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.

COVID-19: travel ban extended yet again

"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.

Parliamentary Committee makes recommendation on “Deregulation” Bill

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.

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 legislation

"The amendments in the [new legislation on RMA application charges] 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". The date of commencement of the new legislation is...

Does PIC 4020 have a mix of TOA and TOD elements?

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?

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.

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