The Australian Government is changing Australia’s immigration policy for 2022, offering various opportunities for immigrants. The country is seeking to ramp up its immigration even as its aims to revive its economy in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Australia’s immigration has decreased sharply since the pandemic began due to border closures and travel restrictions. However, according to the Treasury’s Mid-year economic update, it is expected to increase again in 2022. The report predicts that net overseas immigration will be around minus 41,000 in 2021-2022 but will increase to 180,000 in 2022-2023, nearly double the previous estimate.
The program for immigration in Australia is fixed each year and runs beginning on July 1st through June 30th of each fiscal year. The 2024-2025 forecast is projected to 235 000 people. The borders to the world of Australia are now open again as of the 15th of December 2021, about six months before the forecast for the Federal budget. Permanent residents and citizens of Australia can now arrive in Australia, and their immediate family members may request an exemption upon arrival.
Additional opportunities for Temporary Australia Visa holders
The planning level for 2021-22 will remain at 160,000 slots, based on the intake from the previous year. This means that the Skill stream will receive 79,600 places, the Family stream will receive 77,300 places, Special eligibility will receive 100 places, and Children will receive 3000 places.
Australia Immigration Experts say that the Department of Home Affairs plans to fill 160,000 positions with many people already in Australia on Temporary Visas. They are trying to offer these individuals Australia PR Visas, which is a significant change as policies are being relaxed to offer multiple pathways. Additionally, extensions are being offered to people already in Australia to help them achieve their immigration dream.
A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs said that the Australian government has already implemented several changes to Australia’s visa policies in response to the pandemic. The spokesperson added that these policies would be constantly reviewed to support the nation’s economic revival.
Australia PR Visa for skilled immigrants in Hospitality and Health sectors
The Government of Australia has announced significant changes to its visa requirements for highly skilled immigrants in critical sectors to encourage them to stay in Australia and help revive the economy. Specific immigrants who have chosen to stay and work in Australia during the pandemic will now be eligible for an Australia PR Visa.
The changes can benefit current Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa holders in the Short-term stream who were earlier only allowed to stay for two years. Subclass 457 Temporary Work Skilled Visa holders who don’t meet the age requirement can also benefit.
Alex Hawke, Immigration Minister, said that skilled immigrant workers who chose to stay in Australia during the pandemic are being given an exceptional opportunity to extend their stay and obtain a pathway to citizenship. Around 20,000 provisional visa holders can benefit from the modified policies, most employed in the hospitality and health sectors.*
A spokesperson from the DHA stated it was that the Government of Australia had already introduced several changes to Australia Visas during the pandemic. These Visa policies will continue to be evaluated to aid in the economic recovery of the country, according to the spokesperson*
Australia PR Visa for skilled immigrants in regional areas
Australian Immigration Experts say that provisional immigrants stranded overseas because of the pandemic are hit the hardest. However, they explain that Provisional Visa holders residing in Australia are now in a position of advantage. Among the latest Australia PR Visa pathways, the Subclass 191 Skilled Regional Visa has been highlighted by the Australia Immigration Experts as a pathway for those who have resided on a Subclass 494 Visa for three years.
Changes to Subclass 189 Visa New Zealand Stream
The Australian government has changed the rules for the New Zealand Stream, which is designed to help New Zealand citizens on Provisional Visas transition to an Australian Permanent Resident Visa. New Zealand citizens employed in Australia with a specific salary can now qualify for a Subclass 189 Visa under the allocation for skilled overseas immigrants.
The Australian Government has implemented changes to the subclass 189 Skilled Visa Independent Stream for New Zealanders, effective July 1, 2021. Applicants must now meet a specific income requirement for a minimum of 3 to 4 years in the past five fiscal years. The Government has also put measures to assist Provisional Visa holders on the transition path to Australia PR Visa before the pandemic in maintaining their eligibility.
The DHA spokesperson said that New Zealanders applying for the Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Stream will be exempt from the 2022-2023 fiscal year income criteria. This change will help applicants whose income in 2020-2021 was adversely affected by the pandemic. They can claim a pandemic income exemption for either 2019-2020 or 2020-2021, but not both years.
“Section 48 ban” lifted for visas for skilled immigrants
Highly skilled immigrants from Australia are also allowed to apply for three Subclasses of skilled visas on the shore following a modification of the Migration Act’s Section 48. The restriction under section 48 applies to applicants whose Visa was canceled or rejected after their last entry into Australia.
In November 2021, Hawke backed the interim inclusion of Subclasses 190, 494, and 491 in the exemption list for Visas. Immigration experts have reported that a significant portion of those living in Australia with Bridging Visas is waiting for an immigration hearing, which can last up to five years. They are currently receiving invitations to make an application to apply for PR as well as Provisional Visas, which allow them to apply for an Australia PR Visa.
A spokesperson for the DHA stated that the changes would only be in effect during the emergency that is currently triggered by the pandemic. The additional Subclasses will disappear from the exemption list for Visas once the crisis has ended, said the Spokesperson.
New visa policy for Temporary Graduates Subclass 485 visa holders
The Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485 holders stuck overseas and unable to travel to Australia due to the pandemic can apply for a Replacement Visa. The government announced that the concession allows current or former Temporary Subclass 485 Visa Holders to request a new visa with the same validity as July 1st, 2022. Their Visas must expire on or before February 1st of, 2020 if they were expired.
Subclass 485 temporary Graduate Visas can be granted to students who have recently graduated from overseas with skills for specific jobs and are intended to allow the students to work in Australia. Other changes will be made to Subclass 485 Visa regulations. This includes extensions of the stay duration for the Visa for Masters through Coursework graduates to 3 years instead of two years. The stay in the Graduate Work track will increase to 24 months instead of 18 months.
Immigration experts believe that the extensive concessions made are complex. These are humane concessions and indicate that the nation can retain the vast talent that was previously available. But, they merit further investigation because they seek to do justice to the affected people. This vast assortment of different scenarios and shifts affect who can apply to what criteria and who can receive what. If there is a closure to borders, this is the first option investigated, as the experts explain.
The Government of Australia has said that the new policy will be implemented gradually, from December 1st, 2021, through July 1, 2022. Applications for replacement Visas will be accepted starting July 1st, 2022. More details will be released through the DHA website.
Immigration experts have advised candidates to seek expert advice on immigration even though the rules are constantly updated, and more changes are expected in 2022.