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7 Key Changes to Australia Migration: What You Need to Know

On July 1, 2023, the fiscal year 2023–24 has officially began with a number of noteworthy improvements that require careful consideration. Improvements, spanning from updated Work and Holiday Maker regimes to longer stays for qualified individuals, are intended to streamline processes, open up new opportunities, and strengthen Australia's labour force. Let us take a look at some of the new changes implemented:

1. Increase in Income Standards for Skilled Immigration

The TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) standard for income has been raised and is currently $70,000.

2. Changes to Work & Holiday Makers

Papua New Guinea (PNG) has officially joined the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) Programme on July 1, 2023.

Additionally, a change in the Working Holiday (subclass 417) visa's age requirements has been made specifically for applicants from the United Kingdom. The age restriction has been increased from 30 to 35 years, which will provide prospects for a wider variety of qualified applicants.

3. Visa Fees Increase

In accordance with the projected Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the fiscal year 2023-24, revisions have been made to the Visa Application Charges (VACs).

4. Simplified Pathway to Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens

Commenced on July 1, 2023, New Zealand citizens who have a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and have entered Australia after February 26, 2001, and have maintained residency in Australia for a period of four years or longer are able to directly apply for Australian citizenship through an eligibility pathway. However, non-New Zealand citizen family members will require sponsorship from the new Australian citizen in order to obtain permanent residency in Australia. Partners and dependents may still join Subclass 189 visa applications that are still under consideration.

5. Employment Limitations for Holders of Student Visas

For those on student visas, the return of work restrictions has been enforced as of July 1, 2023, putting a cap of 48 working hours per week. However there is still one exception to this rule.

Student visa holders who were already employed in the aged care sector as of May 9, 2023 and continue to work in that sector are permitted to work without restrictions until December 31, 2023.

6. Extended Stay for Holders of Subclass 485 Visas

Effective July 1, 2023, post-study residency has been extended for those overseas students who successfully finished qualifying programmes in the domains of research, medicine, healthcare, engineering, and technology. These are the extended durations:

  • Two to four years for bachelor's degrees

  • Three to five years for masters degrees

  • Four to six years for all doctoral degrees

It is significant to stress that the current regional parameters will continue to be used, with the potential for a two-year extension where appropriate.

In addition, those who meet the requirements for their first Temporary Graduate visa will benefit from an additional two-year extension beyond the normal visa period. Also, if this extension has not already been granted under a prior Temporary Graduate visa, qualified applicants applying for a Temporary Graduate visa through the Replacement or Post-Study Work streams who have studied and resided in regional Australia may also be eligible for an additional two years.

7. Graduate Work Stream - Career and Skills Evaluation

Candidates must have a qualification relevant to an occupation on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List) and complete a skills evaluation relevant to the chosen profession as of July 1, 2023, for visa applications submitted under the Graduate Work stream. It's important to bear in mind that this requirement was temporarily delayed from July 1, 2022, until June 30, 2023.

What the future holds

Major shifts that will affect the trajectory of migration to Australia have been predicted for the start of the new fiscal year. The government's allocation of 30,375 visa spots for the 2023–24 programme under the Skilled Independent visa category, in conjunction with statutory amendments, underlines its firm dedication to recruiting skilled professionals and managing the nation's rising needs. After reaching the incredible milestone of sending over 66,000 invitations for the Subclass 189 visa the year before, this substantial visa quota comes into effect.

However as skilled migration continues to evolve it is important to remember that:

In order to raise the eligibility requirements and improve the competitiveness of the system, the government has stated its intention to carry out a thorough assessment of the points calculator used for skilled visas. According to Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil, the current criteria are seen as insufficient and highlight Australia's desire to attract people of the highest professional calibre.

The proposed changes to employer sponsorship laws also provide insight on how the labour market is adapting and changing. The government's commitment to cultivating an environment where skilled workers are empowered to explore an array of diverse career opportunities within Australia is demonstrated by the proposed idea of obtaining permanent residency after a two-year sponsorship period and an extended timeframe for finding a new sponsor.

If you’re interested in discussing your visa options further or have any inquiries , please feel free to contact us via each of our contact means or socials @ The Aussie Handbook.


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