Australian Immigration Changes in 2019 That You Should Know About

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The Australian government recently updated their visa rules and process requirements for 2019. If you’re looking to apply for an Australian visa, you must be aware of the immigration changes so you can increase your chances of getting approved. Here are the key rule changes that you should know about. For any additional information regarding immigration changes that are not detailed below get in touch with the leading migration and immigration agent in Perth.

Minimum eligibility points increased

The Department of Home Affairs has increased the minimum eligibility points for three Australian visas that fall under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program. These are:

  1. Subclass 189 visa (independent permanent visa)
  2. Subclass 190 visa (state nominated permanent visa)
  3. Subclass 489 visa (provisional visa)

Previously, applicants are required to have at least 60 points in order to qualify for the aforementioned visas. Recent changes brought the minimum eligibility points to 65 and has taken full effect in 2019. The Department itself has a points calculator on their website that you can use to see if you meet the 65-point mark.

An additional 10 points will be given to those who don’t have a spouse or de facto partner and those who have an English-competent spouse or de facto partner. The same additional points will also be given to applicants with STEM qualifications (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).

Immigration cap lowered

The growing congestion in Sydney and Melbourne has prompted the Australian government to slash the immigration cap to 160,000 in an effort to distribute the population to regional areas.. Since 2011, the intake has been capped at 190,000 but fell to 162,000 in 2017-18 (which is a first in over a decade).

The effect of the cut will most likely be felt by Skilled Independent visas that granted visa holders to work and live anywhere in Australia. The Department said that the cap will remain at 160,00 for the next four years.

New regional visas announced

The Australian government has announced two new regional visas that will be introduced in November this year, namely the Skilled Employer Sponsored Visa and Skilled Work Regional Visa. The visas will have 9,000 and 14,000 places respectively under the 160,000 immigration cap. Around 23,000 skilled visas are up for reservation for those who are willing to work and live in the regions.

To become eligible for permanent residency, the visa holders of these subclasses are required to stay for at least three years in regional areas. For international students, they will be granted access to an additional year of post-study if they choose to enroll in a university within the regions.

New parent visa now open for application

The Temporary Sponsored Parent visa (Subclass 870) was made available this July 1, 2019 after the legislation it was associated with passed through the federal parliament last year. This new visa enables the parents of migrants to stay in Australia for up to five years, with a one-time renewal that extends that duration for an additional 5 years. The cap for this visa is at 15,000 annually.

Extended processing times for partner visa

Amongst all of the immigration changes, this one is perhaps the most important. Before the applicant lodges their application, they are required to have their partner visa sponsorship approved. This means that both the sponsor and the offshore applicant will undergo stringent character evaluation procedures, thus extending the processing times for the partner visa.

Newly designed sponsorship framework

With the Federal Government passing the Family Violence Bill, this introduces a new sponsorship framework in regards to sponsored family visas. The sponsorship is now a two-step application process that assesses the sponsors and only approved sponsors can lodge an application. The goal is to protect vulnerable family members from their abusive sponsors. Because of this, the processing times for sponsored family visas have extended as well.

South Australia visa introduced

As per the latest immigration changes, a new visa is set to be introduced for start-up entrepreneurs looking to establish a business in Australia. It’s much easier to acquire than a Business or Innovation visa and the applicant doesn’t have to arrange a funding of $200,000. An average score of just 5 points on the IELTS is what’s required of the applicants.

No need for evidence of investment for Business visa

The government introduced a new business visa that has taken effect this year. An evidence of investment is no longer required to obtain a Business visa with the goal of supporting South Australia’s economy. The new business visa does not require the applicant for a capital sum when lodging the application.

Keeping updated with all the immigration changes is crucial if you wish to apply for an Australian visa. If you want to facilitate the process and eliminate the guesswork out of the equation, then hiring a migration agent will help speed things up. Make sure to do your research and choose a reputable agent to help you navigate through Australia’s immigration rules and changes.