What’s going to change in Australian immigration this July?

Australia’s immigration system is one of the most flexible in the world. Each year, the country’s government in partnership with immigration authorities sheds light on areas in need of improvement and eradicates loopholes. Also, go through the list of occupations by removing certain occupations and adding those that are an important requirement in Australia. This process generally takes place in the months of June to July. This year it will be a little different. Starting July 1, Australian immigration will undergo a number of changes, in several areas.

Number 1: The maximum age for the 189 qualified independent subclass will be lowered from 49 to 44

Under current regulations, a candidate applying for an Australian PR visa under the General Skilled Migrant Scheme must be no more than 49 years old. From July 1, 207 onwards, the age limit would be lowered to 44 for professionals wishing to settle in Australia. This means that qualified professionals who are over the age of 44 will no longer be able to apply for Australian immigration through the following programs:

  • Subclass 190 Qualified Nominee Visa

  • Provisional Regional Qualified Subclass 489

  • Subclass 189 New Citizen Stream

Figures from the Department of Immigration reflect that only 1% of visa applicants in subclass 189 are in the age range of 45 to 49 years. While the overall impact may be small in numbers, there would be a significant effect as the age limit for permanent employer sponsorship will also be lowered to 44 years. Therefore, it is recommended that currently eligible professionals apply for immigration before July to avoid ineligibility.

Number 2: easy way to enter permanent residence in New Zealand

Coming straight from the Acacia Immigration Australia columns, the good news is that qualified professionals who have lived and worked in Australia for a minimum period of 5 years can now become permanent residents of New Zealand, effective July 1, 2017 Australia presents this easy path as a stream within the Specialized Independent Visa program (subclass 189). The flow of New Zealand citizens has significantly lower demands to qualify:

  • No skills assessment required

  • No proof of points will be required

  • An English language assessment will not be required

  • No SkillSelect invitation will be required

  • No age limits

  • Special consideration of health requirements

  • Less initial application fee

According to Australian government estimates, more than 60 to 70,000 New Zealanders may be eligible for this stream. Also, this stream would be a great benefit to qualified professionals who have 5 years of work and life experience and a desire to move to New Zealand.

Issue 3: Qualified Occupation List Review and Occupational Roof Release

The newly replaced Skilled Occupations list for the General Skilled Migration Scheme is expected to be revised as of July 1, 2017. This is because there are a number of occupations, especially in Australia’s engineering sector, listed in the MTSSLL but not in STSOL. In addition, there is a specific list of designated occupations that the Department of Education maintains separately, and their elimination may also be considered.

Occupational ceilings play a vital role in the operations of general skilled migration programs. They give a clue as to the number of EOI invitations that can be issued to applicants for each program, namely the 189 rated independent subclass and the provisional (family sponsored) 489 rated regional subclass. Every year Australia announces publication of its occupancy ceilings in the month of July, with a new quota for each occupancy category.

Number 4: State migration plans will reopen

Currently, many of the Australian states have restricted their state nomination programs or closed them. Some of the important examples are Western Australia, Queensland, ACT and many more. Additionally, there are several states that have reached their quotas for prominent and high-demand occupations. Many of those states will reopen again in July with a new occupancy quota. Through previous statistics, we can analyze that most state nomination programs open and fill quickly. Trained professionals wishing to settle in Australia via appointment with the State should have their applications ready. This will not only increase your chances of a speedy state nomination, but it will also help you with a speedy immigration process in Australia.