Visa applicants beware, major changes ahead!

Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) formalised new migration regulations which will be imposed on certain visa applications lodged on and after 18 November 2017. These will include key changes to the requirements for health, health insurance, character and integrity for applicants and holders of specific visa subclasses.

 

Concerns have been raised by DIBP for some temporary visa holders who access medical services onshore but do not repay the medical costs incurred. In response to this, DIBP has legislated a new visa Condition 8602, which if imposed, will prohibit visa holders to have an outstanding public health debt to Australian government

 

Under the current provisions, numerous temporary visas are subject to Condition 8501 that requires the applicant to hold adequate health insurance for the visa grant and continue to maintain the insurance level while in Australia. The regulations are now updated to redefine and specify the type of health insurance which will be required for different visa subclasses.

 

In addition to the above, there has been important amendments to the character requirements to further strengthen the integrity of visa programs. Conditions 8303 and 8564 have been expanded and will be applied to a wide range of visas to prohibit visa holders to engage in criminal and violent/disruptive activities while in Australia. Moreover, a new visa Condition 8304 will now require temporary visa holders to use a single identity when dealing with Commonwealth, State or Territory government agencies.

 

Lastly, significant change has been introduced to the integrity PIC 4020 (Public Interest Criteria). Previously, PIC 4020 could result in a visa refusal based on false or misleading information and/or bogus documents provided in current or previous visa application made in the “last 12 months” prior to the current application. The regulation now extends to such type of applications made in the “last 10 years” rather than the last 12 months.  

 

Non-compliance of visa conditions may result in visa cancellation as well as impact your future visa applications. It is highly imperative to understand your obligations and rights as an applicant to avoid complex migration issues. Our team of registered migration agents can assist you in clarifying these changes to lodge a correct visa application and provide expert advice should you have any health and character issues impacting your application.

 

References

Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 20

 

Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.

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