Legislation Updates

Migration Legislation Tracker

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

Coronavirus: student visa application arrangements

A new instrument that commences on 25 Feb 2020: "As a response to the cancellation of visas as a direct consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the instrument creates arrangements for applicants who are in Australia and who are former Student (Temporary) (Class TU) visa holders and whose visas were cancelled due to the risk of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern designated by the World Health Organisation, to the health, safety or good order the Australian community, or a segment of that community".

Arrangements for certain Business Skills visas

The new instrument specifies the requirements for making a valid application for the following visa classes: Business Skills Business Talent (Permanent) (Class EA); Business Skills (Permanent) (Class EC); Business Skills (Provisional) (Class EB); Business Skills (Residence) (Class DF); Distinguished Talent (Migrant) (Class AL); Distinguished Talent (Residence) (Class BX); Business Skills (Provisional) (Class UR).

Case Law Updates

More hope for “late” Tribunal applications?

Federal Court. In DFQ17 and BMY18, Full Court of FCA held that, in order for a notification of visa refusal under s 66(2)(d) to be valid, it had to "clearly state" the deadline for applying for merits review. As a result, the "late" AAT applications in those cases were actually not late. In Ali, a single judge of the FCA distinguished DFQ17, holding that the notification in that case clearly stated the deadline for an AAT application. As the circumstances in Ali (i.e. email notification with deadline of 21 calendar days) reflect the vast majority of notifications sent by the Department, Ali had the practical effect of indicating that the error found in DFQ17 only applied to exceptional cases. Now, another single judge of the FCA held, although in obiter (*), that Ali does not sit comfortably with DFQ17 & BMY18 and that the latter decisions should be followed.

When is VAC received?

Federal Court. A visa application is only made once the VAC is received. This decision confirms that VACs paid by funds transfer (e.g. BPAY) are "taken not to have been received until the payment is electronically matched to the applicant's Internet application form". As the Court interpreted the relevant legislation (including reg 2.12JA) the same way RMAs have for 16 years, there is no reason to be alarmed by this decision.

Is ADVO sufficient to prove spousal relationship?

Federal Court. Applicant gave AAT copy of an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO) granted against the sponsor of his partner visa application. AAT affirmed partner visa refusal. Applicant claimed his lawyer advised him to withdraw judicial review application before FCCA in the last minute. FCA found Applicant disagreed with lawyer's advice but "went along with [it]". FCCA gave consent orders, dismissing judicial review application. Applicant applied to FCA for leave to appeal FCCA's decision. Was Applicant estopped by the doctrines of res judicata or Anshun estoppel from pursuing the appeal? Did the circumstances in which the consent orders were made vitiate that consent? Was the grant of the ADVO in itself proof that Applicant was in a spousal relationship with sponsor and therefore met cl 820.211?

Industry Updates

COVID-19: travel ban extended again

"The National Security Committee of Cabinet has today decided that the continuing coronavirus infections in mainland China make it necessary to continue the travel restrictions on foreign nationals entering Australia for a further week to 29 February".

COVID-19: travel ban extended

"The National Security Committee of Cabinet has [on 13 Feb 2020] agreed to extend the entry restrictions on foreign nationals who have recently been in mainland China for a further week from 15 February 2020 to protect Australians from the risk of coronavirus... The continuation of the travel restrictions means that for a further week, foreign nationals – excluding permanent residents – who have been in mainland China will not be allowed to enter Australia for 14 days from the time they left. As before, Australian citizens and permanent residents will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members (spouses, legal guardians and dependants only)".

RMA registration application charge Bill

"The amendments in the Bill ensure that a [registered migration agent] who paid the non-commercial application charge in relation to their current period of registration, but gives immigration assistance otherwise than on a non-commercial basis, is liable to pay an adjusted charge".

Media Updates

Cutting permanent migration by 120,000 places over 4 years

'First, the government is cutting the permanent migration program by a cumulative 120,000 places over four years. The new cap is 160,000 per annum, down from the cap of 190,000. The average intake over the last five years has been 183,000... Second, the government is introducing strong incentives for new international students to choose locations outside of the big capital cities'.

Government to ‘abandon’ plans for stricter citizenship test?

"The Australian Government may not be pursuing changes to the Australian citizenship law - that would make permanent residents wait longer and require evidence of their English proficiency before they can apply"

More work & holiday visas available to Singaporeans

'From 1 July 2019, the number of Work and Holiday visas available to Singaporean citizens aged 18-30 will increase from 500 to 2,500 per year'

Copyrighted Image