After New South Wales, the Australia 188 and 132 Visa programs are ALSO CLOSED in the following three major provinces in Australia without warning.
On January 2, 2019, Queensland suddenly announced the cessation of 188 and 132 Visa applications.
On January 4, 2019, without any warning, Victoria closed the two applications.
On January 7, 2019, West Australia also shut them down!
Now, three major provinces have already shut down their 188 and 132 Visa applications, though only half of the 2018-2019 Australian fiscal year has passed. Australia's immigration policy is not as stable as it was in the past, and these shutdowns also indicate that the pace of policy change is accelerating.
In other words, though these applications are only said to be "temporarily shut down", it is highly possible that they will never open again.
Now, the only frequently chosen province of 188 and 132 Visa applicants is South Australia. However, there is only a few quotas left for this province and the opening hour is unstable. In addition to South Australia, there are Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and Tasmania still keeping 188 and 132 Visa applications, but they are not so popular among immigration applicants.
Here is a review on Australian immigration policy changes in the past two years:
In April 2017, Queensland took the lead in cutting down the applications from small businesses, and the applications under processing would not be affected;
In April 2017, the Australian Prime Minister announced the abolition of the 457 application;
In April 2017, the Australian Immigration Department proposed to amend the naturalization conditions, requiring that only applicants who reached IELTS band 6 and had obtained Australian permanent residence for 4 years could apply for Australian citizenship (not approved);
In July 2017, the fees of different Australian visas application rose comprehensively; and the IELTS requirement of obtaining permanent residence for 457 Visa holders was changed to be a minimum of band 6 in each module;
In July 2017, the Australian Immigration Department announced that a review would be conducted to the 188/132/405 Visa category;
In July 2017, Victoria and South Australia increased restrictions on real estate investment for 132 Visa application;
In August 2017, the Australian Immigration Department announced that the existing 99 visa categories would be merged into 10, and the language requirements for immigrants would be raised;
In November 2017, the Australian Immigration Department suggested increasing restrictions on immigration visas (visa could be cancelled if violence, sabotage, crime or medical expenses arrears happened);
In January 2018, no quota was left one week after South Australia announced that there were only a few seats left for 188 and 132 Visa application;
In April 2018, South Australia re-opened its 188 and 132 Visa application, and it was out of quota in three hours;
In May 2018, Victoria announced that technical immigration quotas were sold out in advance;
In June 2018, the 405 Visa for the retired was cancelled;
In July 2018, South Australia announced that requirement of single wine export turnover for 132 Visa was increased from AUD 600,000 to AUD 1,000,000, and business research should be done in advance for province guarantees of 188 and 132 Visa;
In October 2018, the Minister of the Department of Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population announced the Working on Country program, which restricted new immigrants from living in major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney;
In October 2018, the Premier of NSW announced that the immigration quota would be reduced by up to 50%;
In December 2018, NSW announced the complete shutdown of 188 and 132 Visa applications;
In January 2019, Queensland, Victoria, West Australia also announced the cessation of 188 and 132 Visa applications without warning! Immigration policy change of Australia has become a definite trend.
Based on the above history of immigration policy change in Australia, we can see that there may be more changes taking place on Australia 188 and 132 Visa programs, and the cost may become higher.
Immigration policies in different countries are all tightening. Governments all intend to introduce immigrants who can truly promote local economy. However, for 188 and 132 business immigrants, their influence in local economy is often questioned as the requirement of these programs are easy to meet.
In future, the possible changes that may taking place in 188 and 132 Visas application are as follows:
For 188A Category
1, The requirements of shareholding rate, company turnover and family assets may be increased;
2, The current score sheet may be modified;
3, The requirements on the achievements of business start-up may be increased in order to promote local economic development.
For 188B Category
The minimum investment in province bonds, which is AUD 1.5 million currently, may be doubled in the future, and requirement of venture capital may also be increased.
For 188C Category
As the general requirements are too easy to meet and the requirements of funding source are relatively loose, this stream is often regarded as a choice of money laundering. Therefore, it may be completely shut down. Even though it is not closed, the requirement of venture capital rate may be increased (now the venture capital of an investment of AUD 5 million is AUD 500,000).
For 132 Category
1, The required EOI scores may be increased;
2, A transition visa may be required, which means, entrepreneurs cannot obtain Australia permanent residence status in one step.
What's more, the applications for business immigration may be divided into two types, to remote areas or to non-remote areas, and the requirements of investment of the latter may be increased.
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