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The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Act 2024, enacted today, February 22, 2024, modifies the Migration Act 1958 to bolster mechanisms for ensuring employer adherence. This legislation introduces several key features:

  • New Employer Sanctions: Implements actions against employers who coerce or improperly influence both lawful and unlawful non-citizens into accepting employment arrangements that violate visa conditions or negatively impact their immigration status, with penalties including jail time and fines.

  • Prohibited Employers: Sets up a system to designate individuals or organizations as prohibited employers for failing to adhere to migration laws, especially regarding migrant worker sanctions. Criteria for these designations include previous violations and the extent of non-compliance, with prohibited employers facing restrictions on hiring certain non-citizens and substantial penalties for breaches.

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The Legislation (Deferral of Sunsetting—Migration Regulations 1994 (Specification of a Class of Persons)) Amendment Certificate 2024 is a legislative instrument that extends the effective period of certain migration regulations. Issued under the Legislation Act 2003, this amendment delays the expiration of specific rules concerning the classification of persons for migration purposes. Originally scheduled to sunset, or automatically repeal, these regulations have been granted an additional 12-month extension, moving their new sunsetting day to April 1, 2025.

This extension is part of the Australian Government's broader sunsetting framework, designed to ensure legislative instruments are periodically reviewed and remain in force only as needed. The deferral aids in reducing the administrative workload associated with remaking instruments temporarily or when timely replacements are hindered by unforeseeable circumstances.

The Amendment Certificate specifically targets the Migration Regulations 1994, focusing on IMMI 12/127, which outlines criteria for Locally Engaged Employees (LEEs) from Iraq and Afghanistan. These LEEs, if at risk due to their employment with Australian agencies, are prioritised for Refugee and In-Country Special Humanitarian visas. The deferral follows recommendations from the Thom Report, which called for a review of the Afghan LEE program, ensuring these regulations remain active while comprehensive updates are made.

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In an important regulatory update for 2024, the Australian Government issued the Legislation (Deferral of Sunsetting—Migration Agents Instruments) Certificate under the auspices of the Legislation Act 2003. This move is pivotal in maintaining the regulatory oversight of migration agents by extending critical legislation beyond its original expiration.

Understanding Sunsetting Sunsetting serves as a legislative cleaning mechanism, ensuring laws expire after a decade unless deemed necessary to extend. This ensures the legal framework remains streamlined and pertinent.

Purpose Behind the Extension The Certificate proactively extends the validity of crucial migration agent regulations by two years, moving the expiration from April 1, 2024, to April 1, 2026. This affects foundational aspects of migration agent governance, including CPD requirements and registration protocols.

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The Migration (Designated Migration Law—Visa Condition 8208) Determination (LIN 24/009) 2024 is a legal instrument established under the Migration Act 1958, specifically paragraph 495A(3)(b). It is set to take effect on either 1 April 2024 or the day following its registration on the Federal Register of Legislation, whichever comes later. This document is recognised as a legislative instrument in accordance with the Legislation Act 2003.

Its main purpose is to facilitate the use of computer programs under the ministerial control for decisions, exercises of power, or compliance with obligations under the designated migration law, as defined in subsection 495A(3) of the Migration Act. Specifically, it designates visa condition 8208 from the Migration Regulations 1994 as part of this law, which relates to the management of student visas, particularly for postgraduate research in critical technology areas.

This condition was introduced as part of legislative amendments in 2022 to prevent the unwanted transfer of critical technologies abroad. It mandates that student visa holders seeking to undertake research in critical technology fields must obtain ministerial approval. This instrument allows for computerised decision-making regarding such studies under visa condition 8208.

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Summary of the Migration (Critical Technology—Types of Technology) Specification (LIN 24/010) 2024

Title of the Document The document is titled the Migration (Critical Technology—Types of Technology) Specification (LIN 24/010) 2024, hereafter referred to as "the Specification."

Effective Date The Specification becomes effective on the later of two dates: April 1, 2024, or the day following its registration on the Federal Register of Legislation.

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