Earlier in November, the government made changes to Public Interest Criteria 4020 (‘the integrity PIC’), extending its application to any visa held by the applicant in the last 10 years – see our blog published on 9 November 2017.
The changes were implemented by a legislative instrument entitled ‘Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 4) Regulations 2017.’ Unlike a Bill, which is debated and voted on in Parliament before becoming law, regulations come into force immediately once they are signed off on by the Governor-General. They are then tabled in Parliament, at which point politicians can move to have them "disallowed" within 15 days.
On 14 November 2017, Senator Nick McKim introduced a motion to disallow this instrument and after a number of postponements, the Senate finally disallowed it on 5 December 2017. The instrument has now ceased to be in effect and is labelled “No longer in force” on the Federal Register of Legislation - https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L01425.
Effectively, this means that the changes are taken never to have happened, and the integrity PIC will remain as it was prior to the changes – applying only to visas held by the applicant in the last 12 months.
It is unclear whether the Department of Immigration will seek to lodge a new instrument with similar changes. If you have concerns about the integrity PIC potentially affecting your visa application, get in touch with Putt Legal today!