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.
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.
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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.
There are massive reductions of around 70% to all the state nomination allocations for General Skills Migration (GSM) for 190 and 491 visas. These allocations were released by the federal government on Thursday, August 25th.
We have created a chart to compare last year’s allocations with this year’s, and percentage cuts. The shocking overall numbers are that the combined state allocations for 190 and 491 visas in 2022-23 were 62,416, while for 2023-24, the number has reduced to just 16,700.
Are you over the age of 45 and considering migrating to Australia?
The Australian visa system offers several options specifically tailored for individuals in your age group. In this article, we will explore seven visa pathways that could open doors to work, live, or reunite with loved ones in Australia. From employer-sponsored visas with relaxed age restrictions to family-related pathways and investment opportunities, there are diverse options to suit your circumstances. Join us as we delve into the details of each visa, highlighting key requirements, concessions, and benefits. Please note that while this information provides a helpful overview, it is crucial to consult with an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent to obtain accurate and up-to-date advice based on your specific situation. Let's embark on this exploration of Australian visa options for individuals over the age of 45 and uncover the possibilities that await you.
The Designated Area Migration Agreement, or DAMA, is an employer-ponsored visa program that allows businesses in specific regional areas of Australia to sponsor skilled workers. Unlike other visa programs, the DAMA Visa has relaxed age restrictions, making it an attractive option for individuals over 45 but under 55. If you have can secure a relevant employer in designated regional area, this could be a viable pathway for you.
One of the notable concessions of the DAMA Visa is the relaxation of age restrictions. Unlike many other visa programs, the DAMA Visa can have an age concession for some occupations up until the age of 55.
In addition to age concessions, the DAMA Visa also offers salary concessions. The DAMA allows employers in designated areas to pay a salary that is below the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) which from 1 July 2023 will be $70,000. This means that employers can offer a slightly lower salary to sponsored individuals compared to other visa categories.
Another advantage of the DAMA Visa is the expanded list of skilled occupations available for sponsorship. The DAMA provides access to additional occupations that are not on the standard list of eligible skilled occupations for other visa programs.
These concessions and benefits make the DAMA Visa an attractive option for individuals over 45 who are looking to migrate to Australia and work in specific regional areas. If you have a job offer in a DAMA-designated area and meet the skill requirements, I highly recommend considering the DAMA Visa as a pathway for your migration.
This script provides an overview of the DAMA Visa and its concessions for individuals over 45. It is important to consult with an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to obtain accurate and up-to-date information based on your specific situation.
The Global Talent Visa is designed for individuals who possess exceptional talent or have outstanding achievements in specific target sectors. The target sectors are mostly tech focussed and are listed on screen.
The standard requirements for the GTV apply up until the age of 55.
After the age of 55, you must be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community. If you have the skills and experience that Australia needs, the Global Talent Visa might be the right choice for you.
The Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, commonly known as the 482 Visa, is an employer-sponsored visa that allows skilled workers to work in Australia for a temporary period. While there is no specific age restriction for this visa, it is important to note that sponsors need to demonstrate that they cannot find a suitable Australian worker for the position. If you have a sponsor and meet the skill requirements, the 482 Visa could be an option for you.
But the 482 is only a temporary visa. But in limited circumstances, it can lead to PR for those over 45.
The Partner Visa category allows individuals who are in a genuine and committed relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident to apply for a visa. Unlike other visa options, there is no age limit for the Partner Visa. If you are in a relationship with an Australian partner and can demonstrate the genuineness of your relationship, this pathway could be the right fit for you.
The Parent Visa category is available for individuals who have children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents. While there is no age limit for this visa, it is important to note that there can be significant processing times and financial requirements associated with this pathway. If you have children who are Australian citizens or permanent residents, the Parent Visa might be worth considering.
The Significant Investor Visa is a pathway for high-net-worth individuals who are willing to invest a substantial amount in Australia. To be eligible for this visa, you must have at least 5 million Australian dollars to invest in approved investments. Age is not a limiting factor for the Significant Investor Visa, making it an attractive option for individuals over 45 with significant financial resources.
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