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Interpretation of Australia’s New Fiscal Year Immigration Quotas

Author’s info: 

Victor is a highly experienced migration lawyer qualified as both a Chinese lawyer and an Australian lawyer. He has been focusing on migration law since his admission to Australia and has specialized in business skilled visa applications, achieving a record of a 100% success rate in this area. What sets Victor apart is his multicultural background and personal experience as a migrant. As a result, he is able to empathize with his clients and understand their unique needs and considerations, particularly in a migration context. His ability to connect with his clients and exceptional knowledge of migration law has contributed to his success in helping clients achieve their immigration goals. Victor is committed to providing the highest quality of service to his clients, which is evident in his leadership role as the Director of the Ausde Migration and Investment Group and as the Partner of the Auslaw Partners Law Firm. Together with his team of elite professionals, he provides a full range of immigration and investment services to help clients achieve their goals of migrating and successfully settling overseas.

 

Globevisa Australia Brisbane Team
Globevisa Australia Brisbane Team

 

On the evening of May 9, 2023, the highly anticipated 2023-24 Australian New Financial Year Budget was released, bringing reforms in the immigration and education sectors. Here’s a summary of the key changes:

 

NO.1 Stable Quota for Skilled Migration Category

Australia has unveiled its permanent immigration quota for the new financial year, with a total of 190,000 spots available. Of these, 72% of the quota has been allocated to skilled visas. This means that the skilled migration category for the 2023-24 financial year will receive 137,100 spots. The category aims to enhance economic productivity and address skill shortages in the labor market, including in remote areas of Australia. However, it is worth noting that the 2023-24 permanent immigration plan has allocated 30,375 spots for the 189 Independent Skilled visa, slightly fewer than the 32,100 spots allocated last year. Nevertheless, there is no need for excessive concern, as the main reason for the slight decrease in the 189 quota may be the permanent closure of the 189 New Zealand stream starting from the next financial year. Over the past six months, the points required for the 189 visa have decreased for various occupations. Some professions, such as nursing and early childhood education, have even dropped directly to 65 points. Therefore, for those planning to pursue skilled migration, applying for the 189 visa could be a viable option if they do not meet the points requirements for state sponsorship.

 
 
NO.2 Optimistic Outlook for Family Category Visas
In the upcoming immigration plan, there is an optimistic outlook for family category visas. A total of 52,500 spots, constituting 28% of the overall quota, will be allocated to family reunification migration. This highlights the importance placed on reuniting families and fostering strong social connections. Within the family category, specific visa types are given priority. The Parent Visa category will receive a generous allocation of 8,500 spots, allowing parents to join their children in Australia and promote intergenerational support. The Partner Visa category, with a quota of 40,500 spots, is demand-driven and not subject to quota limits. Furthermore, the Child Visa category, with a quota of 3,000 spots, is also driven by demand and not subject to quota limits. Overall, the allocation of significant spots for family category visas reflects a positive stance on family reunification and acknowledges the vital role of family in creating a strong and cohesive society.
 
 

NO.3 Employer Sponsorship Category Emerges as the Biggest Winner

According to the latest report, significant changes have been introduced to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) and the occupation scope for employer sponsorship, making the Employer Sponsorship category the biggest winner. Starting from July 1, 2023, the TSMIT has been raised from AUD 53,900 to AUD 70,000. Additionally, the eligibility for Permanent Residency (PR) through employer sponsorship has expanded, allowing all occupations listed on both the Short-term and Long-term skilled occupation lists under the 482 visa to be eligible for PR.

 

Another positive development in the Employer Sponsorship category is the reduction in the required duration of work experience. The work experience requirement for employer-sponsored visas has been reduced from three years of working for the sponsoring employer to two years. This change provides increased stability and a higher success rate for applicants who are planning or have already applied for the 482 visa and are seeking to transition to PR. For individuals who may not meet the points requirement for Expression of Interest (EOI) or the English language proficiency requirement (such as achieving four 7s in the IELTS), employer sponsorship becomes an attractive alternative pathway. Among the announcements in the recent budget plan, the nursing profession emerges as the biggest winner. The Australian government has revealed that employers will be allowed to directly sponsor nursing professionals under the skilled visa program. International students studying aged care nursing can secure specific employment agreements with employers upon graduation and directly apply for the 482 visa. After working for two years, they will become eligible to apply for the 186 Permanent Residence visa, offering a pathway to long-term residency in Australia.

 
 
 
NO.4 Extension of Post-Graduate Work Visas for International Students
According to the latest report, the Australian government will grant an additional two years of post-graduate work visa time to international graduates who have obtained eligible qualifications from Australian higher education institutions. This measure aims to strengthen the reserve of skilled labor in the country. The policy will be implemented starting from July 1, 2023. This means that graduates with specific degrees who are holders of the 485 temporary visa will be eligible for an extra two years of post-graduate work period on top of their existing 485 visa. Studies suggest that the increase in post-graduate work rights after graduation could lead to an estimated AUD 800 million increase in government revenue and an additional AUD 185.6 million in payments, including an AUD 185 million increase in goods and services tax paid to states and territories within the first five years starting from 2022-23. Furthermore, the maximum working hours for international student visa holders will be reinstated. The limit for working hours per fortnight will increase by 8 hours, from the previous level before its cancellation, to 48 hours. International students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the 48-hour work limit per fortnight until December 31, 2023.
 
 

NO.5 Increase in Visa Fees with Accelerated Processing Times

The recently announced 2023-24 budget plan also highlights an increase in visa application fees (VACs) starting from July 1, 2023. Visa application fees will rise by 6%, while certain visitor and temporary visa categories will experience a 15% increase, and the application fees for business innovation and investment visas will see a 40% increase. Simultaneously, the report indicates that the government will invest AUD 27.8 million over the course of two years, starting from 2023-24, to upgrade the existing visa information and communication technology systems. This investment aims to enhance the efficiency of visa services and boost Australia’s attractiveness in the global talent competition.

 

No.6 Is the Trend for Investment Migration Fading?

After the release of the budget plan, there has been widespread discussion about the significant reduction in the quota for the Business Innovation and Investment Program in the 2023-24 fiscal year. The allocation for business investment visas has decreased from 5,000 visas in the 2022-23 fiscal year to 1,900 visas in the 2023-24 migration program, representing a 62% reduction. However, there is no need to panic. The government’s decision to decrease the quota for business investment visas is aimed at ensuring a swift resolution to the current labor shortage in the 2023-24 permanent migration program. The Australian Department of Home Affairs has emphasized that visa spots will still be available for:

 

– Business and investment migrants who can make the greatest contributions to Australia’s economic growth, and – Entrepreneur migrants whose innovation can enhance the productivity of Australian businesses.

 

Therefore, friends planning to migrate to Australia through the business investment pathway should not be too pessimistic. It is believed that the Australian government will make further adjustments to the migration quota after addressing the current labor shortage issue. Our focus should be on preparing for the initial stages of business investment, as it is expected that the future years will bring more optimistic migration policies and opportunities. The above summary is based on the provided information. For any further updates or specific details, it is recommended to refer to the latest announcements from relevant government departments or consult with professional immigration agencies for the most accurate information.

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