Commonwealth Numbered Regulations - Explanatory Statements

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IMMIGRATION (EDUCATION) CHARGE REGULATIONS (AMENDMENT) 1995 NO. 265

EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

STATUTORY RULES 1995 No. 265

Issued by the Authority of the Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Immigration (Education) Charge Act 1992

Immigration (Education) Charge Regulations (Amendment)

Section 10 of the Immigration (Education) Charge Act 1992 (the Act) provides that the Governor-General may make regulations prescribing matters required or permitted by the Act to be prescribed, or necessary or convenient to be prescribed for carrying out or giving effect to the Act.

The purpose of the Regulations is to exempt religious workers and members of the family unit of religious workers from the English Education Charge in circumstances where:

       the religious worker has been nominated by a religious institution;

       the criteria as set out in Part 121 of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations has been satisfied including, but not limited to, certain specifications in relation to the approved appointment, whether certain public interest criteria has been satisfied and other criteria as set out in Part 121 has been satisfied; and

       the application is lodged on or after 1 November 1995 or, in certain circumstances, the application was lodged before 1 November 1995 (see new paragraph 5(5)(b) and section 5(9) of the Migration Act 1958).

The reasons for the amendments are:

       that the applicant would be working in his or-her community language;

       because payment of the fee could have an adverse financial effect on the sponsor group concerned. This is because some sponsors are often small community organisations with limited financial resources;

       very few migrants in this class are liable to pay the English Education Charge;

       many of the religious workers take vows of poverty and, as a consequence, can ill-afford the costs involved;

       many of the religious workers and their sponsoring organisations provide a valuable service to the community through the provision of cost-effective welfare services to the ethnic aged; and

       the decision to exempt religious workers from the English Education Charge accords with principles concerning:

-       people living within a multicultural and multi-faith society such as Australia, especially in the International Year of Tolerance; and

-       access and equity.

Details of the Regulations are set out in the Attachment.

The Regulations commence on 1 November 1995.

ATTACHMENT

Regulation 1 - Commencement

This regulation provides for these Regulations to commence on 1 November 1995.

Regulation 2 - Amendment

This regulation provides for the Immigration (Education) Charge Regulations to be amended as set out in these Regulations.

Regulation 3 - Regulation 3 (Interpretation)

This regulation inserts definitions of "Migration Act", "religious institution" and "religious position" into subregulation 3(1) of the Immigration (Education) Charge Regulations.

Regulation 4 - Regulation 5 (Exempt visas)

Subregulation 4.1 inserts into paragraph 5(1)(c) of the Immigration (Education) Charge Regulations a reference to new subregulation 5(4).

Subregulation 4.2 amends regulation 5 of the Immigration (Education) Charge Regulations by inserting a new subregulation 5(4). New subregulation 5(4) provides an exemption from the English Education Charge to a person (a religious worker) or a member of the family unit of a religious worker who has applied, in relation to a religious position, for:

       an Employer Nomination (Migrant) (Class AN) visa; or

       a Transitional (Permanent) visa, as mentioned in the Migration Reform (Transitional Provisions) Regulations, the application for which is constituted by an application made before 1 September 1994 for a Class 121 (employer nomination) visa; and

who satisfies the prescribed criteria in new paragraphs 5(4)(a) and (b) and in new subregulation 5(5).

New subregulation 5(5) applies to an application if:

(a)       the application is lodged on or after 1 November 1995;

or

(b)       the application was lodged before 1 November 1995 but:

(i)       that application is not finally determined within the meaning of subsection 5 (9) of the Migration Act, immediately before that date; and

(ii)       English Education Charge in respect of the application has not been paid.

Regulation 5 - Schedule (Amounts of English Education Charge)

Subregulation 5.1 amends item 104 by inserting "(other than a visa referred to in paragraph 5(4)(a))" after "(Class AN)".

Subregulation 5.2 amends item 203 by inserting "(other than a visa referred to in paragraph 5(4)(b))" after "(employer nomination)".


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