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Australia Immigration News February 2023

This blog will cover the most recent developments and news releases from the Department of Home Affairs.

According to the news article published on the Department's website dated 13 February 2023, under LIN 22/038, the available pathway allows Subclass 482 STSOL visa holders to apply for Subclass 186 TRT if they have been in Australia for at least one year between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021. And at the time of application, are lawfully employed. Subclass 482 visa holders can now use it with occupations on the ROL.

Department has updated its website that Delegates of the Minister will now accept a suitable skills assessment for an applicant's nominated skilled occupation obtained within the 60-day invitation period.

This approach change is made due to the decision of Thapa v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs [2021] FCCA 686 (Thapa). The Minister will administer the Migration Regulations 1994 in accordance with the decision in Thapa. Still, the Minister reserves the right to make submissions in a Court that Thapa was wrongly decided.

Department has also updated that you are encouraged to arrange your skills assessment well before you intend to submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect. You cannot rely on a skills assessment that was obtained after you were invited to apply.

In a media release on 13 February, The Albanese Government is delivering on its election commitment to provide a permanent visa pathway for existing Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV) holders. The Albanese Government committed to providing a permanent pathway for these visa holders, and today the Government is delivering on that commitment.

A new Ministerial Direction No 99 will commence on 3 March 2023. This Direction revokes Direction 90 Visa refusal and cancellation under section 501 and revocation of a mandatory visa cancellation under section 501CA 15 April 2021.

Under Direction 90, the strength, nature and duration of ties to Australia were considered under other considerations.

Under this new Direction 99, this has now been added as a primary consideration under Part 2 Section 8, with the effect that decision-makers should generally give these considerations more weight.

Department has changed the policy interpretation of the 48 months requirement for Professional Year points.

Department has advised that the Professional Year requirement to 'complete' the year within the last 48 months immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa relates only to the date on which the professional year ended.

Migration WA had announced that invitation rounds for the remainder of the 2022-23 State nomination program year would be brought forward and run in the first week of each month, commencing February 2023. This change allows adequate time to process the large volume of applications before the end of the program year. Western Australia conducted an invitation round on 10 February in which many applicants were invited for 190 and 491 nominations.

The Department has advised that since 22 December 2022, the sc 186 policy titled "3.8.3. Medical Practitioners – registration requirements" within the "Assessing Eligible Skilled Occupations" policy document applies to all AHPRA regulation occupations.

This means Provisional or Limited registration can be accepted for all AHPRA-regulated occupations. Under the policy, additional information may be required to confirm that they have a sufficient level of registration, and a decision maker can request a statement from the nominator stating:

• their awareness of the applicant's 'type' of registration and

• they agree that the type of licensing and/or registration the applicant holds or is eligible to hold will allow them to effectively perform the duties of the occupation in which they have been nominated.

The Department has advised that the new policy will be applied to applications already lodged and newly lodged applications.

The Department has confirmed that this information will be published in the following Skilled Newsletter and, in time, updated in the online policy instruction.

If you have any questions and want to discuss your case, please book a consultation through our website:

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