In response to the growing pandemic being faced by all of us at home and internationally, the Australian Government has set up some new changes that will affect the growth of Australian Migration as we enter the new financial year according to SBS News Australia.
Changes across the country:
The state government will start accepting new applications for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) in the financial year 2020-2021, subject to an announcement. With this said, priority will be given to occupations in sectors critical to the coronavirus response, such as medicine, infrastructure and trade.
New South Wales
In a significant development for visa hopefuls, NSW opened its Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – applications for which closed on June 26, 2020. The state relaxed the 12-month living and removed the working requirement paving another pathway for skilled migrants planning to work and live in the state.
The state has said it will reopen its nomination application system for 190/491 in early August, subject to an announcement.
The WA government made changes to their occupation list on 16 June 2020, removing Registered Nurse (Mental Health) (254422) and adding Nuclear Medicine Technologist (251213) and Physicist (234914) – with the specialisation of Medical Physicist.
Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) has also closed its state nomination program. The state is now awaiting advice from the Department of Home Affairs with regards to its nomination allocation for the financial year 2020-21.
The NT program remains closed to offshore applicants at this stage. New eligibility requirements for all nominations will apply as of 1 July 2020. It is said that international students living in the territory will have a higher chance to be considered for the permanent residency visa nomination.
Australian Capital Territory
In Australian Capital Territory, only 81 invitations were issued for subclass 190 in the latest round on June 3, as compared 485 in the previous round. Whereas, no invitations were issued for subclass 491 owing to “sufficient applications in the queue,” as per information available on the state website.
The next invitation round is due on or before 15 July, subject to an announcement.
Tasmania has allowed some flexibility for some applicants affected by COVID-19 who are trying to meet the requirements for state nomination. As of 20 March 2020, 491 applications have been temporarily restricted until further notice to occupations listed in the ‘high demand’ section of the Tasmanian Skilled Occupation List (TSOL).
Unfortunately, due to the international lockdowns, visa processing times have been greatly affected leading to ‘significant’ processing delays due unavailability of key assessment services and the consequent inability of applicants to meet visa criteria.
According to SBS News Australia, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs earlier said: “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.”
It looks like it will be a long road ahead for now until everything returns to normal…
Our Registered Migration Agents at Migration Centre of Australia have been in the migration industry for many years and have helped thousands of clients onshore and offshore. We are trained professionals in Australian Migration Law and we are trusted providers in the industry for our services. If you want to know more about applying for an Australian visa, whether you are in Australia or overseas, or if you are currently a visa holder who has been affected by the current pandemic, contact us today on (02) 4626 1002 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of my registered migration agents will be ready to help you.