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Upcoming Immigration Changes Australia: New Visa Program and Expected Visa Fee Changes

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Upcoming Immigration Changes Australia: New Visa Program and Expected Visa Fee Changes

The Australian Government previously announced its exciting Migration Strategy outlining the new visa rules in Australia for 2024 along with a new visa update. It is expected to commence in 2024, and most likely coming on 1 July as part of regular immigration changes in Australia.

Here are the key immigration changes Australia with the expected new visa updates and new visa rules in Australia to commence from 1 July 2024:

Summary of Expected Immigration Changes Details of Expected Immigration Changes
Commencement of New Visa Program
  • The Australian Government is currently planning a new visa program called Skills In Demand Visa. It is expected to replace the current Temporary Skill Shortage Visa program. It will also come with 3 different pathways:
    • Specialist Skills Pathway;
    • Core Skills Pathway; and
    • Essential Skills Pathway

    The visa program will have a 4 years validity period for all streams.

  • Pacific Engagement Visa is also on the new visa list expected to commence in 2024. The visa program is specified for the Pacific Islanders and citizens of Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. It provides a direct permanent residency for the targeted countries. And recently, the Government announced to commence the visa program on 29 March 2024.
  • As part of the immigration changes, The Australian Government is planning a new Talent and Innovation visa that creates a streamlined, single pathway to draw in only a handful highly skilled immigrants to Australia.
Readjustment for Sponsorship based Work visa The main purpose of the upcoming immigration changes is to simplify the process that skilled workers have to go through and make it easier for companies to bring in skilled workers. Thus the Australian Government:

  • The Australian Government eliminated the requirement to advertise (LMT) positions through Workforce Australia. And also increase the advertisements validity period to 6 months
  • The Australian Government also increased the deadline to find a new sponsor triples to 180 days (previously 60 days). It’s applicable to suppose the employee ceases employment with their sponsor.
  • All visa holders will have access to permanent residency and employment time with any approved employer will be considered towards eligibility for permanent residency.
  • As a move to lower upfront employer costs, the Australian Government is looking into converting employer fees, like the Skilling Australia Fund, to a monthly or quarterly schedule.
  • To ease migrants in looking for a new sponsor, the Australian Government will create a public registry of approved sponsors showing a list of their sponsored workers and nominated occupation.
Reforming Point Test program for Permanent Skilled Migration Program
  • The Australian Government will review the points test. In order to more accurately identify the independent migrants who will contribute to the nation, more consultations will be held regarding the creation of a new analysis-based points test.
  • International graduates working in skilled jobs will have a quicker route to permanent residence through this pathway.
New Visa Update to Student Visa (subclass 500) Australia The immigration changes for Student Visa are quite significant. It includes:

  • Genuine Student Test will be implemented from 23 March 2024 to assess the students’ genuine intention to study in Australia. It will replace the current GTE requirement and require evidence to ensure only genuine students lodge the application.
  • To fulfil the Genuine Student Test, prospective Student Visa applicants must answer some target questions upon submitting the Student Visa application. With the new arrangement, applicants are no longer required to provide a GTE statement.
  • The English language requirements will be increased from 5.5 to 6.0 for Student Visa application. Meanwhile, students undertaking an ELICOS, VET or higher education courses are required to provide an IELTS certificate with 5.0 points (previously 4.5). And, a minimum score of 5.5 is required for students enrolled in university foundation or pathway programmes that provide credible English language training.
  • A new Confirmation of Enrolment cannot be issued until students complete 6 months of their study.
  • The required amount of savings will be increased and it is applicable for all international students applying for Student Visa (subclass 500)
New Visa Rules for Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Australia The expected new visa rules for Temporary Graduate Visa Australia in 2024 include:

  • Extra 2 year validity period for eligible graduates will be closed in July 2024.
  • The validity period of 485 Visa will be reduced to:
    • Bachelor Degree or Masters by Coursework: 2 years validity;
    • Masters by research or PhD: 3 years validity
    • Students in regional areas: may be eligible for a second visa which could be valid for 1 – 2 years
  • International Graduates might be qualified to apply for the new 4-year Skills In Demand Visa if they secure employment in a skilled position during their post-study work period. The visa offers a more straightforward route to permanent residency.
  • It is expected from July 2024, the age limit for 485 Visa will be down to 35 years old (previously 50 years old).
  • The English requirement increases to 6.5 from 6.0 (for IELTS), and the test validity window decreases to 1 year. It is applicable for all 485 visa applications lodged on and after 23 March 2024.
Visa Application Fee Increase on 1 July 2024
  • The visa fee is expected to increase on 1 July 2024. Looking at the history in the last 5 years, the lowest increase sat on 1,7% and the highest increase sat on 9%.

How The Upcoming Immigration Changes in Australia will Affect You?

We’ve just arrived in the third month of 2024, but many visa changes and visa updates for Australian immigration have been in place. Begin with the total closure of 408 Covid Visa, commencement of Pacific Engagement Visa on 29 March 2024, and implementation of Genuine Student test for Student Visa application on 23 March 2024.

The immigration changes in Australia is like a flipped coin for migrants. Some land on opportunities, while others might face new challenges. And ONEderland Consulting has summarised them for you below:

1. Immigration Changes Impact for Skilled Workers in Australia

The upcoming immigration changes provide a lot of opportunities for the skilled workers with the Skills In Demand Visa and the Pacific Engagement Visa. Both visas offer a clear pathway to permanent residency, which is the number one dream for skilled workers world wide.

Skills In Demand Visa is quite interesting with its three pathways that are:

  • Specialist Skills Pathway: for highly-skilled immigrants who boost productivity in Australia, with guaranteed yearly incomes of AUD 135,000 or more, but not less than those of Australian workers in the same occupation. All professions will be eligible for this stream, with the exception of trades workers, labourers and machinery operators.
  • Core Skills Pathway: for candidates whose occupation is included in a Core Skills Occupation List, which corresponds to professions that Jobs and Skills Australia has determined are in low demand and pay at least the TSMIT (AUD 70,000).
  • Essential Skills Pathway: This is still in the development stage and will be available to workers making less than AUD 70,000 who possess the necessary skills. Presently, labour agreements serve as the means of sponsorship for workers under this pathway.

The Skills In Demand Visa seems to cover all workforces, from the highly skilled workers to the lower-skilled workers, bringing equal chances for all workers in Australia. And it is hoped that the unskilled workers won’t face significant difficulties in finding the best work visa for them.

And you can find the details of new visa update for Pacific Engagement Visa here: Pacific Engagement Visa: A New Visa Program for Pacific Islands and Other Countries

2. New Visa Update Impact for International Students

The immigration changes in Australia might put international students in a pretty challenging situation. If you plan to continue your study in Australia after July 2024, significant new visa rules might be in place.

One of the changes that are in place already is the Genuine Student Test. The Genuine Student Test commences on 23 March 2024, requiring the prospective Student Visa applicants to answer some target questions about:

  • Information about their present circumstances, including their relationships to family, friends, jobs, and economic situation;
  • a justification for their course selection and Australia as a study destination;
  • the advantages the course offers the applicant;
  • for those who have previously studied in Australia, a summary of their academic record;
  • for those who currently hold a visa other than a student visa, the purpose behind their application for a student visa; and
  • any additional pertinent data the applicant feels compelled to submit

In addition, the Student Visa Declaration will be modified to mandate:

  • that applicants verify that they comprehend the definition of a genuine student for the purpose of studying in Australia;
  • that they have read, comprehend, and agreed to abide by the terms of the student visa;
  • that they will notify the Department of any changes to their circumstances; and
  • that, despite the availability of post-study pathways to permanent migration, only a restricted number of graduates will
  • be eligible, and those who are not able to remain lawfully in Australia must leave Australia.

Other than that, be prepared for a more tough process to get a new Confirmation of Enrollment upon completion of your course. The Australian Government is currently working hard to reduce the trends of Student Visa hopping amongst international students. The immigration changes Australia requires to provide stronger evidence as to why you have to take certain courses after completion of your first course.

And once you complete your study, ensure that you’re still under 35 years old. Referring to the expected new visa rules for Temporary Graduate Visa, the age limit will be decreased to 35 years old starting from 1 July 2024. Though you will have a chance to participate in a Skills In Demand Visa if you could secure employment in a skilled position, first thing, you have to wait until the Skills In Demand Visa is in place.

If you’re an international student looking into submitting a 485 visa, we strongly recommend you to submit the 485 Visa before the immigration changes come into effect, though we understand that your Student Visa might still be valid until the end of 2024. It considers the chance of getting an extra 2 years validity period is running out. And starting from 1 July 2024, it is expected that the new validity period – with quite significant decrease – will be in place.

If you’re looking at migrating to Australia permanently and plan to study first in Australia, it’s best to discuss the chance and option with ONEderland Consulting first. We will guide you thoroughly with all options available and potential risks you may face later.

3. Potential Rise in Australian Visa Fee

We’ve looked at the changes on Australian Visa Fee in the last 5 years (2018-2023), and the changes on Australian visa fee are surprisingly significant. There was only 1 time when the Australian Government did not change the Australian Visa fee, and that was in 2020, when the world was hit with Covid-19 Pandemic.

The lowest increase sat on 1,7%, which was in the 2021-22 program year, and the highest increase sat on 9%, which was recent in 2023-24 program year.

To give you a clearer vision, we have summarised the increase on Australian Visa Fee in the last 5 years below.

Australian Family Visa Program Fee
Image 1 – Australian Family Visa Program Fee
Australian Work Visa Program Fee
Image 2 – Australian Work Visa Program Fee
Australian Student Visa & WHM Program Fee
Image 3 – Australian Student Visa & WHM Program Fee

Let’s take the lowest increase in the last 5 years, which is 1,7%. It is expected in July 2024, the new visa fee update for Partner Visa Australia Application will be at least AUD 9,000.45. And note that this is the prediction for the lowest increase.

With this, we strongly recommend you to submit your Australian Visa application before the new visa rules for Australia come into effect in July 2024 to avoid higher visa application charges.

Also, the overall immigration changes are significant, and you have only 4 months left to bear with the new regulations. If you find yourself will be affected significantly, it’s best to seek legal advice now to get a better immigration planning.

Recent Issues in Australian Immigration

Hot topics arose since early 2024 following the issues on immigration changes in Australia, including the closure of 888 Visa and numbers of Student Visa refusal spiked up due to financial and GTE issues.

If we look at the migration strategy, we can understand why the Australian Government decided to scrap up 888 visa, as they are currently focusing on creating a new Talent and Innovation Visa.

So does with Student Visa refusal that spiked up. The Australian Government has increased the minimum savings to AUD 24,505 since October 2023 and a more strict assessment on GTE will be in place. These results on high numbers of Student Visa refusal cases in the last 2 quarters of 2023.

The closure of 408 Visa also dealt a significant blow to many onshore migrants struggling to remain in Australia for certain reasons. Previously, this visa served as a crucial pathway for those compelled to remain in Australia for various reasons. Without it, some may face difficult decision of leaving the country.

You can see here how significant the expected visa updates for Australia will be. Some of these might be beneficial, or otherwise detrimental. But whatever the visa updates for Australia in July 2024, we have no choice except to adapt and prepare the best for our migration journey.

Read more: Australian Skilled Visa Processing Priority Update – 15 December 2023

Will Engage with ONEderland Consulting Ease Your Concern?

Sure, we will. We at ONEderland Consulting are mindful that immigration is a unique journey for each individual. We provide customised legal assistance from the time you explore your visa options until the final progress of your visa application.

We ensure that you are making decisions for your future based on the new visa updates or new visa rules according to the immigration changes Australia in 2024.

Book an appointment with our Registered Migration Agent now with 100% refund guarantee if you’re not satisfied with our service. We have a 98% success rate and experts in complex cases. Call us or click below:

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How ONEderland Consulting can Assist You

We at ONEderland Consulting understand how difficult and emotionally draining it can be dealing with the immigration changes in Australia. And it is even more challenging when the expected visa rules and visa updates for Australia in 2024 are so significant to your migration plan.

But, rest assured. Throughout your journey, we are committed to offering empathetic and customised support while paying close attention to your particular circumstances and goals.

Our team of highly qualified and experienced migration specialists is dedicated to putting in a lot of effort and planning ahead of time on your behalf. We pay close attention to every detail and apply our extensive knowledge to handle even the most complex cases.

Our team of professionals will help you by:

  • Developing a customised document checklist: Ensure you’ve gathered and presented all required documentation in compliance with DHA regulations.
  • Writing a customised statement letter: highlighting the sincerity and strength of your visa application, ensuring all information is delivered in a professional yet compassionate way.
  • Creating empathetic and compelling narratives: Helping you create a story that speaks to the DHA, clearly illustrates why you should be granted the visa.

We are committed to being open and honest with you, keeping you updated and involved at every stage. We will work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome for your future in Australia, and you can rely on us to be your dependable partner and advocate.

We are complex visa specialists. As a registered Australian migration agent with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA), we are regulated in our professional practice and bound by the profession’s Code of Conduct issued by the Migration Agents Registration Authority.

Take the first step and get in touch with us. Our team members are professional and honest and speak various languages, such as Mandarin/Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Arabic, Japanese, and Thai. Contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at 1300 827 159. Alternatively, you may book your consultation online, and it is backed by our 100% Money Back Guarantee Program.

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