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Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose / Objectives

(1) To provide a framework for the provision of assistance to:

  1. All new ongoing or fixed term staff who need to relocate from overseas or interstate in order to take up a position with the University; and
  2. To assist supervisors/recruiting managers who need to be aware of the implications and costs of relocation and immigration assistance.
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Section 2 - Scope / Application

(2) The Policy does not apply to Casual, Sessional, Adjunct, Visiting or Emeritus appointments.

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Section 3 - Definitions

University Victoria University
HA Department of Home Affairs
ENS Employer Nomination Scheme
Relocation Expenses Refers to the personal expenses incurred by an appointee in relocating to Melbourne to take up a position at Victoria University. There are several types of relocation expenses: (i) Travel Expenses (ii) Immigration Expenses (iii) Removal and Storage expenses (iv) Temporary Accommodation (v) Settling-in Allowance (vi) Other support such as Settling-in Leave, assistance with local information, etc
Appointee Refers to the person recruited either from overseas or within Australia relocating to Melbourne to take up a position at Victoria University and meeting the criteria set out in clauseS (3) to (6).
Spouse Refers to a partner who is legally married to the appointee or in a de facto relationship. This may include same sex relationships.
Dependants Refers to: - Children who are aged 18 yrs or under. - Children above 18 yrs who are full time students. - Elderly or disabled persons for whom the appointee is the primary care giver.
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Section 4 - Policy Statement

Eligibility

(3) Relocation and/or Immigration Assistance will be given in the following circumstances:

  1. where appointees are recruited from overseas or from parts of Australia not accessible to the University's campuses on a day to day basis (normally considered to be outside of a 100 km radius) and;
  2. where the appointee is relocating to within a 50 km radius of the University's campus on which their position is based at the time of appointment; and;
  3. where either;
    1. the appointee is a senior level academic (usually levels C and above) who will be full-time continuing or has been offered a fixed term contract of not less than 3 years, or
    2. the appointee is a senior level general staff (usually of HEW level 9 and above) who will be full-time continuing or has been offered a fixed term contract of not less than 3 years, or,
    3. the appointee is a senior level TAFE employee (usually Program Manager and above) who will be full-time continuing or has been offered a fixed-term contract of not less than 3 years, or
    4. the appointee is a postdoctoral research fellow.

(4) Appointees at levels other than those listed above will be considered on a case by case basis, where it is identified that specialist function, skills or expertise is required and HA requirements are met. Approval will be in accordance with the People and Culture Delegations Policy .

(5) Where the appointee does not meet the criteria set out in (i) and (ii) above, but the appointment is considered to be of strategic importance to the University, the authorising officer (in the People and Culture Delegation Policy) can make a recommendation with justification for the payment of a discretionary amount, which requires the approval of the authorising officer's supervisor.

(6) Where appointments are funded through grants, relocation assistance will normally only be available if the granting body makes funds available for this purpose.

(7) Appointees who do not qualify for relocation allowance may be able to salary package their relocation costs. Please refer to the Salary Packaging Policy .

Principles

(8) All payments made under this policy are paid upon evidence of expenditure (refer to Procedures) and must have the approval of the authorising officer as stated in the People and Culture Delegations Policy .

(9) Costs should be factored into the recruitment budget by the recruiting area which is responsible for the appointment.
People and Culture is responsible for processing and maintaining central records for all visa and visa related documentation for all employees of the University.

(10) The recruiting area, responsible for the appointment, in consultation with People and Culture is responsible for organising and co-ordinating all other documentation (except visa and visa related documentation).

Visas

(11) Temporary visas (usually category 457) will only be offered in the first instance, regardless of whether the position being appointed is fixed-term (for a maximum period of four years) or continuing.

(12) Appointees commencing on a temporary visa must provide and maintain evidence of full medical and hospital insurance for themselves, their spouse and dependants to People and Culture prior to commencement.

(13) If the appointee leaves the University whilst on a temporary visa, HA must be notified within 5 working days of the employee leaving.

(14) Where an appointee ceases employment prior to the agreed contract date, the University is responsible for the cost of return airfares for the appointee, their spouse and dependants, to the country where the employee came from.

Permanent Residency - through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)

(15) An overseas appointee holding a temporary visa in accordance with clauses (11) to (14) may apply for permanent residency through the ENS, subject to satisfying eligibility criteria.

(16) Eligibility criteria include meeting all VU and HA requirements.

  1. VU requirements -
    1. confirmation of probation;
    2. proof of appropriate comprehensive working visa medical and hospital insurance for the appointee, their spouse and dependants;
    3. appropriate background testing that may be required for the position (e.g. working with children check).
  2. HA requirements - per current Migration Act 1958, regulations and subsequent amendments. This may include:
    1. testing to meet specified english language requirements;
    2. health and medical requirements;
    3. proof of qualifications;
    4. character assessments;
    5. police checks;
    6. remuneration level and structure;
    7. skills assessment.

(17) These requirements may change at any time, refer to relevant legislation.

(18) Where permanent residency sponsorship is supported by the sponsoring HOS/Director, and all eligibility requirements for the ENS Scheme are satisfied in accordance with clauses (15) and (16), a request (in writing) to People and Culture from the sponsoring HOS/Director may be initiated. People and Culture will then activate an application for permanent residency through the ENS.

Relocation

(19) Relocation expenses are expenses which are associated with the removal and storage of personal, professional and household effects upon the appointee's initial move to the University; which is usually only from one residence to another. No further relocation assistance will be provided should the employee's main job location move to another campus, except as provided by the employment agreement or other University policy.

(20) The amount paid is intended to be a reasonable contribution towards the total cost of removal, storage and other costs and does not attempt to cover all direct or indirect costs of a new staff member's move.

(21) The authorising officer (in the People and Culture Delegations Policy) can make a recommendation to pay a discretionary extra amount of relocation assistance over and above the amounts stated in this Policy. This requires the approval of the authorising officer's supervisor and would occur in exceptional circumstances only.

(22) The appointee will have a fixed time period (normally up to 12 months) from the date of appointment to claim for the relocation expenses unless prior approval has been given for an extension of time by the relevant authorising officer.
If two appointments are made from one household, the level of assistance available to the members of that household will be the appropriate rate for an employee and spouse/dependant as specified in procedures under Removal and Storage expenses and Settling In Allowance.

(23) The University does not offer repatriation assistance on cessation of employment, except under the provisions of clause (17).

(24) Should the appointee cease employment prior to completing three years of employment, they are liable to reimburse to the University for any expenses paid on their behalf on a proportional basis as detailed in the procedures under Cessation of Employment.

(25) All payments and allowances will be taxed as per Australian Tax Office provisions, including Fringe Benefits Taxation (FBT) applicable at the time.

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Section 5 - Procedures

(26) See Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Procedure .

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Section 6 - Guidelines

(27) Nil