Australia has made some critical changes to its immigration system. First, the number of immigrant intakes has been reduced, together with other exciting adjustments.
It would interest you in joining me as I share some of these changes that have occurred since the 1st of July, 2019.
The decrease in the intake of Immigrants
Over the years, Australian immigration has adjusted as a result of political, ethnic, and economic changes that the country has witnessed. The program, which started as a small quota system expanded such that the country began to accept about 190,000 immigrants per year.
However, the government has recently reduced the annual intake from 190,000 to 160,000, including the family stream and skilled immigration category.
Mostly affected with this decision is the skilled independent visa classes as the in-take decreased from an initial 43,000 to just 18,000.
In reaction, Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said he is in support of the reduction, and this will probably remain the same for the next four years.
New Regional Visas
While there was a reduction with the skilled independent category, the regional visas witnessed an increase to 23,000. The government has said it is part of its plans to bring in more skilled workers that would work and reside in the several regions of Australia.
Two new introductions to this category include; subclass 494, and subclass 491 with a maximum intake of 9,000 and 14,000 respectively each year. 494 will replace the current 187, while 491 will replace the existing 489 starting from November 2019.
As a holder of the regional visas, you have to stay within the region for a minimum of 3 years before you can be eligible for permanent residency.
Consequentially, a new permanent visa known as the Subclass 191 (skilled regional) will commence as from 2022 according to SBS news. The new policy will benefit employers, immigrants, and international students. Onwards, international students who undergo a degree in any of the regional areas will have an additional one year to their post-study work permit.
Additional points for the Skilled Migration Programs
If you are applying under the skilled independent class and receives a nomination by a region in Australia, you will get extra 5 points on your GSM ranking.
Similarly, applicants with either skilled or no spouse = 10 points
On the other end, applicants with STEM qualifications will also receive additional points.
New parent visa
One of the crucial changes that were also made was regarding the temporary parent visa. Starting from the 1st of July 2019, the new parent visa demands that the Australian sponsor initially applies for sponsorship.
If approved, the sponsor can proceed to apply for a parent visa on behalf of whoever he or she wants to sponsor. Parent visa holders will be eligible to stay for up to 5 years in the country, after which, they can either renew or exit.
The total number of parent visa, issued per year, cannot exceed 15,000.
Changes in the Citizenship requirements
Previously, one of the requirements to apply for citizenship is that you must display fluency in the English language. This has lingered for years, but recently, the Australian government abolished the criteria.
It is good news, especially for applicants who are neither students nor have a skilled independent visa.
Right now, approval for citizenship in Australia has risen to 88%, a feat many experts have said will promote the application for immigration in Australia.
Changes in fee structure
The DHA has increased the visa application fees for various visa categories. The implementation will commence from the 1st of July, 2019. The table below compared the initial visa application charges to the new one.
|Visa Type||Before July||After 1st of July. 2019|
|General skilled Migration (GSM)||$3,755||$4,045|
|Graduate Temporary Subclass 485||$1,535||$1,650|
|Parent (Contributory) first instalment||$340 to $3,855||$365 to $4,155|
|TSS – MLTSSL||$2,455||$2,645|
|TSS – STSOL||$1,175||$1,265|
|Significant Investor Visa (SIV)||$7,310||$7,880|
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