Australia immigration changes to watch out for July

The 1st of July marked the beginning of the new immigration program year for Australia. This is when the Australian Govt. sets quotas for skilled migration. The Govt. also plans levels for state sponsorship spots at the beginning of the immigration program year.

With the beginning of the new program year, here are the changes to watch out for:

  1. Visa fee increase

Beginning on the 1st of July, most visa subclasses will see a 5.4% increase in the Visa fee. Student Visa fee increases from $575 to $606. Skilled Migration Visa fee increases from $3,755 to $3,958 while Partner Visa fee increases from $7,160 to $7,547.

However, the Visa fee for Contributory Parent Visa (Subclass 143) and Visitor Visa (Subclass 600) will remain unchanged.

  1. Changes in the points-test system for skilled migration

The changes in the points-test system for skilled migration will come into effect from November 2019. Some noteworthy changes are extra points to single applicants and awarding points for partner English skills.

  1. Partner Visa rules to become tougher

The Partner Visa of Australia will undergo procedural changes from 1st July. Starting from July, Australian partners would need to be approved first before they can sponsor their spouse or common-law partner. The background and character assessment of the Australian sponsor has to be approved before lodging the Partner Visa application. These procedural changes will also make the processing time longer.

  1. DAMA (Designated Area Migration Agreements)

The DAMA allows employers from a particular region to recruit overseas workers. The DAMA allows them to sponsor workers who may not be on the Australian occupation list. The workers also receive a concession on salary, experience and English requirement.  The DAMA also provides a pathway to Permanent Residence for these overseas workers.

The below regions are currently eligible for DAMA:

Starting 1st July 2019, employers are able to submit applications for participating in the program.