Australia’s immigration system is one among the most flexible systems worldwide. Each year, the country government in association with the immigration authorities throws a light on the areas that need improvement and eradicates the loopholes. Besides, it revises the occupation list by removing certain occupations and adding the ones that are a major requirement in Australia. This process generally takes place in the months of June- July. This year, it’s going to be a little different. Effective from July 1, Australian immigration is going to experience a series of changes, in various areas.
Number 1: Maximum age for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 to be reduced from 49 to 44
As of the present norms, a candidate applying for an Australia PR visa under the General Skilled Migrant Scheme must not be over 49 yrs. From July 1st 207 onwards, the age limit would be reduced to 44 for professionals who are keen to settle in Australia. This means that skilled professionals who are above 44 yrs will no longer be able to apply for Australia immigration through the following programs:
- Skilled Nominated Visa subclass 190
- Skilled Regional Provisional subclass 489
- New Citizen Stream of subclass 189
The Department of Immigration figures reflect that only 1% of applicants of Subclass 189 visa fall in the age range of 45 to 49 years. While the overall impact may be small in numbers, there would be a significant effect as the age limit for permanent employer sponsored will also be reduced to 44 yrs. Hence, it is advised that professionals who are currently eligible must apply for their immigration before July to avoid ineligibility.
Number 2: Easy pathway for NZ permanent residency to be introduced
Coming straight from the columns for Acacia Immigration Australia, the good news is that skilled professionals who have live & worked in Australia for a minimum time period of 5 yrs can now become permanent residents of New Zealand, effective from July 1 2017. Australia is introducing this easy pathway as a stream within the Skilled Independent Visa program (subclass 189). The New Zealand Citizen stream has significantly lesser demands to qualify:
- No Skills assessment is required
- No Points test will be required
- No English language assessment will be required
- No SkillSelect Invitation will be required
- No limits on age
- Special consideration on health requirement
- Less Initial application fee
As per the estimates of the Australian Government, over 60-70,000 New Zealanders may be eligible for this stream. Moreover, this stream would be a great benefit for skilled professionals having 5 yrs of living and work experience and a desire to shift to New Zealand.
Number 3: Revision of Skilled Occupation List & Release of Occupational Ceilings
The recently replaced Skilled Occupation List for General Skilled Migration Scheme is expected to be revised from July 1, 2017. This is because there a number of occupations, especially in the Engineering sector of Australia that are listed on the MTSSLL but not listed on STSOL. Plus, there is a specific list of flagged occupations maintained separately by the Department of Education, and these may also be considered for removal.
The Occupational ceilings play a vital role in the operations of the General Skilled Migration programs. They give a hint on the number of EOI invitations that can be issued to applicants of each program, namely- Skilled Independent Subclass 189 & the Skilled Regional Provisional (Family Sponsored) Subclass 489. Each year, Australia announces releases its Occupation ceilings in the month of July, with fresh quota for each occupation category.
Number 4: State Migration Plans shall reopen
Currently, there many of the Australian States that have either restricted their state nomination programs or have closed them. Some of the significant examples are the Western Australia, Queensland, ACT and many more. Also, there are several states that have reached their quotas for prominent and high in demand occupations. Many of such states will reopen again in July with fresh quota of occupation. Through previous statistics, we can analyze that most the of State nomination programs open and fill quickly. For skilled professionals who are keen to settle in Australia through a State nomination must keep their applications ready. This will not only increase their chances for a quick State nomination but also will help them with a fast Australia immigration process.