Legislation Updates

Migration Legislation Tracker

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

Assessing authorities for subclass 494 visas

"The instrument amends LIN 19/260 to update the assessing authorities for certain occupations on the MLTSSL and the ROL" The new Migration (Assessing Authorities for...

Specification of occupations and assessing authorities

"The instrument amends LIN 19/051 to update the relevant assessing authorities for skilled occupations on the MLTSSL, the STSOL and the ROL relevant to applications for subclass 189, 190, 491 and 485 visas"

Case Law Updates

Sub 485: meaning of “closely related” – Part 2

Federal Circuit Court. Cl 485.222: "Each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to satisfy the Australian study requirement is closely related to the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation". This decision concerned cl 485.213(b), which was drafted in identical terms. Is it "necessary that the [completion of the course used to satisfy the Australian study requirement] be a prerequisite to a person’s being qualified to conduct the nominated skilled occupation"? Does the fact that the course used to satisfy the Australian study requirement provided generic skills that do not directly relate to the nominated occupation mean that the course is not closely related to that occupation?

Sub 485: meaning of “closely related” – Part 1

Federal Court (Full Court). Cl 485.222: "Each degree, diploma or trade qualification used to satisfy the Australian study requirement is closely related to the applicant’s nominated skilled occupation". This decision concerned cl 485.213(b), which was drafted in identical terms. Can it be inferred from those provisions "that an assessment of the visa applicant’s skills for his or her nominated skilled application could be based on an assessment of the applicant’s qualifications obtained overseas and need not necessarily include any qualification obtained in Australia"? In reaching its conclusion at [47], the Tribunal had only considered ANZSCO's occupational description and the minor group in ANZSCO which included that occupation. Was it a jurisdictional error for the Tribunal to ignore the higher ANZSCO levels, namely the sub-major group and the major group?

“do not live separately and apart on a permanent basis”

High Court. Can a couple live "separately and apart" even when they reside in the same home? Is it possible for a couple who maintain "separate residences" to not be living separately and apart, so long as they live as a "single household"?

Industry Updates

Not the Minister; no bad faith; not criminal

Federal Court (Full Court). AAT granted visa on 11 Mar 2020 to Respondent, who was kept in detention till 17 Mar 2020. Minister applied for JR to FCA, which dismissed application and held, among other things: Respondent was not released earlier because of the Minister's "personal dislike of the Tribunal decision"; “In the absence of explanation, the Minister [had] engaged in conduct which [could] only be described as criminal”. FCAFC unanimously allowed Minister's appeal, holding that conduct in question did not amount to bad faith (and implicitly was not criminal) and was not engaged in by Minister personally. If AAT makes a decision based on the law as then understood and that understanding is later on overturned by a court, is the AAT's decision affected with jurisdictional error ab initio? Did AAT have power to grant visa which had been refused under s 501?

AAT on deregulation: action required

The Tribunal is requiring Australian legal practitioners with pending migration matters to take the steps described in this article, due to the commencement of deregulation

Hidden & potentially significant consequences of deregulation to lawyers

With respect, it appears that Parliament did not consider some unintended, but potentially significant, consequences of the "deregulation legislation". For instance, the Department will no longer be required, in some circumstances, to communicate with non-RMA lawyers, even if informed that they are both the representative and authorised recipient, as we explain in this article. It is true that, although the Department will not be required to communicate with the non-RMA lawyer in those circumstances, it might be very likely to do so anyway. However, who would like to take the risk, even if very low?

Media Updates

Increased flexibility for international students to support supermarkets

The Federal government has recently announced as follows: "Today the Morrison Government has announced that supermarkets in States and Territories subject to COVID-19 lockdowns...

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.

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