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Australian Immigration News August 2023: Cash Incentives, IELTS and TOEFL Changes and Aged Care

Welcome to our August Australian Immigration News, where we bring you crucial updates on changes in Australian immigration. In this edition, we cover a range of topics, including alterations to the 189 and 190 visas, state nominations, 408 pandemic visa, cash incentives offered by states for specific occupations, VETASSESS Skill Assessment, Parent visa program, English testing modifications, Aged Care Agreement and more. For detailed information on all visas, visit Work Visa Lawyers




189 Skilled independent visa

The 189 are waiting for the first round of the 2024 year. We suspect it will be a large round as there are 30,000 available allocations and Australian unemployment remains at record lows at 3.5 percent.


State-Nominated 190 and 491 Visas

Most states are still awaiting the allocations before they start issuing nominations.
Tasmania is taking registration of interest.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has already started giving out nominations, but the related invitation will follow later from the Federal Government.


408 Pandemic Visa Continues

Contrary to concerns, the 408 Pandemic event visa continues to be granted beyond July 1st. While there's no set date for changes, applicants must be within the last 90 days of their current visa, holding a temporary visa with work rights and an Australian employer.

There were 93,000 subclass 408 visa holders in Australia at the end of March 2023 and the number will continue to rise.

For more information, watch our video on YouTube:


Temporary Skills Shortage 482 and 186 Employer-Sponsored Visas

  • From 1 July 2023 the minimum salary went up to $ 70,000
  • New Labour Marketing Testing (LMT) exemption for Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) applications where the applicant is a UK citizen or permanent resident.
  • The federal government plans to reduce the years needed to transfer to a 186 visa from three years to two.

For more information, watch our video on YouTube:


Cash Incentives up to $ 15,000 for certain occupations

Australian money

Construction Worker Cash:

Western Australia (WA) is offering cash of up to $10,000 for both employers and applicants

  • There are 59 occupations including Construction Project Managers, Architects, Structural Engineers, Civil Engineering Technician, Bricklayers, Carpenters, Plumbers, Tiler, Electricians, and Various Heavy Machinery operators,

For Skilled Migrants:

  • They will need a construction occupation visa granted through the WA visa program and to be employed

 For Employers:

  • Sponsor a skilled migrant in one of the following visa subclasses - 482, 494, or 186; and in an eligible occupation

Health Workers who relocate to South Australia

  • Interstate and overseas health workers who take up a job within 100km of the Adelaide CBD will be eligible for $10,000.
  • Those who take a job in a regional location (more than 100km outside the Adelaide CBD) will be eligible for $13,000.
  • Those who relocate to remote South Australia will be eligible for $15,000

Relocating Healthcare Workers to Victoria

There is an international travel reimbursement to help with relocation costs:

  • $10,000 for healthcare workers who secure a role in a public metropolitan health service
  • $13,000 for healthcare workers who secure a role in a rural or regional health service


Integrity Restoration in the Australian Migration System

More than 140 unscrupulous employers have been sanctioned by the Australian Border Force (ABF) during the past financial year for exploiting migrant workers in Australian workplaces. The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has been putting extra effort into investigating and sanctioning exploitative employers.

Recommendations from FORMER POLICE Commissioner Christine Nixon's to reduce exploitation within the visa system include:

  • Stopping offshore unregistered people from running migration businesses
  • Ongoing higher funding for monitoring activities

The reduction will be attractive for many potential applicants, especially though those ones cannot get the positive skills assessment that’s required for General Skilled Migration (GSM).


VETASSESS skills assessments has a new system for priority processing

Urgent reasons for an applicant to apply for priority processing: 

  • They have received an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs or an Australian state or territory government, which has an expiry date   
  • Their visa expires within eight weeks and they are unable to obtain another visa 
  • They are turning 33, 40, or 45 within eight weeks 
  • Their English test result (IELTS or PTE) expires within eight weeks 
  • Their Partner Skills Assessment or English test result expires within eight weeks. 

Applicants without an urgent need can still apply for Priority Processing. Once places are allocated to those with an urgent need, any remaining slots will be offered to other applicants in the queue on a first-come-first-served basis. 


Continuing Challenges in the Parent Visa Program

The excessive processing times for parent visas are a problem that continues to grow. There are now over 130,000 applications in processing, which on current yearly quotas of 8500 parent visas on average will take 15 years to be processed. With 130,000 in the system, the estimative is at least 5 relatives in Australia emotionally invested in each application, which is affecting 650,000 people. 

People keep lodging the parent visa program with the hope that processing will improve in the future.  

For more information, watch our video on YouTube:


English testing Updates


The IELTS one-skill retake is being accepted by the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) – the teaching skills assessment body. So that means it will be easier to obtain the very demanding scores required for teachers.


The Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced that starting from July 26, 2023, the previously recognised English language test for Australian visa applications, TOEFL iBT, will be temporarily unavailable for visa purposes.

Only valid TOEFL iBT scores from tests taken prior to July 26, 2023, will be recognized for relevant visa sub-classes to Australia. 


Question of the month: “Should I study Aged Care for quick Permanent Residency?”

female caregiver walking with se

The answer in most cases is No if you are looking for predictable visa paths.

Aged Care is not on the skilled occupation lists. The study does not lead to a graduate visa subclass 485. When the 408 pandemic visa is gone, it will be difficult to stay and work in Australia after study, without a graduate visa.

So why all the excitement? There is a new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement.  This allows sponsorship for employer-sponsored visas.

However, the new Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement offers hope for employer-sponsored visas. While securing sponsorship and transitioning to Permanent Residency is challenging, the agreement offers a potential route.

For more information, read our article about Aged Care:




How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

If you need help with this visa, Work Visa Lawyers can assist you.

Work Visa Lawyers is highly experienced in all parts of an employer-sponsored visa application process. We can assist with all aspects of the application and will provide an eligibility assessment before advising you to proceed with a visa application.

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your potential application(s).

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

You can book an appointment online or call us at (+61) 8 8351 9956.


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Tuesday, 18 June 2024

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