Can I use my own migration agent who is not an approved panel agent?
No. All applicants are required to use an approved panel agent for both their Northern Territory and Federal applications. All panel agents are appointed according to strict selection criteria and have undertaken specific training for the MINT Program provided by the Northern Territory Government and Paspalis. Applications made by agents who are not on the panel will not be accepted by the Paspalis or the Northern Territory Government.
What are the costs of the MINT Program for applicants?
Applicants costs of applying for the MINT Program are limited to:
- Placement fees of $27,500 plus GST
- Migration agent professional fees which must be reasonable and in accordance with the MINT Program
How much do I need to invest in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No. 2?
Applicants are required to invest $515,000 in the Paspalis Innovation Investment Fund No. 2. Application forms and a copy of the Information Memorandum will be available by the end of August 2019.
How much is my migration agent paid by Paspalis?
Upon successful visa nomination and investment in PIIF 2, Paspalis will pay panel agents $15,000 plus GST per applicant. This fee is in addition to professional fees charged to you by your migration agent.
Who owns the MINT Program?
The MINT program is owned and managed by the Darwin Innovation Hub and Paspalis Asset Management. The Northern Territory Government supports the program but does not own and manage it.
What is the placement fee charged by Paspalis used for?
The placement fee supports a range of services performed by Paspalis in running the MINT program including processing, marketing, monitoring and reporting, and contributes to the costs of operating the Darwin Innovation Hub.
The Northern Territory Government receives no financial benefit from either the MINT program or Paspalis Asset Management. The Northern Territory Government supports the program because of the benefits it brings to the Northern Territory Innovation ecosystem.
Who approves visa decisions?
The Northern Territory nominates Applicants who meet the Australian Federal Government threshold criteria relevant at the time of Nomination application (outlined in the law and related Australian Government policy) and NT Government specific criteria.
The Northern Territory government approves the nomination but does not approve visas.
The Australian Federal Government (Department of Home Affairs) is the authority who decides whether or not to issue a visa.
Paspalis and approved Panel agents do not approve nominations or visa and are not able to influence NT Government and Australian Government decisions.
What is the main objective of MINT program/why does the Northern Territory Government support the MINT program?
MINT aims to raise start-up capital for the Northern Territory innovation ecosystem through nominations of genuine applicants who will not only contribute to the Northern Territory via investment, but also through a population increase, filling skills shortages and undertaking business activities that benefit the Northern Territory without disadvantaging local Northern Territorians.
Under the Skilled migration specific criteria, which occupation list should my occupation come from?
Applicants must have occupations on both the NT Skilled Occupation Priority List and on the relevant Australian government occupation list. This is to ensure that local Northern Territorians are not disadvantaged through the nomination of skilled migrants in areas where there are already sufficient local workers.
Are there any exemptions for overseas applicants joining the MINT program?
There are no exemptions to Australian Government criteria for any applicants. There are however concessions to NT Government criteria for MINT applicants.
MINT applicants who are seeking nomination through the General Skilled Migration pathways:
- Will need to demonstrate they can fill skills shortages in the NT, but will not need to obtain an offer of employment by an NT employer in their nominated occupation or a closely related occupation.
- Where the nominated occupation specifically states that a higher English level than Dept of Home Affairs mandated minimum level (e.g IELTS 7.0 overall or equivalent), applicants will need to demonstrate the higher level of English. For example – In the case of the occupation of Management Consultant, applicants must meet the English requirement of IELTS 7.0 overall or equivalent.
The purpose of this setting is that these higher English levels are what industry (NT employers) have indicated is the necessary level they are searching for. If applicants in those occupations do not have that level of English, they won’t be able to fill skills shortages determined by the Program.
Where can I find the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List (NT SOPL) and relevant Australian Government occupation list?
Please click on the link below:
Australian Government occupation list
How can I find out more about the investment?
Please email Paspalis and refer to information sheet above which provides a summary of the new investment fund.
What professional standards must the panel agents meet?
Panel agents are selected based on a history of performing against high quality standards. All are Registered Migration Agents and must adhere to the Migration Agents Code of Conduct. If you have concerns a panel agent is not acting in accordance with the code of conduct we encourage you to report it to Paspalis.
Is the investment guaranteed by the NT Government?
The investment (capital and returns) are not guaranteed by the NT Government. The Northern Territory is not involved in deciding which investments the Paspalis Innovation and Investment Fund makes. The NT Government suggests that MINT participants seek independent financial advice from suitably qualified financial advisors on the investment.
Are Panel Agents endorsed by the NT Government?
Panel agents are selected by Paspalis against selection criteria which have been agreed to with the NT Government. They are not endorsed by the NT Government.
Will I be able to apply for the new 491 visa under the MINT program now that the Federal Government has changed the policies under the 489 visa category to 491?
Yes, the MINT program will permit applicants in the 491 visa category under which new guidelines have been provided by the Department of Home Affairs.
What is the difference between the former 489 and 491 visa category?
Under the new 491 visa category rules, MINT applicants will be required to have a genuine intention to live in the Northern Territory for a minimum period of 3 years in order to qualify for permanent residency. The period of the visa will be 5 years instead of 4 years.
What fees will panel agents charge for my application?
All panel agents are registered with the Migration Agents Registry Authority (MARA) and must comply with the MARA Code of Conduct. The Office of MARA website contains information about using an agent, including about agents fees. It states:
Under the Code of Conduct for registered migration agents, the amount your agent charges (fees) must be fair and reasonable. Your agent will set their fee based on your circumstances.
Agent fees vary and depend on:
- your visa application type
- the amount of time it will take to prepare your application. Some visa applications take longer to prepare than others
- the level of service you need
- if you need extra help or have complex circumstances. For example your agent might charge more if you have dependants on your application (such as children).
- the experience and qualifications of your agent. If your agent is a lawyer or has many years of experience, their fees might be higher. If your agent’s fees seem too high, discuss this with them before signing a contract.
To ensure you are charged fairly, it is recommended that you talk to three different agents about their services and fees, before you choose one and sign a written contract with them.
Further details about agents fees can be found on the MARA website. The website also contains helpful information concerning fee disputes and what do to if you have a complaint about your agent.