Your union teams up with Visa Assist to give visa support to migrant members 20 February 2024

The CFMEU Manufacturing Division is proud to announce the rollout of the Visa Assist program to our members nationally. In partnership with Unions NSW and the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre (a legal centre) we are now able to offer members and their families comprehensive advice on all migration issues related to working in Australia.

Something seems not quite right at work but you are worried that speaking up will impact your visa? We have both immigration and workplace law experts able to assist. Looking to stay working in Australia but want to understand your options? The Visa Assist team can help. The team has expertise helping union members with a wide range of issues including securing skilled visas, permanent residency, citizenship and refugee applications, and visa cancellation advice, among others. This includes representation in necessary tribunals. Visa Assist provides advice on all types of visas available to workers in Australia, including student, working holiday, sponsorship and skilled visas.

The service is completely confidential and free of cost for union members only.

Our member success stories with free services from Visa Assist

Bob* – Temporary Graduate visa and PR Pathways
Estimated costs to member if accessed private lawyer: $2,000 (for Temporary Graduate visa) and $3,000 in ongoing advice sessions re permanent residency.
Bob arrived in Australia on a Student visa to study English. After a few months in Australia, he realised he wanted to stay longer and got in contact with Manufacturing Division regarding his visa option. We referred him to Visa Assist. At his first appointment Bob spoke about his plans, his work experience and what he would like to study. Visa Assist told him about applying for a further Student visa and the possibility of obtaining a Temporary Graduate visa once he finished his studies. Towards the end of his studies, Bob reached out again and was assisted in applying for a Temporary Graduate visa. His Temporary Graduate visa was granted a few months ago and he is now assisting Bob with his next visa options, including pathways to permanent residency.

Mike*– Unlawful and deportation
Estimated cost to member if accessed private lawyer: $500 - $1,000 Mike arrived in Australia on a Visitor visa. Prior to his Visitor visa expiring he applied for a Protection visa and was granted a Bridging visa A. Unfortunately, his Protection visa was refused by both the Department and on appeal. He received a letter from the Department telling him that he needed to make another visa application or make arrangements to depart Australia. We referred him to Visa Assist for assistance with his next visa application. Mike informed his solicitor he needed additional time to make arrangements to leave Australia but was nervous that he may be detained if he became unlawful. Visa Assist explained that if he showed up to the airport without a visa to fly home it is likely he will be detained. Visa Assist then assisted Mike in applying for a Bridging visa E so that he could maintain his lawful status and make arrangements to depart without risking detention, removal, and a ban from re-entering Australia.
*Names have been changed to protect member’s confidentiality

Visa Assist is a great example of a vital service that union members can afford together that would be much harder to afford by themselves.

Need migration help? Contact your organiser or call 1800 060 556

Not a member yet?
Join today!