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Australian Immigration Daily News

Breaking Australian immigration news brought to you by Migration Alliance and associated bloggers. Please email help@migrationalliance.com.au

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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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Posted by on in General

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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We are excited to inform you that the nomination process for the Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) visa, Pathway 1, in New South Wales, is now accepting applications. In the subsequent sections, you will find comprehensive details about the nomination procedure and the critical criteria that applicants are required to meet.

This pathway aims to facilitate skilled professionals who are already making significant contributions to the dynamic community and economy of New South Wales.

Guidelines for NSW Nomination under the Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) Pathway 1

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This week marks a significant development in the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, with the introduction of a family accompaniment pilot by the Albanese Government. This innovative initiative will allow 200 PALM scheme workers, starting with those from Kiribati and Timor-Leste, the opportunity to bring their family members to Australia.

Understanding the challenges of family separation for workers from the Pacific and Timor-Leste who reside in Australia for prolonged periods, the government is taking proactive steps to support these individuals. This initiative is focused not only on reuniting families but also on strengthening the bonds between Australia and these Pacific regions.

The pilot program recognizes the significant contributions made by PALM scheme workers across various sectors and communities in Australia, emphasizing their vital role in the national economy.

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The Australian Government has introduced a new rule, known as the Migration (COVID-19 Pandemic event for Temporary Activity (Subclass 408) Visa) Repeal Instrument (LIN 24/003), which will take effect on February 1, 2024. This rule repeals the previous regulation, LIN 22/046, which had classified the COVID-19 pandemic as an 'Australian Government endorsed event' (AGEE). This classification was important because it allowed certain individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to be eligible for a Subclass 408 (Temporary Activity) Visa.

Under the old rule, to qualify for this visa, applicants needed to be involved in work related to the AGEE. The repeal means that, from February 2024, the COVID-19 pandemic will no longer be recognized as an AGEE for visa purposes.

The decision to repeal this regulation comes after the government's announcement on August 31, 2023, stating that the Pandemic event visa would be closed to all applicants from February 2024. This move is part of an effort to better regulate Australia’s visa system now that the conditions that necessitated the Pandemic event visa have changed.

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