Selected Legislation September 2016

Change Details Effective as of
188/888 Entrepreneur Visa

Business Innovation and Investment programme (Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa and Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)) has a new Entrepreneur stream.

The new stream is designed to enhance the programme and attract individuals who are under 55 years old (unless the age requirement is waived by a nominating state or territory) and have obtained capital backing from a third party to develop and commercialize innovative and entrepreneurial ideas in Australia, with a pathway to permanent residence made available for those who demonstrate a successful record of undertaking entrepreneurial activities in Australia. Schedule 1

IMMI 16/075 This instrument specifies activity requirements for applicants who may receive funding as part of their complying entrepreneurial activity:

IMMI 16/074 This instrument specifies entities from which applicants may receive funding as part of their complying entrepreneurial activity:

 10 SEP 2016
Skilled Migration points test - Specialist Educational Qualification 189/190/489 VISA

There will be new 5 points in the points test for 189/190/489 visa available to prospective applicants who have completed at least two full academic years of post-graduate studies at doctoral or masters (research) level in specified fields, which may include science, technology, engineering, mathematics, or information and communication technology (Specialist Educational Qualification).

The Specialist Educational Qualification must be obtained at an Australian educational institution. Schedule 2

IMMI 16/076 This instrument specifies fields of education for a person to meet the requirement for the award of a specialist education qualification:

 10 SEP 2016
Parent and Other Family visas numbers for FY 2016/17  Number of visas that can be granted in FY2016-17:
  • Parent (Migrant) (Class AX) and Aged Parent (Residence) (Class BP) visas: 1550
  • Other Family (Migrant) (Class BO) and Other Family (Residence) (Class BU) visas: 520

 6 SEP 2016
 Resident Return Visa - oral visa applications

Oral visa aplications for RRV will not possible. The online and paper application methods remain. Schedule 1

 10 SEP 2016
Credit Card and Paypal Surcharge Changes

PayPal merchant fee surcharge of 1% for fees will be introduced.

Visa or MasterCard: from 1.08% to 0.98%
American Express or Japan Credit Bureau (JCB): 1.99% to 1.4% 
Diners Club International: 2.91% to 1.99% Schedule 2 and Schedule 3

10 SEP 2016
Partner Visa - Sponsors' Character Requirements

Applies to 309/300/820 visas.

The Government is strongly committed to reducing the rates of family violence in this country. Everyone in Australia has the right to feel safe and live without fear of violence. The Government has publicly declared that the issue needs to be elevated to our national consciousness, and has made it clear that domestic, family or sexual violence is unacceptable in any circumstance.

In order to implement this commitment, the legislation changes will be:
- providing DIBP with the power to request a police check from the sponsor and to refuse to approve the sponsorship of all visa applicants if this police check is not provided;
- requiring DIBP to refuse to approve the sponsorship of each applicant for the visa if the sponsor has been convicted of a relevant offence and, as a result of those convictions, has a significant criminal record. However, the Minister may approve the sponsorship if he considers it reasonable to do so, having regard to certain matters; and
- allowing DIBP to disclose any conviction of the sponsor for a relevant offence to each visa applicant included in the sponsorship, with the sponsor’s consent. Schedule 6

18 NOV 2016

New Partner Visa Framework


Major partner visa changes are set to be implemented on 1 July 2017. There is a bill (Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016) introduced to the Parliament on 1 September 2016 which if approved will completely change the current partner visa framework.

The explanatory memorandum states that the intention is to:
· separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process for family sponsored visas;
· require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made;
· impose statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors;
· provide for sanctions if such obligations are not satisfied;
· facilitate the sharing of personal information between a range of parties associated with the program; and
· improve the management of family violence in the delivery of the program by allowing the refusal of a sponsorship application; and cancellation and / or barring of a family sponsor where inappropriate use of the program or serious offences are detected – especially those involving family violence.

Our understanding is the practical effect of these changes will be that a separate sponsorship application will be needed before a visa applicant is able to lodge a partner visa application. Employer sponsored visa applications are subject to a similar process. If this bill becomes a law, the accompanying regulations will reveal further details.

As a result, we can expect more paper work, more evidence and more scrutiny on partner visa applications. The sponsorship applications might be subject to a fee.

The bill can be accessed here:

Anyone interested about the progress of this bill can follow this link:

1 JUL 2017

Temporary activity visa framework changes



From 19 November 2016, the following visas would be closed to new applications:
Subclass 401 Temporary Work (Long Stay Activity) visa
Subclass 402 Training and Research visa
Subclass 416 Special Program visa
Subclass 420 Temporary Work (Entertainment) visa
Subclass 488 Superyacht Crew visa.

There would be four new visa subclasses introduced from 19 November 2016:
Subclass 400 Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa
Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa
Subclass 407 Training visa
Subclass 408 Temporary Activity visa.

The above scheme can be downloaded here

There will be a new single class of sponsor for 407 and 408 visas, called the ‘temporary activities sponsor’. This class of sponsor replaces six classes of sponsors:

- professional development sponsor;
- special program sponsor;
- superyacht crew sponsor;
- long stay activity sponsor;
- training and research sponsor; and
- entertainment sponsor.

The requirement for sponsors to complete a nomination in relation to sponsored visa applicants have been removed for all but the occupational training stream of the Subclass 407 visa. 

A uniform $275 visa application charges will apply to the new Subclass 407 and Subclass 408 visas, and the existing Subclass 400 and Subclass 403 visas.

19 NOV 2016
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The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents (direct link here). 

It prescribes obligations of migration agents towards their clients.

Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958 and is prescribed in Schedule 2, Regulation 8 of the Migration Agents Regulations 1998.

Consumer protection - see MARA Consumer Guide.

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