1 July 2020 Migration update for Skilled and Business visas

Update: New Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List announced (2 September 2020)

Update: State and Territory Nomination allocation update (7 September 2020) for 491 visa

Update: State and Territory Nomination allocation update (7 September 2020) for 190 visa

The Department has provided the MIA with the specific number of interim allocated places for each State and Territory for subclasses 190, 491 and the Business Innovation and Investment program, please see below

State & Territory sc 190 sc 491 & 489 BIIP
ACT 250 45 4
NSW 550 150 200
VIC 600 200 400
QLD 200 200 160
NT 80 80 5
WA 200 40 70
SA 300 600 180
TAS 250 400 5
Total 2430 1715 1024

Due to the COVID-19, the date for Federal Budget 2020-2021 has been delayed by the Federal Government – it will be handed down in Parliament on 6 October 2020.

Victoria

Victoria’s 2020-21 skilled visa nomination program (subclass 190 and 491)2 September 2020

In the meantime, you will not be able to apply for the following state nomination visas:

We will notify you when the 2020-21 Victorian state nomination program reopens after further advice from the Commonwealth Government.

You can still lodge your Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Commonwealth’s Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect system.  An EOI will be required before you can apply for a Victorian visa nomination.

South Australia

Our Skilled and Business Migration programs are scheduled to re-open from early August 2020. This will be dependent on the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for program year 2020-21.

Queensland

BSMQ has been advised by the Department of Home Affairs (HA) that it will not be in a position to open the 2020/21 migration program on 1 July 2020.

As a consequence, BSMQ’s business and skilled migration program will remain closed on 1 July 2020 until further notice. Please note:  BSMQ will not be accepting any Expressions of Interests (EOIs) submitted on Skillselect from 1 July 2020.

Tasmania

The Australian Government has not yet allocated nomination quotas to the states and territories for the 2020-2021 program year. While applications for state nomination by Tasmania remain open and will continue to be considered, no nominations can be made in SkillSelect until quotas are allocated.

Migration Tasmania currently does not have an indication of the size of the 2020 -2021 nomination quota and cannot guarantee all eligible applicants will be nominated.

Further updates will be provided as soon as additional information becomes available.

ACT, NT and WA have not provided further updates.

Subclass 190 Subclass 491 Subclass 188 and 132 visas
Australian Capital Territory  Closed Closed Closed
Victoria Closed Closed Closed
New South Wales Closed Closed (491 Stream 1 opened from 15 to 26 June) Closed
Northern Territory Closed Closed Closed
Queensland Closed Closed Closed
South Australia Closed, to advise date of opening for onshore applicants Closed Closed
Tasmania Closed Closed Closed
Western Australia Closed Closed Closed
Occupations in demand

Priority is being given to occupations in sectors critical to the coronavirus response, such as medical, infrastructure, trade workers over other occupations.
It is likely applicants working in critical sectors will be given priority in the new financial year. From those, onshore are likely to receive priority processing.

Processing times

The Department of Home Affairs have advised that visas continue to be processed during the coronavirus pandemic, though some applications may take longer as international shutdowns have made it difficult to source supplementary information like health and character checks

Visa Application Charge changes

No Visa application charge increases were announced however there is an increase in credit card surcharge fees:

If you pay for your visa application charges, sponsorship or nomination fees by credit card or by PayPal, a surcharge may apply. The current surcharge rates are:

  • American Express — 1.40%
  • Diners Club International — 1.99%
  • JCB — 1.40%
  • Mastercard* — 1.40%, previously 1.32%
  • PayPal — 1.01%
  • Union Pay — 1.90%
  • Visa* — 1.40%, previously 1.32%

* The surcharge will also apply to Debit Visa cards and Debit Mastercards when making payments.

Australia is expecting to record a significant drop in net migration levels due to the coronavirus pandemic

Australia’s overseas migration intake is expected to shrink by more than 85 per cent this financial year (2020-2021) due to widespread travel bans brought on by the coronavirus.

In the previous year, Australia’s population grew by 239,600 from net overseas migration, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. Net overseas migration numbers take into account how many people enter Australia and stay for more than 12 months, compared to how many people leave the country for the same period. The federal government expects net migration to fall to just 36,000 in 2020-21.

Likely Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa for International Students Studying Online

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many international students are forced to remain overseas and study online. While there were plans put in place by universities and state governments to bring international students back to Australia, the spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria has jeopardised the plans. This has caused Australia’s higher education to lose its competitiveness with its rivals such as Britain and Canada.

Hence, the Morrison government is expected to introduce new changes to the Temporary Graduate visa Subclass 485. Under the recent proposal being considered by the Morrison government, international students may be granted work rights after graduating despite studying online in their home countries. See the full article here.

High Income Threshold increased:

The High Income Threshold under the Fair Work Act increased on 1 July 2020 from $148,700 to $153,600. Applicants relying on meeting this threshold for an ENS or RSMS age exemption must ensure that the relevant threshold is met for each of the three requisite years.

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