Table of Contents

15 November 2023

Faster Pathway to Permanent Residence for 482 Visa Workers

The Government has announced that it intends to lift the cap on the number of 482 visa applications submitted in Australia, allowing for a larger number of applications. In addition, the Government stated that 482 Visa Applicants will now be eligible for a pathway to Permanent residence, regardless of whether their occupation is on the Short-term, Medium-term or Long-term Lists. Currently, only 482 visa Applicants who have Skilled occupations on the Medium-term or Long-term lists may apply for the ENS 186 visa, which is a route to Permanent residence. Therefore, this expansion to include Short-term occupations will now cover a wider range of occupations, encompassing roles, such as, cooks, chefs, hospitality, health and construction workers.

26 October 2023

Australia Increases Permanent Migration Program

In 2022/23, there has been a significant increase in Permanent residence applications, as well as Temporary Visas, and this had resulted in a backlog of permanent visa applications. In 2021/22. the number of Permanent visa applications increased by 63.5% from 185,030 to 302,434 in 2022/23. The largest source countries were from India then China, Nepal and Philippines. In addition, the Family stream grew by 27.3% in 22/23 compared to 21/22, with a substantial backlog of over 140,000 Parent visa applications. Finally, The Skill stream delivered a record high number of 142,344 applications, with a backlog of more than 184,000 in 2023 compared to 119,000 in 2022.

1 October 2023

Government to crack down on Education Providers Visa Scams

The Government's proposed changes are to restore integrity to the education and migration system, and include strengthening the 'fit and proper person test' for international education providers to avoid private college owners from also functioning as Education Agents.In addition, the Government will share data and statistcics about Education Agents performance, with private Colleges and Universities. Also, there will be a ban on paying Education Agents commissions for transferring students between higher education courses, so as to prevent unscrupulous Agents from enticing students to quit their University course and transfer to a low-fee course of questionable quality.

26 September 2023

Australia resumes Tourist visas for Chinese Groups

The Australian Government has re-commenced the processing of Visitor visas for Chinese Group Tours, for the first time since before the Covid-19 pandemic. Formerly, in 2019, Chinese Visitors were the biggest source of international tourists to Australia, totalling 1.4 million Visitors, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The Minister for Trade and Tourism described the resumption of Chinese Tour Groups as a significant boost to the Australian Tourism industry. He said: "The resumption of Chinese group tour travel will provide another welcome boost for Australia's hard-working tourism operators."

19 September 2023

Victoria's State Nomination Program has Re-opened

The Victorian Government has just re-opened their State Nomination program for the Skilled Nominated, Subclass 190 Visa for Permanent residence, as well as the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional), Subclass 491 Visa, which will remain open until early 2024. Note that Victoria has re-opened Nomination for Onshore and Offshore applicants. The process of applying is that Applicants must initially complete a 'Registration of Interest' (ROI). Currently, there is no timeframe until an ROI is selected, due to large numbers of applications and the fact that the Program is extremely competitive. However, if an Applicant has a strong ROI, then they may receive an application for Victorian Visa Nomination, within 1 -2 months.

12 September 2023

Filipinos to Join Australian Work and Holiday Visa Program

The Australian and Philippines Governmanets have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOA), which allows eligible citizens of both countries to apply for a 12 month multiple entry visa, which allows them to work. The Work and Holiday visa arrangement will be open to Filipino and Australian citizens who are 18 to 31 years of age, at the time of application and who are graduates of tertiary education or have successfully completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study or post-secondary education. In addition, Applicants must meet Health, Character and Security requirements and have medical insurance for the duration of their stay. The MOU is due to take effect at a date mutually agree by both parties, but probably in early 2024.

31 August 2023

Subclass 408 - Pandemic Visa is being Closed

The Immigration Minister, Andrew Giles has closed the Subclass 408, Pandemic Special Event Visa to new Applicants. The 408 Visa was created in 2020, during the Covid-19 restrictions, in order to fill labour shortages and assist International students, who were unable to depart Australia. However, the Visa has been controversial and had negative publicity due to the fact that it allowed APplicants to work full time for unlimited hours, for 12 months. Therefore, from 2 September 2023, the 408 Visa will only be open to applications from current Visa holders, and it will be closed to all Applicants from February 2024.

14 August 2023

Faster Visa Processing Times Now!

Recently, the Department of Home Affairs has hired more than 600 new staff members to support the faster visa processing. So, currently, a Student visa, Subclass 500 is being processed in under 2 weeks. In addition, the 482 Visas are being prioritised, and being assessed, and finalised where complete, within 1 business day, and Subclass 186 Employer Sponsored visas are also being processed very fast, within 2 days from date of lodgement. Also, Working Holiday visa processing times have been expedited and the Subclass 417 Visa is now being processed within a maximum of 14 days. Finally Permanent Skilled Migration applications are being processed within 7 months now, compared to 12 months processing, in February 2023.

10 August 2023

Massive Increase in Number of Migrants coming to Australia

For the first 9 months of the 2022/23 Financial year, there was a significant increase in the Skilled migration intake by 111.7%, which is a Permanent residence number of 144,040, an increase from 68,055, in the previous financial year. In addition, Student visa approvals jumped up to a 154.4% increase to 511,149, which was previously only 200,941. Reasons for the larger numbers are due to increasing number of Visa applications, since the Post-Covid rebuild.

7 August 2023

International Students can Extend their Stay in Australia

The Government has permitted International Students and Sponsored Workers to extend their Stay in Australia, under a Covid-19 Pandemic Event Visa, which was set-up in 2020. The Australian Labour Government has already approved more than 66,000 Covid-19 Visas, which is more than the number of Visas granted, when Australia had border restrictions.