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Australian Immigration Daily News

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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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The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has expressed approval for the recent enactment of the Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Bill 2023. This legislation brings to fruition several key recommendations from the Migrant Workers’ Taskforce, addressing longstanding concerns over the exploitation of migrant workers within Australia's migration system.

The bill introduces significant measures to combat the misuse of migrant labour by making it a criminal offense for employers to coerce migrant workers into violating their visa conditions or to exploit their migration status for financial gain. This shift in legislative focus aims to hold employers accountable for leveraging their power over vulnerable workers to enhance profits unethically.

Furthermore, the legislation empowers the Minister with the authority to impose a minimum five-year ban on employers found exploiting workers on temporary visas, serving as a deterrent to those considering such unfair practices.

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The legislative update, issued by the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, introduces amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994 concerning specified work and areas for Subclass 417 and 462 Visas (Instrument LIN 24/020, 2024).

These changes, effective the day after registration on the Federal Register of Legislation, broaden the scope of 'specified work' to include recovery efforts from various natural disasters, such as floods, cyclones, or storm surges, beyond the initial focus on flood and bushfire recovery.

The amendments aim to recognise the vital contributions of Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program participants in disaster-stricken regions, facilitating quicker community and business recovery.

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