Australia’s International borders will remain closed, even as Prime Minister Scott Morrison called on states to open internally.
In this article you will be gaining an update on Australian Immigration program for the year 2019-2020 as the program will be ending in June 2020.
The Global Talent independent visa
A lot of interest was seen in the Global Talent Independent visa in the last few months. There were about 5000 places available for this program, but as of January 2020 only 227 Global Talent Independent visas were granted. As the program year came to an End, people rushed to secure one of these spots for a fast track Australian PR visa. In an interview, Australia’s acting immigration minister Allen Tudge hinted at the potential developments in the Global Talent Independent programs in the post pandemic migration plans for Australia.
General Skilled Migration.
The last SkillSelect invitation rounds saw a significant fall in the numbers of invitations for 189 and 491 family sponsored visas.
Before the travel restrictions 1,750 invitations were issued for 189 subclass, and 300 invitations were issued under 491 family sponsored visas. The numbers however declined and only 50 invitations were issued in each of the subclasses after the travel restrictions were in place. The decline in the number of 189 invitations has put a great deal of pressure on the state nominate visas like the 190 and the 491. Applicants who normally opt for Employer sponsored visa are now targeting the General Skilled Migration visa program.
With travel restrictions in place 189 visa applications saw a huge backlog and a total of 10,837 undecided 189 visa applications lodged with Department of Home Affairs were reported at the end of 30-April-2020. A total of 6,030 invitations were issued for 189 visa for a period of 1-July-2019 to 30-April-2020. The significant drop in the number of invitations for the April round was primarily because the points, which was set at 95 for most occupations and 100 or more for things like Accountants.
State Sponsorship requirements
Let’s take a look at the state sponsorship requirement which is relevant to the 190 and the 491. The 491 is the popular visa of the time, this is because initially many people didn’t want to live and work in regional area and this left many slots available. For people who can’t qualify for other visas are now lining up to get the 491visa.
New South Wales.
NSW finallyopened for491 applications from the 15-june-2020 for 2 weeks ending on 26-june-2020. All state nominations applications were decided before the 30-June-2020. To be nominated the applicant must:
- Have an occupation on the NSW stream 1 occupation list
- Have been living in a designated regional area in NSW
When the applications first opened, the requirements were much stricter, which were eased after 4 days of its commencement. The NSW government was under pressure to use up their 491 nominations quota before the end of program year that is on 30-June-2020.
The Northern territory has announced changes to their nominations criteria which will come into effect from the 1-july-2020. To be eligible for the 190 nomination northern territory graduates must firstly:
- Have completed 2 years of study in the NT
- Have lived in the NT for at least 6 months after completing their studies
- Demonstrate genuine effort to obtain employment in the Nominated occupation
- Show ongoing commitment to live and work in Northern Territory
NT graduates who have completed 2 years of study may still be eligible for 491 nominations if they are not able to meet all these requirements.
- Will only be nominated for a 491 visa
- Must have been working in the occupation for at least 1 year and
- Must have relevant Australian qualifications
Victoria has reached its quota for the 190 and 491 visas and has closed its program. Applications received prior to the closure on the 28-may-2020 will continue to be assessed and priority is being given to occupations in sectors critical to the Corona virus response in allocating remaining nomination places. New applications will be accepted in the 2020-20201 program after the 1-july-2020
Queensland has also announced closure of its 491 program from the 15-june-2020. Applicants who had been invited to lodge documents will still be processed up until the 30-June-2020.
If you have not received a nomination by the 30-june-2020, it will mean that you will need to submit a new EOI once the program opens again in the new program year in July.
SA will close its state nominations applications for the 2019-2020 program year from 9:00 PM on Sunday the 28-june-2020
Applications for the 190 and the 491 skilled migration program for the 2020-2021 program year will be opened at the date to be advised.
The Tasmanian Government is taking a flexible approach to the state sponsorship for applicants affected by Covid-19 travel restrictions. Flexibility for applicants affected by covid-19 travel restrictions include:
- Online study accepted if the applicants were living and studying in Tasmania
- Tasmanian graduates stuck overseas due to travel bans will be considered for state sponsorship.
Graduates who have completed their study in Tasmania but are unable to return after travelling overseas are eligible for consideration if they are able to provide evidence that the course was completed in Tasmania and they were unable to return due to the covid-19 restrictions. They must show that they were genuinely affected by the travel restrictions and intend to return to Tasmania.
International students who are stranded overseas and are continuing to study remotely will be considered if:
- They have completed a 2 year course and returned to Tasmania when borders Re-open
- Lived in Tasmania for at least 12 months
Currently there’s a backlog of up to 100,000 partner visas applications. Onshore partner visa applications are still being processed and there doesn’t seem to be much processing of the offshore partner visa applications at the moment. Unfortunately the subclass 300 perspective marriage visa applications for Fiancé’s are not being processed currently because Fiancé’s are not exempted from the Australian Travel restrictions.
As the Coronavirus is coming under control in Australia, restrictions are being eased and we are seeing many businesses look to rebuild, adapt and innovate. It is an exciting time of the year in relation to migration as Australia starts to recover from the Pandemic. English Test centers and Bupa visa medical services are now taking limited appointments. You may have to wait for few weeks or months to secure an appointment. The New Migration program will start on 01-July-2020 and more information will be released in the coming days.
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