Oz immigration ministers make statement of intent

A joint statement made to the media yesterday by Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, and the Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Senator, Michaelia Cash, reveals that the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio is making around 1,000 small changes designed to ease the regulatory burden on businesses and not-for-profit sectors looking to bring in migrants

australia-visaThe red tape reductions in the Immigration and Border Protection portfolio include streamlining the process for businesses that use theAPEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation)Business Travel Card by reducing costs and helping facilitate small businesses travelling to APEC economies.

In 2010 there were 25,000 Australian APEC Business Card holders. As of December last year this had plummeted to barely more than 18,000.

Minister Morrison said the changes will improve access to the APEC Business Travel Card by removing the requirement for certification through an approved body for Australian citizen applicants.

“This small but essential change will mean the AUS$330 fee per business will be dropped. This will also lead to an estimated annual saving of AUS$760,000 in compliance costs and charges,” Minister Morrison said.

Apec Business Card“Further, migration agents will benefit from the government’s red tape repeal measures with the removal of the English language proficiency requirement for re-registering migration agents, saving each agent more than four hours of their time in unnecessary testing and travel,”he said.

Minister Cash said student visa holders will also be better off thanks to the extension of streamlined student visa processing to more non-university providers.

“But there is more work to be done. The recently announced independent review of the 457 visa programme will provide recommendations on how to maintain the integrity of the programme, while not placing unnecessary administrative burden on business,” Minister Cash said.