By Tony Truong, Principal Migration Agent
In the 22/23 Federal Budget, new allocations were announced for the Immigration program in the new year. These allocations can influence processing times, and can also provide indicators about the direction that the government is going in relation to visa programs.
Here’s what Immigration is planning for 2022-23 and a simple summary of what it means for you.
More Opportunities for Skilled Migration
Skilled migration will now account for 70% of the allocated places. This is similar to what it was in previous years, but the distribution between the different skilled visa types has changed.
1. Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) Might Reopen
The most significant change here is the "Skilled Independent", which is also known as the 189 visa.
The 189 is an invite-only visa. Typically, you submit an “Expression of Interest” (EOI) and wait to be invited by the Department of Immigration. Since the start of COVID, very few invitations have been issued, and only for certain occupations. ➕ It’s NOT official, but these larger allocations suggest that the government may resume the 189 program to pre-COVID levels, meaning that invitations may be issued again for most, if not all, occupations eligible for the 189 visa.
2. State Nomination Availability
Throughout the previous year, the state governments have frequently requested for more allocations for the 190 and 491 visas, as most international students and skilled workers are now more privy to how much easier it is to get PR through these pathways. See our explainer video here on How to Get Australian PR in 4 Minutes ➕ It's promising to see that the federal government is supportive of these programs by increasing the allocations, as this would mean the states are less likely to change their requirements in a way that would negatively impact prospective applicants. ➕ The increase in allocations would also increase the chances of getting an invitation to apply for the 190 and 491 visas.
3. Processing Time Changes
➖ Whilst the changes will likely be minimal, the lower allocations for the 888 and 858 visas would increase the expected processing times. ➕ Conversely, prospective 186 visa applicants may see their applications finalised more quickly, as it is clear that the current government will continue focusing on employer-sponsored visas as part of their economic recovery plan for Australia.
Fewer Allocations for Family Visas
➕ The increase in Parent visa allocations will likely improve processing times for the parent visas, which have seen the backlog increase by 2+ years through the COVID period.
💡 Immigration redirected 10,000 places away from Family visas towards skilled visas, mainly affecting the Partner visa stream.
At this stage, there's no cause for concern regarding the changes to the Partner visa stream. The government has explained that this is indicative of a "demand driven" program, which means when it comes to Partner visas, these allocations will be flexible in order to meet demand. How this will impact the processing times and grants for the Partner visa are yet to be seen.
Since 2015, we’ve frequently had Partner visas approved in 3 - 8 months by submitting decision-ready applications.
Book a free consultation if you’d like help with your Partner or Family visa.
When Do These New Changes Take Effect?
These allocations will take effect from the start of the financial year (July 2022).
💡 What Should You Do Now?
For prospective visa applicants in most categories, these changes will likely have minimal impact on your strategy.
Having that said, if you’re still waiting for the 189 visa, it’s a good time to double-check your EOI in the case that you'll receive an invitation soon. So check if your essential documents (e.g. skills assessments, English test results, etc.) and points claims are still valid for the invitation. Having invalid details or claims at the time of invitation can force you to give up your invitation, or WILL lead to visa refusal!
This is also a good time to think of ways to increase your points, to increase your chances of getting an invitation.
Want to have a chat with an expert about what this means for you?
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Simply book a consultation and our migration experts can help you work out your options 👇
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