Australia.
As many French and Australian companies are concerned by these changes, our WA Chapter organised a dedicated business seminar on Tuesday 17 July, offering quality speakers focused on this specific area. We were delighted to welcome Alice Chen and Dee-May both Senior Managers at EY specialising in Tax, and Hélène Rodari, of Rodari Migration specialising in visas and immigration.
This seminar presented the three experts’ points of view and clarified the understanding of the process of changes in terms of visas and taxation. Since 2017, these changes have been especially important not only for French companies settled in Australia, but also for Australian companies sponsoring French people.
This year has seen those changes continuing and moving towards a strengthening of conditions needed to obtain most types of visas. The purpose of these presentations was also to reveal how these changes have been implemented in Australia and the new features required to succeed in getting your visa or get your taxes done in a proper manner.
Alice Chen began the presentation by sharing key visa application statistics. The trend of visa demands has globally decreased in comparison to 2017. France is ranked 6th among the top 6 citizenship countries for primary applications granted, while the United Kingdom is ranked 1st – as it was last year. During her presentation, our guest speaker mentioned that the level of skill is a key component of the application and that it was harder and harder to justify those skills to the government.
Lastly, our specialist also explained the main features of the other temporary work visas, such as the Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa, Training (subclass 407) visa or the Labour agreement. Each of those visas has its specificities, which can be comprised of its work limitation, its month validity or the possibility to be renewed for example.
After explaining these details from the point of view of an employee, Alice then discussed the new components that employers should have I mind when recruiting a foreign worker. One key part of this process is that companies have to prove that they tested the local market before trying to recruit a foreign worker. The Australian government wants to make sure that companies aren’t willingly avoiding recruiting Australian employees.
Hélène Rodari’s presentation focused on the permanent migration process for a foreigner looking to settle in Australia long-term. The first, and most well-known option is to be sponsored by an employer. One of the main new features of this process is its length. In fact, sponsored visas usually take more than a year to be obtained and can now even take two years!
Hélène then discussed changes to points-based visas. Even though this is not a new type of visa, the minimum points requirement has been increased this year, with applicant’s needing to attain a level of 65 points.
However, what was even more interesting was the insight that our guest speaker had on this particular type of visa. Indeed, from her experience, she explained that while this requirement is mostly required, applicants typically actually need to have around 75 or 80 points to see their application granted.
Before starting on the Permanent Residency (PR) process, Hélène mentioned that there was still very easy access for New Zealanders that migrate to Australia. She then went on to talk about permanent residency and citizenship. Among the different options, Helene mainly focused on the path from study to PR and the option of obtaining PR through an Australian partner. Lastly, she explained that the changes that were planned for citizenship in 2017 had not been put in place in 2018.
Our last guest speaker, Dee May Ong, specialising in People Advisory Services, started her presentation on taxes. Firstly, she reminded the audience of the basics of tax in Australia, and that most people working in Australia should pay taxes here, even if they work for a foreign company.
Dee May went on to explain taxation for temporary residents in Australia, specifying that temporary residents have fewer taxes and legislation to deal with, but should remain extra careful when they apply for PR. She highlighted that, in fact, this application changes their whole tax status, even if the application hasn’t been processed yet.
The following topic was permanent resident taxation, including the Medicare Levy, the taxation on worldwide income and so on. Dee May also explained that there are a few cases that are currently being studied and that this could bring new developments for this particular taxation policy.
(From left to right) Guest speakers: Alice Chen, Dee May Ong and Helene Rodari at the Changes to Tax & Immigration Business Seminar 17 July 2018, @ EY.
Following the presentations, our guest speakers and audience enjoyed a lively networking session accompanied by some delicious cheese and wine.
We would like to thank all who participated, with a special thank you for our sponsors and to EY for kindly hosting our event at their premises.
We look forward to welcoming you at our upcoming events.
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