More Migrants Stuck in Limbo as Bridging Visas Hit Historic High

The number of people currently in Australia under the auspices of the bridging visa program has skyrocketed—including 37,000 whose nationality the Department of Immigration has declined to clarify—reaching a historical high of 195,000. This represents a spike in numbers of approximately 40,000 people when compared to the previous year, and an increase of almost 90,000… Read More

Skilling Australians Fund Receives Royal Assent

The government’s recently passed legislation enacting the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) has officially been given the go-ahead, after receiving Royal Assent earlier this month on 22 May. This means that the government’s new regulations—which are set out in The Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Act 2018—concerning labour market testing requirements, the nomination training contribution charge,… Read More

Mining Company Faces Legal Action Over Unpaid 457 Visa Workers

A Rockhampton-based company is currently facing legal action over the alleged underpayment of several temporary foreign workers. Last month the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) launched a legal action against the Rockhampton business, Alertvale Pty Ltd, in the Federal Circuit Court. The company—which operates several businesses in the mining and heavy industry sector—had previously sponsored two… Read More

Senate Passes Skilling Australians Fund Legislation

On Tuesday May 8, the Australian government successfully passed two bills through the Senate that ratified the proposed Skilling Australians Fund legislation (SAF) into law. The successful passing of the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017, and the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2018 will see an estimated $1.5 billion made available—with matched… Read More

Greens Vow to Shoot Down Visa Sponsorship Changes

The Australian Greens party have publicly announced that they intend to shoot down the Coalition government’s proposed changes to visa sponsorship rules, by launching a disallowance motion in the Senate. A spokesperson for the Greens has said that the party is confident that the bill will find support from minor crossbenchers if Labor can be… Read More

Alert: Foreign Worker Levy to be Debated in Senate

On Tuesday this week, the Australian Senate will introduce the Migration (Skilling Australians Fund) Charges Bill 2017, and the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2018 for parliamentary debate. The legislation—which is officially due to be debated in Parliament on May 8—was tabled last year to introduce a new tax levy on skilled sponsored visas. The… Read More

Treasury Department Finds Migration a Net Boost to Economy

A landmark report released by the Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs has found that migrants provide an overall net boost to the Australian economy. The study—which found that migration is making Australian’s wealthier—demonstrates that the annual permanent intake has added up to one percentage point to GDP growth each year, for thirty years…. Read More

Dutton Pushes for South African Farmer Refugee Intake

The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, has requested that the Department of Immigration look into creating a special refugee intake comprised of white South African farmers who are under threat of violence and persecution. The move comes as white farmers in South Africa are facing new moves from the government to forcibly redistribute their… Read More

Department Pushes Ahead with Plans to Privatise Visa System

The government’s proposed plan to privatise the visa application system has taken another step forward, with the first assistant secretary of the Department of Immigration, Andrew Kefford, publishing a public briefing to potential commercial partners. The Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, has claimed that plan’s purpose is to help modernise Australia’s immigration program, and… Read More

WA Pushes to Reinstate Drillers After Skilled Occupation List Removal

The House of Representatives member for Western Australia, Rick Wilson, has vowed to push the Turnbull government to address a skills shortage that he says is seriously hindering the Goldfields mining industry. The issue began last year with the Federal Government’s decision to remove drillers from the skilled occupation list, a move which only compounded… Read More