Selected Legislation Changes January - June 2023

Change Details Effective From
 APEC Economy Definition

 LIN 23/008: Migration (Designated APEC Economy) Instrument (LIN 23/008) 2023

This instrument is made under the definition of ‘designated APEC economy’ in regulation 1.03 of the Migration Regulations. Regulation 1.03 of the Migration Regulations defines the term ‘designated APEC economy’ to mean an APEC economy specified in a legislative instrument made by the Minister for the purposes of that definition.

A person who is the holder of a valid passport issued by a designated APEC economy, and who has applied to the Government of the designated APEC economy for an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) under arrangements in force between Australia and designated APEC economies is taken to have made a valid application for a Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa in the Business Visitor stream by operation of regulation 2.07AA of the Migration Regulations.

 02 October 2022
ITO relating to LMT

LIN 21/075: Migration (International trade obligations relating to labour market testing) Determination (LIN 21/075) 2021

Compilation Date: 29/12/2022

29 December 2022
Student visa work rights

Work restrictions for student visa holders will be re-introduced from 01 July 2023:

Allowable work hours cap for international students - fact sheet - pdf

Fair Work Ombudsman info:

International students:

Visa protections - the Assurance Protocol:

Ministerial announcement:

1 July 2023
485 Post-study work rights - 485 visa extension for some eligible qualifications 485 visa extension for some eligible qualifications:

These extended work rights come into effect from 1 July 2023. Current settings will be increased by two years. This will extend post study work rights from

- two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
- three years to five years for select Masters degrees
- four years to six years for all Doctoral degrees.

Existing settings for regional and remote Australia will also be maintained, and where relevant, will be eligible for the additional two years.

Eligible graduates with a valid Temporary Graduate Visa on 1 July 2023 or who apply for a Temporary Graduate Visa after 1 July 2023, will be considered for the two year extension.

Graduates whose visa expires before 1 July 2023 can apply for an extension of their work rights by visiting Temporary Activity visa (subclass 408) Australian Government endorsed events (COVID-19 Pandemic event):

Temporary Graduate visa holders in Australia whose visas expired or will expire between 1 September 2022 and 1 July 2023, or Temporary Graduate visa holders who were in Australia throughout the pandemic period and are therefore not eligible for the TGV Replacement stream, may be eligible for the COVID-19 Pandemic Event (subclass 408) visa with a 2-year stay period. You must be working in Australia or have an offer of employment. (Source: )

International higher education graduates with eligible qualifications will be granted an extra two years of post-study work rights:

List of eligible qualifications for post-study extension (NOT FINAL YET!): - pdf

Post-study work rights factsheet: pdf

Ministerial announcement:

Government response to post-study work rights report - pdf

1 July 2023
Transitioning TPV/SHEV holders to ROS visa

Migration Amendment (Transitioning TPV/SHEV Holders to Resolution of Status Visas) Regulations 2023

This instrument amends the Migration Regulations 1994 to facilitate the transition to permanent residence of persons who arrived in Australia before the commencement date and who applied for or obtained temporary protection in Australia through a Subclass 785 (Temporary Protection) visa or a Subclass 790 (Safe Haven Enterprise) visa.

14 February 2023
Aggregate Sentences in Relation to More Offences

Migration Amendment (Aggregate Sentences) Act 2023

Explanatory Memorandum:

The amendments in the Bill respond to the decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia (the Federal Court) in Pearson v Minister for Home Affairs [2022] FCAFC 203 (Pearson). In Pearson, the Federal Court relevantly held that, in effect, an aggregate sentence (a single sentence for more than one offence) imposing a term of imprisonment does not, in and of itself, constitute a ‘substantial criminal record’ within the meaning given by subsection 501(7) of the Migration Act, and particularly paragraph 501(7)(c) — even in circumstances where the sentence is to an aggregate maximum term of imprisonment of 4 years and 3 months in respect of 10 offences.

The amendments in the Bill will make clear that the provisions of the Migration Act and Regulations apply in relation to a single sentence imposed by a court in the same way, regardless whether the sentence is in respect of a single offence or for two or more offences.

 17 February 2023
5 Year Productivity Enquiry Report

The final report of the Productivity Commission’s 5-year Productivity Inquiry was publicly released on 17 March 2023:

Volume 7: A more productive labour market
This volume examines the settings in Australia’s labour markets that will be necessary to support renewed productivity growth. We detail reform options in skilled migration, occupational licensing and workplace relations, including in relation to platform-based work. The recommendations can be found here:



17 March 2023
TRA Skills assessment fees

LIN 23/002: Migration (Fees for assessment of qualifications and experience) Instrument (LIN 23/002) 2023

The instrument specifies the various fees payable to an Assessing Authority, Trades Recognition Australia, under subregulation 5.40(1) of the Migration Regulations 1994.

24 March 2023
Intercountry adoption

Family Law (Bilateral Arrangements—Intercountry Adoption) Regulations 2023

These regulations will facilitate Australia’s bilateral arrangements for intercountry adoptions with “prescribed overseas jurisdictions”. The regulations provide that adoptions made under the laws of a prescribed overseas jurisdiction are recognised for the purposes of Australian law.

23 March 2023
485 Post-study stream - eligible qualifications

LIN 23/021: Migration (Specification under clause 485.231 – Educational Institutions) Instrument (LIN 23/021) 2023

 The instrument provides the type of educational institutions that specified qualifications must be conferred or awarded by. The institution must be an Australian university or non-university educational provider that is registered on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS) and offer courses at bachelor’s degree level and above.

LIN 23/023: Migration (Specification under clause 485.231—Qualifications) Instrument (LIN 23/023) 2023

The purpose of the instrument is to specify that applicants must hold one or more of the following qualifications that are a result of study undertaken at the Australian Qualification Framework level 7 or higher:

·           bachelor degree;

·           bachelor (honours) degree;

·           masters by coursework degree;

·           masters by research degree;

·           masters (extended) degree;

·           doctoral degree.

25 March 2023
Family Violence Evidentiary Requirements

LIN 23/026: Migration (Specification of evidentiary requirements—family violence) Instrument (LIN 23/026) 2023

The instrument maintains and expands on the arrangements previously in place under Migration Regulations 1994—Evidentiary Requirements—IMMI 12/116 which is repealed by the instrument. The new measures include:

·           adding midwives to the medical professionals that can provide documentary evidence of family violence;

·           adding risk assessments and reports as items of evidence that may be provided in place of a statutory declaration;

·           adding community, multicultural or other crisis services providing domestic and family violence assistance and support to the list of family violence support service providers that can provide documentary evidence (previously limited to women’s refuges and domestic and family violence crisis centres);

·           clarifying that the documentary evidence is to be provided by persons acting in their professional capacity;

·           removing the requirement to provide a statutory declaration for some professionals.

31 March 2023
309 visa - review rights

Migration Amendment (Subclass 309 Applicant Review Rights) Regulations 2023

to expand instances where a visa applicant has standing to seek merits review of a partner visa refusal, instead of the Australian partner sponsor, in cases where the relationship with the sponsor has ended in specified circumstances.

4 April 2023
Direct Australian Citizenship pathway for NZ citizens

All Special Category Visa holders will be able to apply directly for citizenship without becoming permanent residents first, as long as they meet a four-year residence and other eligibility requirements.

​Joint media release with the hon Anthony Albanese MP and the Hon Andrew Giles​ MP:

With effect from 1 July 2023:

  • All New Zealand citizens holding an SCV will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
  • New Zealand citizens granted an SCV before 1 July 2022 will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022.
  • New Zealand citizens granted an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022 will be considered a permanent resident for citizenship purposes from the date of their SCV grant.

The above provisions will apply to New Zealand citizens in Australia. It will also apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas, but held an SCV immediately before last leaving Australia.

These provisions will not apply to citizenship applications submitted before 1 July 2023. If you submit your citizenship application before this date, and you do not meet the eligibility requirements, we will refuse your application and you will not be entitled to a refund.

The backdating of permanent residence for SCV holders will also impact children born to SCV holders. From 1 July 2023, any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to an SCV holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth. From 1 July 2023, children who meet these circumstances can apply for​ evidence of citizenship.

Australian Citizenship (Permanent Resident) Amendment Determination (LIN 23/024) 2023: amends LIN 22/103

1 July 2023
Review of the Migration System 2023

Final report:

National Press Club address:

TSMIT change media release:


Giving Documents and Other Measures Bill 2023

Migration Amendment (Giving Documents and Other Measures) Bill 2023

The purpose of the Bill is to:

  • improve certainty and consistency in the giving of cancellation-related documents, including by requiring all cancellation-related documents to be given in writing, and confirming that the regulations can prescribe methods for giving such documents;
  • ensure that where the Minister gives a document to a person under the Migration Act or Migration Regulations 1994 (Regulations) and makes an error in doing so, the giving of the document is valid where the person actually receives the document; and the document is taken to have complied with requirements as to the content of the document where the Minister has substantially complied with those content requirements and the error does not cause substantial prejudice to the relevant person’s rights (including, but not limited to, rights to seek review in connection with the matter to which the document relates);
  • repeal Subdivision AK of Division 3 of Part 2 (Subdivision AK) of the Migration Act to remove the prohibition on non-citizens who are nationals of two or more countries and certain other cohorts making a valid application for a protection visa.  
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Recent News

  • 189NZ Requirements Relaxation - 10 December 2022


    Applicants are not required to satisfy the New Zealand stream specific criteria relating to a period of residence in Australia, minimum taxable income and health. In addition, family members of primary applicants who made a Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa application in the New Zealand stream prior to the commencement of the Amendment Regulations are also not required to satisfy the health criteria. This applies to only already lodged application before 10 December 2022. More info in the legislative update summary


  • 408 AGEE COVID-19 VISA UPDATE - 14 MAY 2021


    The updated legislation dealing with 408 Covid-19 Pandemic Visa came in effect today.

    We have prepared a structured summary of requirements for this visa on our website:

  • Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List - September 2020


    The Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) identifies 17 occupations which fill critical skills needs that support Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and consultation with Commonwealth departments. More info here

  • 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.

We Are a Member of the MIA

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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