To welcome the start of the new financial year on July 1 2019, the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) made a number of changes to Australian visa laws. Notably, these changes included:

  • increased fees for the majority of visa applications; and
  • different eligibility requirements to apply for certain visas.

This article will outline these changes and explain what you may need to consider for your Australian visa application.

Application Fee Increases

At the start of the financial year, DOHA increased the fees for almost all visas. Below is a comparative table of the fee increases for the most common visas. If the visa you are looking to apply for is not listed, you can also check the fee increases on the Australian Government website.

Visa Previous Fee New Fee
Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Short-term stream $1,175 $1,265
Subclass 482 (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa in the Medium-term stream $2,455 $2,645
Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) visa $3,755 $4,045
Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa) in the Points-Tested stream $3,755 $4,045
Subclass 190 (Skilled – Nominated) visa $3,755 $4,045
Subclass 820/801 and 309/100 $7715 $7160
Subclass 132 (Business Talent) visa $7,290 $7,855
Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa in the Significant Investor stream $7,310 $7,880
Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)) visa $2,405 $2,590

 

Amendments to Working Holiday Visas

If you wish to apply for a working holiday visa (subclass 417 and 462) after 1 July 2019, you will need to factor in some changes that have recently been made.

DOHA has introduced a three-year visa option for working holiday visa holders if you complete six months of work in a regional town during your second year in Australia. If you work with an agricultural employer, you may work with them from 6-12 months without needing to request permission for an extension. 

Subclass 462 Changes

If you plan to apply for this visa, DOHA has added additional areas where you will be able to undertake regional agriculture work to become eligible for a second visa. The postcodes of these areas are listed on the Australian Government website

Furthermore, if you are a citizen of Greece or Ecuador, you will now be able to apply for this visa.

Subclass 417 Changes

Under new changes, the maximum age limit to apply for this visa has been changed to 35 years old if you are a national of:

  • France;
  • Canada; or 
  • Ireland.

However, the maximum age for citizens from all other eligible countries remains at 30 years old.

New Skilled Regional Visas

On 16 November 2019, the Australian Government will introduce two new regional visas for skilled migrants who want to live, work and study in regional Australia. These are the:

  • Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494); and 
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491). 

These new visas will replace the subclass 187 (RSMS) and subclass 489, respectively. 

Then, on 16 November 2022, the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) will be rolled out. This visa offers permanent residency pathways to subclass 494 and 491 visa holders.

NSW Skilled-Nominated Migration (190) Program

The NSW government will not be issuing invitations or accepting applications for the subclass 190 visa until the next financial year. This is because the current program has reached its quota.

In the next few weeks, the NSW Government will announce when invitations to apply for nomination in NSW under this program for the 2019-20 financial year will commence. The government will also provide an updated NSW priority occupation list.

Introducing the Global Talent – Independent Program

In December 2018, the Australian Government announced the Global Talent – Initiative Program. This was recently renamed as the Global Talent – Independent (GTI) Program. This change was made to strengthen Australia’s ability to attract the best and brightest skilled migrants from across the globe. 

Other programs under this initiative include the: 

  • Global Talent Scheme (GTS) pilot; and 
  • Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) pilot.

This program has been developed to respond to industry needs for flexible, future-focused visa arrangements that help attract global talent to Australia. 

The GTI will identify candidates at the top of their profession through promotion within both Australia and overseas. This program will include up to 5,000 permanent migration places for the 2019-20 program year.

While further information about the program is not yet released, the DOHA website will provide updates.

Global Talent Scheme

The 12-month pilot of a Global Talent Scheme (GTS), which commenced on 1 July 2018, is still ongoing and currently under review by the federal government. The scheme, which sits under the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS Subclass 482) visa, provides visas for highly skilled positions that Australian workers cannot fill.

This scheme was especially popular for tech startups who weren’t able to find skilled workers within Australia.

Under the GTS, Australian businesses can get access to fast-tracked four-year visas that have a pathway to permanent residency. It is split into two streams, each targeting:

  1. established businesses with an annual turnover of more than $4 million; and 
  2. startups searching for the right team members for their expanding business.

To date, the DOHA has approved 18 GTS agreements.

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Key Takeaways

From the end of the financial year, different changes to Australian visa laws have been implemented. When looking to apply for a visa, you will need to be aware of the increased fees that will be associated with each application. If you wish to sponsor a highly skilled employee to work for your business, the new Global Talent – Independent program might help you find the right person. If you have any questions about applying for an Australian working visa, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Yin Chiew

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