We would like to inform our readers about some of the changes expected this year in the Immigration rules by the Authorities.

Migration Programs:

The Migration Visas quota is likely to remain unchanged at 160,000 for the year 2020-21. However, the quota distribution is expected to be different. The family stream quota will increase from around 47,000 to 77,000. In order to help recovery of the economy after a very difficult 2020, the government is keen to take in more individuals with talent. As a result, the following applicants are being accorded higher priority, more so to encourage applicants to migrate to regional areas:

Global Talent

Business Innovation / Investment

Temporary Graduate

Partner (specially in regional areas)

Employer Sponsored (with concessions)

Global Talent Independent Program:

The government is establishing a Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce with the purpose of attracting international businesses and outstanding talents to Australia, in order to help with the post-Covid economic recovery. This will be an improvement to the existing Global Talent Initiative Program, and the Business Innovation and Investment Program. The quota for the GTI program will be increased from 5,000 to 15,000.

Business Innovation / Investment Programs:

With the aim to support and rebuild the economic recovery post-Covid, the quota for the Business Innovation Visas and Business Investment Visas has increased to around 13000. There will be a streamlining and improvement in the operation of the Business Innovation and Investment Programs from 1st July 2021.

With the aim to attract migrants with proven business acumen, two of the major changes for this Visa are:

  1. applicants for this Visa will be required to have an annual turnover of $750,000(up from $500,000) in at least two of the last 4 fiscal years
  2. applicants for this Visa will be required to have business and personal assets of $1,250,000 (up from $800,000) as at the last date of the last 2 fiscal years, as well as at the time of invitation.

Temporary Graduate Program:

The DHA has announced a new initiative for a second Temporary Graduate Visa with an additional 1-2 years of post-study work rights for international students

  1. who graduate from the regional campus of a registered University or Institution with a higher education or postgraduate qualification, and
  2. who maintain ongoing residence in a regional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485).

The second Temporary Graduate visa will require the applicant to continue to have ongoing residence in a regional area.

In order to be eligible for this Visa extension, students need to have graduated from a regional Institution, and resided (work + 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 have graduated from a regional institution, and who have resided (work + study) for at least 2 years in a regional area immediately before applying for this Visa.

Partner Program:

An English Language requirement will be one of the most significant changes to the Partner Visa. The Applicant and the Permanent Resident Sponsor will both be required to pass the English Language requirement with at least functional English. The aim of this test is to promote social cohesion and economic participation. This requirement is only for subclasses 801/100. It is not applicable to subclasses 300/309/820.

An alternative to the test is that the applicant would need to undertake around 500 hours of English Language classes through the Adult Migration English Program (AMEP).

The above change is likely to be effective from 1st July 2021.

Employer Sponsored Visa Concessions Program

In order to be eligible for a subclass 186-TRT Visa, one would need to hold a subclass 457 or 482 Visa, and also to have worked for an employer full-time for at least 3 years.

During the pandemic period, workers’ hours were reduced, or they were asked to take unpaid leave. Keeping this in mind, the government has introduced laws that allow subclass 457 or 482 visa holders to apply for the subclass 186-TRT despite not having worked full-time during the concession period, for which the starting date is considered as 1st February 2020.