Josh Frydenberg, The Australian treasurer has presented 2019/2020 budget on behalf of the government and with no surprises immigration portfolio is to be affected due to significant changes in this budget
Followings are the changes due to new budget.
Increases in Visa Application Charges (VAC)
As of new financial year, 1 July 2019, VAC is set to increases by 5.4% for all visas except subclass 600 (visitor).
If you are a potential student visa applicant, your VAC will be increased by $31.05 to $606.05.
Slashing of immigration numbers.
The Government had already announce of slashing down immigration numbers by 1,20,000 over next four years. The maximum number of migrating visas available for the 2019/2020 program year will be lowered to 160,000 from 1,90,000 as the government plans to cut off 30,000 annually over next four years. Skilled Independent and Employer Sponsored visa will have significant cut to make way for 23,000 places in the new regional visa program announced for November 2019.
Push to regional Australia
Government plans to introduce three new visas to attract migrants to regional areas. From 1 November 2019, the provisional employer sponsored and provisional work visas would be available, with the permanent Skilled Regional visa available from November 2022.
The definition of ‘regional’ will be simplified to include anywhere outside of Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Termination of existing regional visas
The current permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa and the State Nominated temporary regional visa (subclass 489) will be discontinued when the new regional visas come into effect. Existing visa holders and applications lodged before this date will not be affected.
For people considering regional options, this means that the current regional visa subclasses will be replaced by new regional visa subclasses. The major change proposed so far is that requirement to live in the region will increase from 2 to 3 years.
Longer stay for International Graduates
International Students who complete their studies in regional Australia and continue to remain in regional Australia on their graduate visa will be able to apply for a further one-year post study work visa from 2021.
New scholarships will be available for international and domestic students to study in regional areas, for higher education and vocational education qualifications.
GSM Points Test Changes
From 1 November 2019, the skilled migration points test will be adjusted to award additional points to applicants where their partner has competent English but cannot meet the other requirements for skilled partner points. Single applicants will not be disadvantaged as there will be other additional points available.
Those looking to study in Australia may wish to consider applying to regional universities in anticipation of the new regional visas and extended Graduate visas.
Please note that there is currently very little information on the new regional visa requirements, scholarships, and the points test changes, so we are unable to provide specific advice on these at this stage.