Legislation Updates

Migration Legislation Tracker

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

Payment of Visa Application Charges and Fees in Foreign Currencies

The new instrument is made under paragraphs 5.36(1)(a) and (b), and 5.36(1A)(a) of the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth). "Paragraph 5.36(1)(a) of the Regulations states that the payment of a fee, other than a visa application charge mentioned in regulation 5.36(3A) of the Regulations must be made in a place, being Australia or a foreign country, that is specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument". Another instrument also published today amends the above new instrument.

Places and Currencies for Paying of Fees

"The purpose of the [new] instrument is to undertake a biannual update of the places and corresponding currencies in which payment of a fee may be made".

Case Law Updates

s 473DC: are exceptional circumstances required?

Federal Court: IAA affirmed visa refusal. Its reasons included: "The report was not before the delegate... I note that the applicant has engaged a representative to assist with the IAA process; however I am not satisfied that the mere engagement of a representative can be considered exceptional". FCA said that "EMJ17 is authority to support the submission that it can be a jurisdictional error to conclude that the absence of 'exceptional circumstances' within the meaning of s 473DD(a) means that the discretion under s 473DC cannot be exercised in favour of getting new information". Does the IAA's decision here "[display] the erroneous view that the discretion in s 473DC(1) was confined by a requirement that 'exceptional circumstances' within the meaning of s 473DD(a) must exist"?

Should AAT have convened a second hearing?

Federal Court: s 425 required AAT to invite Appellant to appear before it to "give evidence and present arguments relating to the issues arising in relation to the decision under review". AAT invited Appellant to a hearing in relation to the review of the delegate's decision to refuse him a protection visa. At the hearing, AAT put it to Appellant that there was a trend after 2013 of reduction of violence in the Appellant's country, based on some reports. Appellant had opportunity to comment. AAT's decision record relied on a subsequent report (2016 DFAT report) which confirmed that trend, but of which Appellant was not put on notice. Was the 2016 DFAT report an "issue" arising in relation to the decision under review or was it merely a factual matter going to that issue? Should AAT have convened a second hearing?

Urgent injunction application

Federal Court: Minister cancelled Appellant's visa and detained him. Appellant applied to FCA for extension of time to file application seeking judicial review of cancellation decision. FCA dismissed that application on 18 Dec 2019 and delivered ex tempore reasons. DHA was going to remove Appellant on 7 Jan 2020. On 6 Jan 2020, self-represented Appellant: filed late appeal of the FCA's decision (presumably to FCAFC); did not apply for an extension of time to appeal; and also applied for an urgent injunction to restrain his removal. By the date of the decision on the injunction application, 6 Jan 2020, FCA still had not published its reasons nor formally entered its order. Was injunction granted? Injunction application was decided by a different single judge of the Federal Court, not the FCAFC.

Industry Updates

Subclass 870: obligation to notify when events occur

Sponsors' obligations and liabilities are a serious matter and practitioners should ensure that clients are made aware of them. For instance, sponsors are required to notify Immigration (not via email) when certain events occur, such as a change to any information provided in the sponsorship application. Lack of notification can result in the following sanctions against the sponsor: a bar; sponsorship cancellation; civil penalty order; and others. Further, the visa's expiry date is brought forward if the sponsorship is cancelled.

Advising clients on non-migration matters

It is very common for clients to ask us questions such as: "would visa X give me access to Medicare and if so, would I have full benefits, or would there be some limitation?"; "would visa X allow my children to study in public schools?"; "would visa X give me access to welfare benefits?". And the list goes on. We discuss some of the implications of giving advice on matters in which we do not have the required knowledge and/or licence/registration.

“Fake migration agents sentenced”

ABF: "Investigations revealed that although neither of the women were registered migration agents they had advertised migration assistance and charged a fee whilst not being registered, and provided immigration assistance to at least three travellers who were found to be in possession of fraudulently obtained identity documents".

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'

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