New Australian Government Department Changes

A new home page for the Department of Home Affairs has been launched at Visitors to the page are informed that the new Department was formally established on 20 December 2017. To access immigration information, go to ‘About Us’ and then to ‘Indivduals and Travellers’ tab.

The following changes to the Ministry have also been made:

  • Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection – The Hon Peter Dutton MP
  • Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs – The Hon Alan Tudge MP
  • Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity – The Hon Angus Taylor MP
  • Assistant Minister for Home Affairs – The Hon Alex Hawke MP

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Dec 2017



“Pre-announcement” from Department of Home Affairs

DHA released the following statement prior to Christmas:


“The Economic and Skilled Visa Program Branch intends to publish a new edition of our Skilled Visa eNews in early-to-mid January 2018 – with advice regarding:

  • updates to the skilled occupation lists following the most recent six monthly review by the Department of Employment; and
  • other current ‘hot’ issues.


But before the end of 2017, we just wanted to give you a brief ‘heads up’ in email format about some important new initiatives that we will be commencing and/or are scheduling for implementation in early March 2018.  


We hope that these initiatives will help streamline processing of temporary skilled work visas and contribute to reduced processing times, particularly for lower risk applications.  They include:

  1. implementing auto-approval of complete streamlined lower-risk nomination applications lodged by accredited sponsors;
  2. a new streamlined ‘renewal process’ for existing sponsors – that is, a shorter application form to fill out and possible auto-approval of such sponsorship applications;
  3. the release of a new online form that sponsors (or agents on their behalf) can use to advise the Department of certain changes of circumstances for the purposes of complying with their obligations and/or update their details;
  4. new online forms for the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa;
  5. a complete review of existing subclass 457 correspondence to ensure that TSS correspondence templates (and subclass 457 – where possible) from March 2018 onwards are easier to use and understand;
  6. development of new Procedural Instructions (PI) to:
  • cover both TSS and PESE (subclasses 186 and 187) application processing in the context of skilled occupation lists; and
  • provide additional guidance on regulations 1.13A ‘adverse information’ and 1.13B ‘associated with’; 
  1. revised approach to managing incomplete applications to reduce processing times for complete applications, which will commence in the new year.  


Note: this revised approach will involve refusing applications assessed as not meeting a legislative requirement at the initial assessment stage (other than ‘genuineness’), due to a lack of required supporting evidence, where:

  • no natural justice obligations apply; and 
  • more than two calendar days have passed since the application was lodged.  

It will not include certain cases, for example where:

  • health and character documentation is still pending;
  • a related application that must be finalised first remains pending (e.g. it is a nomination application and there is a pending sponsorship application); or
  • a reasonable and satisfactory explanation is attached to the application in ImmiAccount outlining reasons for incompleteness by an applicant (or agent on their behalf), who does not have a history of lodging incomplete applications.


We look forward to sharing more details of these initiatives with the agent community as we get closer to implementation. We will continue working closely with you to facilitate smooth implementation of the above as well as the important reforms to skilled visas which were announced by the Government in April 2017.  In the meantime, we wish you and your staff all the best for the festive season and the new year. Exciting times ahead!



Economic and Skilled Visa Program Branch

Visa and Citizenship Management Division

Visa and Citizenship Services Group

Department of Home Affairs”



Dec 2017