October and November has received a lot of good news and negative news from Skilled Migration Program and Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) in Australia.
Apart from the outcomes of the Skills Summit in September which have been announced recently, there is more news from the skill select results and state nomination updates especially in NSW.
The biggest update could be the publishment of the Migration Allocation Budget where we saw a cut in Global Talent Visa, but a significant increase in Business and Investment Visa 188 or in Employer sponsorship and Parent Visa.
Skills Select results - Visa 189 and 491 Invitation round October 2022
The 6 October had seen another massive round. There were 11,714 visa 189 invitations which is the highest number even for the last 2 years in such a round.
There were invitations for onshore applicants in this round, but still a higher level for OFFSHORE INVITATIONS overall.
We can see that the government is now focusing on offshore migrants to help address the skills shortages.
There are 818 Family Sponsored 491 visa invitations, which is nearly double up from 466.
I would expect the occupations to broaden in each round. As we can see clearly, medical and health related occupations are still covering most invitations of the 189 visa. Other occupations have been invited are engineer professionals (Civil engineer, chemical engineer, electrical engineer...), trade occupations and Early Childhoood / Secondary Teacher.
It is very difficult and time consuming to get the relevant registrations and skills assessments for medical occupations. So the number of EOI in the systems for those occupations are likely to have largely cleaned out.
The positive thing is that, the minimum point for most occupations (around 80-90%) are 65.
The focus on offshore is raising many concerns for overseas passport holders in Australia.
Should they go offshore to increase their chances of securing an invitation?
My answer is NO.
The offshore focus, if it continues, could endanger the international education industry in Australia. A strong factor in choosing to study in Australia is having a path to migrate.
So the Australian Government should think carefully about the value of international students to Australia, including their contribution to filling job vacancies. There needs to be balance and including inviting more onshore applicants.
One more concern is about the visa 189 Australia does not have restriction on where visa holders have to live and work. This could bring skilled migrants to come to metro areas such as Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and the skills shortages in regional areas will be more severe.
After all, this is really a good news for skilled migrants onshore and offshore.
They now have more options to choose from and to plan ahead for Australian PR.
Migration Allocations Up for Skilled Visa 189/491/190
In the last announcement on Federal Government budget for the Migration Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has poured a significant funds into the program.
An additional $576 million for over 4 years to the Department of Home Affairs for activities including visa processing, offshore processing costs and supporting refugees.
The allocations for skilled visas 189/491/190 have been changed from the 26 October 2022.
The skilled independent visa 189 allocations have been upped again. Last year they were 6,500, now they are 32,000.
Plus other state nominated visas are also up. Remarkable growth for regional visas which are now up to 34,000 places and State Nominated Visa 190 (PR) is risen to 31,000 allocations.
The total number of skilled visas available as part of the program increase significantly from 79,600 to 142,400 in this financial year 2023.
So this means those wanting to migrate, it is time to get your nominated occupation skills assessment and English result.
Employer sponsored permanent visas are up from 22,000 to 35,000. Which also sounds great !
For all the allocation news, see our Breaking News video below
Business visa News
The interim allocation in August for the Business and Innovation and Investor visa 188 was just over eight hundred (800).
Now two months later, state and territories are closing their programs, having exhausted their state quotas for this specific stream.
Recently the new allocation levels of 5000 business visas to 30 June 2023 has been announced. However, with the current crisis in the business and investment visa program, this number can be filled quickly.
The future of business visas and particulary the Significant Investor Visa is still in doubt with the rumours aroud the minister's talk in September.
NSW skilled occupation list
The publication of the NSW skilled occupation list has provided some insight for applicants.
For the 190 visa NSW, some occupations have low point scores, such as 65 for Registered Nurses and trades such as Roof Tilers.
But other occupations are impossibly high and send the clear message, look for greener pastures.
For the 190 Visa in NSW for Accountants are 110 points, ICT Business and Sytems analyst are 100 points
Having these scores published is helpful for those wanting to apply.
Welcome news with the publication of updated allocation numbers from 26 October.
The number of parent visas has gone from 4500 to 8500. This will lead to a lowering of processing times for the parent visas.
For example, the estimates for the Contributory Parent Visa 143 had gone out to over ten years, with a backlog of over 50,000.
So this will be lower with more visa grants per year.
Student visa holders
Unrestricted work rights for international students who hold student visa subclass 500 will end on 30 June 2023. The restriction of 40 hours a fortnight will then apply.
This may be challenging for some international students to adjust to. But overall, the pressure to work full time can also be detrimental to the ability to study.
This is a right decision for International students since their tuition fee is comparatively higher than the money they are able to earn.
That will also affect their future and their capability to fill in high skills shortgages.
Working Holidary Visa
There has been a 30% incresase in the cap for working holiday visas. This will be welcoming for all those planning a backpacking and working holdiday in Australia.
With the high interest from young people around the world, this will still be filled quickly as soon as it opens for some Asian countries.
Please check carefully with our specialists to know more about the program opening round to be able to secure a working holiday visa.
Sensible reforms - Health examination waived for onshore applicants
A relaxation on the need for medicals has been announced for temporary visa applicants already in Australia. This will help reduce waiting times for medicals and save money for applicants and the government. But there are some categories, such as those working in medical settings, that will still need medicals.
More sensible reforms along these lines are welcome.
Global Talent Visa Australia Updates
The negative news is still going for Global Talent Visa.
The allocations had been cut from 8448 down to 5000 for the year ending 30 June 2022.
See our separate video to be posted soon, to consider the implications and future for the GTV.
Migration Institute Australia National Conference
I have recently returned from the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) National Conference, which was held in Hobart, Tasmania.
Opened by the Hon Andrew Giles, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs.
Minister Giles set the tone for a renewed immigration program focussed on nation building and multiculturalism.
Paul Denman, Senior Director for the Immigration Program spoke about the practical considerations of clearing the visa backlog.
Brendan Coates presented the Grattan Institutes perspective on the best way to measure migrations perspective being through the income generated by migrants.
Under such a model high paid migrants are to be favoured over filling skills shortages and business visas such the SIV visa.
Enda Stankard and Andrew Martin from MA Financial Group outlined the contributions made to Australia by the Significant Investor Visa (SIV).
At the Gala Dinner and Awards night the MIA celebtrated 35 Year leading the Australian migration industry.
Craig Foster gave an inspiring speech about his in successfully advocating Australian refugee Hakeem to be released from a Thai jail and to avoid extradition to Bahrain. His continuing to work includes #RacismNotWelcome
Congratulations to all the Award winners including Craig Foster for his Distinguished Service to Immigration in Australia. John Hourigan was awarded Life Membership in recognition of his many years of contributing to the MIA,.
Thanks to the voluntary efforts of the Leadership of National president Julie Williams and Vice President Constantine Paxinos, to all MIA Board members and CEO Peter Vymys and all committed staff at the national office.