Immigration Department News

Australian Immigration News – May 2024

As the end of the financial year approaches, many changes are being made to the Australian immigration system. In this article, we will go through some of those changes.

128 New Occupations Added to the SA DAMA

The South Australian regional DAMA and the Adelaide City DAMA have both been extended and expanded.

The SA regional DAMA now includes 128 new occupations across various sectors, including construction, trade, agribusiness, ICT, health, education, and renewable energy.

Some occupations added are registered nurse in child and family health, registered nurse in disability and rehabilitation, winery worker (beneficial for South Australia's Barossa and Clare Valley), sheep farm worker, truck driver, bricklayer, and floor finisher. Truck driver is particularly notable as it was previously a restricted occupation but is now available for the entire state.

Do you want to know more about the new occupations on the SA DAMA? Click here to read the full article.

Student Visa News

Increase in Financial Capacity:

From 10 May 2024, the financial requirement for Student visa applicants will increase from AUD 24,505 to AUD 29,710.

For a spouse or de facto partner of the Student primary applicant, it will increase from AUD 8,574 to AUD 10,394.

For a dependent child, it will increase from AUD 3,670 to AUD 4,449.

The last increase happened in October 2023, and this new increase was not expected for this financial year.

Recent changes to Australian student visa and graduate visa programs signal a significant shift in the landscape of international education and post-study opportunities in the country. Starting from 23 March 2024, these updates include increased English language requirements and the introduction of the genuine student requirement.

TOEFL iBT is now accepted for all Australian visas

TOEFL iBT tests taken from 5 May 2024 are valid for Australian visas and migration purposes. The test must be taken at a secure test center, as the department does not currently accept online English tests.

End of the 476 Visa

As widely expected, the skilled recognized graduate 476 visa will permanently close from 1 July 2024. This is disappointing for many, but it was expected.

Graduate Visa Changes

The main change will be the reduction of the maximum eligible age from under 50 to 35 years and under, proposed to be implemented from 1 July 2024.

Exceptions include Hong Kong and British overseas national passport holders, who will be eligible up to the age of 50.

Other changes for the graduate visa include increasing the minimum English requirement and reducing the validity period for English tests from three years to just one year prior to the application date.

This means applicants may need to check and complete their English tests before applying.

Click here to read more about the Graduate Visa changes.

Skilled Points Review Paper

The Australian Government published a paper discussing potential changes to the points test for the 189, 190, and 491 visas.

The review may alter the available points by removing and reducing factors and adding new ones.

Expected changes include reducing or removing points for regional study and NAATI-approved language.

Points for partners may increase, age points might be allocated on a gradual scale, and English points might also follow a more gradual scale.

New Core Skills Occupation List

Jobs and Skills Australia has opened a consultation about the Core Skills Occupation list.

This list will be for the Core Skills visa, designed to replace the 482 employer-sponsored visa with similar requirements.

The consultation categorizes occupations into three groups:

  1. Confident On List – Occupations that Jobs and Skills Australia is certain should remain on the list.

Occupations such as Registered Nurse, Social Worker, Diesel Motor Mechanic, and IT Network Administrator are on the Confident On List.

  1. Confident Off List – Occupations recommended for removal based on current labor market insights.

Occupations such as Cafe or Restaurant Manager, Cattle Farmer, ICT Project Manager, and Real Estate Representative are on the Confident Off List.

  1. Targeted for Consultation – Occupations that require further input from stakeholders to determine their necessity and priority.

Occupations such as Chef, Cook, Finance Manager, Web Designer, Hairdresser, and Marketing Specialist are on the Targeted for Consultation List.

Will your occupation be on the new Core Skills Occupation List? Full article here.

VETASSESS Skills Assessment

VETASSESS is accepting new applications again for cook, diesel motor mechanic, and motor mechanic.

Some other trade occupations paused in 2023 are not yet accepted by VETASSESS.

State Nominated 190 and 491 Visas

Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland, and the Northern Territory have already closed for expressions of interest. Other states and territories may close soon.

This was a summary of the main news in Australian immigration at the start of May 2024. If you need advice on your specific situation, please book an appointment.

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your visa application.

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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128 new occupations added to SA's DAMAs

Adelaide SA

The South Australia (SA) Regional DAMA and the Adelaide City DAMA have been both extended and expanded.

The SA Regional DAMA now includes 128 new occupations from various sectors including construction, trades, agribusiness, ICT, health, education, and renewable energy.

We submitted suggestions to the Government of South Australia to include certain occupations on the DAMA list. We welcome the inclusion of occupations such as Registered Nurse in Child and Family Health, Registered Nurse in Disability and Rehabilitation, Winery Worker, Sheep Farm Worker, and others on the list.

The 'Winery Worker' occupation is a valuable addition, especially since South Australia has a strong wine industry.

Other important occupations added to the list include Truck Driver, Bricklayer, and Floor Finisher.

This is excellent news for those seeking permanent residency pathways!

Click here to view the 128 new occupations.

Annual nominations

The annual nominations for the SA Regional DAMA have increased from 750 to 2000, valid until June 30, 2025.


South Australia continues to offer age concessions up to 55 years, a 10% reduction in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), and other concessions in English and work experience.

South Australia DAMA Occupation List

The SA DAMA comes under two agreements which list eligible occupations and concessions available:

  • Adelaide Innovation and Technology Agreement: the occupations are restricted to employers in the Adelaide Metropolitan region. The only concession that applies to these occupations is that they all have a pathway to permanent residency, and include an age concession.
  • South Australian Regional Workforce Agreement: includes some occupations eligible to employers in the whole of South Australia and some occupations eligible for employers only in the postcode range 5220 to 5734 (non-metropolitan SA). The agreement includes a range of occupation-specific concessions concerning:
    • Skills and experience
    • TSMIT
    • English
    • Age
    • Permanent pathway

Review the lists to see if your occupation is eligible and what concessions apply.

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

Our team of experienced Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your DAMA Visa application.

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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Regional Migration: Australia's Top Priority 2024

In early 2023, regional migration visas in Australia were under a cloud of uncertainty. The Parkinson Report Migration, released in March 2023, failed to offer any guidance or support for regional migration options.

The final report suggests a recalibration of the skilled points test and even proposes the removal of points for regional study. It states, “In conjunction with this measure, existing regional concessions in mainstream permanent phases, such as additional points for regional study, could be removed to ensure those programs are strongly focused on selecting migrants who will best meet national economic objectives.”

Additionally, state nomination applications in Australia across all states were reduced by 70% from July 1, 2023, marking a significant downturn in the 2023-24 financial year.

However, early 2024 has seen positive developments in regional migration policy.

Migration Policy Developments 2024

Regional employer-sponsored nominations visas such as 482, 186, 494, and DAMAs are now the top priority in ministerial processing directives. This means they are processed above all others, including professions in teaching and health that were previously given high priority.

This shift demonstrates the Federal Government is encouraging migration to regional areas.

The new Skills in Demand Visa Australia includes an "Essential Skills" category visa for lower-skilled occupations, such as carers, with potential salaries below A$70,000. These visas aim to supply workers to regional areas for both caregiving and agricultural roles.

For the 2024 to 2025 financial year, skilled points visas, including the 189, 190, and 491 visas, will remain unchanged. The 491 Visa, designed for regional areas, continues to be available, dispelling rumors of its abolition in the Migration Review.

Click here to read more about the Skilled Work Regional 491 Visa.

Why is regional migration regaining favour?

Several factors are at play, including a strong demand from industries and communities in regional Australia for migrants. Furthermore, the housing crisis has prompted the federal government to encourage migration away from Australia's largest cities, Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

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.

For visa application assistance in Australia, you can book an appointment online or call us at (+61) 8 8351 9956.

Adelaide SA


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South Australia's State Nomination Program is Open for 190 and 491 Visas

South Australia (SA) offers many opportunities for skilled migrants. With 503 occupations listed on the SA Skilled Occupation List and four available streams, you may be eligible to apply.

South Australian Graduates Stream

International graduates who have selected South Australia as their study destination are given preference within the General Skilled Migration program.

The criteria to apply include:

  • Have completed your qualification at a South Australian education provider
  • A minimum of 50% of your qualification must have been completed in South Australia
  • Must have resided in South Australia for at least one year during your studies
  • Have been residing in South Australia for at least the last 12 months
  • Have been working for the last 6 months, and be currently employed, in a full-time (at least 30 hours per week) job that is relevant to your nominated occupation

You can check all the criteria here.

Adelaide SA

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Cash Incentives up to $15,000 for certain occupations in WA, SA and VIC

Western Australia (WA), South Australia (SA) and Victoria (VIC) are offering cash incentives for migrants for occupations in healthcare and construction. If you are a health worker or a construction worker, the opportunity is now. You can get the incentive if you move to their state and take up a job. If you have friends or family in construction or health care, then tell them about these amazing offers.

australian dollar bills removebg preview

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