Australian Immigration News

Here is a summary of what has been happening in the complex world of Australian Immigration. 

Global Talent Independent student eligibility changes

New student eligibility requirements for the Global Talent Independent program were introduced on 20 January 2021. The following changes are to attract the highest calibre of Global Talen to support the creation of new industries and jobs that will ensure Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

  • Bachelor with Honours, Masters by Coursework and Masters by Research graduates are no longer be eligible based on having achieved a qualification in a priority sector.
  • PhD graduates who completed their studies within the past three years will still be eligible. Applicants who achieved their qualification overseas from a non-Australian education provider must demonstrate that their PhD meets Australian standards.
  • PhD students nearing completion of their degree must demonstrate that they have a prior record of exceptional and outstanding professional achievement. The student must also demonstrate that their PhD will meet Australian standards.

Visa name change and transitional arrangements

On 27 February 2021, the Distinguished Talent (subclass 858) visa was renamed to the Global Talent (subclass 858) visa. From this date, a Distinguished Talent (subclass 124) or Global Talent (subclass 858) visa can be granted to eligible applicants who are in or outside Australia.

New Global Talent priority sectors

The updated list of Global Talent priority sectors is below:

  • Resources
  • Agri-food and AgTech
  • Energy
  • Health industries
  • Defence, advanced manufacturing and space
  • Circular economy
  • Digitech
  • Infrastructure and tourism
  • Financial services and FinTech
  • Education

Update for General Skilled Migration visa applications

The following GSM visa subclasses are subject to both migration program planning levels and priority processing arrangements:

This prioritisation will affect processing times for individual applications. The Department of Home Affairs is processing applications according to Direction No. 87 – Order of consideration – certain skilled migration visas (the Direction).

Visa applicants who nominate an occupation in a Critical Sector have the highest priority for visa application processing. Visa applicants who nominate an occupation outside of a Critical Sector may experience greater processing timeframes.

Employer Sponsored Visa Processing Times

Ministerial Directions No 87 and 88 apply to all applications for the Employer Sponsored visa programs, regardless of lodgement date, with visa applicants nominating an occupation in a critical sector receiving the highest priority for visa application processing.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic downturn have negatively impacted many industry sectors and businesses. Decision makers are required to be satisfied that the applications they are considering continue to meet relevant criteria for approval. Where an application (nomination or visa) was lodged pre or during COVID, then that employer and/or visa applicant may be required to provide new information that the business is still viable, that the position is still available and that the nominated employee is still required.

Family visa processing

Health and character clearances

The Department of Home Affairs is processing more partner applications. The priority is finalisation of onshore applications, and applications which meet all requirements for grant of a visa.

Grant of certain offshore applications to applicants onshore

From 27 February 2021, as a temporary COVID-19 concession, the Migration Regulations were changed to allow grant of certain Partner and Child visas to applicants who are located in Australia. The affected visas are:

  • Partner visa (subclass 309)
  • Prospective Marriage (subclass 300)
  • Child (subclass 101)
  • Adoption (subclass 102)
  • Dependent Child (subclass 445)

These applications will be finalised as quickly as possible once all requirements are met. On 24 March 2021, this concession was extended to certain Parent visa applicants:

  • Parent (subclasses 103)
  • Contributory Parent (subclass 143)
  • Contributory Parent (subclass 173)

A concession to allow visa grant to certain visa applicants who are outside Australia has also applied since March 2021 to the following visas:

  • Aged Parent (subclass 804)
  • Contributory Aged Parent (subclass 864)

Book a Consultation

Consult with a qualified Registered Migration Agent to be sure you are making the best decisions for your circumstances. Please book an appointment to discuss your Australian visa application with a Registered Migration Agent.