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6 Key Changes to Australian Immigration in July 2023


6 key changes affecting Australian visa applicants were introduced in July 2023. Please see below for a summary of how it affects you from our immigration experts.


 
 

Change #1: Working Hours Reduced for International Students - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia
Change #1: Working Hours Reduced for International Students

Change #1: Working Hours Reduced for International Students


Who does it affect:


International students holding the 500 visa.



What is the change:


During most of the pandemic, international students enjoyed unrestricted working hours. However, limits to working hours have been reintroduced from 1 July 2023 for international students on the subclass 500 visa.


Interestingly, this limit is now higher than the previous cap set before the pandemic. Now, students are allowed to work up to 48 hours every fortnight, a significant increase from the previous cap of 40 hours per fortnight.



What it means for you:


If you were working more than 48 hours per fortnight before 1 July 2023, you need to reduce your working hours to ensure that you are now adhering to this new limit while your course is “in session”.


Note that when your course is “out-of-session” (i.e. during semester breaks, after course completion, study deferrals approved by your institution), you do not have restrictions to your working hours.


The reduction in allowable working hours for international students potentially carries considerable implications if you are considering applying for skilled or employer-sponsored visas in the future. This is because the eligibility requirements for these visas (or related processes like skills assessments) may relate to minimum hours of employment per week.


You may also find it more difficult to obtain employment because of your restricted capacity to work full-time.



Change #2: Minimum Salary Increased for 482 Visas - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia

Change #2: Minimum Salary Increased for 482 Visas


Who does it affect:


1. Prospective subclass 482 Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa applicants

2. Australian employers



What is the change:


After over 10 years of remaining at the same level, the Australian Government has announced it will increase the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000 from 1 July 2023 .



What does it mean for you:


Firstly, this means that in order to qualify for the 482 visa, the nominated position must have a salary of at least $70,000. This could make it more difficult for some migrants to qualify if they are in occupations or industries where the average salary is lower than this threshold.


Secondly, employers that want to sponsor candidates on the 482 visa must now commit to a higher minimum salary. This could make it more expensive for businesses to sponsor overseas workers. It might particularly affect small businesses or those in sectors with typically lower wages, potentially discouraging them from hiring foreign skilled workers.


Thirdly, employers must also demonstrate that the salary being paid matches the Australian Market Salary Rate (AMSR). This means that the employer may not be successful with the sponsorship if they cannot show that they are paying Australians in the same role at least $70,000, or they cannot find evidence that other employers are also paying at least $70,000 for similar positions, regardless of whether or not the overseas worker is being paid $70,000.



Change #3: Nomination and SAF Levy Fees Remain the Same for Australian Employers - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia

Change #3: Nomination and SAF Levy Fees Remain the Same for Australian Employers


Who does it affect:


1. Australian employers

2. Potential applicants for visas that require a nomination.



What is the news:


Despite increases to visa application fees, there has been no increase to nomination fees and to the SAF levy for employer-sponsored visas.



What does it mean for you:


Employer-sponsored visas, such as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) or Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186), require the employer to nominate the visa applicant, and this process incurs a fee. If these fees were to increase, it would make it more expensive for businesses to hire overseas workers. By keeping these fees steady, the Australian government is keeping the financial burden of this process on businesses unchanged.


While the employees themselves may not directly pay the nomination fee, the overall cost of sponsorship can impact an employer's willingness to hire from overseas.



Change #4: Direct Pathway to Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia

Change #4: Direct Pathway to Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens



Who does it affect:


New Zealand Citizens living (or planning to live) in Australia after 21 Feb 2001.



What is the news:


​​On 22 April 2023, the Australian Government announced a direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens living in Australia. These changes only apply to citizenship applications submitted on or after 1 July 2023.



What does it mean for you:


If you are a New Zealand citizen currently living in Australia, you will now have a more streamlined route to acquiring Australian citizenship. Previously, NZ citizens would be expected to obtain permanent residency first (e.g. with the 189 or Partner visas), before they can meet one of the eligibility requirements of Australian citizenship, which was to live in Australia on a permanent visa for 1 year. With this new change, time spent living in Australia on the subclass 444 SCV can be counted towards this 1-year requirement.


This also means you can consider eventually sponsoring your partner or parents to obtain permanent residency, without having to obtain permanent residency yourself. Note that you’ll only be able to do this once you become an Australian citizen.


Note that despite your residency on the 444 visa can help meet the citizenship requirement relating to permanent residency, you are NOT considered a permanent resident on the 444 visa.



Change #5 - No Minimum Income Requirement for 191 Visa Holders - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia

Change #5: No Minimum Income Requirement for 191 Visa Holders



Who does it affect:


491 visa holders who want to apply for PR via the 191 visas in the future.



What is the news:


Subclass 491 visa holders are able to progress to permanent residency by applying for the subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) after working in designated regional areas for at least 3 years.


It was previously indicated by the Department that 191 visa applicants would need to provide tax assessment notices that meet the minimum taxable income determined by the TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold). However, it’s now been clarified that the minimum income is no longer a requirement.



What does it mean for you:


You only need to provide 3 tax assessment notices, regardless of the taxable income. Note that other requirements for the 191 visa still apply. Note that the 491 visa does not have a requirement for you to earn a minimum income either.



Change #6 - Second 2 Years TR Visa Available - Skylark Migration - Migration Agents Australia

Change #6: Second 2 Years TR Visa Available



Who does it affect:


Current 485 visa holders



What is the news:


From 1 July 2023, subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa holders can apply for another 485 visa if they had completed an eligible course and still hold a valid 485 visa. The new 485 visa will allow applicants to remain in Australia for another 2 years.



What does it mean for you:


The extension would allow you to stay in Australia for longer. This could offer you additional time to gain work experience in Australia, potentially improve your English language skills, or transition to another type of visa (such as a skilled visa or a partner visa).


 

Have a question about how to get Australian PR and the best pathway for you?

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1 ความคิดเห็น


Guest
27 ก.ค. 2566

Useful and Practical Tips! Thank you, Skylark!

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