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What to expect for Australian Migration Program 2019/2020

It is not a surprise to us migration agents that changes happen at the start of the Australian Migration Program year. In fact, we always anticipate changes around this time. The Australian Government has recently presented its budget for 2019/2020 which highlights important changes within the immigration sector.

Visa Consort has identified below some of the relevant information regarding the changes affecting aspiring migrants:

Visa application charges to increase effective 1st July 2019

All visa application fees except for subclass 600 visas are subject to increase from 1st July 2019. Particularly, an approximate amount of A$200 to be added on the primary applicant fee of a permanent skilled visa application.

Cuts to migration intake

As expected, the Government will be reducing its PR migration intake from 190,000 to 160,000 places in the next four years. The proposed cuts would mostly affect Skilled Independent and Employer Sponsored visa applications which is in line with the new regional visa program to start in November 2019.

GSM points test changes

Good news to partners of GSM visa applicants who have competent English but do not meet the requirements for skilled partner points as additional points will be awarded to them. This will mostly have an effect on subclass 189 and 190 visas. There’s not much information provided as yet about this positive development. All we know so far is that it will take effect in November 2019.

New regional visas to replace 489 and RSMS visas

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and State Nominated Temporary Regional (489) visas will be discontinued and replaced by the new regional visas in Novmeber 2019. Nothing much is known apart from the increase in residency requirement within the regional area from 2 to 3 years.

Action plan

Now that the changes to come have been made more definite upon the Government’s budget announcement, it is beneficial to utilise the information gathered when planning your Australian journey. Hence, for those looking at applying for an Australian visa, it’s best to aim lodging the application before 1st July 2019 to avoid paying much greater fees. For those interested to apply for RSMS or 489 visas, it is important that applications are lodged by October when current rules still apply.

The last two years have shown a signific ant slowdown with regards to GSM visa application grants, particularly for Skilled Independent visas (189). We can only expect things to become more difficult so if you have been thinking about migrating to Australia for a while, it’s time to act on it. Do something about it before you miss out on one of the greatest opportunities you will ever have.

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