Mid-Year 2018 Selected legislation changes

Change Detail Effective as of
Skilling Australians Fund legislation

Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Act 2018

Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Regulations 2018

Proclamation: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018N00125

Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Act 2018

Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Regulations 2018

12 August 2018
LMT changes

Migration (LIN 18/036: Period, manner and evidence of labour market testing) Instrument 2018


12 August 2018
Review rights chenges and other changes

Migration and Other Legislation Amendment (Enhanced Integrity) Act 2018

Part 1 - Public disclosure of sanctions
Part 2- Review of decisions relating to certain visas
Part 3 - Tax file numbers
Part 4 - Technical amendments 

Proclamation: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018N00174

Migration Amendment (Enhanced Integrity) Regulations 2018

13 December 2018
189/190/489 Points test pass mark

Increased Pass Mark - 65 points will be needed for GSM visas as a minimum.


Maximum age limit for partner points in the general skilled migration program is reduced to under 45.
Schedule 2 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L00741

1 July 2018
Skilled occupation lists


Please refer to 18 March 2018 occupation lists:


Home Affairs website: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists

 No change
Global Talent Pilot Visa  Highly skilled workers from around the world will have a new visa pathway into Australia as a part of the Government’s new Global Talent Scheme pilot program.

From 1 July all businesses will be able to sponsor highly skilled and specialised workers who will help to grow their businesses and create more jobs. The pilot will run for 12 months and provide businesses with a streamlined process to sponsor overseas workers with cutting edge skills, where there are no suitable Australians available to fill the vacancies.

More details here


 1 July 2018
Bridging visa arrangements

The purpose of this instrument is to prescribe a form, Form 1008 (Internet), for Bridging E (Class WE) visas. The new form may only be used by applicants who do not have a pending BVE application, as defined in the instrument, this measure will mitigate submission of surplus applications. The instrument replicates all other arrangements from the repealed instrument IMMI 18/057.


 1 July 2018
Arrangements for Partner and prospective marriage visas

IMMI 18/103: Arrangements for Partner and Prospective Marriage Visa Applications

Online lodgment is mandarory unless authorized otherwise.

1 July 2018
Arrangements for Parent visas

IMMI 18/079: Arrangements for Parent Visa Applications

1 July 2018
Arrangements for Other Family Visas and NZ relationship visa

IMMI 18/076: Arrangements for Other Family Visa Applications and New Zealand (Family Relationship) Visa Applications

1 July 2018
Work and Holiday and Working Holiday visa applications

IMMI 18/102: Arrangements for Work and Holiday and Working Holiday Visa Applications

1 July 2018
Arrangements for visitor visas

IMMI 18/118: Arrangements for Visitor (Class FA) Visa Applications

1 July 2018
Pacific Labour Scheme 2018

Migration Amendment (Pacific Labour Scheme) Regulations 2018

These regulations amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to implement initiatives promoting Australia’s international policy in relation to employment opportunities and pathways for Pacific Island Countries (PICs) by making changes to Subclass 403 Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (‘Subclass 403’). They make these changes in order to introduce a new Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS) stream; provide for applicants, subject to conditions, to be granted a multi-year, multi-entry visa in the Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) stream; and to strengthen integrity measures in the PLS and SWP streams by introducing a new condition that allows the visa holder, under limited circumstances, to change their sponsor. They also update the settings relating to when visas are in effect for all streams in the Subclass 403 to provide administrative flexibility for visa processing officers (VPOs), and greater certainty for visa holders in relation to their permitted period of stay in Australia.

1 July 2018
Arrangements for temporary work and temporary activity visas

 IMMI 18/085: Arrangements for Temporary Work and Temporary Activity Visa Applications

IMMI 18/086: Agreements or Arrangements which are not Relevant Agreements for the purposes of the Government Agreement Stream of the Subclass 403 (Temporary Work (International Relations) visa)) Instrument 2018

 After the commencement of the Migration Amendment (Pacific Labour Scheme) Regulations 2018
Visa application charges increase

Migration Amendment (Visa Application Charges) Regulations 2018

These regulations amend the Migration Regulations 1994 to make changes to visa application charges (VACs) for certain visas. In particular, the regulations increase first instalment VACs for a number of visas. On 1 July 2017, most VACs were indexed in accordance with the 2017-18 forecast consumer price index (CPI). The regulations increase the majority of VACs so that they are increased by the 2018-19 forecast CPI. 

Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (2018 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2018
The purpose of this amendment is to provide for the collection of a surcharge of 1.32% in relation to amounts paid by MasterCard or Visa credit cards for fees and charges under the Migration Act, Customs Act and Citizenship Act.

1 July 2018
AAT fee annual increase

The application fees for the review of a decision will increase to $1,764. The reduced (where applicable) fee will be $882

 1 July 2018
 Currencies and exchange rates

 IMMI 18/064: Places and Currencies for Payment of Fees

IMMI 18/063: Payment of Visa Application Charges and Fees in Foreign Currencies

 1 July 2018
ETA eligible passports

Migration (IMMI 18/084: Specification of ETA-Eligible Passports) Instrument 2018

 14 August 2018
DHA phone services

Changes to the Department of Home Affairs’ phone services

The Department has introduced a Global Service Centre (GSC) operating from Australia. The GSC has replaced all services previously offered by the London-based Europe Service Centre (ESC), the Ottawa-based Americas Service Centre (ASC) and the Sydney Service Centre (SSC).

Clients from Europe and the Americas will now need to call the GSC on +61 2 6196 0196 (international rates apply). Australian clients can continue to use the 131 881 number.

 September 2018
 Citizenship fees - concessions  Australian Citizenship Amendment (Concessional Application Fees) Regulations 2018

The fees for Australian citizenship applications for holders of prescribed health care cards and pensioner cards have reverted to the relevant concessional application fee of $20 or $40.
Statutory Declarations Regulation

These regulations set out the prescribed form for making a Commonwealth statutory declaration, list the occupations and persons before whom a Commonwealth statutory declaration can be made and repeal the Statutory Declarations Regulations 1993. Registered migration agents can authorise a Commonwealth Statutory Declaration now.

Statutory Declarations Regulations 2018 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L01296

 18 September 2018
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Recent News

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  • New GSM points test 16 November 2019


    We prepared a new interactive GSM points test that will be in place after 16 November 2019 - check your points score here

  • New skilled occupation lists 11 March 2019


    New occupation lists came in force on 11 March 2019

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Migration Agents Code of Conduct

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.


Consumer protection - see MARA Consumer Guide.

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Migration Institute of Australia

Ales Welter (MIA:10623) is a member of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA). MIA members must abide by a Code of Ethics and Practice which is designed to protect members and the reputation of the profession by assisting agents to maintain the highest standards of professionalism.

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