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А brief guide to changes in migration legislation of Australia

Migration law changes are happening quite frequently, many of them are influencedby politics. Sometimes in practice, we are faced with changes that are applied retrospectively (changes affect even those who have already submit an application and are waiting for a decision).

I’ll tell you another secret: qualified registered migration agents do not work with the information of the Department of Home Affairs  website. This well-known website contains general information on visas and the department is not responsible for its content,if you act using general information.

Personally, I work with primary sources (with migration act and regulations, policies), so all changes to clients’ immigration strategies are made as quickly as possible.

Fundamental changes:

  • The list of professions is now adjusted annually every March and affects professional visas (independent, state sponsorship) and employer sponsored visas
  • The list of professions offered  by state is updated annually in July (beginning of the financial year). The states open new quotas and potential immigrants must be prepared with an English test results and skills assessment done (for example, last year, Queensland only opened access for visa applicants 190 twice and only for 24 hours, and South Australia provided this opportunity for 4 days)
  • State sponsorship quotas are updated dynamically throughout the year, states can close or add professions at their discretion on the lists.

How do we know about the changes:

  • We receive notifications and updates with clarifications from the Department of Home Affairs (special mailing for agents) plus we have access to the information sections of the Department for clarifications on complex cases.
  • Newsletter from AAT (Administrative Tribunal), where they consider cases of refusal and cancellation of visas. Based on these decisions, we collect information about such cases, and also look at practical component of how cases are considered after rejection.
  • Professional organizations: Migration Institute of Australia, Legal Training Continuing Professional Development (short-term courses that all registered agents are required to take once a year to obtain license renewal), these organizations also provide clarification on new legislation
  • The Parliament is an excellent source of knowledge if any bill (or amendments) is under consideration. You can monitor its progress and predict the development of events, keeping in mind these opportunities for the future.
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