New visa opportunities in Australia for 2023
The new government of Australia Migration aims to bring forth many changes to the immigration pathways of Australia in the upcoming year of 2023. Let’s review some of them.
The new government under Migration the instructions of Labor’s Anthony Albanese has already made significant progress in changing Australia’s migration policies along with starting to tackle the visa backlog since the moment it came into office in May. moreover, the government is also expected Migration to make even more changes in 2023 along with promising to improve the effectiveness of the skilled migration occupation list which is considered to be outdated since the last updates to it were made on 11th March 2019.
Among the changes brought forth by the government one of them includes increasing the spots for permanent migration from 160,000 to 195,000 for both skilled and family visas. This change was announced shortly after the government came to power.
At the same time, the government also announced changes being made to the (TSS) Temporary skill shortage subclass 482 visas. These changes would allow people to apply for permanent residency. The government also removed age restrictions on 457 visa holders and expanded the eligibility criteria for subclass 462 working holiday maker visas.
The list below will show five key visa opportunities in Australia for the upcoming year.
1. New visa for certain countries
Starting July 2023 Australia will introduce a new visa that will provide 3,000 places for eligible migrants from Pacific countries and Timor Lester.
Also, a ballot process will be used each year to allocate spots for the Pacific Engagement visa (PEV).
Moreover, these visas will be offered along with the places already available on Australia’s permanent migration program.
2. Priority processing for New Zealanders
Regarding New Zealanders that are living in Australia, they will be given the benefit of priority processing of Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa applications in the New Zealand stream due to the help they have provided during and after the pandemic.
The Department website has announced that “The following streamlining measures introduced acknowledge that this group of New Zealand citizens are long-term residents of Australia, have been working here and contributing to Australia’s economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Additionally, the department has also dropped certain visa requirements. This includes applicants needing to have lived in Australia for a minimum of five years and meet certain taxable income thresholds as well as health criteria.
Furthermore in order to reduce visa backlogs the department has also stopped accepting new visa applications from 10 December 2022 till 1 July 2023.
The applicants who have been granted visas will gain the benefits of permanent residency more quickly. These benefits include having immediate access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme and automatic Australian citizenship for their children born in Australia and the applicants who have been granted a New Zealand stream visa will also have their citizenship pathway fast-tracked starting from 1 January next year 2023.
3. State-sponsored visas up for grabs
Abul Rivzi the former Department of Immigration secretary claimed that the number of visas available through the state and territories is set to experience a large increase due to the larger regional allocation.
A spokesperson from the Department of Home Affairs said that the department had set a planning level of 31,000 spots for state and territory-nominated visas (subclass 190) in 2022/23, along with an additional 34,000 places in the regional category (subclass 491), the majority of which are nominated by state and territory governments. There will also be an additional 5,000 visas for the business innovation and investment program (subclass 188).
Before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2018/19 Australia had granted around 25,346 state and territory-nominated visas and 647 skilled regional visas but this migration number was severely impacted by the pandemic. Due to this Australia now has a great desire for migrants and has taken measures to promote people to apply for state-nominated visas such as relaxing many of their criteria including their skilled occupation lists. Applicants who are granted a state-sponsored visa can benefit greatly from this as they are not restricted to working with a single employer and can take any suitable job however they have to be under the age of 45 and have to look for employment.
4. Easier family reunion
The Albanese government introduced the demand-driven partner visas in 2022/2023 which was made for the purpose of making it easier for families to reunite. It is estimated that the department will issue about 40,500 partner visas this financial year.
Moreover, Child visas are also demand-driven and it is estimated that around 3,000 visas will be issued in the upcoming year.
5. Change to processing of visas
Another beneficial change is that the processing time for Skilled visa applications for teachers and healthcare workers has been reduced to just three days due to the government stopping its use of (the PMSOL) Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to rank applications.
On 28th October 2022, Ministerial Direction No. 100 was introduced which set new rules for applications to be prioritized. Applications are now being assessed based on the following order of priority:
1. Healthcare or teaching occupation applications;
2. For employer-sponsored visas, applicants nominated by an Approved sponsor with Accredited Status;
3. Those for a designated regional area;
4. For permanent and provisional visa subclasses, visa applications that count towards the migration program, excluding the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) visa;
5. All other visa applications.
Furthermore, within each of the above categories, applicants who are located outside Australia are given priority for provisional and permanent skilled visa applications.
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