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Welcome to Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Australia's premier immigration law specialists

Parish Patience Immigration provide a full range of immigration and visa services.
Managing partner David Bitel and Special Counsel Michael Jones are accredited as Specialists in Immigration Law by the Law Society of New South Wales.

Our professionals provide expert assistance with:

  • Onshore & offshore applications
  • Temporary & permanent residence
  • Skilled, employment & business
  • Students, visitors, holidaymakers
  • Family, partner & spouse
  • Sportspersons & distinguished talent
  • Refugees & asylum seekers
  • Visa cancellation
  • Detention & deportation
  • Health or character matters
  • Migration Review Tribunal (MRT)
  • Refugee Review Tribunal (RRT)
  • Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT)
  • Appeals to Federal Magistrates Court, Federal Court & High Court
  • Citizenship
  • All other visas & immigration related matters

Labour market testing (LMT) in the Subclass 457 programme

Last update: 23/11/13

From 23 November 2013 Standard business sponsors are required to test the local labour market prior to lodging a nomination and, on implementation of the LMT condition, must provide information with their nomination about their attempts to recruit Australian workers and how they have determined on the basis of these attempts that there is no suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or eligible temporary visa holder available to fill the position.

For more information please contact Ms Diana Tong of our office or go to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's website at

2013-14 Budget Overview: Australia's Migration Program

Last update: 15/05/13 | Source:Migration Institute of Australia

The following main points have been gleaned from the Commonwealth Budget announcement. As more detail and the implications of the Budget measures emerge, the MIA will advise Members.

A preliminary reading of the DIAC Portfolio Budget Statements 2013-14 reveals:

  • Total Migration Program numbers remain unchanged at 190,000;
  • Skilled Program down by 700 places to 128,550;
  • Family Program up by 700 to 60,885;
  • Total departmental revenue is expected to increase from $1,333.7 million to $1,462.3 million. The movement is primarily due to an increase in revenue from Government (appropriation revenue) of $126.7 million and an increase in DIAC’s own source revenue of $1.9 million;
  • Visa and Migration Program delivery expenses increase from $508 million to $518 million;
  • Visa compliance and status resolution expenses increase from $87 million to $96 million;
  • Refuge expenses increase from $118 million to $551 million in response to the Report of the Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers, which recommended an increase in the Humanitarian Program to 20,000 places annually;
  • There will be a comprehensive review into Australia’s refugee status determination system;
  • At least 12 percent of offshore refugee grants through the Woman at Risk Subclass;
  • Settlement services expenses increase from $479 million to $552 million;
  • Grants for multicultural affairs increase from $732,000 to $9.5 million;
  • Enhancement and extension of biometric testing;
  • Enhancement of the DIAC’s capability to detect and minimise identity and document fraud;
  • Subclass 457 visa application charges will increase revenue by more than $46 million;
  • Improvements to communications that increase consumers’ understanding of their rights and agents’ understanding of their obligations under the regulatory framework; and
  • Five percent of agents to be monitored – which is not a change.

The Government’s reform agenda for the Migration Program includes:

  • Labour market policy framework;
  • Long term migration planning framework;
  • Skills targeting (permanent and temporary);
  • Review of student programs;
  • Working holiday, visitor and specialist entry programs;
  • Visa simplification and deregulation agenda; and
  • Implementation of a fairer approach to migration for people with a disability.

2013-14 Budget: Useful links

MIA Budget media release:

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Minister O'Connor's media releases:

Commonwealth Budget Links:

2012-13 NSW nomination under the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa

Last update: 11 April 2013

Applications for NSW nomination under the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa for the 2012-13 financial year have reached full capacity and have closed for this year.

Applications for the Subclass 190 visa will open again in July 2013.

NSW continues to accept applications for nominations for other visa classes, including the Significant Investor Visa.

Applications received for NSW nomination under the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa up to close-of-business on 11 April 2013 will be processed as usual. Any application that has already been received and is currently being processed will continue to be processed. Please note processing takes up to 12 weeks and applications may not be finalised in 2012-13. Details of the 2013-14 intake for the Subclass 190 visa will be available in July 2013.


For more information visit

High Court Decision

7 September 2012


[2012] HCA 31

Today the High Court dismissed four applications for declaratory relief and the issue of certiorari and constitutional writs against the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship ("the Minister") and the Secretary for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

Sections 48B, 195A, 351 and 417 of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth) ("the Act") confer powers upon the Minister to intervene with respect to the granting of visas under the Act. The powers may only be exercised by the Minister personally and the Minister cannot be compelled to exercise them. Each of the plaintiffs in these proceedings had sought to invoke the exercise by the Minister of those powers after having unsuccessfully sought merits review and, in some cases, judicial review of a decision to refuse to grant a visa.

The plaintiffs submitted that in deciding whether or not to consider the exercise of the relevant powers, or deciding whether or not to exercise those powers, the Minister was obliged to afford natural justice or procedural fairness to the plaintiffs.

The High Court dismissed the plaintiffs' applications, finding that the distinct nature of the powers conferred on the Minister by the Act meant that the exercise of the powers is not conditioned on the observance of the principles of procedural fairness.

This statement is not intended to be a substitute for the reasons of the High Court or to be used in any later consideration of the Court’s reasons.

Please refer to the High Court decision for details:

Last update: 07 September 2012 at 10.30 AM

On Friday (07/09/2012) morning sometime after 10:30 am the full High Court of Australia will hand down its decision in relation to the Parish Patience four representative cases.

Last update: 07 September 2012 at 9.50 AM

David Bitel named among Australia’s Best Immigration Lawyers

The Migration Institute of Australia recently congratulated our Managing Partner David Bitel, one of its 16 Members who were listed by the Australian Financial Review as amongst Australia’s Best Immigration Lawyers, as chosen by their peers.

David has also been recognised by the NSW Law Society for his work in Immigration Law by being the only Immigration Law Specialist in NSW to be awarded the prestigious Honorary Specialist Accreditation.

MIA News, Issue 118, 7 March 2012

General Skilled Migration - State Sponsorship

The States and Territories are now sponsoring applicants under the onshore transitional subclass 487 and 886 as well as Skills Select subclass 489 and 190 program.

Applicants may find further information via the following web links:

New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania.

For details on sponsorship lists and criteria, please contact Jack Li in our office. 

Last update: 29 August 2012

Notice - May 2012

It has been brought to our attention that International Career Builders PVT Ltd are using the name of David Bitel without authorisation. We do not have, nor have had any connection with this company and are not liable for advice they have given or for any fees paid. If you have attended their offices and/or paid money please contact our office without delay to clarify your situation.

We do not currently have any authorised representatives or agents in Bangladesh – if you require assistance please contact our office directly where you will be responded to promptly.

The High Court Declares Offshore Processing Invalid

The High Court of Australia has unanimously held that Australia's offshore processing regime is invalid. Effectively the Federal Government can no longer refuse to allow the courts to review decisions processed offshore.

Today the High Court declared that two Sri Lankan citizens who arrived at Christmas Island by boat were denied procedural fairness in the review of the assessment of their refugee claims. The Court held that it was an error of law for a person conducting a review of a refugees claim as part of the offshore processing regime not to treat provisions under the Migration Act 1958 and the Australian courts decisions as binding.

This is welcome news for all offshore refugee applicants in detention where they should be treated equally to other refugee applicants under the Australian Law.

Please refer to the High Court decision for details:

Last update: 11 November 2010

The Minister is scheduled to announce imporant changes to the Point Test System on the 10 November 2010.

The Immigration Minister is scheduled to announce major changes to the point test system under the general skills migration program tomorrow, addressing some of the issues with the current point test system.

Some major changes according to the Migration Institute of Australia include:

  • The bundling of qualifications and work experience to achieve the majority of points;
  • An increased of the GSM age limit to 50 years of age;
  • The inclusion of two additional recognised English language tests;
  • The degree of relationship between sponsor and applicant now determining points awarded for sponsorship;
  • Sponsors now must be Australian citizens of at least five years and resident of at least the two years immediately prior to application; and
  • Regional family sponsors now must be residents of a designated area for at least two years immediately prior to application.
Last update: 9 November 2010

Victorian Government Releases Its State Migration Plan

Victoria is the first state to implement the State Migration Plan (SMP) since the major reform in the General Skills Migration Program on 1st July 2010, ending the long and anxious wait for many potential GSM visa applicants.

Under the Victorian SMP, a total of 4500 places is available for visa grants in the 2010-11 financial year. This includes the primary visa applicants and their accompanying family members.

To be eligible, applicants generally need to satisfy the basic DIAC visa requirements, as well as additional criteria for the Victorian government sponsorship.

Applicants are generally required to nominate an occupation on the eligibility list, minimum two years or more of post qualification work experience, score competent English or above. Many occupations such as accountants and engineers have higher English requirements where proficient English is required. Victorian government does not participate in the concessional English program.

Subclass 475 and 487 sponsorship applicants are required to have offer of employment by a Victorian employer in an occupation on the eligibility list.

Subclass 886 sponsorship applicants may be required to have an offer of employment or minimum number of years of experience in the nominated occupation.

Though there is no strict job offer requirement for subclass 176 sponsorship applications, a minimum number of years of experience in the nominated occupation or minimum English language standards may be required.

Current students studying in Victoria may apply for subclass 176 sponsorship. They must have worked in their nominated occupation within the past twelve months.

For further information please visit the Victorian Government website.

Please contact Jack Li in our office should you require further assistance.

Last update: 2 November 2010

New Skilled Occupation List (SOL) released on 1 July 2010

The long waited new SOL list was finally released by DIAC on 1 July 2010. The new list is based on the new Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) replacing the Australian Standard of Classification of Occupations (ASCO) previously used. Readers should be aware there are significant changes in the classifications of occupations and criteria in the ANZSCO compared to ASCO. For instance, Accountants are subdivided into Accountant (general), Management Accountant and Taxation Accountant. Compulsory registration or licensing is required for Accountants.

State and Territory governments may also sponsor applicants with occupations not on the new SOL under the new state/territory migration plans which are expected to be implemented in the second half of 2010.

For assessment of eligibility to apply for a general skilled visa, please contact our office for individual advice.

For detailed summary of recent changes to the General Skills Migration Program, please refer to the DIAC website.

General Skilled Migration Program changes announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

You may have already been aware of the recent changes on 08 February 2010 in the General Skilled Migration Program announced by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans. We now summarise for your information the further advice from the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) in relation to these changes:

All OFFSHORE GSM applications lodged before 1 September 2007 cancelled

All OFFSHORE GSM applications lodged before 1 September 2007 will be withdrawn from processing and the applicants will have their visa application charge refunded. This does not apply to onshore pre 1 September 2007 GSM applicants. This will affect about 20,000 applicants.

Offshore GSM applications made before 1 September 2007 and which are currently at the Migration Review Tribunal will be subject to this change. The Migration Review Tribunal is considering its refund policy in relation to these cases and we will advise you we hear further if you have a pending application for review with the MRT.

Removal of MODL

The Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) has been revoked.

The revocation of the current MODL will not affect those who at 8 February 2010:

  • hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or have a pending subclass 485 visa application and are yet to apply for a permanent or provisional General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa, or
  • have a pending GSM visa application. Applicants who lodged a GSM application before 8 February 2010 are not affected by the revocation of MODL. The legislative instrument specifies a new Migration Occupation in Demand List which is for applicants for Subclass 885 Skilled – Independent, Subclass 886 Skilled – Sponsored and Subclass 487 Skilled – Regional Sponsored visas who:
    • held a Subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate visa at the date of commencement of this instrument; or
    • had made an application for a Subclass 485 Skilled – Graduate visa that is not finally determined at the date of commencement of this instrument;
    • and who made their application on or before 31 December 2012.

This new MODL has the same occupations listed as the previous MODL. It is, of course, still possible to lodge a GSM application now, but MODL points are not now available for new applications.

New Skilled Occupation List second half of 2010

A new SOL will come into effect from mid-2010 for all GSM applications lodged on or after that mid-2010 date, except GSM applicants who at the date of announcement ( 8 February 2010):

  • hold a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa, or had a pending subclass 485 visa application and had not yet lodged an application for a provisional or permanent GSM visa and who make an application by 31 December 2012, or
  • have a pending GSM visa application.

The new SOL will not apply to people applying for a Skilled—Graduate (subclass 485) visa who at 8 February 2010 held a:

  • Vocational Education and Training Sector (subclass 572) visa
  • Higher Education Sector (subclass 573) visa
  • Postgraduate Research Sector (subclass 574) visa.

However these student visa holders will be required to have an occupation on the new SOL to apply for a permanent GSM visa. Current DIAC information suggests that applications lodged between 08 February 2010 and Mid 2010 will be assessed on the Skilled Occupation List at the time the application was lodged. However, there is still no information about this. We will advise when we hear further. State and Territory governments may be able to offer nomination to GSM applicants with occupations not on the SOL if it is in accordance with “a state migration plan approved by the Minister”. We assume that the Minister will give prospective migrants a couple of months before the new Skilled Occupations List takes effect. We will advise once this has been confirmed. The new Skilled Occupation List will be determined by Skills Australia, which is an independent statutory body.

Changes to Priority Processing from 8 February 2010

The new priorities groups are:

  1. ENS and RSMS applications (highest priority)
  2. Applications nominated by a state/territory government “under a state migration plan agree to by the Minister”
  3. Applications nominated by a state/territory government and nominated occupation is on the CSL
  4. Applications not sponsored or state/territory nominated, with nominated occupation is on the CSL, but not in groups 1, 2 or 3
  5. Applications nominated by a state/territory government and nominated occupation is not on the CSL
  6. Applications with nominated occupation on the MODL
  7. All other applications processed in the order they are received

Priority processing applies to the following visa sub-classes:

  • 134, 136, 137, 138, 139, 175, 176, 475, 487, 495, 496, 497, 861, 862, 863, 880, 881, 882, 885, 886.

These changes apply to all applications in the pipeline and to applications lodged after 8 February 2010. Priority processing does NOT apply to: 476, 485, 883, 887 Applications with the MRT are not subject to priority processing if they are remitted to DIAC

Critical Skills List and Priority Processing

The Critical Skills List (CSL) will be abolished when the new Skilled Occupation List comes into place in mid-2010. Priority processing arrangements using the CSL will continue for permanent skilled migration until they are reviewed in 2010.

State migrant plan

State migration plans are to be developed by the state and territory governments and will included occupations that are in demand for each state or territory. They have to be approved by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship. None has yet been approved.

Review of GSM Points Test

There will be a review of the GSM Points Test in the first half of 2010. The Minster said in his speech that the review would consider:

  • should some occupations warrant more points than others?
  • are the points for age properly calibrated?
  • should points be awarded for qualifications acquired overseas from prestigious universities?
  • are sufficient points awarded for experience?
  • should more points be awarded for excellence in English?

Advice for onshore international students Given the current and future changes to the GSM program, many international students will have concerns and questions about their future options. However, students must also be advised that until details of a new SOL or any changes to the Points Test are announced, there can be no certainty.

Skills assessment for GSM applicants nominating a trade occupation

DIAC has provided some clarification of skills assessment requirements for GSM applicants from 1 January 2010 who nominate a trade occupation. The amendments introduced on 1 January 2010 require applicant who nominate a trade occupation to provide a skills assessment dated on or after 1 January 2010.

DIAC now says  that those people will be able to use an existing (that is, pre- 1 January 2010) skills assessment. It is intended that in the future, applicants nominating a trade occupation for permanent migration will be able to provide an existing skills assessment when applying. This includes assessments predating 1 January 2010 and will mean that applicants will no longer be required to obtain a further skills assessment. It is intended that these arrangements commence in the first quarter of 2010.

We are awaiting further advice about how and when this will be announced or come into effect. GSM Applicants who nominate a trade occupation and who do not have a pre-1 January 2010 skills assessment will have to satisfy the Job Ready Program (JRP) skills assessment requirements.


In the future

The Minster intends to amend the Migration Act to give him powers to set the maximum number of visas that may be granted to applicants in any one occupation.

Minister has asked DIAC to explore the feasibility of introducing a new system where applicants initially put forward their claim for skilled migration, and are then selected as candidates by employers, State and Territory governments, or by the Commonwealth.

Top priority will continue to be given to employer sponsored migration. As there is a fixed number of places for all skilled migration, as the number of employer sponsored migrants increases, the number of independent skilled migrants will decrease.

In addition you will be aware that significant changes took place on 01 January 2010 and we provide the following links to the DIAC website which contain summaries of the major changes relating to:

If your wish to discuss the impact of these changes on your case please make an appointment to meet our Mr David Bitel, Accredited Specialist in Immigration Law, MARN 9255523 or one of the other migration agents in our office. A consultation fee will apply (Please understand that we are now receiving a large number of enquiries daily and are in consequence heavily booked for several weeks. We are not able to provide detailed client specific advice by email, because of the need to tailor the advice to each individual case. If you wish an appointment please contact us to arrange it.


Contact Us:

Parish Patience Immigration
Level 1, State Street Centre
338 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 2 9286 8700
Fax: +61 2 9283 3323



Law Society of NSW, specialist accreditation Member, Migration Institute of Australia

What's New:

PPI-Law Newsletter January 2014 Edition

States occupation list updates

(* The links below will take you directly to the State Government's website)

2013-14 Budget Overview: Australia's Migration Program

2013-14 Budget: Useful links

MIA Budget media release:

Department of Immigration and Citizenship

Minister O'Connor's media releases:

Commonwealth Budget Links:



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Migration Agents Registration Numbers 9255523, 9359088, 0322836, 0301059, 0851458
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