March at Nomos
March proved to be a month of big changes! Here are a few of the highlights:
- March saw consistent movement across the immigration and citizenship programme, both at the primary level and at the AAT. We saw citizenship approvals, grants of TSS, ENS and Partner visas and a number of our clients had their AAT matters allocated to a hearing. It has been a busy month of breaking good news to many clients – a great way to move into the next quarter of 2021!
- We attended the Law Council of Australia’s Immigration Law Conference and heard from Minister Alex Hawke , a number of Departmental staff and a range of our colleagues speak about the immigration programme as it is today. Our takeaways? Expect a more reactive migration programme with a strong emphasis on talent as we seek to come to terms with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia’s recovery is going to be dependent on migrants and temporary visa holders – even the Prime Minister acknowledged this recently , saying that Australia will need to be open-minded about how filling critical workforce shortages with temporary visa holders will contribute to our growth moving forward. We will be watching with interest how new Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews manages the portfolio.
- As many of our readers will know, until this month all legal practitioners wishing to practice immigration law have been required to be registered as migration agents as well as legal practitioners. With effect from 22 March 2021, legal practitioners holding unrestricted practising certificates are no longer required to be registered as migration agents, bringing an end to the truism “all immigration lawyers are registered migration agents, but not all registered migration agents are lawyers”. What this means for the average client is yet to be fully realised, however, anyone looking for immigration assistance should make sure that their representative has a comprehensive understanding of and experience in interpreting how the relevant laws and policies may affect them. This area of law is ever-changing and mistakes or misinterpretations sometimes cannot be fixed, so it is really important that consumers do their research into their representatives regardless of the capacity in which they give advice.
We hope everyone has a lovely Easter and long weekend!