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407 Training Visa Nominations: Common Reasons for Refusal (PART I)

With many years experience in employer sponsored application case management, Tribunal appeals, Departmental appeals, and nomination re-applications (on previously refused nominations), I have come across all possible grounds for nomination refusal.

Some of these are the same for nomination application refusals in general, but others are unique to Training Visa nomination refusals.

At the time of writing, nomination refusals are at record high (according to internal figures in the Department). Case officers are trained to identify any ground for refusal, and if one – even slightly – can be determined, a refusal will result.

There are cases I have seen in which a ‘benefit of the doubt’ consideration could have been given to the. applicant, was not and the case officer harshly took the side of refusal.

It is essential therefore that ALL criteria outlined in the Regulations are properly addressed in the nomination application. This includes aspects of the Regulations that need to be addressed in the training plan, training agreement, supporting submissions and corroborating evidence.

Bringing all this together to effectively minimise risk of refusal, you need to understand the relevant section of the Regulations and to be sure they are sufficiently addressed with corroborating evidence.

As a general overview, I summarise the key grounds of 407 Training Visa nomination application refusal as follows.

  • Appearance of a work visa application
  • Defective training plan
  • Failure to address Migration Regulation criteria
  • Contradicting statements
  • Lacking or inappropriate documentary evidence
  • Failure to refer to competence points in Nominee’s work or study history

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Appearance of work visa application

Some case officers form a view that the nomination application is ‘seeking a work visa by another means’. In short, they are stating the proposed training is not genuine but is rather a means to simply provide a low cost alternative to a TSS visa.

Case officers arriving at this conclusion typically refer to omissions or contradictions in the training plan, agreement or statements and claims made in the application.

Most importantly, case officers may refuse a 407 Training Visa nomination on this ground where the inadequacies of the training plan or corroborating evidence fail to provide sufficient basis for the training requirement.

This risk can be minimised by ensuring a tight consistency of supporting documents, submissions and application statements and claims. The efficacy of supporting evidence will also assist in strengthening the application and containing this risk to application.

As noted elsewhere, the high risk to application success from training plan writers with little or no familiarity with the Migration Regulations will not be able to bring together the disparate aspects of nomination application requirements to adequately address ALL relevant decision making criteria used by the case officers.

Defective Training Plan

Case officers refusing 407 Training Visa nomination applications mostly refer to elements of the training plan as reasons for basing their decision.

Training plan elements are extensively defined for case officers. The various elements act as a checklist against which applications are assessed. Only one of those elements needs to be missing, omitted or poorly defined for the case officer to make an adverse decision and refuse the nomination. 

Some defective training plans fail, for example, to expand on the context of training for addressing elements of skill attributes in the Nominee’s work or study history. The rationale for the proposed training structure and approaches are also critical elements of the training plan that case officers look for when weighing the regulatory compliance of the training plan submitted with application.

Training plan service provider is key to the provision of a robust training plan that meets ALL criteria in relevant Migration Regulations provisions. Training organisations and offshore writers, for example, will fail to comprehend this essential aspect of training plan compilation. This is clearly a case of buyer beware.