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Australia-Migration-Update

The Migration Amendment (Australia’s Engagement in the Pacific and Other Measures) Bill 2023

16/02/2023

Further information ROL PR pathway 186 TRT

The Department has provided further confirmation that those holding a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa with an occupation on the ROL and who worked in Australia during the pandemic are able to access the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa in the TRT stream with the concessions under LIN 22/038. The Department has advised that this pathway is available now and there are no legislative changes required to give effect to this.

In regards to the pathway being available for 2 years from 1 July 2022 the Department has stated that as LIN 22/038 is not end-dated before 1 July 2024, it would be a decision for Government to close the pathway on 1 July 2024 or continue it.

Legislative Updates: Two new Bills

The Migration Amendment (Australia’s Engagement in the Pacific and Other Measures) Bill 2023

The Bill was introduced into the Lower House on 16 February 2023 and second reading was moved.

The Bill amends the Migration Act 1958 (the Migration Act) to allow the Minister to implement a visa pre-application process, involving random selection of eligible persons who will then be permitted to apply for a relevant visa.

As per the Explanatory Statement the primary and immediate purpose of the Bill is to support the Government’s policy objectives in relation to engagement with Pacific nations. In order to build a strong and engaged Pacific diaspora in Australia, the Government has committed to the creation of a new class of visa, to be called the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV), to provide access to permanent residence in Australia for an annual quota of citizens of certain Pacific countries and Timor-Leste.

In order to establish this framework, the Bill:

• inserts new section 46C in the Migration Act, which establishes the legislative power for the Minister to arrange a ballot to be conducted in relation to one or more visas, including power for the Minister to make a determination, in the form of a disallowable legislative instrument, setting out details relating to eligibility to participate in a ballot and the arrangements for the conduct of the ballot; and

• amends section 46 of the Migration Act to clarify that regulations that specify the criteria for making a valid visa application (usually in Schedule 1 to the Migration Regulations) can include a requirement that the visa applicant has been selected in a ballot.

Migration (Visa Preapplication Process the Migration (Visa Pre) Charge Bill 2023

The Bill was introduced to the Lower House on 16 February 2022 and a second reading was moved.

The Bill imposes a charge (which may be nil) on persons who register as a participant in a ballot. There may be different charges for different ballots, and for different classes of people, prescribed by regulations. The Bill establishes a ceiling for the maximum amount of charge ($100) that may be prescribed under the regulations for a particular ballot. The Charge Bill also provides a mechanism for indexing this ceiling in accordance with annual movements in the Consumer Price Index.

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