Legislation Updates

Migration Legislation Tracker

A single source about the status of pieces of legislation, Bills, commencement dates, disallowances, etc

New instrument on sub 408 & COVID-19

"The purpose of the instrument is to provide a pathway for certain former and current holders of temporary visas to lawfully remain in Australia and who would otherwise be required to depart Australia who, but for the COVID-19 pandemic, are unable to leave Australia. The instrument limits the class of persons who can be granted the visa to those who hold a visa that is 28 days or less from ceasing to be in effect, or held a visa that is no more than 28 days from ceasing to be in effect. It further limits the class of persons to those who are unable to apply for the same temporary visa they hold or held or any other subclass of temporary visa other than the Subclass 408 visa".

New instrument on child visa

The purpose of the instrument is to update the specified place and manner for making an application for the following visas subclasses: 101 (child), 102 (adoption), 117 (orphan relative), 802 (child), 837 (orphan relative) and 445 (dependent child).

Case Law Updates

What if earlier and later country information are contradictory?

Federal Court (Full Court). Can it be said that, where "there are two sets of information, going to the safety and suitability of the place of relocation, which are contradictory and inconsistent, the decision-maker must necessarily engage in a “process of evaluation” of the “reliability” of the contradictory and inconsistent sets of information so as to reach a reasoned and reasonable conclusion as to which information, or set of information, he or she will rely upon", for the purposes of ss 36(2)(a) and (aa) of the Migration Act 1958 (Cth)?

AAT grants visa; FCA confirms it can issue habeas corpus

Federal Court. AAT set aside delegate's decision to refuse protection visa and granted Respondent a visa. Minister applied to FCA for judicial review, claiming AAT had no jurisdiction to grant the visa. Minister also made interlocutory application for matter to be expedited and kept Respondent in detention despite visa grant. Respondent made interlocutory application for his immediate release, on the basis that he was being unlawfully detained. Should FCA expedite the hearing of the Minister's judicial review application? Did FCA have jurisdiction to entertain the Respondent's interlocutory application for release? Did FCA have the power to issue writ of habeas corpus? Was Respondent unlawfully detained after Tribunal granted him a visa?

Direction 79: 13.1.1(1)(b), 13.1.2 and 13.2(4)

Federal Court. Direction 79 provides: "crimes of a violent nature against women or children are viewed very seriously". AAT set aside delegate's decision not to revoke under s 501CA(4) the mandatory cancellation of the Applicant's visa under s 501(3A). AAT said that Applicant had "committed offences of violence which relate to vulnerable people" and found that those offences were "serious", not "very serious". Did that finding in itself constitute a jurisdictional error? Does para 13.1.1(1)(b) state that "crimes of a violent nature against women and children are viewed very seriously, regardless of the sentence imposed"? Does para 13.1.2 require AAT to "reach a decision on the nature of the harm that might be involved"? Did AAT engage with para 13.2(4)?

Industry Updates

28-day “grace period” for student visa applicants?

It is sometimes said by applicants that a person who remains in Australia after their student visa expires has a 28-day "grace period" during which they remain lawful non-citizens. We explain why that is not the case.

Mental health & wellbeing

We have compiled a short list of some of the many entities & professionals that can help RMAs (and future RMAs) in the area of mental health, ranging from fee to paid services. Any RMAs who find themselves in a difficult period of their lives are welcome to contact any of those entities and also to seek alternative options not listed here. What really matters is that help is sought whenever needed.

COVID-19: travel ban extended yet again

"On 27 February 2020, the Australian Government supported recommendations from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) to maintain current travel restrictions. These will be reviewed again before 6 March 2020. Read the statement from the AHPPC". Further, the federal government had announced on 22 Feb 2020 that "[s]enior high school students who remain in China due to Australian travel restrictions have been offered a strict pathway to resume their studies in recognition of the importance of the final 2 years of school". However, on 27 Feb, the Prime Minister told reporters there were "no carve-outs" as part of the extended travel ban, which seems to contradict the government's own assurances relating to students made only 5 days earlier.

Media Updates

Can non-compliance with social distancing lead to cancellation?

"I will also say a very clear message to those backpackers who may not be adhering to the social distancing rules... [Y]ou will be breaching your visa condition and if we find that out, we will be kicking you out of the country". We discuss whether non-compliance with social distancing rules can in fact lead to a breach of a visa condition and ultimately the cancellation of a working holiday, work and holiday or other visas.

Some students able to work more than 40 hrs / fortnight

"Australia’s major supermarkets will temporarily be able to offer more hours to international student employees to help keep shelves stocked". It will be interesting to see whether this measure is extended to other industries until the situation is normalised.

COVID-19: travel ban expanded to Italy

The government has just announced that it will expand the travel ban to Italy as of 6PM tonight, 11 March 2020.

Copyrighted Image