Selected Legislation Changes - November 2020

Change Detail Effective from
Changes in WHV, 124/858, citizenship fees, covid-19 concession (887)

Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (2020 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2020: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01427

Schedule 1 - 417 - The requirement for work to be undertaken in ‘regional Australia’ to qualify for a second or third Subclass 417 visa is replaced by a requirement to undertake ‘specified Subclass 417 work’.

Schedule 2 - 124/858 - updates visa arrangements in the Migration Regulations supporting the Global Talent program, under which offshore and onshore applicants previously applied for different distinguished talent visas. The offshore visa – the Subclass 124 (Distinguished Talent) visa – is repealed. There is now one visa – the Subclass 858 (Distinguished Talent) visa – which can be applied for and granted regardless of the visa applicant’s location. The amendments also streamline criteria for the grant of the Subclass 858 visa.

Schedule 3 – Payment of citizenship fees – makes routine amendments to the Citizenship Regulation to incorporate instruments made under the Migration Regulations and therefore update the places and currencies in which citizenship application fees may be paid, and also update the relevant exchange rates.

Schedule 4 - 887 visa - The amendment allows the visa to be granted to applicants outside Australia if the application was made before 19 September 2020, so that applicants who applied before the concession came into effect, but whose visa application has not been decided, are not disadvantaged.

Schedule 5 - provides for the application of Schedules 1 and 2, and also establishes transitional arrangements to recognise the contribution of working holiday makers in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic, by allowing specified work undertaken as the holder of, or an applicant for, certain COVID-19 pandemic event 408 visas, to be counted towards eligibility for a second or third Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa or Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa, provided some or all of that work was critical COVID-19 work in the medical and health care sectors.

14 November 2020 ( citizenship fees 1 January 2021)
Different periods of time for 457/482 holders affected by reduced work period or unpaid leave to apply for 186/187TRT visa

Migration (Transitional operation of regulation 5.19 for certain 457 visa holders) Amendment Instrument (LIN 20/190) 2020: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01446

Amends IMMI 18/052 to determine different periods of time for the purposes of paragraphs 5.19(5)(f) and (g) of the Regulations, for new classes of persons who are specified for the purposes of theses paragraphs. The effect is that the length of the corona virus reduced work period(s) and/or corona virus unpaid leave period(s) can be counted towards the required for the purpose of an application in the temporary residency transition stream.

24 November 2020
Eemption from Age requirements for 186/187 visa affected by a corona virus employment change

Migration (Exemptions from Skill, Age and English Language Requirements for Subclass 186, 187 and 494 Visas) Amendment Instrument (LIN 20/189) 2020: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01447

Amends LIN19/216 to exempt certain applicants of the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 visas in the Temporary Residence Transition stream from having to satisfy the age requirement at the time of application if they were affected by covid-19 pandemic and are relying on high income threshold exemption.

24 November 2020
Expanding Access to English Tuition - AMEP

Immigration (Education) Amendment (Expanding Access to English Tuition) Bill 2020: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2020B00152 

The purpose is

· remove the 510 hour statutory limit on an eligible person’s entitlement to English tuition, in order to support and incentivise English proficiency; 

· amend the upper limit for eligibility to access English tuition to a new level of vocational English, which will enable eligible persons to continue their language learning to a higher level of English proficiency;

 · remove the statutory time limits for registering for, commencing and completing English tuition for certain people who held a visa and were in Australia on or before 1 October 2020; and

 · allow for the provision of English tuition to certain visa holders or visa applicants outside Australia, to support their English language learning in preparation for their migration to Australia.

BILL ONLY
Australian Values Statement - update

LIN 20/166: Australian Values Statement for Public Interest Criterion 4019: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2020L01305

The updated values statement further expands on provisions in the approved values statement in IMMI 16/113, particularly for those relating to freedom of religion, commitment to the rule of law, parliamentary democracy, a ‘fair go’ for all and equality of opportunity.

The purpose of the instrument is to update the language of the values statement for all visa subclasses specified to better reflect the values that are important to Australian society. The values statement for all visa subclasses specified includes provisions relating to compliance with the laws of Australia. In addition, the values statement for specified permanent visa subclasses includes an undertaking to make reasonable efforts to learn English, if it is not the applicant’s native language, and a provision relating to matters concerning Australian citizenship.

30 October 2020
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