UPDATE: Australian Business & Investor visa programs – July 2020

UPDATE: Business & Investor visa visa program – July 2020 

As with the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program the business and investor program is currently being reviewed by the DHA. It is expected that it will re-open in the coming weeks & months.

At the stage it there have been no changes announced to the visas themselves, just when the program will reopen. If you are interested in knowing what your business or investor visa options are please get in touch.

We can still provide visa options, discuss your plans, confirm what is required by applicants, introduce you to our partners, (eg. VC ensure Capital providers) and look to prepare submissions upon re-opening of the visa program.

An overview of the states/territories nomination status as of now is below:

ACT – The ACT nomination program is currently suspended.  Any submitted applications will not be processed until further notice. 

NEW SOUTH WALES – NSW is currently closed to applications for nomination under the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). NSW will open to new nominations once the DHA provides NSW with an allocation of positions for 2020-21

NORTHERN TERRITORY – At this stage all Business Investment and Innovation Program nomination applications will continue to be accepted and assessed, but no nominations can be issued until the Northern Territory has been allocated quotas.

QUEENSLAND  – The business migration program will remain closed until further notice. Please note:  BSMQ are not accepting any Expressions of Interests and look forward to opening the business program as soon as is possible.

TASMANIA – The Tasmanian Business Nomination Program is currently being reviewed. Tasmania have confirmed with us that they hope to have this review completed and new requirements published by the end of August 2020.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Business Migration programs are scheduled to re-open from early August. This will be dependent on the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for program year 2020-21. 

VICTORIA 

The Victorian Government’s state nomination program will remain temporarily closed while we await the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for 2020-21.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA – All State nomination places from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) for Western Australia have now been allocated. They are not accepting any new applications for subclasses 188 or 132 until further notice.

If you want to discuss how you are effected, your current visa application or your visa options going forward please Contact Us

  • Office: +44 (0)800772 0570
  • Mobile: + 44 (0)7710 649194
  • Email: mark@cargilmigration.com

 

UPDATE: General Skilled Migration (GSM) program – July 2020 

UPDATE: General Skilled Migration (GSM) program – July 2020 

In recent times there has been significant reduction in number of invitations issued to applicants to apply for a GSM visa. This has been based on a general reduction in visas invitations offered by the DHA and – understandably – the effects of COVID19. 

Whilst there appear to have been no formal announcements by the DHA, the GSM program has to a certain extent been put on hold as of 1st July, 2020. This date marks the new Australian financial year.

It is understood that the Australia government is considering how best to shape the migration program post COVID19.

A key part of the post COVID19 GSM program will be the state/territory nominated visas, namely the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) & the Skilled Work Regional visa (Subclass 491).

If you are an applicant who has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI), or you hope to apply in the future, you can however be confident that the program will re-open soon and states/territories will be able to provide clarification about their programs. 

An overview of the states/territories nomination status as of now is below:

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT) 

The ACT have advised that the guidelines for for any nomination applications submitted for a Subclass 190 or Subclass 491 visa after 1 July, 2020  are “To be advised”. 

NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW)

NSW is currently closed for accepting any nominations under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491).

NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT)

At this stage, onshore GSM nomination applications will continue to be accepted and assessed, but no nominations can be issued until the Northern Territory has been allocated quotas for the 2020/21 financial year. 

QUEENSLAND 

The Queensland State Nomination Skilled Program is closed. This includes both the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) and Skilled Nominated (Permanent) (subclass 190) visas. Queensland has not yet received advice fromDHA in regards to their nomination allocation for financial year 2020/21 and when we they be able to re-open the skilled program.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA)

SA is currently closed for accepting any nomination applications for the Skilled Migration program, for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491). It is scheduled to re-open from early August. This will be dependent on the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for program year 2020/21. 

TASMANIA

Tasmania is currently not issuing any nominations under the Skilled Migration program, for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) as the nomination quotas are yet to be allocated to the States by the Commonwealth Government for the 2020/21 program year.

VICTORIA 

The Victorian Government’s state nomination program will remain temporarily closed while they await the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for 2020/21.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Western Australia have made no specific comments with regards to their nomination program. 

If you want to discuss how you are effected, your current visa application or your visa options going forward please Contact Us.

Australian temporary visa holder changes – 4 April, 2020

Updated Australian immigration policy

In response to COVID-19 the DHA have announced further policy changes to visa holders currently in Australia. These changes effect:

  • New Zealand Citizens on Subclass 444 visas
  • Visitor visa changes
  • International students
  • Temporary Skilled visa holders
  • Working Holiday Makers
  • Access to Superannuation

The statement from the DHA is below. If you want to discuss how this effects you, please Contact Us.

Saturday, 04 April 2020

Coronavirus and Temporary Visa holders

The Government is making a number of changes to temporary visa holder arrangements during the coronavirus crisis in order to protect the health and livelihoods of Australians, support critical industries, and assist with the rapid recovery post the virus.There are 2.17 million people presently in Australia on a temporary visa.All were welcomed to Australia on a temporary basis for different reasons including to fill skills shortages; to study as full fee-paying international students; to visit family and friends; or to work and holiday.They are an important part of our economy and society. For example, there are over 8,000 skilled medical professionals on temporary visas supporting our health system right now.While citizens, permanent residents and many New Zealanders have access to unconditional work rights and government payments (including the new JobKeeper and JobSeeker payments), temporary visa holders do not.There has always been an expectation that temporary visa holders are able to support themselves while in Australia.  The changes announced today will help facilitate this for those who may be stood down or lose work hours as a result of the coronavirus. In line with changes being made for Australian citizens and permanent residents, most temporary visa holders with work rights will now be able to access their Australian superannuation to help support themselves during this crisis.  Temporary visa holders who are unable to support themselves under these arrangements over the next six months are strongly encouraged to return home. For these individuals it’s time to go home, and they should make arrangements as quickly as possible.Changes are also geared toward enabling temporary visa holders to remain in key industries, such as health, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing. Importantly, they can help boost front line health numbers, get food from farms to our shops and ensure critical services continue.Temporary visa holders are extremely valuable to the Australian economy and way of life, but the reality is that many Australians will find themselves out of work due to the dual health and economic crisis we’re currently facing, and these Australians and permanent residents must be the Government’s number one focus.Visa changesThe following new measures will apply to the major classes of temporary visa holders. The situation will be reviewed periodically and further changes made if required.Visitor visa holdersThere are 203,000 international visitors in Australia, typically on a visa lasting three months or less.International tourists should return to their home country as quickly as possible, particularly those without family support.Thousands are already doing this and others should follow their lead.International students There are 565,000 international students in Australia, mainly studying in the higher education or vocational education sector. They are an important contributor to our tertiary sector and economy, supporting 240,000 Australian jobs.Students are encouraged to rely on family support, part-time work where available and their own savings to sustain themselves in Australia.  As part of their visa application, international students have had to demonstrate that they can support themselves completely in their first year.Students who have been here longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship will be able to access their Australian superannuation.The Government will undertake further engagement with the international education sector who already provide some financial support for international students facing hardship. For example, we understand there are some education providers that are providing fee discounts to international students.The Government will also be flexible in cases where Coronavirus has prevented international students meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able attend classes).International students are able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight.International students working in aged care and as nurses have had these hours extended to support these critical sectors.International students working in the major supermarkets had also had these hours extended to help get stock on shelves during the high demand. From 1 May, their hours will return to the maximum 40 hours a fortnight as more Australians are being recruited into these roles.New Zealanders on 444 visasNew Zealanders and Australians have reciprocal arrangements whereby we can each stay and work in each other’s country. There are more than 672,000 New Zealanders in Australia on a subclass 444 visa.New Zealanders who are on 444 visas and arrived before 26 February 2001 will have access to welfare payments and the JobKeeper payment.444 visa holders who arrived after 2001 have access to the JobKeeper payment. Those who have lived in Australia for 10 years or more have access to JobSeeker payments for six months.New Zealanders should consider returning to New Zealand if they are unable to support themselves through these provisions, work or family support.Temporary Skilled visa holders There are around 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders, on either a 2 year or 4 year visa.  They were provided the visa to fill a skills shortage – a shortage that may still be present when the crisis has passed.Consequently, those visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements.  Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition.These visa holders will also be able to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.Those visa holders who have been laid off due to coronavirus should leave the country in line with existing visa conditions if they are unable to secure a new sponsor.  However, should a 4-year visa holder be re-employed after the coronavirus pandemic, their time already spent in Australia will count towards their permanent residency skilled work experience requirements.Working holiday makers supporting critical sectors There are about 118,000 people in Australia on a Working Holiday visa (or backpacker visa) – a visa which provides conditional work rights.To support the critical sectors of heath, aged and disability care, agriculture and food processing, and childcare, some limited flexibility will be provided.In particular, working holiday makers who are working in these critical sectors will be exempt from the six month work limitation with the one employer and eligible for a further visa to keep working in these critical sectors if their current visa is due to expire in the next six months.In general, working holiday makers that do not have the confidence to sustain themselves over the next six months should make arrangements to leave the country.There are another 185,000 other temporary visa holders in Australia, about half of them temporary graduate visa holders. They will also be able to access their Australian superannuation if needed for support.Further announcements will be made with the Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister in relation to supporting the agricultural sector, including the operation of the Seasonal Worker Program and Pacific Labour Scheme. 

https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/davidcoleman/Pages/Coronavirus-and-Temporary-Visa-holders.aspx

Australia – New arrangements for travellers from overseas

Australia introduce new measures to reduce community transmission of COVID-19

Australian have continued to develop their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to Australian travel restrictions announced last week the Australian government have announced further measures

All travellers entering Australia are now be required to undertake their mandatory 14 day self-isolation at designated facilities. These facilities will be determined by each state and territory and may be hotels.

The details provided on the DHA website are as below.

  • From 23:59 AEDT on 28 March 2020 all people entering Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival
  • Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks.
  • Designated facilities will be determined by the relevant state or territory government and will ordinarily be in the city of entry where the traveller has cleared immigration, but facilities in other areas may be used if requireFor further information see New arrangements for arrivals from overseas​.​​

          Restrictions in place until: Further notice

If you want to discuss how this may effect your Australian travel plans, current visa application or current visa status please Contact Us.

GSM Visa changes a plenty – watch this space

There have been a lot of changes to the GSM program in recent months.

Contact Us to discuss these,  and stay tuned to this Blog for further information …

 

 

Update – 36 occupations added to Australia’s skilled occupation list

DHA add 36 occupations to Australia’s skilled occupation list

The DHA have announced changes to their Medium & Long Term Strategic Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL).  Visa applicants with a positive skills assessment and who meet the points may be eligible for a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa.

Returning Occupations

Some of these occupations are returning occupations in Business, Information Technology, Engineering, Science & Education.

Surprise Occupations

Two surprising occupations  include Tennis Coach (452316) & Footballer (452411). This includes Soccer players and both Rugby Union and Rugby League players.

Full list of additional occupations

The additional occupations are:

Creative
  • Arts Administrator or Manager  
  • Dancer or Choreographer
  • Music Director
  • Artistic Director
  • Musician (Instrumental)
Sports & Recreation
  • Tennis Coach
  • Footballer
  • Horse Trainer
Environmental
  • Environmental Manager
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Research Scientist
  • Environmental Scientists nec
Engineering
  • Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum
  • Petroleum Engineer
  • Engineering Professionals nec
Business & Information Technology Professionals
  • Statistician
  • Economist
  • Software and Applications Programmers nec
  • Multimedia Specialist
Sciences
  • Chemist
  • Food Technologist
  • Geophysicist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Life Scientist (General
  • Biochemist
  • Biotechnologist
  • Botanist
  • Marine Biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Zoologist
  • Life Scientists nec
  • Conservator
  • Metallurgist
  • Meteorologist
  • Natural and Physical Science Professionals nec
Education
  • University Lecturer

If you want to discuss your Australian immigration options, and whether you are eligible for a General Skilled Migration visa, please Contact Us.

 

QLD Business migration update – 2nd January 2019

Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) temporarily suspends new invitations for business migration – will open again at a date to be advised https://t.co/nLPMWTsS2n— Australian visas (@CargilMigration) January 2, 2019

Brisbane

If you want to discuss how this will effect you, or plan for an application once the program opens again please Contact Us

Updated – Australian Skilled Occupation Lists (April 2018)

Occupation lists change … again … 

2018 has already seen a number of changes to Australian immigration. Some of these were detailed in our most recent post.

Following on from these changes, last week the Northern Territory have updated the occupations that they will consider nominating for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 489) Visa.

If you would like to look at whether you may be eligible for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa, be a state or territory nominated visa – such as the Subclass 190 or Subclass 489 visa – or the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa please check out the list below.

Skilled Occupations – April 2018

If you would like a detailed assessment of your Australian visa options, please  CONTACT US .

Australian immigration changes – new visas and their impact on Australian immigration

The Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482), the effect on GSM visas and the Global Talent Visa scheme

A lot has been happening in Australian immigration in 2018. It has started with the skilled list for the Subclass 189 being amended. Some of the states & territories followed and their Subclass 190 & 489 visas have consequently been effected.

Most significant of all is that as fo 18th March, 2018 the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa has been replaced by the  Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482).

The changes and differences between the Subclass 457 & Subclass 482 are significant. We wont attempt to address them all here but will highlight some key points and how these changes may effect your plans and reinforce the importance of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program.

GSM Visa program

The GSM program has remained intact. It significance is shown by the figures below:

  1.  Subclass 189: 176 occupations remain eligible for this visa
  2. Subclass 190: 416 skilled occupations remain eligible for this visa program
  3.  Subclass 489:
    • 475 skilled occupations remain eligible for the State Territory nominated 489 visa program OR
    • 176 occupations remain eligible for the Family Nominated 489 visa programme

Temporary Employer sponsored visas – new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) 

As mentioned the temporary Employer Sponsored visa (Subclass 457) has been replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482).

Whilst the Subclass 457 could be granted up to 4 years, the Subclass 482 visas can vary:

  1. Short term – up to 2 years if the occupation is on Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  2. Medium term – up to 4 years if on Medium Long Term Skilled Shortages List (MLTSSL) and a new Regional Occupation List (ROL)
  3. Labour Agreement Stream – this is where an employer has negotiated visa arrangements with the Department of Home Affairs (formerly the DIBP Department of Immigration & B0order Patrol).

Applicant requirements:

  • Work experience – Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years
  • English Language – Applicants must meet minimum english language requirements. e.g For an IELTS test they must score 5 overall, but have a minimum score of at least 4.5 on each component
  • Police clearances – Mandatory police clearances.

Sponsor/Employers:

  • Labour-market testing is required (e.g prescribed advertising standards must be met by the employer)
  • Applicant must be nominated in one of the 509 skilled occupations, unless the negotiated Labour Agreement allows otherwise.

Transitional arrangements – Individuals who are already in Australia on a Subclass 457 visa and need to renew this visa or apply for another visa (such as the Subclass 482 or a permanent visa – see below) will need to check with their employer or Migration Agent what their options are. 

Permanent Employer Sponsored visa – Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa & Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa

  • Applicants must be under 45
  • Applicants must have worked in Australia for 3 years (it was 2 years) on a 457 visa or 482 visa OR have undertaken a skills assessment under the Direct Entry Scheme
  • Applicants must have at least 3 years work experience
  • Applicants occupation must be on the:
    • MLTSSL for Subclass 186 visas (208 occupations)
    • MLTSSL or ROL list for Subclass 187 (673 occupations)

What are the key takeaways about these changes?

  •  It is more difficult to obtain a visa for Australia under both employer nomination schemes –  temporary and permanent residence. e.g Labour Market testing is required for almost all applications under the TSS visa. This wasn’t the case previously.
  • Students hoping to transfer onto an employer sponsored visa must have at least 2 years experience in the occupation for a temporary visa, or 3 years for a permanent employer visa.
  • Skilled applicants wanting to obtain permanent residency need to be under 45 years – unless some very limited exemptions are met.
  • If an applicant or their spouse is eligible for a GSM visa – 189/190/489 – then it is likely to be their best long term option to migrate to Australia permanently

Final comments

These changes have been a long time coming and even before the details were laid out, they have been widely criticised by the business community. They see this as as a significant disadvantage to recruiting, employing and incentivising skilled migrants to fill positions in Australia.

With this is mind, employers will be forced to look closer at the Australia employment market to fill their workforce needs. This will advantage applicants who hold a GSM visa or intend to apply for a GSM visa.

Global Talent Scheme 

In addition to the above there will be further changes to the Australian immigration program. The Department of Home Affairs have flagged a new scheme known as the Global Talent Scheme. This is a  pilot programme aimed at attracting high-income employees and tech specialists.  It is hoped it will alleviate some of the concerns from employers in Australia that they will miss out of skills need to grow their business due to the restrictions in the new Subclass 482 visa.

It will allow eligible established business and start-up companies seeking talent in STEM fields like biomedicine and agricultural technology to sponsor foreign nationals on a temporary residency basis, as well as offering a pathway to permanent residency. The scheme is due to commence on 1st July. As details emerge we will release them here.

 

If you would like to discuss your options – whether you would be eligible –  then please  Contact Us.

 

Victorian skilled nomination changes – engineers and building occupations

Changes to skilled applications for engineering and building occupations

Applications for engineering and building occupations on the Victorian Nomination List will not be accepted from 16 October 2017 to 12 January 2018 due to the large volume of applications received.

If you would like to discuss your options for a Victorian nominated visa – whether you would be eligible for the Subclass 190 or 489 visa, then please  Contact Us.