Immigration update – April 2019

Additional points for primary General Skilled Migration Applicants

The General Skilled Migration Points Test will be modified from November 2019. The modification will award additional points to primary applicants when their partner has competent English but does not meet the existing requirements for skilled partner points.

Similarly, single applicants will not be at a disadvantage, as they will also be awarded additional points. Between 2019 and 2020, the Department of Home Affairs will be provided with $0.3 million to implement this strategy.

The General Skilled Migration Points Test currently awards extra points to primary applicants, for the visa subclass and stream they have been invited to apply for based on the following:

• Their partner is under 45 years old;
• Their partner has competent English; and
• Their partner has a skilled occupation.

Applicants who are single or whose partner can demonstrate competent English, will be a priority in these implemented changes and have the best potential to participate in the Australian labour market.

Two New Regional Visas

Two new regional visas will allow skilled migrants to stay and work in regional Australia for a duration of five years from November 2019.
The two new regional visas; the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa and the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, will replace the existing Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa, and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).

VACs to increase on 1 July 2019

From 1 July 2019, the Government is increasing the base visa application charge (VAC) by 5.4 per cent. All visa subclasses will be affected, except for the Visitor (subclass 600) visa. We advise any applicants that are eligible to apply for their visa to do so before the visa application charges increase on 1 July 2019. This especially applies to Partner and Prospective Marriage visa applications that have high application fees.

Graduate visa: Additional Year available for international students from regional areas

International student holding a Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa, will be able to apply for an additional year on a second post-study work visa as of November 2021.
International students can apply under the condition they complete a higher education or postgraduate qualification in a regional area and live in a regional area.

Indonesia: increased Work & Holiday visa cap

Over a six year period from 2019-20 to 2024-25, the Government will seek to increase the annual cap for Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visas to Indonesian citizens from 2,500 to 5,000.
VAC: exemption for INAS Games and T20 World Cup
The Government is waiving visa application charges for the following:
• Athletes and officials applying for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa to participate in the 2019 INAS Global Games in Brisbane; and
• Competitors and officials participating in the International Cricket Council T20 World Cup in Australia in 2020.

Further Information

Ethos Migration is committed to keeping our clients up to date with the constantly changing immigration landscape however if you would like any further information regarding the updates contained in this article, or with any immigration law matter in general please contact our office on 1300083843 or make an online enquiry.