Recent Legislative Changes Alter Visa Options for Ministers

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The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recently changed Visa Options for Ministers announcing that religious organisations wishing to sponsor a ‘Minister of Religion’ to live and work in Australia must now ascribe to an industry labour agreement. Such an agreement creates a formal arrangement by which an employer/ religious organisation may recruit a Minister from outside Australia in situations where the occupation cannot be filled by an Australian worker. Labour agreement programs are generally implemented in order to address genuine labour market shortages in Australia.

Prior to 1 July 2015, Ministers were eligible to apply for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) or a visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 168) by applying through any one of the follow streams:

  • The Temporary Residence Transition Stream; or
  • The Direct Entry Stream; or
  • The Agreement Stream.

As a result of the recent legislative changes, all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2015 may now only be made through the Agreement Stream, after the nominating employer has subscribed to an industry labour agreement with the department.

Furthermore, Ministers must now meet the age, skill and English language requirements specified in the industry labour agreement, and can no longer rely on the exemptions available under Direct Entry and Temporary Residence Transition Streams.

For more information regarding recent changes to Visa Options for Ministers

Please contact our Business Development Team or call us on (07) 3252 0011 to book an appointment with one of our specialist Migration Lawyers today.