As an authorised migration agent and visa consultant for over 19 years, Australia Migrate has gathered a list of the visa changes that came into effect starting July 1st 2019, which will affect those already staying in Australia, those who are looking to get a sponsorship to come or extend their stay in Australia or those who want to visit their families living in Australia. These changes are considered one of the most significant that has been implemented in the recent years, especially the regulation to cut the permanent intake for the first time in many years.
So, what are those changes, and who is going to be affected by those immigration updates?
New Regional Visas
Let’s start with the good news, there is a good chance for those who are looking to migrate to Australia and willing to live in regional areas, since the government has announced an increase in the number of visa places for regional Australia. With Sydney, Melbourne and other metropolitan cities becoming more and more congested, the regional areas are welcoming those who are willing to work in these regions with 23,000 skilled visas reserved for them.
In November 2019, two new provisional visas will be introduced for potential regional workers: Skilled Employer Sponsored Visa and Skilled Work Regional Visa. These visas will reserve 9,000 and 14,000 places respectively, but this is still within the annual immigration cap of 160,000, it simply means regional visas have better chances to get accepted.
After spending a minimum of three years outside the capital cities on one of these two regional visas, you can then become eligible to apply for permanent residency, with a new regional permanent visa coming in place in 2022 to allow those who start applying from this year to apply for permanent residency in Australia.
To try and push people away from the major cities, the government has also allowed international students to access one more year of post-study visa, but only if they join an educational entity in a regional area.
Those visa holders will also benefit from 5 additional points towards their points test, whether they have been sponsored or nominated. This is in addition to the changes announced earlier, giving an additional 10 points for applicants with a skilled spouse and for those without a spouse.
New Parent Visa
Great news, the long-awaited visa that has been promised ahead of the 2016 federal election has finally come to life since the 1st of July 2019, and it’s called “Temporary Sponsored Parent”.
This new visa will allow an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply to become an approved sponsor first, in order for the parents to become eligible to apply for this new parent visa, which allows them to stay continuously for up to 5 years, which can also be renewed once, allowing them then to stay for a total of 10 years. The total number of parents’ visas is capped at 15,000 per year.
No Citizenship Changes
The citizenship changes that have been discussed over the last couple of years have now been abandoned, which means the citizenship rules have not changed, and residents don’t have to hold their permanent residency for four years before applying for Australian citizenship, nor they have to prove their English competency.
Lowering the Immigration Cap
If you were looking to apply for a permanent residency visa, your chances are now much lower. Since 2011, the annual intake of permanent immigration has been 190,000, which has now changed to become 162,000 in 2017-2018, with the Federal Government announcing in March that the intake will officially become 160,000 in order to try and limit the growing congestion in major cities, such as Sydney and Melbourne. With this cap in place, your chance to get a permanent visa to Australia is actually 17% less, and this cap will be maintained for the coming 4 years according to the government officials.
With many temporary residents currently living and working in Australia who are worried about their potential permanent residency pathway, it’s wise to contact an immigration consultant in order to assess your status, as a big slice of the overall cut has been from the Skilled Independent visas, with the annual quota decreasing from 43,000 to almost 18,000.
If you would like to discuss your visa situation, understand how these changes could affect you, or apply for a new visa, talk to the migration specialists at AustraliaMigrate, who has helped hundreds of people moving to Australia permanently for over 19 years.