Effective 13 December 2018, enhanced integrity regulations have come into effect, allowing the immigration department to publicly list companies which have failed to satisfy a sponsorship obligation.
On 31 October 2018, Australia became the sixth signatory to the ‘Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership’ (TPP-11), after Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore. The agreement comes into force on 30 December 2018. Chile, Peru, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam are yet to ratify the TPP-11.
There have been some recent changes to the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) visa programme, which allows qualifying applicants to have a holiday in Australia and work there to help fund their trip.
Effective 5 September 2018, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has ceased accepting priority processing requests for the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457).
Effective 12 August 2018, several changes have been introduced to the Labour Market Testing (LMT) requirements for the Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa.
Effective 12 August 2018, the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is now payable for employer-sponsored nomination applications.
The Department of Home Affairs that the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2018, which was passed by the Parliament of Australia on 9 May 2018, is expected to be implemented during the first quarter of the 2018-2019 financial year (i.e. between July and September 2018.