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Minister for Home Affairs Announces Further Changes to Migration System

In a recent media release, the Minister for Home Affairs unveiled significant adjustments to Australia's migration system, particularly targeting the practice commonly known as "Visa hopping." This term refers to the practice where temporary visa holders extend their stay in Australia by repeatedly applying for further temporary visas, often with little intention of seeking permanent residency.

The adjustments described in both the Migration Strategy and the Minister's press release are integral to a larger initiative aimed at tackling issues within the migration system. As outlined in the Migration Strategy and emphasized in multiple discussions, such as those conducted by the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) in December 2023, the government is dedicated to reducing onshore visa hopping. The rollout of these actions was scheduled to commence in the early to middle part of 2024.


Effective from 1st July 2024, the following changes will come into effect:


Restriction on Onshore Visa Conversions: Visitors holding a Subclass 600 visa will no longer be eligible to convert their status to that of Student visas (Subclass 500) while physically present in Australia. This measure seeks to close a significant avenue utilized by individuals to prolong their stay in the country by transitioning between temporary visa categories.

 

Limitation on Temporary Graduate Visa Holders: Likewise, holders of Temporary Graduate visas (Subclass 485) will face restrictions on their ability to apply for Student visas (Subclass 500) while residing in Australia. By curtailing this pathway, the government aims to deter the circumvention of visa conditions and foster greater adherence to the intended purposes of temporary visas.


These changes represent a significant step in the government's efforts to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of Australia's migration system. By addressing loopholes that facilitate visa hopping, the government aims to ensure that temporary visas are used for their intended purpose and that pathways to permanent residency remain fair and accessible to those who genuinely qualify. Also, changes align with broader efforts to ensure that Australia's migration system serves its intended purposes effectively, fostering transparency and adherence to visa conditions. While specific legislative details are pending release, stakeholders can anticipate updates as the implementation progresses. Overall, these changes reflect the government's commitment to managing migration in a manner that benefits both the nation and those seeking to make Australia their home.

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