Visa Changes Are Coming, November Too Late

The Australian government has recently announced several significant changes to its migration laws, slated to take effect before the end of 2024. These changes are poised to impact various visa categories, including Employer Sponsored Visas and the Points Based Stream for Skilled Migrants. At NB Migration Law, we understand the complexities of the Australian immigration system and are here to guide you through these upcoming changes to ensure a smooth migration process.

 

Changes to Employer Sponsored Visas

 

Occupation List Adjustments

One of the major changes announced involves the adjustment of the occupation list for Employer Sponsored Visas. A number of occupations will be removed from the list of those eligible for employer sponsorship. This means that certain professions that were previously open to overseas workers will no longer qualify for these visas. It is crucial for employers and potential visa applicants to review these changes and understand how they might impact their eligibility.

Reduction in Work Experience Requirement for Subclass 482 Visas

An intriguing announcement relates to the Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa. Currently, applicants for this visa must have at least two years of relevant work experience to be eligible. However, from 23 November 2024, this requirement will be reduced to just one year. This change aims to make it easier for employers to fill positions with skilled workers from overseas and provides a quicker pathway for applicants to enter the Australian workforce.

 

Revamp of the Points Based Stream

 

Comprehensive Update to the Points Test System

Australia is preparing for its first comprehensive update of the visa application process for prospective migrants since 2012. This significant overhaul is part of a broader strategy to reform the nation’s immigration framework. The federal government has indicated its intent to revamp the points test system for skilled migrants. This system is a decisive factor in determining who gains entry into Australia and is part of a strategic move to scale down immigration figures.

Insights from the Recent Discussion Paper

A recently released discussion paper has shed light on potential modifications to the points test. NB Migration Law recommends that skilled migrants pay close attention to these updates and form a plan now. The points test system is integral to Australia’s skilled migration program, serving to evaluate and prioritise candidates. It assesses factors such as age, English proficiency, qualifications, work history, and more. To qualify for specific skilled migration visas, applicants need to achieve a minimum score of 65 points.

Focus on Successful Integration and Skill Matching

A comprehensive review of Australia’s migration regime, released in December, advocated for a points test that zeroes in on traits correlated with successful integration into the skilled workforce. The review emphasised enhancing certainty for prospective migrants, prioritising industries facing skill shortages, and recognising the contributions of younger individuals. The government’s strategy includes restoring migrant numbers to pre-pandemic levels and aiming to halve net overseas migration by 2025. This is in response to a significant surge in overseas net migration, which reached 500,000 during the 2022/23 fiscal year, driven by the return of international students and tourists.

Future Directions and Policy Implementation

The review proposed that the points test become the cornerstone of a future permanent skilled migration program, with around two-thirds of permanent skilled migrants being selected through this method. To support these reforms, the federal government has tasked the Australian National University with conducting an analysis of the skills conducive to success in Australia. While reforms to the points test are deemed imperative, the system is expected to continue facilitating pathways for temporary migrants seeking permanent residency or citizenship.

 

Preparing for the Changes

Given these impending changes, it is crucial for prospective migrants and employers to take proactive steps.

Here are some recommendations from NB Migration Law:

 

  • Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest updates and changes to the immigration laws and how they might affect your visa eligibility.
  • Review Eligibility: If you are considering applying for an Employer Sponsored Visa, review the updated occupation list to ensure your profession remains eligible.
  • Plan Ahead: With the reduction in work experience requirements for the Subclass 482 Visa, applicants should prepare their documentation early to take advantage of this change.
  • Seek Professional Advice: Consulting with a migration agent or lawyer can provide valuable insights and help you navigate the complexities of the new points test system.

 

At NB Migration Law, we are dedicated to assisting you with your migration journey. Our experienced team is here to provide expert guidance and support, ensuring your application is thorough, accurate, and timely. Contact us today to start planning your pathway to Australia amidst these upcoming changes.

Book a free consultation today and let us help you find a way forward.