Legislation Updates

Migration Legislation Tracker

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

Longer definition of “repeat registration”

The effect of the new legislation is that the period during which an RMA can allow their registration to lapse without having to complete the Graduate Diploma and pass the Capstone exam will be extended from 1 to 3 years, subject to the deregulation legislation.

New instrument: nil VAC for some students

"The purpose of the instrument is to update LIN 20/099 to specify an additional class of persons applying for a Subclass 500 visa to whom the nil VAC amount applies. As a result of the coronavirus known as COVID-19 and the consequential pandemic, some Subclass 500 visa holders will be unable to complete their studies within the validity period of their Subclass 500 visa..."

Case Law Updates

Materiality: is question whether decision was inevitable?

Federal Court. Is the materiality test question whether the result, in the absence of error, was inevitable? In assessing materiality, would a court be usurping the statutory task entrusted to the decision-maker if it formed its own view as to what the result should have been in the absence of error?

Can AAT assess risk to community in advance?

Federal Court. Due to s 500(6L), AAT had 84 days to decide under s 501CA(4) whether to revoke the mandatory cancellation of Applicant's visa. At the time of AAT's decision, Applicant still had about 6 years of imprisonment to serve. Could AAT make a legally reasonable decision about the risk the Applicant would present to the community upon release 6 years in advance? Did AAT have "power to remit the application with a direction, or recommendation, that a decision concerning the application for revocation of the cancellation of the Applicant’s visa be deferred until closer to the time of his release from imprisonment"?

Do consequences of breach of international obligations to Australia matter?

Federal Court. In considering Direction No 79 for the purposes of s 501CA(4), should decision-makers consider the consequences of any breaches of Australia’s obligations under international law not only to the non-citizen, but also to Australia? We summarise the answers to this and several other questions.

Industry Updates

Deregulation: OMARA fee “refund” is possible

The OMARA has recently informed practitioners that it will not be able to refund registration (or repeat registration) application charges for legal practitioners who will no longer be regulated by the OMARA. Although the OMARA is not itself able to offer refunds, we carried out research for our readers and found a piece of legislation which gives the Commonwealth government the discretion to make payments to individuals in certain circumstances, which in the case of OMARA fees could effectively work as a refund. We also discuss the government's policies on such circumstances and how to make a "refund" request.

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.

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.

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