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Regulatory Plan

​Past Regulatory Actions

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaMigration and Visa Policy Division/Skilled Migration Policy Branch
TitleIntroduction of the Significant Investor stream of the Business Innovation and Investment program
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionNew regulations
Description of actionThe Significant Investor visa stream was introduced on 24 November 2012 to be included as one of the three main streams within the Business Innovation and Investment Program (Subclass 188 and 888 visas).
IndustryN/A
Level of impactMedium
Date of effect24 November 2012
Contact details 
Date last modified 

 

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaSkilled Migration Policy Branch
Title Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013 (Act No. 122 of 2013)
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionLegislative change
Description of action

The legislation amended the Migration Act 1958 and amended the Migration Regulations 1994. It complements other policy, regulatory and administrative reforms to the temporary sponsored work visa program announced early in 2013 and:

  • enshrines pre-existing and new sponsorship obligations in the Migration Act 
  • introduces enforceable undertakings into the enforcement and civil penalty framework relating to sponsorship
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  • empowers Fair Work Inspectors to be Inspectors under the Migration Act to exercise powers for the purposes of the Migration Act relating to sponsor monitoring
  • introduces Labour Market Testing (LMT), which makes it mandatory for sponsors using the Subclass 457 visa program to first advertise to test the availability of suitably qualified and experienced Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents in the domestic labour market, prior to recruiting an overseas skilled worker on a subclass 457 visa. This will be done in a manner consistent with Australia's international trade obligations 
  • amends visa condition 8107 and
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  • creates the Ministerial Advisory Council on Skilled Migration (MACSM).
IndustryNot industry specific
Level of impactLow-Medium
Date of effectThe amendments relating to enforceable undertakings commenced on 29 June 2013. The majority of amendments, except for LMT, commenced on 30 June 2013. The amendments relating to LMT will commence on a day to be fixed by Proclamation. However, if they do not commence within a period of 6 months of the Royal Assent, the amendments will commence on the day after that period. This Act received the Royal Assent on 29 June 2013.
Contact details 
Date last modified15 July 2013

 

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaSkilled Migration Policy Branch
TitleSubclass 457 integrity reforms
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionRegulatory and Legislative Instrument change
Description of action

Amendments of regulations and legislative instruments in the Migration Regulations 1994 to:

  • require sponsors to meet certain training requirements for training Australian workers
  • introduce a 'genuineness test' to be conducted by departmental officers to ensure that the position associated with the nominated occupation is genuinely required to address skills shortages in Australia 
  • require sponsors to justify the number of nominations required
  • require sponsors to provide overseas workers with at least the terms and conditions of employment given to an Australian worker performing the same work in the same geographic region 
  • strengthen the English language requirements for Subclass 457 visas by requiring the Subclass 457 visa applicant to have vocational English, competent English, proficient English, concessional competent English or superior English, as applicable 
  • clarify the Department's intention to require a sponsored person to work directly for the sponsor 
  • clarify the Department's intention that, as a criteria for the grant of a Subclass 457 visa, the Subclass visa applicant must continue to be the subject of an approved nomination 
  • strengthen the skills requirements for Subclass 457 visas by requiring the Subclass 457 visa applicant to have the skills, qualifications and employment background that the Minister considers necessary to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation 
  • allow Subclass 457 visa application charges to be refunded if the application is withdrawn because there is no approved nomination
  • clarify the Department's intention about the meaning of the term 'entity' 
  • require Subclass 457 visa holders to meet the mandatory registration and licencing requirements for their occupation in the relevant State or Territory 
  • remove certain redundant provisions
  • strengthening the nomination requirements under the Permanent Employer Sponsored visa program 
  • clarify that standard business sponsors must engage a Subclass 457 visa holder as a direct employee under a written contract of employment and
  • require all approved sponsors to be solely responsible for the payment of certain sponsorship and recruitment related costs, by prohibiting sponsors from recovering, charging or transferring these costs from any person and
  • clarify that Subclass 457 visa holders must work in a position in the business of the standard business sponsor and cannot be on-hired to work for another business. If the sponsor lawfully operates a business in Australia then the Subclass 457 visa holder may also work in a position in the business of an associated entity of the sponsor.
The above changes are complemented by the Migration Amendment (Temporary Sponsored Visas) Act 2013.
IndustryNot industry specific
Level of impactLow-Medium
Date of effect1 July 2013
Contact details 
Date last modified1 July 2013

 

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaDeregulation Strategy Section
TitleVisa Simplification and Deregulation (VSD) Project – Temporary Work visas
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionNew regulations
Description of action

The department took steps to simplify and reduce the number of Temporary Work visas by 50 per cent.

Amendments of regulations and legislative instruments in the Migration Regulations 1994allowed for the:

  • reduction in the number of Temporary Work visas from 17 to 8 subclasses
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  • removal of some sponsorship and nomination requirements and
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  • standardisation of a number of visa criteria across Temporary Work visas.
IndustryNot industry specific
Level of impactLow–Medium
Date of effect24 November 2012
Contact details 
Date last modified24 November 2012

 

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaDeregulation Strategy Section
TitleVisa Simplification and Deregulation (VSD) Project – Visitor visas
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionNew regulations
Description of action

The department took steps to simplify and reduce the number of Visitor visas. Amendments to regulations and legislative instruments in the Migration Regulations 1994 allowed for the:

  • reduction in the number of Visitor visa subclasses from 9 to 5
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  • relocation of limited permission to work from Business Visitor provisions to a new Short Stay Activity visa and
  • standardisation of a number of visa criteria across Visitor visas.
IndustryNot industry specific
Level of impactLow-Medium
Date of effect23 March 2013
Contact details 
Date last modified23 March 2013

 

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaSkilled Migration Policy Branch
Title Migration Amendment Regulation 2012 (No. 2) (FRLI Reference – F2012LO1105)
Type of entry Past Regulatory Actions
Type of actionNew regulations
Description of action

The Regulation amends the Migration Regulations 1994 (the Principal Regulations) to support the new skilled migrant selection model, known as 'SkillSelect' by harmonising skill requirements across skilled visa subclasses and introducing an invitation requirement for some key visas. The Regulations also progress the Government's simplification and deregulation agenda, by repealing 33 visa subclasses and associated legislation, and introducing 7 new visas in a revised structure incorporating the concept of 'streams' within subclasses. In particular, the Regulation amends the Principal Regulations to:

  • introduce a streamlined and simplified pathway to permanent residence, via the permanent employer-sponsored visa program, for eligible Subclass 457 (Business (Long Stay)) visa holders
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  • recognise and encourage business innovation by introducing a business innovation points test as part of a new Business Innovation stream in the Business Skills (Provisional) (Class EB) visa class
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  • reward entrepreneurial talent and diverse business expertise by introducing a Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream in the Business Skills – Business Talent (Permanent) (Class EA) visa class
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  • increase the asset thresholds which must be met by applicants for Business Skills visas
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  • align key skill standards across the General Skilled Migration, Employer Nomination and Business Skills visas to improve the integrity of the skilled visa program
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  • introduce a new requirement for applicants to be invited by the Minister to apply for a General Skilled Migration or Business Skills visa and
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  • require that applications for the new skilled visas must be lodged electronically
    simplify visa subclasses by eliminating distinctions between applications made in Australia and outside Australia, and removing complex qualifying visa requirements.
IndustryNot industry specific
Level of impactLow-Medium
Date of effect1 July 2013
Contact details 
Date last modified1 July 2013

Planned Regulatory Actions

Portfolio DepartmentDepartment of Immigration and Citizenship
Responsible Area / Line AreaMigration Maritime Taskforce
Title Migration Amendment (Offshore Resources Activity) Act 2013 (Act no. 117 of 2013)
Type of entry Planned Regulatory Actions
Type of actionAmendment to Migration Act and Migration Regulations
Description of actionAmends the Migration Act to deem persons to be in the migration zone while they are working on, or supporting, an offshore resources activity, and thereby requiring them to hold a specific visa.
IndustryResource extraction
Level of impactMedium
Date of effectThe amendments will commence on a day to be fixed by Proclamation. However, if they do not commence within a period of 12 months of the Royal Assent, the amendment will commence on the day after that period. This Act received the Royal Assent on 29 June 2013.
Contact detailsCharles Gascoigne, Director, Migration Maritime Taskforce.
Date last modified15 July 2013