To our kababayans, there are upcoming immigration changes to be implemented this year which will impact international students and skilled migrants. The most impactful are the changes to the Migration Program Levels. While the quota remains at 160,000 for the 2020-21 program year, the distribution of the quota will change.
The family stream will increase from 47,732 places to 77,300. Australia wants to ensure that talented individuals are recruited to help with the country’s economic recovery. Therefore, Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent (15,000 places are available), Business Innovation and Investment Program visas will be given priority. In addition to the list, Onshore visa and partner visa applicants in regional areas will also be prioritised to encourage migration to Australia’s regional areas and help the states and territories recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economic front.
To jump-start Australia’s economic recovery in the post-coronavirus scenario, the business and investment visa streams have been reduced from nine categories to four: Significant Investor, Investor, Business Innovation and Entrepreneur.
Business Innovation visa requirements also increased, in alignment to the goal of economic recovery. Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold business assets of $1.25 million [up from $800,000]. The annual turnover required will be $750,000 [up from $500,000].
International students will also be glad to know that additional years will be given to international students in regional Australia. This year, holders of the Post-Study Work stream Temporary Graduate Visa [subclass 485-TGV] who were able to acquire their degree from an education institution in regional Australia and had lived in Australia’s regional areas on their first subclass 485-TGV, will be eligible for another TGV.
The period of grant for the second subclass 485-TGV will be based on where the student had studied and lived in Australia on their first subclass 485-TGV. This additional time being granted to international students will enable them to take advantage of opportunities for collecting more points for securing an invitation for skilled migration in the future. This will also make regional Australia an attractive destination for overseas study.
In order to be eligible for this visa extension, students need to have graduated from a regional institution, and resided (including all work and study) for at least two years in a regional area immediately before applying for their second 485 visa. The second Temporary Graduate visa is also available to current post-study 485 visa holders who graduated from a regional institution, and who will have resided (including all work and study) for at least two years in a regional area immediately before applying for their second 485 visa. Visa application fee is $650 main applicant, $325 for spouse or partner and $165 for children under 18. Applications can be made from 21 Jan 2021 onwards.
(Felix Carao is a Registered Migration Consultant (MARN 1069354), a Qualified Education Counselor (QEAC G028), and an Accredited Recruitment Professional (MRCSA 51889). For enquiries, call 0412 321 187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.allskills.com.au)
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