April 3, 2018

By Ceren Güney

Long Term Goal: Simplified Framework

The Australian Government has indicated its desire to simply the visa framework by reducing the existing number of visas – 99 – to 10. This change is intended to streamline processing, provide greater transparency, increase accessibility and reduce processing times.
The current system is confusing, highly complex and overlapping. The intended changes reflect an overall trend in administration and bureaucracy for greater efficiency.

The Department of Home Affairs has not yet set a timeline for implantation; as such, there is no immediate impact of potential and current visa applicants and holders. The Government still intends to hold more consultations. We should hear more about these plans throughout the year. We will continue to keep you updated on such plans.

Provisional Periods

The Australian Government had previously indicated that it may consider including a provisional period before an applicant may become a permanent residence, for example, in relation to spouse visas. In December 2017 put this up for consultation. The majority, approximately 55%, opposed a provisional period. Discussions regarding a provisional period are ongoing but seem unlikely to be implemented.
Change from 457 Visa to 482 Visa

As we have previously discussed in our bulletins and with our existing clients, March saw the replacement of the temporary employer skilled visa. The old 457 visa has now been replaced with the new 482 visa.

One of the key impacts with this change is that applicants will now be required to prove the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” requirement, just as is required for student visas. This is intended to ensure the system is being used as it should and that this visa is used for temporary entrance only.

Changes to 186 Visa

As previously outlined, in March 2018 we saw significant changes made to employer sponsored visa subclasses. The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) were also affected by these changes.

The main changes include:

  • A requirement that the occupation of the applicant be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) unless:
    • The potential employer is in a regional area, or
    • Certain transitional arrangements apply.
  • The maximum age requirement has been reduced to 45.
    In some occupations, at least 3 years post-graduation work experience will be necessary. Some occupations require 2 years.
  • Employers must pay the applicant the Australian market salary (determined for each occupation).

Spouse Visa

We were also expecting changes to the Spouse Visa in the upcoming year, although we still do not have any agreed amendments.
The proposed bill is the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016(Cth). However, this bill is still in the Senate and has not yet become law. The bill includes a number of changes but ultimately intends to increase scrutiny of the Australian spouse (that is, the Sponsor).

Some of the changes are as follows:

  • The sponsor will be assessed, in particular their ability to meet their obligations will be assessed, and must be approved.
  • The sponsor will have certain legal obligations, and if they fail to fulfil these, they may face penalties.

The changes are intended to prevent sham or fraud spouse visas and in certain circumstances sponsors may be barred.

No obligation to request further information

While it is not a recent change we wish to advise our clients that the Department of Home Affairs may make determinations of visa applications based on the information provided by the applicant.

In many situations, the department is not required to request further or clarifying information. In this event, if you lodge an invalid or incomplete application, the risk of having your visa refused, without the chance to correct a simple oversight, is a real threat.

Immigration laws are complex and constantly changing, and as such it is important to note that many of the proposed changes have still not be finalised or implemented.

At IEA-A (Avustralya Göç Ajansı) we have over 15 years of experience and can assist you with all of your migration needs.

Avustralya Göç ve Eğitim Ajansı & IEA-A