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.