Here are the latest changes in Australian Immigration for July 2021
Migration Program Planning Levels for 2021 – 2022
The 2021-2022 Migration Program Planning Levels remain unchanged from the previous year at:
- Skilled – 79,600
- Family – 77,300
- Special Eligibility – 100 places
- Child – 3,000 places
Administrative Appeals Tribunal
The cost of visa refusal and cancellation appeals were subject to an increase on 1 July 2021. The decision to increase this fee was announced by the Government in the Federal Budget for 2021–22.
Review of migration decisions under Part 5 of the Migration Act 1958 will increase to $3,000. In cases where a 50% fee reduction is granted, the reduced fee payable will be $1,500.
The fee for the review of a protection visa decision will increase to $1,846. This fee is payable if the review is not successful. The application fee payable is based on when the application was lodged.
Partner Visa Sponsorship Changes
The following changes are expected to commence in November 2021 –
- Partner Visa applicants will require Functional English for grant of the permanent visa (Subclass 801).
- Partner visa applications cannot be lodged without an approved sponsorship.
- Sponsors will require Functional English and must meet character requirements before the sponsorship can be approved.
- Functional English will be a requirement for the grant of a partner visa. Those who can’t meet Functional English requirements are required to have attended about 500 hours of the Adult Migrant English program.
Travel Exemptions – Escorting Minors
Inwards travel exemptions may now be granted to people escorting Australian citizens or permanent resident minors to travel to Australia. Travel exemptions for this category may be approved under the following circumstances:
- one guardian for each child under the age of 2 years will generally be approved
- only one guardian within the same family group for multiple children over the age of 2 years will generally be approved
- additional guardians may be considered on a case-by-case basis if medical advice and evidence is provided.
Unless exceptional circumstances apply, people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to Australia should be a relative (for example, aunt, uncle, grandparent).
The purpose of these exemptions is to ensure the safety and welfare of the child or children during travel to Australia.
Business Innovation and Investor Immigration
The Business Migration program will be reduced to four instead of nine streams:
- Business Innovation
- Significant Investor
The premium investor, significant business history and the venture capital entrepreneur stream will be closed from 1 July 2021.
Provisional business and investment visas will be valid for five years with provisional visa holders in all four streams able to apply for permanent residence if they meet the requirements after three years.
The changes aim to provide a clear path to permanent residency for each business and investment visa category.
Business Innovation Visa
Business Innovation visa holders will continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
Business Innovation provisional visa holders can apply for a single two-year extension provided they demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating in Australia for the previous two years.
Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold increased business assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen. Business and personal assets have been decreased to at least $800,000.00 (previously, the value was $1,250,000.00 AUD).
Significant Investor Visa
Significant Investor visa holders will continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe. Significant Investor provisional visa holders can apply for two x two-year extensions provided they continue to maintain their complying significant investment.
The $200,000 funding threshold required for Entrepreneur visa applicants will be scrapped. Entrepreneur visa applicants will need to be endorsed by a State or Territory government.
Business Investor Stream
Managed eligible investment of at least $2.5M AUD (previously, the value of the eligible investments were at least $2.25M AUD.
State or Territory investment
The value of the complying investment has increased to $2.5M AUD (previously, the value of the complying investment was $1.5M AUD).
Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List
Australia\’s Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) identifies priority occupations to fill onshore skill gaps by attracting workers with critical skills to Australia. The PMSOL is based on expert advice from the National Skills Commission and in consultation with Commonwealth departments.
The Department of Home Affairs announced that 22 additional occupations will be added to the PMSOL. The additional occupations are:
- Accountant (General) (221111)
- Accountant (Taxation) (221113)
- Accountant (Management) (221112)
- External Auditor (221213)
- Internal Auditor (221214)
- Electrical Engineer (233311)
- Civil Engineer (233211)
- Structural Engineer (233214)
- Geotechnical Engineer (233212)
- Transport Engineer (233215)
- Mining Engineer (233611)
- Petroleum Engineer (233612)
- Surveyor (232212)
- Cartographer (232213)
- Other Spatial Scientist (232214)
- Medical Laboratory Scientist (234611)
- Orthotist / Prosthetist (251912)
- Multimedia Specialist (261211)
- Analyst Programmer (261311)
- Software and Applications Programmers (261399)
- ICT Security Specialist (262112)
- Chef (351311)
Employer-sponsored visa applications with an occupation on the PMSOL will be given priority during processing. Applicants with occupations on the PMSOL list will have their visas fast-tracked.
The Department of Home Affairs announced a new agriculture visa that will be extended to 10 ASEAN countries. The new agriculture visa was announced after the Federal government agreed under a Free Trade Agreement with the United Kingdom to scrap a requirement for British backpackers to work on Australian farms for 88 days before extending their working holidays visa.
The \’Agriculture Visa\’ will be made available to workers from Thailand, Cambodia, Brunei, Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore and Indonesia.
The Agriculture Visa visa will be made available by the end of 2021.