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Customs and Border Protection photo

Immigration Update: DIAC No More …Welcome Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Customs and Border Protection photo
Customs and Border Protection photo

By GRANT WILLIAMS* For those of you with an interest in trivia here is a list of the names that have graced the various versions of the Federal Government Immigration Department since the end of World War II.

DI – Department of Immigration (1945 – 1974)

DLI – Department of Labour and Immigration (1974 – 1975)

DIEA – Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1976 – 1987)

DILGEA – Department of Immigration, Local Government and Ethnic Affairs (1987 – 1993)

DIEA – Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs (1993 – 1996)

DIMA – Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (1996 – 2001)

DIMIA – Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (2001 – 2006)

DIMA – Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (2006 – 2007)

DIAC – Department of Immigration and Citizenship (2007 – 2013)

DIBP – Department of Immigration and Border Protection (2013 – current)

The changing names give an interesting snapshot of the themes that have swirled around Australia’s immigration program over the years. Really all these changes are just a giant waste of taxpayer’s money. We could have just stuck with the original and bought a few extra hospitals, aircraft carriers or perhaps kept University/HECS and TAFE fees lower to promote the training of the workforce. Alas our politicians really can’t be trusted with our money!

What’s the latest cost for rebranding a Federal Government Department? Anyone know?

The 417/462 Working Holiday Visas

Recent times have seen a huge amount of angst political, trade union, business, employer and I’m sorry to say personal surrounding the role of 457 Business Long Stay visas in our economy and community. Talk of rorts, misuse of the system, foreign workers taking skilled jobs from unemployed Australians and quite a lot of scams running around in the various ethnic communities in Australia. DIAC have cracked down on various occupations that they feel are being exploited and there is a good deal of misinformation and misunderstanding out there in the wider community. Many people come on my Blog for example and vent their personal anger and say that there are sectors of our economy where the 457 visa is causing significant problems.

All of this abuse (as many choose to use me as a target to express their displeasure) has got me thinking that it is possible that the real culprit in the visas taking Australian jobs debate is the good old 417/462 Working Holiday visa. 457 visa holders must have relevant skills and qualifications but the Working Holiday Visa holder can take any job – skilled or unskilled. There is no oversight, no sponsorship or nomination approval system, wages and salaries are not monitored, employers are not checked – basically it is a free for all with the only minor restriction being the visa holder can only work for a maximum of 6 months for the one employer.

Also important to know that it is possible to extend this visa into a second year under certain conditions and many then make further visa applications onshore when their working holiday period expires.


Working Holiday visa holders can come from the following countries –

Belgium, Canada, Cyprus Republic of,  Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland Republic of, Italy, Japan, Korea Republic of, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom (all 417) and from the USA (462)

How many of these young folk (you have to be less than 30 years of age) are there in Australia at any one time? What jobs are they actually doing? Where are they? What impact are they having on the ability of young Australians to get jobs? Are they being exploited by less than ethical employers?

I suspect of these 5 questions the Federal Government and DIBP can only answer the first one. Is that good enough?

Grant Williams is a Registered Migration Agent – MARN 0854799 and Managing Director of Immigration Pty Ltd. Grant has been a Registered Migration Agent since 1997. You can read more of his immigration related musings on his Blog at http:/ or you can call him on 0430 351 877 or (02) 9211 4694 to air your thoughts and reactions.