Amendments made to Migration Regulations 1994

Date: Mar 27, 2012

There have been a number of amendments to the Migration Regulations 1994, which migration lawyers will no doubt be able to offer advice on.

As of March 26, changes were made to Visa Conditions 8104 and 8105.

Student work entitlements are now to be measured at 40 hours per fortnight instead of 20 hours a week, while unlimited work rights will be granted to Subclass 574 (Postgraduate Research Sector) visa holders.

This, however, is only the case if they have already started their masters' degree through research or a doctoral degree.

Another area of change has been Schedule 8, subclause 8104(6), where the definition of 'week' has been substituted with one for 'fortnight' - notably a period of 14 days beginning on a Monday.

The amendments apply to all visas subject to conditions 8104 or 8105 which are in effect on 26 March 2012. They also apply to all relevant visa applications made before 26 March 2012 which have not yet been finally determined, as well as all relevant visa applications made after that date.

However, these visas must not have been not finally determined before this date.

In order to reflect these changes, form number 147 entitled application for a temporary residence visa will be altered, as will form 157A Application for a student visa.

The same can be said for form 1383 Application for temporary visa for retirees and 1248i Information guide for temporary Investor Retirement (subclass 405 visa).

This is not the first time this year that Migration Regulations 1994 have undergone change, as they were altered to include a mandatory ground for cancelling a visa in certain situations.

If the person is declared by the foreign minister under paragraph 6(1)(b) or (2)(b) of the Autonomous Sanctions Regulations 2011, then they can be prevented from travelling to, entering or remaining in Australia.

Autonomous sanctions enable the minister for immigration to deny the issue of a new visa, or indeed the cancellation of an existing visa under Public Interest Criterion.

The regulations were brought into force last year as a means of improving both the  transparency and the effectiveness of Australia's autonomous sanctions, meaning the country can work alongside other like-minded nations.

The legislation is believed to have the biggest impact on businesses with international interests, although this can be discussed in greater detail with lawyers of immigration.

Businesses and individuals alike are encouraged by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship to know the limitations of any visa they apply for to avoid falling foul of the law.

This means keeping up to date with any changes that may come into force.