Australian visa program update – October 2020

Australia confirms commitment to permanent migration for the 2020 to 2021 financial year

In early October the Australian government announced their federal budget for the 2020-2021 financial year. 

On the back of the budget the DHA (Department of Home Affairs) outlined details for their permanent migration program. The below is an overview of these changes.

Migration program focus 

The government announced, due to the COVID pandemic, that the focus of the migration program for 2020-2021 is “on supporting our economic recovery, growing Australian businesses and creating jobs for Australians”.  

Migration program numbers 

The DHA confirmed the permanent migration program numbers will remain at a cap of 160,000. This includes: 

  • 79􏰋,600 places in the Skilled stream 
  • 77,300 places in the Family stream. 
  • 3,100 in the Child and Special Eligibility visas

The government anticipate that two thirds of the visas will be allocated to people in Australia.

The remaining visas will then likely be split between the skill stream (two thirds) and the family Stream (one third). 

Migration program – Skilled visas 

A key target of the skilled visa program will be innovators, investors and job creators. They will be encouraged to apply through the Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and Employer Sponsored Visas. 

Global Talent Visa – places tripled 

A particular focus will be the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Visa. The program for the new financial year will triple from 5,000 to 15,000 places. The target of this visa will be individuals in industries such as:

  • AgTech
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • MedTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and ICT
Business Investors – places almost doubled 

The DHA have confirmed that they will double the number of places available for business investors to 13,500 places. The BIIP program will be streamlined and there will be changes to investment and residency requirements, ensuring the program is targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery. 

As of publishing this update, we are still awaiting on further details of the changes to be announced. 

GSM Program – skilled migration remains open 

Individuals and their family members can still look to submit an EOI for the GSM program. This includes the Skilled Independent visa  (Subclass 189) and the two State/territory nominated (Subclass 190 & 491) visas . 

Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent visa

At present the DHA have announced that the focus on the Subclass 189 invitations  will be on those occupations listed on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List  (PMSOL). 

It is expected that the required points are likely to remain high. However the 11th October invitation details are yet be released.

State/Territory nominated visas – Subclass 190 & Subclass 491 

The opportunity to be nominated for either of the state/territory nominated GSM visas will remain. At the time of writing, the majority of the states/territories have programs in place to allocate nominations to eligible onshore applicants.  

For offshore applicants, we are still waiting on the states to confirm their program. These are likely to be released in the weeks and months leading up to Christmas. For example:

  • South Australia have pushed back the release of their lists from mid-October to November.
  • NSW  have also confirmed that they will announce changes to the management of the Skilled Work Regional Visa (subclass 491) in due course.
  • Queensland have stated that they plan to re-open the program in December 2020.

Migration Program – Family stream

The majority of visas within the Family stream will go to partners, with almost double the places (72.300) compared to the previous financial year. The aim to give more certainty to those wanting to settle in Australia with their partners and plan for their futures. 

Humanitarian Program

The DHA have confirmed their commitment to a Humanitarian Program. A cap of  13,750 places, similar to last year. In numbers, Australia remains the third most generous humanitarian resettlement country in the world.

 

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 – August 2020

All eyes on 6th October 2020 

Limited GSM nominations

As we advised in early July the GSM program remains pretty much closed. The DHA aren’t inviting many individuals to apply for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa, nor are the states/territories nominating many applicants for a Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa or the Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional visa.

Where invites are being issued – these can vary by state/territory – they are focused on applicants who are in areas of critical skills and sectors and/or those already residing in Australia.

Australian Federal budget – 6th October 2020

It is however expected that the nomination limitations will change from the 6th October 2020. This is when the Australian government is due to release their budget. The budget will establish the number of visas applications available at both a national level – Subclass 189 visa – and for the states/territory programs – Subclass 190 & 491 visa. Once the states/territories are allocated with their visa caps we can expect confirmation of the occupations on their skilled occupation lists and other criteria applicants will need to meet.

Status of each State/Territory

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

ACT

“As you are all aware, the migration landscape is very different in 2020-21.  The Australian Government has directed the ACT to restrict nominations to Canberra residents with skills critical to supporting the ACT’s post pandemic economic recovery. An interim number of nomination places has been allocated until the Commonwealth Budget is announced on 6 October 2020.”

NEW SOUTH WALES

“NSW has been provided a limited number of interim nomination places for the 2020–21 financial year.

Because our nomination places are limited, we have made some temporary adjustments to our application process. These adjustments will be reviewed if more nomination places are provided to us later in the financial year.”

NORTHERN TERRITORY

“The Australian Government has not yet allocated nomination quotas to the states and territories for the 2020 to 2021 program year.

At this stage, onshore General Skilled Migration (GSM) nomination applications and 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. Offshore GSM nomination applications remain closed. We will update as further information becomes available.”

QUEENSLAND

“BSMQ has been advised by the Department of Home Affairs (HA) that it will not be in a position to open the 2020/21 migration program on 1 July 2020. As a consequence, BSMQ’s business and skilled migration program will remain closed on 1 July 2020 until further notice.”

TASMANIA

“All new applications lodged after 1pm (AEST), Tuesday 25th August 2020 must meet the minimum requirements of their chosen nomination category and demonstrate that the applicant is critical to supporting Tasmania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery.

This requirement will be reviewed after the Federal Budget in October when full details of the 2020-21 nomination allocations and requirements are announced by the Department of Home Affairs.”

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

“The Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has provided a limited number of skilled and business visa nomination places to the Government of South Australia up until the Federal Budget is delivered on 6 October 2020.”

VICTORIA 

“The Commonwealth Department of Home Affairs has provided a limited number of visa nomination places to the Victorian Government up until the Federal Budget is delivered on 6 October 2020.

We are preparing to re-open with new policies and nomination criteria to support Victoria’s economic recovery and the public health response.”

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

“The Western Australian State Nominated Migration Program is currently suspended. WA Migration Services will not issue invitations to apply for State nomination during the suspension period.

WA Migration Services appreciates your patience and looks forward to progressing the State Nominated Migration Program as soon as possible.”

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

Australian skilled migration overview

Australian skilled migration overview

Migration is a part of life in every nation: people are consistently looking for something new and want to have different cultural experiences, and the opportunity to  share their knowledge and skills.

Australia is considered to be a land of unpredictable and wonderful nature, as well as a great place for job opportunities in a number of industries and professions. It is known as “the Land Down Under”. It annually attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world, a significant number who want stay permanently.

In order to stay permanently applicants need to stay on top of the visa requirements and legislation. Immigration legislation is always changing and not everyone can get a visa for the Great Southern Land. Applicants primarily need to have the right education and job skills.

There are two predominant ways of getting a visa for Australia.

To apply for a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa under the General Skilled Migration Visa program, applicants need to review the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and confirm if their occupation is available for nomination. There is also a points test, based on a number of different factors.

If you are not eligible for a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa then you can look at alternate GSM visas. These visas are state or territory nominated visas. They include both a permanent residency option – Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa – and a temporary residency option – Skilled regional (Subclass 489) visa. You will need to confirm if your occupation is on the the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the  Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). You will then need to to check if a state or territory will nominate your occupation, and whether you fir that criteria.

If an applicant is not eligible for a GSM visa, they can look at employer sponsored visa opportunities. Applicants who are offered a job in Australia may be eligible for either a temporary or permanent residency employer sponsored visa. The most common employer sponsored visas are the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa and the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186) visa.

A job offer can also assist with a GSM visa. Either, by being able to claim additional points for skilled employment experience in Australia, or to be eligible to be nominated for a state  or territory visa such as the Subclass 190 or Subclass 489.

In practical terms, if you are skilled professional and are specific in where you want to live e.g. Architect Jobs in Brisbane, you may find a genuine opportunity that you are eligible for. With a willing employer offering you a job, you may initially be sponsored for a Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa. Which may may then lead on to the permanent employer  sponsored  Subclass 186 visa, or a GSM option.

There are various employment websites that can help you find job in Australia, either before you migrate or once you have your visa. Rulla.com is one of those. Non Australian residents, as well as Australian visa holders, can look at websites such as Rulla to see if there are employment opportunities in the field and location that they desire.

If you can determine on the basis of your skills and education what visa you are eligible for, and where you want to do it, this will help you create the life you want in Australia.

VETASSESS – Skills assessment changes as of 1st August, 2017

PRIORITY PROCESSING 

As of August 1st, 2017  VETASSESS will introduce a priority processing service for General Professional occupation applicants.

Applicants will be able to have their application fast tracked for an additional fee. The expected processing time will be 10 days. Full details will be provided on 1st August, 2017.

 ASSESSMENT FEE INCREASE

A number of fee increases have been announced for VETASSSES services. For the majority of applicants, the most notable increase is in the Full Skills Assessment for GSM applicants. The fees increases are as below:

  • Online (offshore) applicants: $810 AUD to $880 AUD – if you are onshore 10% GST applies.
  • Paper based (offshore) applications: $870 AUD to $945 AUD – if you are onshore 10% GST applies.

If you would like to discuss how the changes effect your application please get in touch.

We will clarify the priority processing changes when released next week.