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Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Procedure

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Section 1 - Summary

(1) The purpose of this Procedure is to outline the processes by which Victoria University (the University) supports new appointees with relocation and immigration assistance. This Procedure should be read in conjunction with the Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Policy.

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Section 2 - TEQSA/ASQA/ESOS Alignment

(2) Nil.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Procedure applies to new ongoing or fixed term appointments which require relocation from overseas or interstate.  It does not apply to Casual, Sessional, Honorary, Adjunct, Visiting and/or Emeritus appointments.

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Section 4 - Definitions

(4) Appointee: Refers to the person recruited either from overseas or interstate relocating to Melbourne to take up a position (as an employee) at the University and meeting the criteria set out in clauses (9) to (11) of the Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Policy.

(5) Dependants: Direct dependants include the appointee’s child/ren under the age of 21 years; or a student between the ages of 21-24 who is studying full-time at school, college or university. It may also include any other person approved by the University who lives with and who is fully dependant on the appointee.

(6) Department of Home Affairs: The Department of Home Affairs (HA) is the Australian Government interior ministry with responsibilities for national security, law enforcement, emergency management, border control, immigration, refugees, citizenship, transport security and multicultural affairs.

(7) Partner: Refers to a partner who is legally married to the appointee or in a de facto relationship. This may include same sex relationships.

(8) Relocation Expenses

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Section 5 - Policy/Regulation

(9) Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Policy

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Section 6 - Procedures

Part A - Summary of Roles and Responsibilities

Role Responsibility
Appointee Ensure compliance with the Relocation and Immigration Assistance for New Staff Policy, this Procedure and all relevant legislation.
Provide all evidence of expenditure and supporting documentation in accordance with requirements for reimbursement as outlined in the Policy.
Provide all Immigration documentation where necessary.
Make claims for reimbursements in a timely manner (or as soon as possible, but within 12 months).
Manager / Supervisor Hiring Department Factor all relocation and/or immigration costs associated into the recruitment budget. 
Seek advice in relation to relocation and managing immigration matters from the People and Culture team where necessary.
People and Culture Provide advice where necessary on both Relocation and Immigration matters.
Responsible for processing and maintaining central records for all visa and visa related documentation for all appointees of the University.

Travel Expenses

(10) Generally the University will organise and pay for economy class airfares via the most direct route for the purpose of relocation. Refer to the University's Travel Policy for more details.

Overseas Appointees

(11) Regardless of the mode of travel appointees may choose, the University will pay the costs up to the equivalent of the most economical combination of one-way airfares for the most reasonable direct route from the home base of the appointee and family (partner and dependant children) to Melbourne.

(12) The University will also pay for necessary en-route expenses such as airport transfers, stopovers during the flight. Where overnight accommodation is necessary, the most economical accommodation should be organised. Any discretionary en-route expenses such as extended stopovers are at the appointee's own expense.

Domestic Appointees

(13) Travel expenses for domestic appointees and their family (partner and dependant children) will be on the basis of economy air or first class rail fares. If they wish to travel by car, the cost will be reimbursed on a cents per km rate in line with the Australian Tax Office’s current rates to a maximum limit equivalent to the economy air. The reimbursement on a cents per kilometre basis of car expenses incurred by a relocating appointee is not exempt from Fringe Benefit Taxation (FBT), however the taxable value can be reduced to nil by the relocating appointee completing and emailing a Relocation Transport Declaration Form to taxcompliance@vu.edu.au.

Removal and Storage Expenses

(14) The appointee is required to obtain at least three quotes from three different removalists for the removal, storage and insurance of personal, household and professional effects. The University will usually accept the lowest quote and pay amounts up to but not exceeding the following figures (in Australian Dollars) towards the total amount on production of original receipts. This amount will include removal, (from previous residence and office to new residence and office), insurance and storage expenses up to a maximum period of four weeks:

For appointees from overseas

Appointee only AUD $8,000 total
Appointee with Partner AUD $14,000 total
Dependants AUD $800 per dependant

For domestic appointees

Appointee only AUD $4,000 total
Appointee with Partner AUD $6,000 total
Dependants AUD $400 per dependant

(15) It should be noted that these rates are current at the time of writing this Procedure and related Policy, and will be regularly reviewed to ensure their appropriateness and competitiveness.

Other Relocation Services and Provisions

(16) The University acknowledges that the new appointee may be faced with additional costs during their relocation period and may require some time to settle in. The University therefore may offer the following additional assistance to relocating appointees:

  1. Temporary Accommodation
    1. The University will reimburse accommodation costs for the appointee and their family of up to $200 per day, excluding meals and other incidental expenses, for a maximum period of two weeks.
  2. Settling-in Allowance
    Appointee only AUD $400 total
    Appointee with Partner AUD $500 total
    Dependants AUD $100 per dependant
    1. The University offers a one-off settling-in allowance to the appointee (whether a domestic or overseas appointee), to assist with incidental expenses incurred because of the relocation.
    2. The settling-in allowance is paid to the appointee through the University’s payroll. It is not an exempt benefit and is thus subject to PAYG Withholding tax.
  3. Settling-in period
    1. The University provides for paid time off over and above normal leave entitlements (to a maximum of two days) to the appointee within their first two months of employment to assist them in settling into their new location and attend to issues related with their relocation.
  4. Other Services
    1. The University does not assist directly with other relocation services such as school search, home search and partner career support.

Visa/Immigration Expenses

(17) There are a number of costs associated with applying for a temporary or permanent visa, some of which are paid for by the University (People and Culture or the sponsoring work unit/department), and some costs must be paid for by the staff member (appointee) themselves. Where there is approval to pay an appointees visa costs the following costs generally apply:

 

Visa Costs Paid by the University

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – Medium Term (up to four years)

(Subclass 482)

Costs paid by People and Culture

Costs paid by the Hiring Department

Nomination Fee Visa Lawyer Australia
(VLA) Fee
Skilling Australians Fund
(SAF Levy)
FBT Costs
$330 $1800 + GST $1800 each year of visa

e.g. for a four year visa it would cost $1800 x 4yrs = $7200
49% of total visa costs paid by the University, if the appointee is based in Australia at the time of applying for the visa.

Visa Costs Paid by the Appointee

Visa Application Fee Visa Application Fee for Accompanying Family Member (over 18) Visa Application Fee for Accompanying Family Member (under 18)
$2645 $2645 each $660 each
 

Visa Costs Paid by the University College/Work Unit Department

Permanent Residency Employer Nominated Scheme

(Subclass 186)

Costs paid by People and Culture

Costs paid by the Hiring Department

Visa Lawyer Australia (VLA) Fee Skilling Australians Fund (SAF Levy) FBT Costs
$2000 + GST $5000 (one off fee) 49% of total of costs paid by the University, if the appointee is based in Australia at the time of applying for a visa.

Visa Costs Paid by the Appointee

Visa Application Fee Visa Application Fee for Accompanying Family Member (over 18) Visa Application Fee for Accompanying Family Member (under 18)
$4045 $2025 each $1010 each
 

Other Temporary Visa Costs

Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) Visa

(Subclass 408)

Costs paid by People and Culture

Costs paid by the Hiring Department

Costs paid by the Appointee

Visa Lawyer Australia (VLA) Fee
 
FBT Costs Application Fee
 
$800 + GST 49% of total costs paid by the University, if the appointee is based in Australia at the time of applying for the visa. $310 + GST

(18) These visa costs were updated on 15 September 2020, and may be subject to change in line with Home Affairs updates. 

Cessation of Employment

(19) Where the appointee's employment ceases prior to completing three years of employment with the University, they must reimburse the University any expenses paid on their behalf on a pro-rata basis. For example, should they resign after completion of 20 months service, they would need to reimburse 16/36 of the total relocation financial assistance received.

(20) The amount payable is deemed to be a debt to the University that can be recovered via the University's normal debt collection procedures.

(21) The authorised Officer, in accordance with the People and Culture Delegations Schedule, may waive all or part of the debt in extraordinary circumstances.