"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.
The Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee has just released a report following an inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Regulation of Migration Agents) Bill 2019, also known as the "Deregulation Bill". The report, containing the Committee's recommendation, has just been tabled in the Senate, which might debate the Bill as early as 23 March 2020.
"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".
"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)".
"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".
It is often said that, if PIC 4020 is contained in a time of decision (TOD) criterion under Schedule 2, only the TOD is relevant for the purposes of the look-back provisions in PIC 4020. But is that really the case?
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.
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.
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".
OMARA has just announced high-level overview plan on how the public will be educated about obtaining immigration assistance once the "Deregulation" Bill is passed.