Announced on 1 July, Australia’s permanent Migration Program for 2021-2022 outlines a raft of migration policy and visa changes designed to support Australia’s response to COVID-19 and eventual post-pandemic recovery.
Most affected by these changes will be international students, skilled migrants, and partners of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
Here’s what you need to know:
Migration Program planning levels:
The planning ceiling has been retained at 160,000, with 79,000 places for the skilled stream and 77,300 places for the family stream.
Priority allocation will continue be given to employer-sponsored, global talent and business visas, as the Business Innovation and Investment Program will remain at 13,500, the Global Talent Visa Program at 15,000 and the Employer Sponsored visa at 22,000.
22 occupations added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL):
The Federal Government has announced it will fast-track visa applications for more occupations on the PMSOL. This means that employer-sponsored visa applications with an occupation on the PMSOL will be given priority during processing.
Additionally, a further 22 occupations have been added to the list. These include Accountants, Chefs, Engineers, and Medical Laboratory Scientists.
For a full list, see the Immigration Minister’s full press release: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/AlexHawke/Pages/supporting-australia-covid-recovery-through-skilled-migration.aspx
Family visa concessions:
In November 2020, the Morrison Government announced temporary changes to the Family visa program, allowing select family visa applicants who have lodged visas offshore to remain onshore to receive their visa grants. Formerly, these applicants were required to go offshore in order to be granted their visa.
These concessions will continue to remain in place until further notice.
The temporary visa concession applies to the following Family visa subclasses:
Partner (subclass 309) visa
Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa
Child (subclass 101) visa
Adoption (subclass 102) visa
Dependent Child (subclass 445) visa
International students allowed to work over 40 hours a fortnight in select sectors:
The Government has temporarily removed the cap on the working hours for international students employed in the hospitality and tourism sectors.
Some fee increases from 1 July:
The standard Australian citizenship by conferral application fee will be raised from $285 to $490.
Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) application fees will also increase from the current $1,764 to $3,000.
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