The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is following through on its promise to cut red tape within the migration sector, according to a recent statement by the department.

Around 1000 regulatory changes have been, or are in the process of being, made in an effort to reduce time and financial pressure on businesses and non-profit organisations.

Of particular focus for the department is the streamlining of the process for businesses that use the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Business (APEC) Travel Card, which fell from 25 000 card holders in 2010 to just 18 000 last year.

Some of the major changes that have either occurred or are planning to be implemented include:

  • Removal of the requirement for Australian citizen applicants to have their business approved by a certifying body when applying for an APEC Business Travel Card.
  • Repeal of the English language proficiency requirement for re-registering migration agents.
  • Extension of streamlined student visa processing to more non-university providers.

However Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said the Government wouldn’t be content with making just a few minor changes.

‘But there is more work to be done,’ she said.

‘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.’

New arrangements for the APEC Business Travel Card are expected to be introduced in the coming months, and will be finalised prior to the end of financial year.

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