Selected Legislation Changes January - June 2022

Change Detail Effective From
 Student and WHV VAC rebate

 Migration (Refund of Visa Application Charge) Amendment Instrument (LIN 22/027) 2022: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00057

- student visa holders - must enter Australia between 19 January 2022 and 19 March 2022

- 417/462 holders - must enter Australia 19 January 2022 and 19 April 2022

to be eligible for a refund of VAC.

 19 January 2022
Students and WHV - work rights relaxation

Unliimited working hours for students: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/student-500/temporary-relaxation-of-working-hours-for-student-visa-holders

WHV holders can work more than 6 months for same employer: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/whm-program/latest-news

19 January 2022
444 visa application arrangements

LIN 22/020: Migration (Arrangements for Special Category Visa applications) Instrument (LIN 22/020) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00170

The instrument removes references to ‘Electronic Form 15’ (the eIPC) and replaces it with an updated approved form, ‘Form 444 (Web)’. The eIPC included questions relating to customs functions, which have been omitted from Form 444 (Web). Form 444 (Web) contains, in substance, the same migration questions as the eIPC.

The instrument removes arrangements for making an application ‘in immigration clearance outside Australia travelling to Australia on a pre-cleared flight’. In practice applications are not made in this circumstance.

27 February 2022
Supporting Australian Economic Recovery

Enhancing temporary visa settings to support Australia’s economic recovery

https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/AlexHawke/Pages/enhancing-temporary-visa-settings-to-support-economic-recovery.aspx

476:

Eligible Skilled-Recognised Graduate (Subclass 476) visa holders who lost time in Australia as a result of COVID-19 international border restrictions will have their visas extended for 24 months. This will provide eligible visa holders with the usual length of the visa, plus an additional six months.

The extension is expected to take effect in April 2022, subject to amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994, and eligible visa holders will be notified directly by the Department of Home Affairs of the extension of their visa and may arrive in Australia after this occurs. It will also apply to people whose visas have already expired, providing they were unable to use the full length of their original visa due to COVID-19 international travel restrictions.

407:

Due to current workforce shortages, the Government is temporarily extending this arrangement by removing the limit on secondary Training (subclass 407) visa holders’ working hours across all sectors of the economy.

This measure takes effect immediately for existing and new secondary Training visa holders, and will be reviewed in April 2022.

408:

Temporary visa holders with work rights will be able to access the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (Subclass 408) visa incurring no Visa Application Charge for a period of 6 or 12 months if they work in any sector of the Australian economy.


The new arrangements will only be available for Pandemic Event visa applications made on or after 21 February 2022 by:

- Temporary visa holders who were in Australia prior to 21 February 2022; as well as
- Temporary visa holders who arrive in Australia after 21 February 2022 and have work rights or a job offer from a Commonwealth funded aged care service at time of application.


Temporary visa holders working in, or intending to work in, any sector of the Australian economy including Commonwealth funded aged care will be able to apply for the Pandemic Event visa up to 90 days before their existing visa expires and then remain in Australia for up to 12 additional months if working or intending to work in a key sector (including agriculture, food processing, health care, aged care, disability care, child care, and tourism and hospitality) or 6 months if working or intending to work in any other sector.

 
403 visa - arrangements

LIN 22/099: Migration (Arrangements for Temporary Work (International Relations) (Class GD) visa applications) (LIN 22/009) Instrument 2022

 The purpose of the instrument is to specify the approved form, place and manner (the arrangements) for making an application for a Temporary Work (International Relations) (Class GD) visa (Class GD visa). 

Compilation: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022C00299

5 March 2022
403 visa - PALM scheme

Migration Amendment (Pacific Australia Labour Mobility) Regulations 2022: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00270

The Migration Amendment (Pacific Australia Labour Mobility) Regulations 2022 (the Regulations) amend the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Migration Regulations) to repeal the existing Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme streams from the Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations)) visa and replace them with a new Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) stream.   The combined PALM stream provides for the entry and temporary stay of workers from countries with which Australia has arrangements across a range of industry sectors where there are identified market gaps and workforce needs including but not limited to horticulture, meat processing, dairy, wool, grains, fisheries (including aquaculture), forestry, hospitality and aged care.

4 April 2022
417/462 - concessions for WHV holders in Australia affected by covid-19

Migration Amendment (Subclass 417 and 462 Visas) Regulations 2022: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00244

· provide certain concessions to facilitate the grant of further WHM visas to certain holders and former holders of those visas in Australia who have been affected by the COVID‑19 pandemic; (https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/whm-program/latest-news/onshore-nil-vac-whm-applications)

· establish an instrument-making power for the Minister to exempt holders of certain passports from meeting ‘specified work’ requirements when they apply for a second or third WHM visa; and

· introduce statutory procedural fairness processes for employers who the Minister is considering specifying as an ‘excluded employer’ for the purpose of ‘specified work’ under the WHM program.

5 March 2022
417/462 - NIL VAC

LIN 22/042: Migration (Nil VAC for Work and Holiday and Working Holiday visas) Instrument (LIN 22/042) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00273

 The purpose of the instrument is to specify the class of persons for whom the base application charge (payable at the time a visa application is made) for a subclass 417 visa or subclass 462 visa is nil, for subparagraph 1224A(2)(a)(i) and 1225(2)(a)(i) of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

 5 March 2022
Specified Subclass 417 work

 LIN 22/012: Migration (Specified work and areas for subclass 417 visas) Instrument (LIN 22/012) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00271

The instrument updates LIN 20/182 and specifies tourism and hospitality work and the areas in which that work must be carried out.  Work carried out after 21 June 2021 in Northern Australia and Remote and Very Remote Australia, for a person providing accommodation services, food and beverage services, and services directly to tourists, are specified as the kinds of work for the definition of specified Subclass 417 work.  Section 2C of the Acts Interpretation Act provides that the reference to ‘a person’ in the instrument includes a body politic or corporate as well as an individual.  This expansion of the definition and specified areas gives effect to the Minister’s announcement on 22 June 2021, benefiting visa holders and employers in tourism and hospitality industries and regions that continue to experience labour shortages.  The kinds of tourism and hospitality work specified in the instrument must be carried out in Northern Australia and Remote and Very Remote Australia.  The instrument does not make changes to other kinds of work specified in LIN 20/182.

 5 March 2022
Specified Subclass 462 work

LIN 22/013: Migration (Specified work and areas for subclass 462 visas) Instrument (LIN 22/013) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00272

The instrument expands the kinds of tourism and hospitality work specified in LIN 20/184 and the areas in which that work must be carried out.  Work carried out after 21 June 2021 in Northern Australia and Remote and Very Remote Australia, for a person providing accommodation services, food and beverage services, and services directly to tourists, are specified as the kinds of work for the definition of specified Subclass 462 work.  Section 2C of the Acts Interpretation Act provides that the reference to ‘a person’ in the instrument includes a body politic or corporate as well as an individual.  This expansion of the definition and specified areas gives effect to the Minister’s announcement on 22 June 2021, benefiting visa holders and employers in tourism and hospitality industries and regions that continue to experience labour shortages.  The kinds of tourism and hospitality work specified in the instrument must be carried out in Northern Australia and Remote and Very Remote Australia.  The instrument does not make changes to other kinds of work specified in LIN 20/184.

5 March 2022
Specified Work and Areas for 417/462

LIN 22/050: Migration (Specified work and areas for subclass 417 and 462 visas) Amendment Instrument (LIN 22/050) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00588

Schedule 1 amends Migration (Specified work and areas for subclass 417 visas) Instrument (LIN 22/012) 2022.
Schedule 2 amends Migration (Specified work and areas for subclass 462 visas) Instrument (LIN 22/013) 2022.

The instrument specifies flood recovery work and the areas in which that work must be carried out.  Work carried out after 31 December 2021 in a flood affected area, both paid and unpaid, including clean‑up, construction or any other work in association with restitution or restoration of services, land, waterways, property or infrastructure, and providing support services or assistance to people living, working or volunteering in the affected areas, are specified as the kinds of work for the definition of specified Subclass 417 work or specified Subclass 462 work.  This expansion of the specified kinds of work and areas of Australia gives effect to the Minister’s announcement on 31 March 2022, encouraging visa holders and employers to support communities affected by the catastrophic flood disasters in northern New South Wales and Queensland.  The kinds of flood recovery work specified in the instrument must be carried out in flood affected areas as mentioned in item 9 of Schedule 1 and item 9 of Schedule 2 to the instrument. 

The instrument updates bushfire recovery work specified in LIN 22/013 to ensure both paid and unpaid bushfire recovery work carried out after 31 July 2019 in a bushfire affected area are specified as the kinds of work for the definition of specified Subclass 417 work or specified Subclass 462 work.  The recognition of volunteer bushfire recovery work is consistent with the approach taken in LIN 22/012.

The instrument updates the areas in which tourism and hospitality work must be carried out by adding four additional postcodes 4406, 4416, 4498 and 7215, which are not part of Northern Australia or Remote and Very Remote Australia.  Work carried out after 21 June 2021 in areas of Australia within postcodes 4406, 4416, 4498 and 7215, Northern Australia and Remote and Very Remote Australia, for a person providing accommodation services, food and beverage services, and services directly to tourists, are specified as the kinds of work for the definition of specified Subclass 417 work or specified Subclass 462 work

The instrument removes postcode 7001 from Remote and Very Remote Australia mentioned in item 4 of Schedule 1 to both LIN 22/012 and LIN 22/013.  The inclusion of postcode 7001 as an area of Remote and Very Remote Australia is an error caused by the incorrect information on the Australian Bureau of Statistics (the ABS) Correspondence spreadsheet.  The removal of 7001 does not affect applicants who have already undertaken tourism and hospitality work in areas of Australia within postcode 7001 before the commencement of the instrument.

The instrument also makes technical amendments to bushfire recovery work and critical COVID-19 work specified in LIN 22/012 and LIN 22/013.  These amendments are consequential to the insertion of new section 8A to LIN 22/012 and new section 9A to LIN 22/012 by item 7 of Schedule 1 and item 7 Schedule 2 to the instrument, respectively.  The instrument does not make changes to other kinds of work specified in LIN 22/012 and LIN 22/013.

1 July 2022
600 visa arrangements

LIN 22/005: Migration (Arrangements for Visitor (Class FA) visa applications) Amendment Instrument (LIN 22/005) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00248

Compilation: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022C00300

The instruments aligns the arrangements for making an application for a Tourist stream visa for applicants outside Australia and applicants in Australia. The instrument also places a limitation on when an applicant in Australia may make an application.

5 March 2022
500 visa conditions, 445 application arrangements, 155/157 application arrangements

Migration Amendment (2022 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00255

Schedule 1 – Work Conditions in relation to Subclass 500 (Student) visas

Schedule 1 amends visa conditions 8104 and 8105 to allow student visa holders and their dependants to work full-time before the student’s course of study commences, where they held a substantive visa or bridging visa that permitted them to work in Australia at the time they applied for the student visa. This enables non-citizens working in Australia to continue working on the student visa before studies commence to help alleviate pressure on industries due to the impact of COVID-19. These changes apply to current student visa holders as well as to future student visa grants and are entirely beneficial.

Schedule 2 and 3 – Application arrangements for Subclass 445 (Dependent Child) visas and Subclass 155 and 157 (Resident Return) visas

These Schedules permit dependent child and resident return visa applicants outside Australia to lodge a visa application in Australia. This facilitates the lodgement of applications at specialised processing centres in Australia, including by applicants who are outside Australia, for greater processing efficiency. The amendments also enable applicants who lodged their visa application outside Australia to be granted the visa while they are in Australia, rather than requiring them to travel outside Australia at the time of grant, if they have entered Australia on another visa. These amendments reflect changes in global mobility and visa processing.

5 March 2022
Regional Australia - Definition Changed

LIN 22/022: Migration (Designated regional areas for certain skilled and temporary graduate visas) Instrument (LIN 22/022) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00231

The purpose of the instrument is to expand the parts and areas of Australia that are specified for subregulation 1.15M(1), the definition of regional Australia in subregulation 5.19(16), and for subparagraph 888.226(2)(c)(i) and paragraph 892.213(3)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Regulations.  The instrument adds postcodes in the local government areas of Moreton Bay and Ipswich, Queensland as specified parts and areas of Australia for this purpose.

 5 March 2022
485/489/491/494 visa extensions

Migration Amendment (Extension of Temporary Graduate and Skilled Regional Provisional Visas) Regulations 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00151

Schedule 1 (Extension of Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) visas)

485:

The amendments made by Schedule 1 extend certain Subclass 485 visas to 30 September 2022 to provide time for a visa holder affected by COVID-19 related international travel restrictions to apply for a replacement Subclass 485 visa, which the Government announced on 25 November 2021 it intends to be available from mid-2022. Visas held by relevant family members are also extended.

489/491/494:

Schedule 2 (Skilled regional provisional visas)

The amendments made by Schedule 2 extend certain Subclass 489 (Skilled – Regional (Provisional)), Subclass 491 (Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)) and Subclass 494 (Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional)) visas for three years, in addition to the four or five years for which the visa was originally granted, if the primary visa holder was outside Australia on any day during the travel restriction period while the visa was in effect. This extension allows eligible visa holders additional time, without disadvantage, to meet the requirements for grant of a permanent visa relating to living and working in regional Australia. Visas held by relevant family members are also extended.

18 February 2022
408 AGEE Covid-19 - change of eligibility

LIN 22/046: Migration (COVID-19 Pandemic event for Temporary Activity (Subclass 408) visa) Instrument (LIN 22/046) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00316

The purpose of the instrument is to expand the kind of work an applicant can be doing, or have an offer to do, to be eligible for grant of a Subclass 408 visa by removing the limitation to work in key sectors. This will support businesses across the Australian economy as they recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The instrument removes the specified class of persons for visa holders in Australia who are unable to depart as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Removing this class reflects that international borders are now open and difficulties faced by individuals seeking to leave Australia at the beginning of, and during, the pandemic no longer exist.

21 February 2022
Temporary Visa Extension for Ukrainian Citizens (400, 408, 457, 482, 485, 500, 600)

Migration Amendment (Ukraine) Regulations 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00337

amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to extend certain temporary visas by six months from the date they would otherwise have ceased for Ukrainian passport holders who were in Australia on 23 February 2022 with a visa in effect on that date and whose visa would otherwise cease before 1 July 2022.

22 February 2022
 Temporary Residency Transition Stream - extension of transitional arrangements and a new cohort of applicants eligible for TRT

 LIN 22/038: Migration (Specified persons and periods of time for regulation 5.19) Instrument (LIN 22/038) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00340

The purpose of the instrument is to specify a new cohort of specified persons who, after 30 June 2022, will be eligible to meet requirements under regulation 5.19 of the Regulations for applications seeking approval for a nomination of a TRT visa. 

It also exempts the new specified persons and an additional cohort of subclass 457 visa holders after 30 June 2022 from the operation of paragraph 5.19(5)(c) of the Regulations. 

IMMI 18/052 self-repealed on 18 March 2022.  Continuing to specify matters for the specified persons from IMMI 18/052 in the instrument will support the processing of ongoing cases under review at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). 

 18 March 2022
Max. number of parents' and other family visas

LIN 22/006: Migration (Granting of contributory parent visas, parent visas and other family visas in the 2021/2022 financial year) Instrument (LIN 22/006) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00506

The instrument determines the maximum number of visas for these visa classes as follows:

a. Contributory Parent visas: 3,600 (which includes 125 visas under the Pathway to Permanent Residence for Retirees that was introduced under the Migration Amendment (Pathway to Permanent Residence for Retirees) Regulations 2018);

b. Other Family visas: 500;

c. Parent visas: 900.

2 April 2022
No Age Limit for Certain 457 Visa Holders When Applyinig for 186TRT

LIN 22/047: Migration (Age exemption for subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) visa) Amendment Instrument (LIN 22/047) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00515

  The purpose of the instrument is to amend LIN 19/216 to specify certain legacy 457 workers as an additional class of persons for paragraph 186.221(b) of Schedule 2 to the Regulations.  This will exempt them from the age requirement for the subclass 186 visa in the TRT stream.  More subclass 457 visa holders will be eligible for permanent residence in Australia from 1 July 2022. 

1 July 2022
476 extension, ETA - expand use of digital app, 482 short term stream concessions

Migration Amendment (2022 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00521

Schedule 1 extends, until 14 April 2024, Subclass 476 (Skilled – Recognised Graduate) visas whose holders were outside Australia during the COVID-19 related travel restrictions (1 February 2020 to 14 December 2021). This extension assists holders to use the visa as intended and assists in relieving labour shortages.  Effective from 31 January 2020

Schedule 2 – Electronic Travel Authority (Class UD) visas - As international borders open, Schedule 2 facilitates the ability to apply for an Electronic Travel Authority visa using a recently launched digital app, for all ETA-eligible passport holders. This supports the digital transformation strategy and the recovery of Australia’s tourism industry. Effective from 5 April 2022

Schedule 3 – Temporary Skill Shortage (Class GK) visas - Schedule 3 facilitates short-term skilled visa holders accessing a pathway to permanent residence (currently generally only available to longer-term visa holders), by enabling them to apply for a further short-term stream visa in Australia in order to secure an employer nomination for a permanent visa. These changes permit more skilled workers to remain in Australia, supporting economic recovery. Effective from 1 July 2022

 
Protecting Critical Technology

Migration Amendment (Protecting Australia’s Critical Technology) Regulations 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00541

· creates a Public Interest Criterion (PIC) by which the Minister can refuse to grant certain visas if there is an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology by the visa applicant;

· inserts a condition for Subclass 500 (Student) visa holders studying, or intending to undertake, higher education studies that they must not change their course of study, or research topic, unless approved by the Minister. The Minister cannot approve the change unless satisfied that there is not an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology by the visa holder; and

· provides for the cancellation of a visa where the Minister is satisfied that there is an unreasonable risk of unwanted transfer of critical technology by the visa holder. Cancellation will be discretionary for ‘relevant visas’ (certain protection visas and related bridging visas), but mandatory for all other types of visa.

1 July 2022 and afterwards
Excluded Health Care Costs for Temporary Visas

LIN 22/014: Migration (Excluded health care and community services) Instrument (LIN 22/014) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00618

By making a legislative instrument under subclauses 4005(3) and 4007(1B), the Minister can exclude the cost of specified health care and community services from the consideration of costs under sub‑subparagraphs 4005(1)(c)(ii)(A) and 4007(1)(c)(ii)(A). The specified costs are excluded from the assessment of the health criteria in relation to all temporary visas that are subject to the health criteria, other than specified temporary visas that provide a pathway to permanent residence. These visas are specified in a separate instrument. See the Migration (Temporary visa subclass for the purpose of health requirement) Specification (LIN 22/007) 2022.

LIN 22/007: Migration (Temporary visa subclass for the purpose of health requirement) Specification (LIN 22/007) 2022 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2022L00594

21 April 2022
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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. 

The Code of Conduct:

(a) protects clients of migration agents; and

(b) strengthens the integrity of the immigration advice industry and Australia’s immigration system.


Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958.

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2021L01856

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