A number of regulatory changes are being made by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) in Australia as part of a wider government led initiative to cut red tape.

These changes include streamlining the process for businesses that use the APEC Business Travel Card by reducing costs and helping facilitate small businesses travelling to APEC economies.


Since 2010, the number of Australian APEC Business Card holders dropped from 25,000 to barely more than 18,000​

In 2010 there were 25,000 Australian APEC Business Card holders. As of December last year this number had plummeted to barely more than 18,000.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that the changes will improve access to the APEC Business Travel Card by removing the requirement for certification through an approved body for Australian citizen applicants.

'This small but essential change will mean the $330 fee per business will be dropped. This will also lead to an estimated annual saving of $760,000 in compliance costs and charges,' he explained.

Morrison pointed out that migration agents will benefit from the government's red tape repeal measures with the removal of the English language proficiency requirement for re-registering migration agents, saving each agent more than four hours of their time in unnecessary testing and travel.

Michaelia Cash, Assistant Immigration Minister, said that student visa holders will also be better off thanks to the extension of streamlined student visa processing to more non-university providers.

'But there is more work to be done. 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,' Cash added.

Transition to the new arrangements for the APEC Business Travel Card will occur in the coming months with full implementation expected before the end of the financial year.

The DIBP is also warning visa applicants or those making enquiries about visas over a spam email. It said that anyone receiving an email from [email protected] should delete it as it is not from the department.