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Australian Immigration Law Update - No. 159 - EDITED BY: ADRIAN BITEL & MICHAEL JONES

In this issue

The ascendancy of Peter Dutton to the new portfolio of Home Affairs raises many disturbing questions

He will now be all powerful as judge and executioner on matters of Immigration, Border Security, ASIO, and the Federal Police. Balancing the (sometimes) conflicting demands of the various portfolios will be very challenging.

The forces of conservatism will be celebrating the reward and elevation of the “champion of the Right” to the position of “Lord High Everything Else”.

Woe betide an asylum seeker or anyone potentially seen as a trouble-maker whose avenues for appeal for justice will now be to Peter Dutton, Peter Dutton or Peter Dutton.

This and on the Justice Minister, Michael Keenan. This is surely fuel for future conflict. It is also hard to see how Australia can be made “safer”, as has been claimed, by marginalising those who formerly held positions of responsibility together with their relevant departments which they oversaw, unless they will willingly and constructively embrace and contribute to the new super-Ministry.

Bill Shorten has remained conspicuously quiet on this appointment. Perhaps he is waiting for the first crisis to occur.

Moderates in Government have also been restrained in their comments, perhaps as a result of them having recently witnessed the abject submission of Minister Pyne after he dared challenge the handful of right wing powerbrokers who now apparently dictate policy, whether unwilling to create waves or concerned that their positions may also be subsumed.

Might an established democracy (not to mention the nation) benefit from having many more people on both sides on Parliament feel that they can safely make constructive and thoughtful contributions to any ongoing dialogue and decision-making?

Historically speaking, better policies and decisions arise from greater participation from people with different points of view. Has anyone suggested that the system, now replaced, was actually broken…or is the Turnbull Government just prepared to imitate what other countries are doing?

Whether Malcolm Turnbull is attempting to anoint a successor or trying to appease the Right Wing of his party we will anxiously wait to see.

Adrian Bitel

Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Asylum seeker in Manus found dead

An asylum seeker in Australia’s immigration detention network on Manus Island has died, with local police suggesting the man may have taken his own life.

31 years-Old Iranian with a history of mental illness, was found dead on Monday near the Refugee Transit Centre in East Lorengau. He was the fifth man to die under Australia’s supervision on Manus Island. Manus provincial police commander David Yapu said a crime scene had been established but was unable to provide details.

The report was headlined in The New York Times which questioned Australia’s handling of asylum seekers.

The Australian Government has reportedly said that no refugees would be allowed to settle in Australia, drawing condemnation from the United Nations and human rights groups.

In June Australia agreed to a class action of $53 Million on behalf of current and former detainees on Manus Island.

The article was highly critical of Australia’s immigration policy and stated the extreme concerns of Amnesty International.

Sources: The New York Times, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News Services – 8 August 2017, 19.7.17.

Visa Overhaul to Slam Door on 55, 000 Skilled Migrants

The government’s visa crackdown is estimated to slash Australia’s annual skilled immigration intake by more than 55, 000 or about a quarter of the total 

The Australian Population Research Institute’s study suggests this could ease congestion and house price growth. The Government’s amendments have put an axe through the two pillars of the past immigration policy, encouraging employers to recruit as many skilled temporary foreign workers as they want and then facilitating their transition to permanent residence via employer sponsorship.

In May, the Turnbull government slashed the number of occupation eligible for employer sponsorship by one-third to 435, lifted English-language requirements, and announced the replacement of the 457 visa with a new temporary skills shortage visa. Almost 45,400 skilled temporary visa with a new temporary 457 visas were issued on the 2016 financial year and 48,250 permanent employer sponsorship visas, together making up about half of Australia’s net overseas immigration of 200,000.

Related Article>> 

Source: MIA Newsletter – 11 August 2017

Working Holiday - Specified work and regional Australia

Legislative instrument - F2017L01032 - IMMI 17/018 - Working Holiday Visa – Specified Work and Regional Australia 2017, lists the types of work and regional postcodes where this must be undertaken, for eligibility for a second working holiday visas.

The following change has been made to the previous Instrument:

Western Australian postcodes 6055, 6056, 6069 have been ADDED to the list of eligible postcodes.

The list of specified work activities remains unchanged.

This Instrument supersedes IMMI 2016/087 which has been repealed.

Source: MIA Notice No: 63 16 August 2017

Potential visa options that student visa holders have once they have completed Australian studies – temporary graduate visa

Among other visa options, subclass 485 Temporary Graduate Visa is one option a student who is completing their studies might have in Australia.

The SC485 initially had only one stream.

Any student completing two years of studies (92 weeks) that will award a degree, diploma or trade qualification within the last six months was eligible for an eighteen month visa. The visa applicant had to nominate an occupation on the relevant occupation list and then obtain a positive skills assessment for the SC485 visa purpose.

In 2013 March, the government introduced a two stream SC 485 visa which comprises of:

  1. Graduate Work Stream; and

  2. Post-Study Work Stream


This stream is parallel with the initially introduced SC485 visa.


The important differences in this stream is that the applicant:

  1. Is required to have applied for their first student visa after 5 November, 2011;

  2. Does not have to nominate an occupation;

  3. Does not have to obtain a skills assessment from an assessment body; and

  4. Leads to the grant of a SC485 visa that will either have two years (for bachelor or Master by course work qualification), three years (Master qualification in research) or four years (Doctoral qualification) depending on the studies completed in Australia;

  5. In addition to satisfying the two year Australian study requirement, the applicant needs to have completed one of the following qualifications:

    1. Bachelor Degree;

    2. Bachelor (Honors) Degree;

    3. Masters by Coursework Degree;

    4. Masters (Extended) Degree and/or;

    5. Doctoral Degree.

It is important that the applicant’s qualification must have been completed as a result of undertaking study at Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) level 7 or above.

Eligible qualifications

Example 1:

Three years of study at the Bachelor degree level (AQF 7) resulting in completion of a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts.

Example 2:

Two years of study in a Master by Coursework (AQF 9) course resulting in completion of a Master in Computer Programming.

Example 3:

Six months of study of a Graduate Diploma/Certificate in Electrical Engineering (AQF 8), from which the credits are granted towards a further year of study in a Master by Research course, CRICOS registered for 92 weeks and resulting in completion of a Master of Engineering qualification (AQF 9) that satisfies the Australian study requirement:

Although the Graduate Diploma is not an eligible qualification for the Post-Study Work stream, as it is closely related to the Master of Engineering and the completed units are recognized by the education provider as eligible for credit towards the Master degree, this course of study is acceptable. For example, units totaling 6 months from the Graduate Diploma were recognized by the education provider, followed by 12 months of the Master course, the applicant was able to satisfy the Australian study requirement as the Master course was registered for two academic years and the applicant spent a minimum of 16 calendar months studying.

Example 4

One year of a Master by coursework (AQF 9) in Architecture followed by another year of Master by research (AQF 9) in Business Administration:

Two unrelated Master courses that are completed when study is undertaken for at least two academic years (as required by the Australian study requirement) is acceptable.

Example 5

Applicants who undertake a Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma course which articulates into, or is nested in, a Bachelor or Master’s Degree, are eligible provided they ultimately complete an eligible qualification.

Ineligible qualifications

Example 1

Two years of a Master Degree followed by a Graduate Certificate or a Graduate Diploma:

The student would have to meet the Australian study requirement using the Master Degree only. If the Master Degree was completed within six months prior to application for the SC485 visa, this qualification could be used to meet the Australian study requirement.

Example 2

An applicant completing the following qualifications:

  1. One semester of Diploma of Commerce program;

  2. A two year Associate Degree in Commerce and Business;

  3. One year of Bachelor of Commerce.

The reason is that the applicant’s two year qualification is not at AQF level 7 or above (Diploma is AQF level 5 & Associate Degree is AQF Level 6).


  1. In deciding to complete Australian studies, it is important to understand the requirements under the Post-Study-Work Stream and structure the studies so as to satisfy the relevant requirements.

  2. If someone has already completed Australian studies and does not satisfy the requirements under the Post-Study work stream, they can continue to study to satisfy the requirements. 

  3. If the applicant does not satisfy the requirements under the Post-Study Work stream, then they need to consider lodging an application under the Graduate Work Stream, if their occupation is on the relevant occupation list and thy can obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessment body.

Due to recent immigration policy changes, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is refusing a number of applications lodged under the Post-Study Work Stream as a result of the applicants not fulfilling studies at AQF level 7 or above.  It is always advisable to obtain proper legal advice before someone lodges a visa application as it might be costly to get a refusal and go through the review application process.

Ruwan Samarasinghe

(LL.B., LL.M., LL.M. (Hons))

Solicitor/NSW, Attorney-at-Law, Sri Lanka

Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 0427978)

Dutton Backflips on detention centre secrecy rules in an astounding turnaround

On 14 August 2017, Peter Dutton announced the Turnbull government’s intention to abandon strict secrecy provisions in the Australian Border Force Act that govern Australia’s immigration detention system, in a major victory for refugee advocates who challenged the laws in the High Court. This amendment almost completely strips the Border Force Act of Provisions that threaten detention centre workers with jail time for speaking out against cases of abuse and neglect.

The government has long argued the Border Force Act did not prevent people disclosing information that was in the public interest, and Mr. Dutton says his amendments merely aim to “clarify” the reach of the controversial provisions.

MIA Newsletter 18 August 2017

Member of the Family Unit

On 19 November 2016, the rule regarding age limit for the ‘Member of the Family Unit’ has changed, in that the applicant must continue to meet the eligibility as a ‘Member of the Family Unit’ of the primary visa applicant/holder at the time of decision for some of the visas, and one of them is to meet age requirement.  Please see the general rule of Regulation 1.12(2) below.

Read Reg 1.12 here >>

Mr Thong Nguyen

Registered Migration Agent MARN: 0322836

Director, Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

ACT Migration Program is now closed to overseas applicants


Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa – Closure of ACT Migration Program to overseas applicants

Effective immediately (23 August 2017 at 9.30 am AEST) the ACT Migration Program is now closed to overseas applicants.

  • If your client is living overseas you will not be able to commence an application for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa until the Program reopens in 2018.

  • If you have started an application for ACT nomination prior to closure of the program, and the status is ‘in progress’, the application must be submitted, and the service fee paid before 11.59 pm (AEST)  Thursday 24 August 2017.  

    • You must submit a complete application e.g. all supporting documents attached, as additional documentation will not be accepted after lodgement.  

    • The application must meet ACT nomination criteria as you will not be contacted to provide additional supporting information.

    • If the application is not submitted, and the $300 service fee paid by Thursday 24 August 2014 (AEST), the application will automatically lapse. 

CLOSE TIES to Canberra

This action does not affect overseas applicants with close ties in Canberra.  If your client has close ties (either family or genuine job offer) in Canberra; OR they have completed a PhD at an ACT university, they are still eligible to apply for ACT nomination


This action does not affect Canberra based applicants. If your client is living in Canberra and working in a skilled occupation, the program is still open. You are still able to lodge an application for ACT nomination of the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa if your Canberra based client meets the current nomination criteria.

Source: ACT Migration and Information Services

Lawyers representing asylum seekers are “un-Australian”: Peter Dutton

Asylum seekers to be returned to Nauru and Manus Island.

There are about 400 Asylum Seekers in Australia who came to Australia from Nauru or Manus Island for humanitarian reasons.

Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton wants to crack down on welfare payments to force many of them to return to Nauru and Manus Island. He plans to cancel income support and government housing, in the hope that they will return to Nauru and Manus Island.

He calls refugee advocates “Un-Australian” for supporting the Asylum Seekers in their struggles to remain in Australia.

His comments to Alan Jones was, “We’re a generous nation but we’re not going to be taken for a ride”.

Leaked government documents showed the Immigration Department will issue dozens of Asylum Seekers, with a new visa known as the “final departure bridging E visa”.

Under the new visa conditions, income support of about $200 a fortnight will cease and a three-week deadline to move out of government-supported accommodation will be imposed.

“The medical assistance has been provided and there is no need for them to remain in Australia and yet through these legal moves they’ve found themselves a way [to remain],” Mr Dutton said.

The Labor Party seems to be unable to decide its stance on the Asylum Seekers issue.

Bill Shorten has said “Kicking people off support is needlessly cruel. It won’t fix anything, it’s just hurting vulnerable people for the sake of it.”

His colleague, Richard Morles told the ABC, “It’s very important that those on Nauru and Manus Island not be resettled in Australia.”

Perhaps the “Un-Australian” Legal Advocates will find a solution.

-A digest of ABC.net.au/news,




The ascendancy of Peter Dutton to the new portfolio of Home Affairs raises many disturbing questions

Specialist IELTS Test Training and Coaching

Passing an IELTS test is now an essential requirement for all applicant for General Skilled Migration, student visas, and for many employer sponsored applicants. Adrian Bitel provides individual lessons to assist applicants achieve proficiency to the required levels in:

  • Reading        

  • Speaking

  • Writing

  • Listening

He gives comprehensive ONE to ONE Personalised Coaching in any or all of the above areas at very competitive rates.

Contact: Adrian Bitel on (02) 9286 8700 or Mobile: 0412 656 026                                       

Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers
Level 3, 83 Pitt Street
Sydney NSW  2000
Tel:  +61 2 9286 8700

Email:      ppmail@ppilaw.com.au

Website:              www.ppilaw.com.au




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