401 Nomination and Visa – Spike the Ski Tuner


Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Chief Executive Officer

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About Our Client

Our client was the Australian Paralympic Winter sports team. As most of their athletes have a physical disability a lot of their equipment is custom designed and tuned. Servicing and tuning these skis is a complex procedure and only a handful of people worldwide have the ability to do so. One of these people was Spike who we have always affectionally called Spike the Ski Tuner. He had been performing this role internationally for many teams worldwide and had taken a contract to assist the Australian team for the upcoming Winter Games.

The Problem

It was clear the correct visa was a 401 Temporary Longstay visa, our difficulty was that “Ski Tuner” is not a recognised occupation. In addition, it was lodged at a time when the Department was backlogged and we were in somewhat of a hurry to get Spike to Australia for trials and training. Once we lodged the application we received within a few days, a letter from the Department advising us to withdraw the application as the occupation we settled on, Technician Not Elsewhere Classified was not an appropriate occupation for the applicant's skills.

The Solution

Firstly, we rang immigration immediately to clarify the position. We pointed out that it would not be good PR for the department for competitors to be falling off their equipment because it wasn’t tuned properly. The department saw the light very quickly and approved the nomination within days on this basis. Our next issue was to attempt to get the US processing office to speed up Spike’s visa. As they are notoriously difficult to get on the phone we had to come up with a creative solution. Sensing this could be a great PR story, we approached the Departments PR director and filled him in on the story. He loved it and got in touch with the US Australian consulate and within a few days, we were all approved. Thinking about the problem in this situation and using the leverage of a great benefit to Australia resolved this quickly and efficiently for our client.

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