Effective 27 March, 2015 the Australian Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection has issued a new Ministerial Determination that effectively restores the work rights of non-Australian citizens working in the country’s offshore oil and gas industry. This latest Ministerial intervention is designed to restore the stability in the oil and gas industry, which had been directly impacted and thrown in uncertainty by a recent Federal Court Ruling concerning the scope of the previous Determination related to the Migration Act of 1958 (“the Act”), as amended by the Offshore Resources Activity (ORA) Act of 2014 (see our blog from July 24, 2014 on this topic) .
While the effect of this new Ministerial Determination is to enable non-citizens to work and to be covered by Australian migration and workplace legislation on offshore installations fixed to the seabed floor (i.e. oil and gas rigs), the new determination does not apply to all offshore resource activities (e.g. ship surveying) where the activities would not involve the seabed floor. As a result, any non-citizen employees working on a ship and thus not on Australian ground for example, should continue without being subject to visa requirements. However, if they step foot in Australia and perform work in Australia then they would need to obtain a suitable visa to cover their work.
Do not hesitate to contact your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist for a case specific assessment if you are uncertain if and how this new Legislative Instrument affects your company or your employees.
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This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification.
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