The 2019 Australian Federal Budget contains the following announcements and information related to the Department of Home Affairs and the migration program.
Visa Application Charges to increase
- Base Visa Application Charges for visa subclasses, except the Visitor Subclass 600, will increase by 5.4% from 1 July 2019
- No increase to second installment VACs
Skilled Migration Points Test - Secondary Skilled Migrants
From November 2019, points test will be adjusted to award additional points, to the primary applicants, where their partner has competent English, but cannot meet the requirements for skilled partner points. Single applicants will also be awarded additional points to ensure they are not disadvantaged – how this will occur has not been detailed.
RSMS (Subclass 187) and Skilled Regional (Subclass 489) to be discontinued
From 1 November 2019, the RSMS (Subclass 187) and Skilled Regional (Subclass 489) will be discontinued.
Migration Program Planning Levels 2019 /2020
The Migration Program Planning levels were released during the 2019 Federal Budget and the levels for the 2019-2020 program year can be seen below.
The Migration Program outcomes for 2017-18 are provided as a comparison.
New Regional Visa Subclasses
Four new regional visa subclasses were announced in the lead up to the Budget and selected ones are shown below:
- Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional) – available from 1 November 2019
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – available from 1 November 2019
- Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa – available November 2022
The following details are all that have been released to date:
Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional)
- 9000 places have been allocated
- ‘almost’ 700 eligible occupations, which is 450 more occupations than non-regional areas
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)
- 14,000 places
- ‘over’ 500 eligible occupations, which is 70 more occupations than non-regional areas
Features of these two new provisional subclasses
- both commence 1 November 2019
- priority processing
- access to additional skilled occupations
- five-year validity
- three years living and working in a regional area to be eligible for permanent residency
*applications lodged prior to the commencement date will continue to be processed as usual
Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa
- commences November 2022
- three years living and working in a regional area
- must have held either a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) or Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa