Australian Same-Sex Marriage Vote

Australia says ‘Yes’ to Same-Sex Marriage

Following the outrage of a mere postal vote advising a fundamental issue of equality, the “Yes” campaign has succeeded with an overwhelming majority of Australian citizens voting for same-sex marriage. In total, 61.6% of the Australian electorate voted in favour of the legalisation of same-sex marriage. Some of the most astonishing figures to look at are the breakdown of Yes/No votes by electorate. To name a few:

Melbourne, Victoria

Sydney, New South Wales

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Brisbane, Queensland

Perth, Western Australia

Adelaide, South Australia

83.7% Yes, 82.8% participation

83.7% Yes, 80.5% participation

74.1% Yes, 83.2% participation

79.5% Yes, 81.6% participation

71.5% Yes, 80.5% participation

70.1% Yes, 81.4% participation

Moreover, the voter participation was impressive in itself, with just one electoral division with less than 60% of the population participating.

Following the Vote

After numerous attempts to pass the same-sex marriage bill, the results of the vote were upheld by the government. As of Monday 9th January 2018, same-sex marriages will be able to take place in Australia. In fact, the first same-sex marriages have already been able to take place under special dispensation. The law passed on Saturday 9th December 2017 recognises all same-sex marriages that have taken place overseas.

The upshot of this historic legislation bodes well for an increasingly progressive and tolerant Australian society, that does not marginalise the members or the hardships of the LGBTQ+ community. It marks the end of a lengthy and arduous process for its campaigners and advocates, and the beginning of marriage equality in Australia for its inhabitants, visitors and immigrants.

 

Legislation & Policy

MSL Solicitors is pleased to confirm that the Marriage Act 1961, which regulates marriage law in Australia, was amended on the 4th of December 2017. This new landmark, albeit long overdue, passed through the senate unanimously. The new legislation and key amendments can be found below:

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 No. 129, 2017

The definition of spouse has been amended, such that:

Migration Act 1958

35  Subsection 5F(1)

After “another person”, insert “(whether of the same sex or a different sex)”.

36  Paragraph 5F(2)(b)

Omit “as husband and wife”, substitute “as a married couple”.

Same-sex couples can finally access the Subclass 300 (Prospective-Marriage Visa).

Further Reading

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/07/same-sex-marriage-postal-survey-is-lawful-high-court-finds

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2017/nov/15/same-sex-marriage-survey-how-australia-voted-electorate-by-electorate

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2017A00129


This article demonstrates some of the complexities that surround Australian law and policy, and highlights some benefits of having representation from a MARA Agent or immigration Lawyer who can help you navigate your way through these obstacles and keep you updated about important changes.

 

Please contact us +44 (0)2078326400, or email enquiries@mslsolicitors.com if you are interested in finding out more about our legal services.

 

Family & Partner Visa Options

MSL Solicitors: Holiday Closure Dates

Attention to all of our clients, enquirers and partners: 

It has been an exciting year for MSL Solicitors with our continued growth, our new offices, and a handful of successful seminars in our dynamic world seminar series. Equally excited, we look forward to the promising future of MSL Solicitors in 2018, with several company-wide projects and seminars planned.

Please note that all of our offices will be closed between Friday 22nd DecemberWednesday 3rd January for the holiday season. During this time, our staff may have limited access to their emails and telephone communications. We ask that those of our clients and partners with urgent requests leave a message with our office.

 

MSL Solicitors would like to wish you all a merry holiday season and a happy new year!    

Register for our London seminar! Emigrate to Australia: November, 2017

Register for our seminar here: http://www.mslsolicitors.com/emigrating-to-australia/how-to-emigrate-to-australia/seminar-registration/

Our seminar series returns to London this November! We are delighted to announce the addition of several new partners, as well as a new segment: English testing. A common hurdle faced by those applying for a skilled visa is scoring the necessary points on their English tests, whether English is their first or fifth language. We have partnered with Pearson to discuss these difficulties, and will provide insights into the PTE Academic test.

Our seminar will now provide you with an even more comprehensive and holistic view of the General Skilled Migration program than before.

We hope to see you there!

 

Migration Agents Forum at Australia House, August 2017: DIBP reform & Family Visa Updates

The quarterly Migration Agents forum took place again earlier this month at the prestigious Australia House. This informative event, exclusive to those MARA agents and caseworkers in the London industry, was attended by Genevieve Katyar and Sammy Naghi from our office.  Various topics and issues were raised and we now provide a short summary for our readers.

Expected changes to the DIBP and the immigration process: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

As announced by Malcolm Turnbull earlier this summer, the Australian government has plans to create a department that integrates immigration, border control, national security and policing. The new department, dubbed Australia’s Home Office, will be led by incumbent minister for immigration Peter Dutton.

In addition, the Australian visa system is due to be reformed, which should see unified, broader visa categories in place of the plethora of visas currently available to prospective immigrants.

Family Migration Updates

During the Migration Agent Forum in February, it was announced that the waiting period for partner visas had significantly increased. Unfortunately, 6 months on there has been little change to these periods in London post who processes visa applications lodged in the United Kingdom and various other European countries as the current 10-14 months processing time continues as at current date. It is worth noting however that globally the current processing times are far longer, with a global average of 90% of visas being processed within 16-35 months (depending on visa subclass). You can find the latest processing times here.

 

 

MSL Solicitors, 2017
London

 


This article demonstrates some of the complexities that surround Australian migration law and policy, and highlights some benefits of having representation from a MARA Agent or immigration Lawyer who can help you navigate your way through these obstacles and keep you updated about important changes.

 

Please contact us +44 (0)2078326400, or email enquiries@mslsolicitors.com if you are interested in finding out more about our legal services.

Case study: Complex Visa (Criminal Conviction)

For those with criminal convictions, the Australian immigration process can be complicated and frustrating. Even people with minor convictions may experience potential limits to their freedom of movement. We interviewed one such individual, who allowed us to share some details of his case and his particular experience with the complex visa process. This former client of ours fortunately obtained his visa, allowing him to visit Australia.

 

 

Certain opportunities, including the opportunity to visit one’s family, should not be determined by past errors. If you wish to visit Australia and have a criminal conviction, or another type of complex situation, please contact us today.

Changes to Skilled Occupations Lists

Attention all skilled migrants: the Commonwealth Government has made significant changes to the visa eligibility criteria.

The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been replaced by the Medium and Long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This can be found on our website, by clicking here.

The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) has been replaced by the Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). There has been a huge change in the replacement of this list, with a removal of 200 occupations. This can be found on our website, by clicking here.

 

Emigrate To Australia, Bahrain 2017

MSL Solicitors Emigrate to Australia Seminar is coming to Bahrain! The date is fixed: Saturday 13th May 2017, registration is essential. 

This exclusive (invitation only) event will bring together our local Bahrain clients and also a limited number of pre-screened guests. This informative seminar will be jam-packed with expert Australian visa advice, and crucial relocation information for visa-holders such as access to Public Education (Schooling) and Health Care.

Are you currently living and working in Bahrain, and interested in migrating to Australia in search of a better life for your family? Do you want information about how to obtain an Australian skilled migrant work visa and Australian Citizenship? Do you have any burning questions you have always wanted to ask an Australian visa expert? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you can rest assured that this event is the right for you! MSL Solicitors may be the start of your family’s gateway to a new life in Australia!

We are excited to announce our Emigrate to Australia Seminar series continues internationally in 2017, and we have added Bahrain to our international annual seminar timetable! MSL Solicitors is delighted to be having our first ever seminar in the Kingdom of Bahrain, where we have a strong client base. Our inaugural seminar in Bahrain will take place on Saturday the 13th of May between 1pm- 4pm. Details of the location will be provided after registration and on qualifying for the event. Please note that you will not be permitted to attend unless invited. 

MSL Solicitors will be represented by our principal Australian Immigration Lawyer and MARA Registered Agent, Sammy Naghi. Sammy will be presenting and holding a Q&A at the end of the seminar so that he can answer as many of your collective questions as possible. We will also have two other Guest speakers (testimonials from former clients) who are still residing in Bahrain, but are about to relocate to Australia. These former MSL Solicitors clients obtained their family’s Australian PR Visas through Sammy Naghi. They have been through the migration process and able to offer invaluable insights and tips for all. We also have current MSL clients based in Bahrain attending this event. With past clients and prospective clients also in attendance (as was the case with our other seminars in London and Dubai over the last 2 years), this seminar will also act as an excellent networking opportunity for all guests.

If you wish to join us, please kindly visit our seminar registration page and complete our registration form. This seminar is free of charge, but places are limited. If you are a current or former MSL client, you will be automatically invited to attend the event within 7 days of registration. Please note that all other registrations will undergo an Australian migration assessment (pre-qualification). You will be given a formal invitation (with your partner if applicable) to attend if you pass the pre-qualification assessment. Please allow us 10-14 days to come back to you regarding your registration, to enable us to assess your eligibility, and to issue formal invitations to pre-screened Guests. We appreciate your patience and look forward to meeting you in Bahrain.

Bahrain Seminar Invitation - Must register to attend

-MSL Solicitors team
13/4/17

Migration Agents Forum at Australia House, February 2017: Partner Visa Updates

Sammy Naghi discusses the recent changes to Partner Visas, which were announced at the High Commission of Australia in early March, 2017. Sammy is a dual qualified Solicitor and Barrister of Australia, and a MARA registered migration agent.

 

What are the ramifications for partner visa applicants completing Medicals and Police Checks at the time of lodgement or too early?

MSL Solicitors was invited by the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in London to a Migration Agents Forum in February 2017, held at Australia House. Sammy Naghi and Genevieve Katyar of MSL Solicitors attended this event, which was aimed at further strengthening the positive and professional relationships between the DIBP London team, and the Migration Agents and Lawyers based in the United Kingdom. The forums are used to keep us informed of any legislative, policy and procedural changes.

Among other changes, it was announced that the Australian partner visa processing time has increased significantly from 6 months to (approximately) 10-14 months. We have many clients applying for partner visas; like others, they are patiently waiting in the queue, they are expecting their visas to be processed in 6 months, and they are making arrangements to leave the UK. We have notified all our affected clients, and have adjusted their expectations accordingly so that they can pan ahead for the future. Another issue springs to mind. When should Migration Agents and Lawyers, like MSL Solicitors, recommend that their clients get their medicals and police checks completed?

 

If I complete any medicals (health) or police (character) checks earlier, does this reduce the processing time? What, if any, are the ramifications?

Health and character checks are usually valid for 12 months from the date of clearance. Obtaining health and character checks earlier will not reduce the processing time for your application, but will determine the date by which you have to travel to Australia if your visa is granted. If these checks are done too early, it may mean that you only have a short time frame in which to enter Australia. Moreover, if they expire, you may need request them again in order for your visa to be granted.

 

How long will the processing of an Australian partner visa take and what is the reason that the length of wait time for these visas increased by so much as of February 2017?

The current processing time for Australian Partner Migration, processed at the Australian High Commission in London, is at least 10 – 14 months from the date you lodged your application. This time frame is based on the number of applications currently awaiting processing, and the planning levels available in the family stream of the Australian migration program, which is set by the Australian Government as part of the Budget.

The department currently receives more applications than there are places available in the family stream of the migration program. This means that there is some increase in processing times for these visas.

It is therefore recommended that you do not do your medicals or police checks early, or make any irreversible action during the processing of your application (such as ceasing employment, selling property or purchasing airline tickets).

 

 

S. Naghi, 2017
London


This article demonstrates some of the complexities that surround Australian migration law and policy, and highlights some benefits of having representation from a MARA Agent or Migration Lawyer who can help you navigate your way through these obstacles and keep you updated about important changes.

 

Please contact us +44 (0)2078326400, or email enquiries@mslsolicitors.com if you are interested in finding out more about our legal services.

 

DIBP Holiday Closure Dates

Please note the following closure dates of the DIBP.

Departmental offices will be closed on the following dates:

  • 26 December 2016 Boxing Day
  • 27 December 2016 Christmas Day
  • 28 December 2016 Additional (APS) Holiday
  • 2 January 2017 New Years Day

For more information, please visit the Migration Institute of Australia website.