Today Australia’s budget for the upcoming financial year was released and it was dubbed as being the most important one since World War II. There’s a lot of information so we wanted to give you a rundown of the main ways in which immigration into Australia has been impacted. Check out the video! If you need o skip to the parts relating to you, use the chapters in the description.
First off, the immigration intake set for 2020/21 will remain at 160,000. Although there is no fall in the maximum capacity, there has been a trend of actual visas granted falling further and further below the intake ceiling.
Onto the details. I’ll start with the bad news. The Immigration Department intends to begin imposing an English requirement on Partner visas. Details haven’t come in yet but I expect it will be reasonable and fairly low. The budget papers states;
“The Government will introduce English language requirements for Partner visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors. These changes will help support English language acquisition and enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes.”
This is big news nonetheless and we expect it will receive a high degree of opposition within some community groups. One has to wonder of course, why does the person you love and want to sponsor need a minimum English requirement?
The good news is that visa application charges, or VACs, will be refunded to those currently holding certain temporary visas and are unable to enter Australia due to the travel vane. The temporary visas holders able to access this refund include those on the prospective marriage 300 visas, pacific labour scheme and seasonal worker programme visas. This is a huge relief for 300 visa holders unable to enter Australia after paying a VAC of nearly $8,000 and whose visas are about to expire.
For those on temporary skilled work visas and visitor visas, no refund will be provided. Instead, you will be given a waiver when you apply for your next visa to return to Australia when travel restrictions are lifted. This isn’t bad per se, as it means Australia still wants you back. Working Holiday visa holders can either have the fee for their next visa waived or choose a refund.
As mentioned in a recent update, we are reminded that Student visa holders who require a further student visa to complete studies or remain in australia as they are unable to leave due to the travel ban will also have VACs waived. International students and recent graduates wanting to apply for the temporary graduate 485 visa but cannot travel into Australia, can apply offshore.
In terms of order of consideration, onshore applicants will receive priority. Employer sponsored, global talent, business innovation and investment visas will also be given preference.
Family stream visas will be given a greater allocation moving from 47,732 places up to 77,300 places, which is 160% more. This is a one off increase. Partner visa applicants with sponsors living in designated regional areas will also receive processing priority.
Working Holiday 417 and 462 visa holders are also cut a break if they are currently working in food processing or the agriculture sector. They will be eligible for a further visa and will be exempted from the 6 month limitation with 1 employer. 417 and 462 holders will also be allowed to do construction work, paid and volunteer disaster recovery work. This is to support bushfire recovery efforts. Those in disaster recovery work may work with the same employer for 12 months instead of 6.
Seasonal work programme and pacific labour scheme workers in the agricultural sector whose visas are expiring can have their visas extended by 12 months for work under approved employers.
For New Zealanders in Australia, the income requirement for permanent residency on the Skilled Independent 189 visa will be made easier. Special Category 444 visa holders will be eligible if their taxable income for 3 of the last 5 income years, including the latest income year meets the temporary skilled migrant income threshold which is currently set at $53,900 in an income year.
Finally, $29.8 million will be injected into developing a global business and talent attraction taskforce to encourage top tier businesses and exception talent to Australia as part of the economic recovery response and to create jobs. This builds on the global talent initiative, business innovation and investment programme and the new initiative announced on 9 July earlier this year relating to attracting talent from Hong Kong.
More news will be following with an analysis of what impact some of these provisiosn will mean for potential migrants.
The Migration Program Planning Levels have been released and the numbers support the recent announcements made for immigration that came with the Australian Federal Budget 2020. Many visas such as the Skilled Independent 189, State Nomination 19, Skilled Work Regional 491 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional 494 visas have had their quota’s halved. The capacity for Partner, Business Innovation & Investment Program and Global Talent visas has been substantially increased.
So many changes to keep up with! We are open and here for you! If you need advice, we offer Skype, Zoom and phone consultations. Call +(02) 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.