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Posted by on in General

The Migration (Class of Persons for Nil VAC—LIN 24/008) Specification 2024, authorized by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs, outlines significant updates to the Migration Regulations 1994. This instrument, which commenced the day after its registration and repeals the previous IMMI 14/032, is designed to extend visa application charge (VAC) exemptions for certain applicants of the Subclass 600 (Visitor) visa in the Tourist stream. Specifically, it applies to family members and approved representatives of passengers or crew aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, supporting those connected to the aircraft that disappeared on 8 March 2014.

LIN 24/008 maintains the policy established by its predecessor, IMMI 14/032, without altering the specified class of persons eligible for the nil VAC. This decision, made after consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Office of Impact Analysis, reflects a commitment to continuing support for the families affected by the MH370 tragedy. The instrument underscores the Australian government's empathetic approach towards those impacted by the event, ensuring they face no financial burden should they need to follow up on developments related to the flight in Australia.

Source: LIN24008.pdf and LIN24008-Explanatory-Statement.pdf

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The Migration (Code of Behaviour for Public Interest Criterion 4022) Instrument (LIN 24/031) 2024, enacted by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs, introduces a crucial legislative update for the Subclass 050 (Bridging (General)) visa, focusing on the Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4022.

This instrument, effective the day following its registration and set to self-repeal on 31 March 2025, repeals the previous Code of Behaviour (IMMI 13/155) and extends its provisions for an additional 12 months to facilitate further review. The renewal aims to maintain the integrity of the migration advice profession by ensuring visa applicants adhere to a set of behaviours that reflect Australia's values.

This legislative update did not require external consultation as it mirrors the existing code, ensuring a smooth transition for stakeholders. The Office of Impact Analysis (OIA) concurred that the it would have no regulatory impacts, reaffirming the non-disruptive nature of extending the current code. Approved under clause 4.1 of Schedule 4 to the Migration Regulations 1994, this instrument underscores the Australian government's commitment to upholding high ethical standards within its migration processes, requiring certain visa applicants to sign and adhere to the specified code of behaviour.

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Introducing the Pacific Engagement Visa Initiative

The Australian Government is poised to bolster permanent migration from the Pacific and Timor-Leste through the innovative Pacific Engagement Visa. This initiative aims to expand the diaspora within Australia, fortify interpersonal connections, and foster an enhanced exchange in culture, business, and education.

Annually, this program will award up to 3,000 visas to individuals from Pacific island nations via a ballot system, allowing them the opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Australia. This approach is meticulously crafted in partnership with governments and communities from the Pacific and Timor-Leste to align with mutual interests and goals, contributing to a harmonious and thriving Pacific family.

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Direction Number 106, officially titled "Assessing the Genuine Entry and Stay Requirements for Student Visa and Student Guardian Visa Applications," was issued by Clare O’Neil, the Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security, under section 499 of the Migration Act 1958.

This direction, effective from 23 March 2024, aims to provide comprehensive guidelines for assessing the authenticity of applicants for Subclass 500 (Student) visas and Student Guardian visas, ensuring that only genuine students or guardians are granted entry to Australia for educational purposes.

Key aspects of the direction include:

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The "Migration (Suspension Certificate Matters) Specification (LIN 24/034) 2024" Explanatory Statement, issued by the Minister for Home Affairs, outlines the legislative instrument made under subregulation 1.29(3) of the Migration Regulations 1994, commencing on 23 March 2024. This instrument supports the implementation of the Government's Migration Strategy announced on 11 December 2023 and the Migration Amendment (Suspending Education Providers) Regulations 2024 made on 14 March 2024, specifically designed to amend the Migration Regulations to incorporate regulation 1.29.

This regulation allows the Minister to consider a 'relevant score' for education providers when issuing an Immigration Minister’s certificate under section 97 of the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act).

The purpose of this instrument is to detail the method for calculating a 'relevant score' for registered providers, which factors in various aspects related to overseas students or intending overseas students and their adherence to visa requirements. This includes considerations such as the number of student visa applications, cancellations, refusals under Public Interest Criterion 4020, and instances of unlawful non-citizenship beyond 28 days. The instrument also specifies the frequency and timing of calculating this score, which will be done twice annually, and outlines the period for which a relevant score will have effect for a registered provider.

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