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

Research Shows Immigrants Help Businesses Grow

… Immigrants contribute disproportionately to entrepreneurship ..

An interesting article on the impact of immigrants on businesses. Whilst it is a US article, from Harvard Business Review, it no doubt applies to Australia too.

What the key takeaway of the study?

” …. that immigrant-led companies grow at a faster rate and are more likely to survive long term than native-led companies are.” 

 

Please read the article and Contact Us if you want to discuss the Business Owner, Investor and Venture Capital visas available to migrate to Australia.

 

Open for Business – NSW business and investor visas reopened ….

The NSW Government have announced that they have reopened applications for business & investor nomination.

And detailed in our BLOG in December  NSW had temporarily closed the program.

The full NSW announcement is below.

” Applications for NSW nomination for business and investor visas have reopened. 

NSW has reopened applications for nomination under the federal government’s Business Innovation and Investment Program. 

Applications for nominations for the following visas have been reopened:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Business Innovation stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Investor stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Significant Investor stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Entrepreneur stream
  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132) – Significant Business History stream
  • Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132) – Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream

Entrepreneur applications for the following visas continue to be open and will be assessed:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Business Innovation Extension stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Significant Investor Extension stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) – Business Innovation stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) – Investor stream
  • Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) – Significant Investor
  • State / Territory Sponsored Business Owner visa (subclass 892)
  • State / Territory Sponsored Investor visa (subclass 893) “

If you have any questions about the above please Contact Us.

Welcome to our Blog – Australian immigration news & views

Hi all,

Thank you for stopping by our Blog. We try to provide our news & views on Australian immigration as often as we can.

If you want to search through what we have published in the past please look at the Categories and click on a subject that is of interest to you.

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Australian visa options

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Happy Reading!

Update – Western Australian business migration nomination

The WA Government have announced the below.

” Please note, applications for Western Australian State nomination for business and investor provisional visas are closed until further notice.

Western Australia has temporarily closed applications for State nomination for the Business Innovation and Investment provisional visas pending the release of additional places by the Department of Home Affairs. We value your interest in our program and encourage you to check this website regularly for updates. We hope to reopen the program shortly.”

If you have any questions about the above please Contact Us.

Update – Victorian business migration nomination

Victorian government announcement – January 7th, 2019

“Victoria has temporarily closed applications for nomination of certain business and investor visas.

Victoria is currently experiencing a high volume of applications for nomination for select business and investor visas. To help manage this demand, and meet our service commitments to you, we are temporarily not accepting new applications for the following visa sub-classes:

• 188 – Business Innovation stream
• 188 – Significant Investor stream
• 188 – Investor stream
• 188 – Entrepreneur stream
• 132 – Business Talent (Permanent) – Significant Business History stream
• 132 – Business Talent (Permanent) –  Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream

We will continue to assess all nomination applications received prior to 5 January 2019, however please be advised delays may occur in providing outcomes for these applications.

Your interest in the Business Innovation & Investment Program is highly valued and we hope to reopen the program shortly. We cannot provide a specific date or timeframe at this point, however encourage you to visit the Live in Melbourne website regularly for program updates.”

If you have any questions regarding Victorian business migration, either now or in the future, please Contact Us.

Northern Territory announce new Designated Area Migration Agreement

More occupations available for overseas workers

On Wednesday 2nd January, 2019 the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA II), came into effect in the Northern Territory on January 1. The program is targeted at recruiting skilled migrants to the territory, and increases the number of occupations available to overseas workers.

More details to come shortly …

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

Changes 1st July, 2018 – higher points required for GSM visas

Higher points required – GSM points test to increase by 5 points 

As usual at this time of the year, there have been some changes announced to the GSM visa programme by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). 

From 1 July 2018, applicants will need to score 65 points to eligible to be considered for a GSM visa. This is an increase of 5 points. The effected GSM visa subclasses are:

  • Skilled-Independent (Permanent) Subclass 189;
  • Skilled-Nominated (Permanent) (Subclass 190; and
  • Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489

The increase is in response to the high demand for GSM visas. It also reflects the high scores that current applicants in the Skill Select Expression of Interest (EOI) pool are claiming. 

For applicants who are invited to apply for a GSM visa prior to 1st July 2018, they won’t be effected by the increase in points. These invited individuals can continue to prepare and submit their application. As is stands currently, any invited applicants will need to ensure that they lodge their applications within the required 60 days. 

If you could like to discuss how this will effect you please Contact Us.

Assurance of Support (AoS) changes reversed

AoS income test to revert back to pre-April 2018 requirements

As indicated in our most recent blog post the Assurance of Support changes that came into in April have been reversed.

Individuals acting as Assurers of Support will need to meet the income test as it was prior to the April changes. This will be a great relief to all applicants

Parent visas: Sponsorship rules reset as government completes backflip

If you have any queries please Contact Us.