The Latest Immigration News Australia – July 2019

18 Jul


The Australian Immigration news landscape continues to be ever dynamic, with the government issuing more pieces of legislation, and also apparently withdrawing from the proposed changes to citizenship which they had originally planned.
Whilst we know it is increasingly difficult to keep on top of the changes to Australian migration, here at AHWC Immigration Law, we endeavour to keep you in the loop with the most important changes as they happen or are happening.
See below for the latest in immigration news Australia:
Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa application arrangements:
  1. The application must be an Internet application (that is through the Immiaccount).
  2. If the applicant is in Australia at the time of application – the application must be made within 60 days from the date the applicant is allowed to apply.
  3. If the applicant is outside Australia when the application is made – within six months from the day that the parent sponsor is approved.


Proposed Citizenship Changes Shelved

The government proposed citizenship changes have been shelved and probably will not be resurrected. The proposed changes included raising the permanent residence requirements to four years, and English language testing.

The current citizenship requirements will remain. What are they you say?

The requirements (excluding a narrow range of exceptions) are:

  • living lawfully in Australia for four years including one year as a permanent resident.
  • not being absent during that time for more than a total of one year, including not more than 3 months in the fourth year.
  • passing the citizenship test
  • attending a citizenship ceremony and taking the Pledge of Allegiance.

And remember – you’re not an Australian citizen until you’ve taken the Pledge of Allegiance and have your Australian Citizenship Certificate in your hot little hands!

And I hear you thinking – what are the exceptions to the normal citizenship residency requirements?

They include:

  • a child found abandoned in Australia
  • being married to an Australian citizen with close ties to Australia
  • children of citizenship applicants

being engaged in activities beneficial to Australia in fields such as sport (see for example the famous cricketer’s case of Fawad Ahmed), science, medicine or performing arts.


Partner Visa Changes

….. Still haven’t happened! And, we have no idea when they will.

If you haven’t heard of the proposed changes, or would like to know more have a look at our earlier article here.

We’ll keep you posted.


Working Holiday (Subclass 417) and Work & Holiday (Subclass 462) Visa Changes
  • Work & Holiday Visas (Subclass 462)
    • Indonesian, Singaporean, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese applicants can now apply online.
    • Ecuador and Greece have been added to the list of countries eligible for the visa.
    • Austrian, Portuguese and Spanish applicants are no longer required to provide evidence of government support.
    • Changes apply to applications made on or after 1 July 2019
    • Complete list of countries is now:
      • Argentina
      • Austria
      • Chile
      • China, People’s Republic of
      • Czech Republic
      • Ecuador
      • Greece
      • Hungary
      • Indonesia
      • Israel
      • Luxembourg
      • Malaysia
      • Peru
      • Poland
      • Portugal
      • San Marino
      • Singapore
      • Slovak Republic
      • Slovenia
      • Spain
      • Thailand
      • Turkey
      • United States of America
      • Uruguay
      • Vietnam


  • Working Holiday Visas (Subclass 417)
    • France, Ireland, Canada applicants can now be age up to 35 years (France is new from 1 July)
    • Complete list of eligible countries is:
      • Belgium
      • Canada
      • Cyprus
      • Denmark
      • Estonia
      • Finland
      • France
      • Germany
      • Hong Kong
      • Ireland
      • Italy
      • Japan
      • Malta
      • Netherlands
      • Norway
      • Republic of Korea
      • Sweden
      • Taiwan
      • United Kingdom


New South Wales State Nominations to Re-open

New South Wales state nominations have reopened (Yay!).


Proposed Changes to the Character Provisions

There is a Bill before Parliament which will, if passed significantly affect the “Character Test”, by lowering the bar for failure.

The Bill is called the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2019.

If passed, the visa applicant, or visa holder will fail the Character Test if convicted of a “designated offence’ and have their visa cancelled or refused.

Designated offences will include:

  • Violence offences, including:
    • threat of violence
    • assault
    • aggravated burglary
    • murder and manslaughter
    • kidnapping
  • Non-consensual conduct of a sexual nature, including:
    • sharing of an intimate image
    • sexual assault
    • commission of an act of indecency
  • Breaching an apprehended violence order, by any means
  • Possession of a weapon – however described – that is it includes weapons other than firearms, knives etc
  • Aiding, abetting, conspiring, counselling or assisting in the commission of a designated offence, or being in any way directly or indirectly, knowingly concerned or otherwise a party to the commission of a designated offence

….where the offence is punishable by imprisonment of not less than two years (note, it is not the sentence imposed but that the listed punishment for the offence can be over two years).

According to the Explanatory memorandum, the new Bill promises to “capture those non-citizens with links to those activities that pose a risk to the Australian community, such as (but not limited to) organise crime, outlaw motor cycle gangs or those who have an involvement in the commission of a designated offence

The new Bill greatly increases the ability of the Minister for Immigration to cancel or refuse visas under Section 501 of the Migration Act, and if the cancellation or refusal is upheld by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (if it is even possible to appeal), an individual may be permanently banned from re-entering Australia.


If you are worried that you may not meet the requirements for a visa or there are changes which will affect you, book a consultation today or fill out the form below and we can help you to understand these changes and how they may affect your situation!

Stay On Top Of The Latest In Immigration News And Changes!

Get one step closer to making Australia home!