2019 Federal Budget outcomes
Last night’s 2019 Federal Budget announcements confirmed Australia will continue to focus on encouraging migrants to live and work regionally, with nearly $50 million of spending to be allocated to new regional visas over the next five years.
Other key take-aways for the migration program included:
- A 5.4% increase in the cost of visa application fees for all visa categories from July 2019 (except the Subclass 600 Visitor Visa) to generate an extra $275 million from 2018/19 to 2021/22.
- A spend of $64.2 million on social measures to facilitate cultural integration among migrant communities.
- A reduced forecast for the Skilling Australians Fund Levy to collect $126 million less in National Training Contribution Charges (NTCC) in the four years to 2022-23 than original figures. This reflects a lower than expected demand for employer-sponsored visas.
The 2019 Federal Budget also confirmed the Government’s recent announcement to formally reduce Australia’s permanent migration intake by 30,000 places each year for the next four years, and provided further details on upcoming changes to Australia’s skilled migration policies. Here are our insights.
Australia’s New Regional Skilled Visas
New regional visas will replace the existing Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visa and Skilled Regional Subclass 489 Visa. Australia’s new regional skilled visa program will comprise of the below visas:
Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) Visa
9,000 placements allocated per year from 1 November 2019.
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
14,000 placements allocated per year from 1 November 2019.
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa
Available from November 2022.
Temporary Graduate Visa – Regional
Available from 2021. Read more here.
Currently migrants can apply for employer-sponsored permanent residence in a regional area without a waiting period, however the new regional employer-sponsored visa will require migrants to live and work in a regional area for three years before applying for permanent residence. You can read more about these new regional visas here.
The 2019 Federal Budget also confirmed planning targets for overseas trained doctors would be reduced by 155 placements amid plans to encourage the distribution of doctors in regional areas. Read more here.
Approximately 20,000 placements have also been removed from the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa in the General Skilled Migration program, which provides overseas migrants the option to settle in metropolitan areas. It appears this shortfall has been shifted to the number of placements available for the above new regional visas.
Changes to the General Skilled Migration Points Test
From November 2019, primary applicants for General Skilled Migration will be able to access additional points if their partner has competent English but cannot meet the requirements for skilled partner points. Single applicants will also be awarded additional points with circumstances for this yet to be confirmed.
Cap Increase for Indonesian Work and Holiday Visa Holders
The annual cap for a Subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visa for Indonesian citizens will be increased from 2,500 to 5,000 over six years.
The 2019 Federal Budget | Business Migration, Strategic Thinking
With the 2019 Federal Budget outcomes set to increase visa application fees in July 2019, if you are intending to apply for a visa you may wish to do so before the new costs come into effect.
To understand how the above changes impact your business’ labour requirements or your eligibility for a skilled visa, we encourage you to contact our Registered Migration Agents on [email protected] or 08 9221 3388.