Australian Immigration changes

What Changes to the Australian Visa Program Mean

The Federal Government of Australia announced some changes to its Migration Australia programme recently. The new arrangements for skilled migration visa applications include changes in the following areas: Point-Based Skilled Migration, Employer Sponsored Visas, Global Talent Visa scheme and increased visa fees.

What changes to the Australian visa program mean – the details are as follows:

Point-Based Skilled Migration

The Point-Based Skilled Migration programme is designed to attract qualified and experienced professionals to fulfill Australia’s skills needs. There are several types of visas which require applicants to score a minimum number of points to qualify for permanent skilled migration (subclass 189, 190 and 489 visas). From July 2018, the points threshold was increased from 60 to 65 for skilled-independent, nominated and regional sponsored visa categories.

Employer Sponsored Visa

The Government will implement the Skilled Australians Fund for Employer Sponsored Visa categories to be followed by the introduction of a training levy (Nomination Training Contribution Charge) for the respective sponsors. Employers and businesses seeking to nominate a worker will need to pay this charge for Temporary Skill Shortage, Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas.

Global Talent Visa Scheme

The Global Talent Visa Scheme commenced this July and will run on a trial basis for one year and is aimed to attract skilled workers to deliver innovation to the tech industry comprising start-up and established business streams. This enables employers to seek qualified individuals with high-tech skills to enrich Australia’s IT landscape. Employers will be required to guarantee that there is a skills transfer to Australians due to the foreigner being granted visa and permanent residency under this scheme.

Australian Visa Application Charges Were Increased

The application charges for most visas were increased by the Government this July with the intention of generating 410 million Australian dollars over the four years from 2017 to 2021. The fee for Partner Visas and Business Innovation and Investment Visa in the Premium Investor stream has also increased.

To discuss what the changes to the Australian visa program mean to you and your application speak with one of our Immigration Lawyers in Melbourne today.