The start of the new financial year on 1st July means a resetting of spots in Australia’s migration program, opening up new opportunities for skilled migrants.
The job-ready program, increase of skilled migrant vacancies, and the ease of restrictions for temporary graduate visas will become easier to obtain. These changes for the 2022-2023 financial year will help pave the way for future economic growth and response to COVID-19.
Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs Andrew Giles has tasked the Department with dealing with the backlog as quickly as possible. Minister Giles is assessing all options available to address the backlog.
What will be changing?
Nominating a skilled occupation and obtaining an assessment is no longer needed in the Graduate Work stream for Temporary Graduate visas Subclass 485. A broader range of graduates with diplomas or trade qualifications not similar to occupations on Australia’s short skilled occupation list will also open up.
An international student who completes an Australian study program can participate in the Job Ready Program, which will have three phases rather than the current four phases. A Registered Training Organisation issues students’ qualifications completed under the Job Ready program. This 360-hour Provisional Skills Assessment will no longer be required, saving time and money for many international applicants.
Visa holders for the temporary skill shortage subclass 482 will find applying for a permanent residency (PR) easier. From 1 July 2022, skilled migrants whose current employer nominates can apply for the Temporary Residence Transition visa to live in Australia permanently. However, visa holders must be accommodated in Australia for 12 months minimum between February 2020 and 14 December 2021.
A replacement visa can be applied for temporary graduate visa holders who lost their time due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. To be eligible for a temporary graduate visa, it must be currently valid or have expired after February 1, 2020. New postgraduate students will be able to retrieve three-year visas, whilst graduate students will be able to recover two-year replacements. Approximately 30,000 current and graduate visa holders will benefit from this measure.
From the 1st of July 2022, fees for visa applications will increase by approximately 3%.
Officers previously focused on travel exemptions have been redirected to visa processing, with nearly 140 new staff in visa processing roles since May 2022. Further, a surge capacity to work overtime, drawn from across the Department and the Australian Border Force, has been established.
Minister Giles said the Department was working through many older cases and seeing application volumes increase across critical programs.
“The number of applications received in June 2022 is 6.5% higher than May 2022 – over the same period, there was a 10.6% increase in applications finalised,” Minister Giles said.
745,000 visa applications have been finalised since June 2022, including over 645,000 offshore visa applications. This includes 388,000 visitor visas, 62,000 student visas and 9,550 temporary skilled visas.
“The processing of visas will continue to be a major priority for this Government – but reducing the backlog of applications can’t happen overnight.
“People reallocated to dealing with the visa applications on hand need to be trained and skilled before they can do this vital work.
“The former Government devalued immigration, with the visa application backlog increasing to nearly 1,000,000 on their watch. The Albanese Government is determined to reduce the backlog and restore the importance of the immigration function of our Government,” Minister Giles said.
Works for the New Fitzroy River Bridge have been completed and will open on 10 December 2023, over six months ahead of schedule.
Finding an Australian employer to sponsor you can be very difficult so we recommend obtaining a visa that gives you full working rights.