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Legislative updates – Aggregate sentences Amendment Act 2023

17/02/2023

Legislative updates

This is a summary of the relevant Legislative Instruments and Explanatory Statements; members should review these documents in full before advising clients and lodging applications.

Migration Amendment (Aggregate Sentences) Act 2023

The Migration Amendment (Aggregate Sentences) Act 2023 has received Royal Assent and will come into effect today, 17 February 2023.

A clear summary of the background to this amending Act and its effect is available on the Home Affairs website.

TPV/SHEV holders – Resolution of Status processing arrangements

The MIA attended a Home Affairs briefing this morning that provided information on processing and other arrangements following the Government’s announcement this week that they will be provided with Resolution of Status (ROS) visas.

To note

  • Applicants/visa holders should update their details in ImmiAccount, especially change of address and contact details.
  • Currently lodged TPV/SHV applications should not be withdrawn, these will be automatically deemed to be applications for ROS visas.

The ROS visas will be delivered and funded separately to the Humanitarian intake places and will not impact the number of those places available for other humanitarian entrants.

The processing system has been designed to be ‘light touch’ and to minimise red tape. Applicants will only be asked for further information, if necessary, e.g., changes of personal circumstances or travel.

Protection claims will not be required to be assessed again.

This pathway is only available to applicants IN Australia. Offshore family members cannot be added.

Applicants will be immediately eligible for Social Services, NDIS and Higher Education Fee Help once the ROS is granted, in addition to current counselling and other services.

Highly vulnerable applicants/holders, e.g., those requiring NDIS assistance, should contact the funded legal providers for assistance with liaising with Home Affairs.

Timeframe

Home Affairs expects that the majority of ROS cases will be resolved within 12 months, although some, e.g., those in the Tribunal or courts and that are remitted, may extend past that date.

Online applications will be available from around late March 2023.

A small cohort whose current TPV/SHEV visas are expiring before late March will be invited earlier by letter to apply for the ROS.

Government funding – free access to migration assistance

All applicants eligible for a ROS visa will be provided with free migration assistance coordinated through Legal Aid.

The Government has set up a system of funding for these TPV/SHEV holders/applicants that provides for them to receive free assistance from the specified providers. These providers are listed in the Factsheets on the Home Affairs website.

Eligibility

All TPV/SHEV holders who were in Australia and held or had applied for one of these visas before 14 February 2023 are eligible to apply.

Those who have been found NOT to engage in Australia’s protection obligations are not eligible to apply.

Those who have cases before a Tribunal or Court may be eligible, dependent on the outcome of those reviews.

Health and Character

Applicants will not be required to undertake new health clearances unless requested, e.g., if they have travelled to a high health risk country since the original health tests.

Home Affairs will initiate arrangements for police checks and any other character assessments directly with the relevant government departments, if required.

After Grant of an ROS

Holders of the ROS will be eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship once they meet the usual requirements. Their stay in Australia as holders of TPV/SHEV visas will be counted towards the residency requirements for citizenship.

ROS holders will be able to sponsor family members immediately after grant of that visa.

Family members must be sponsored through the Family reunion stream of the program. They are not eligible to be sponsored through the Humanitarian stream for ROS sponsors.

Further Information

Further information and Factsheets in multiple languages are available on the Home Affairs website.

Home Affairs Update

ROL/TRT occupations

While the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that ROL occupations are included in the TRT arrangements under the LIN 22/038 concessional pathway, the MIA still awaits further details on accessing the concession.

Home Affairs has confirmed that although the end date of 1 July 2024 for the concessions has been published, it is not included in the legislation and that it will be up to the current Government to decide if this will be enforced.

Queensland Consideration for Priority Processing – URGENT! Closes today

The following message has been received by the MIA for members information:

Migration Queensland is inviting agents/lawyers (onshore and offshore) and direct applicants (onshore and offshore) to register clients or themselves, for consideration of priority processing.

Applicant requirements:

  1. Must provide a decision-ready application (i.e. all documents must be ready to upload immediately upon an invitation being issued).
  2. Must meet all Queensland nomination criteria. Please review skilled criteria via the links below:

MQ – Skilled workers living in Queensland

MQ – Skilled workers living offshore

Register your details (decision ready applications only) with Migration Queensland for consideration of priority processing from 9am Monday 13 February 2023 – 12am Friday 17 February 2023.

Agents/Lawyers can register their clients on the Migration Queensland website

Note: Please do not register clients if they have been registered previously.

AAT Recruitment

The Attorney General has announced the Expert Advisory Council who will guide the reform of the AAT.

It has also been announced that recruitment will begin for a new president for the AAT to undertake the Government’s change process for that Tribunal.

Positions for an additional 75 new members have also been announced to address the backlogs at the Tribunal.

Attorney General’s Media release Expert Panel Attorney General’sMedia release AAT Recruitment

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