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Changes to Australian Visas

What does the Australian visas changes mean for you?

On 1 July 2019, the Australian Government made some significant changes to its immigration visas. In addition to an average 5.4% increase to fees for almost all visas applications, here are some of the key changes to popular visas and what you need to know:

Immigration cap to be lowered

  • The Australian Government has reduced the cap for its permanent migration intake at 160,000 per year over the next 3 years, compared to 190,000 places available in 2018-19;
  • This intake is in place for the next four years; and
  • The impact to this cut in numbers will be absorbed by Skilled Independent visas which allow people to live and work anywhere in Australia and provide the greatest benefit to regional Australia.

Third working holiday visa application

  • You now have the option to apply for a third working holiday visa as part of these changes, allowing you to do short-term work in Australia to help pay for your holiday;
  • To be eligible applicants must have completed no less than 6 months of specified work in a regional area whilst holding their second working holiday visa, among a range other criteria.

More regional visas

  • There are plenty more visa opportunities available if you are willing to live and work in the regions outside of Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and southeast Queensland after the government increased this number in the recent changes.
  • This also means that international students will have access to additional year of post-study visa if they studied in these regions.

Extra points for skilled migration

  • You can receive extra points towards your test if you have a skilled spouse or de facto partner or hold certain STEM qualifications.
  • Visa applicants sponsored or nominated for these regional visas will have the benefit of five extra points towards their points test.
  • Experts believe these immigration visa changes will benefit the more skilled applicants with competent English language skills, as well as those who can claim extra points on their partner’s skills.

New parent visa

  • This is linked to sponsorship.
  • After an Australian citizen or permanent resident has been approved to become your sponsor, your parents will also be able to apply for the visa that will allow them to stay in Australia for a continuous period of up to five years. 
  • This visa provides parents with a new pathway to temporarily reunite with their children and grandchildren in Australia.

Citizenship changes

  • The Australian Government has softened its stand on English requirements which relied on you waiting longer to prove your competency in English.

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