The new government under Labor’s Anthony Albanese has already made some significant changes to Australia’s migration policies and begun tackling the visa backlog since coming into office in May.
And there could be even more changes in 2023, with the government promising to look at the effectiveness of skilled migration occupation lists, which some believe are outdated.
The last update to the current Skilled Migration Occupation List was made on 11 March 2019 when the COVID-19 pandemic had just hit.
Shortly after coming to power, the government announced an increase to the permanent migration program in 2022/23 from 160,000 to 195,000 places for skilled and family visas. The October budget revealed the number of skilled visas available as part of the program would increase significantly from 79,600 to 142,400.
The government also announced changes to Temporary skill shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visas that would allow people to apply for permanent residency, the removal of age restrictions on 457 visa holders, and expanding the eligibility for subclass 462 working holiday maker visas.
More recently, there have been reports more than 19,000 refugees on temporary protection visas will finally be allowed to apply for permanent residency in Australia, with an announcement to be made in the new year. But a spokeswoman for the Home Affairs Department said this had not been confirmed by the government.
With these developments in mind, here are five key visa opportunities in Australia for 2023:
New visa for certain countries: A new visa will be introduced in July 2023 providing 3,000 places for eligible migrants from Pacific countries and Timor Leste. Spots for the Pacific Engagement visa (PEV) will be allocated by a ballot process each year. These visas will be offered on top of the places available on Australia’s permanent migration program.
Priority processing for New Zealanders: New Zealanders living in Australia will benefit from priority processing of Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa applications in the New Zealand stream. The department has dropped certain visa requirements including that applicants must have lived in Australia for at least five years and that they meet certain taxable income thresholds as well as health criteria. The department has stopped taking new visa applications from 10 December 2022 until 1 July 2023, in order to process the backlog already in the system.
State-sponsored visas up for grabs: Former Department of Immigration secretary Abul Rivzi said the number of visas available through the state and territories is set to dramatically increase thanks to the larger regional allocation. “What I’m noticing is some of the states are actually struggling to deliver quickly enough and so a lot of them are making changes to make their systems faster,” Mr Rizvi said.
Changes to permanent residency eligibility: More than 19,000 refugees on temporary protection visas will be allowed to apply for permanent residency in Australia, according to reports. However, a spokeswoman for the Home Affairs Department said this had not been confirmed by the government.
Review of skilled migration occupation lists: The government plans to review the effectiveness of skilled migration occupation lists, which some believe are outdated. The last update to the current Skilled Migration Occupation List was made in 2019.
In conclusion, the Australian government under Anthony Albanese has been making changes to the country’s migration policies, increasing the number of skilled visas, and expanding eligibility for various visa types. Additionally, there are plans to offer priority processing for New Zealanders and potentially increase the number of state-sponsored visas available. The government has also plans to review the effectiveness of skilled migration occupation list and make changes to Permanent Residency Eligibility.
Talk to the migration team at No Borders Law Group today.
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