October 7, 2020


For most of us, the key question what is in news for migrants on Australian 2020 Budget announcement.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has declared that the planning figure for the Migration Program will remain unchanged, as the country strives to recover from the economic blow delivered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Morrison Government has announced it will maintain the planned ceiling for the 2020-21 Migration Program at 160,000 places.

In a noticeable departure from the traditional migration composition, the government has placed greater emphasis on family stream visas, raising the planning level from 47,732 to 77,300 places on a ‘one-off basis’ for this program year.

“While overall the government has placed greater emphasis on the family stream, most of these are people already in Australia,” the Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge said in a joint media release with Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.

Australian Immigration Update with Budget 2020

Keypoints:

Onshore applicants and partner visa applicants will be given priority
Government triples allocation for Global Talent Independent Program- fastest way to get permanent residency in Australia

Family stream: Overall the government will sharpen the focus on the family stream, predominately made up of partner visa category, which has been allocated a total of 72,300 places.

According to the Department of Home Affairs, global waiting times for offshore partner visa to be processed has risen to almost two years.
Budget papers also reveal that an English language requirement will also be introduced for partner visas and their permanent resident sponsors.

This could be an indication of the government’s intention to clear the massive partner visa application backlog that currently sits at 100,000, it could also mean a significant cut for places in the parent category.

In terms of partner visa, Australia’s partner visa processing times blow out due to COVID-19. Budget papers also reveal that an English language requirement will also be introduced for partner visas and their permanent resident sponsors.

These changes will help support English language acquisition and enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes

The government also will be prioritising onshore visa applicants and partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area. While the focus on onshore applications was expected, the fact that partner visa applicants with sponsors in regional areas will get priority is quite a pleasant surprise.

Skilled Migration
Priority will be given to Employer Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program visas within the skilled stream.

Skilled stream: The budget papers reveal that the government will give priority to Employer-Sponsored, Global Talent, Business Innovation and Investment Program visas within the Skilled Stream.

Australian Visa
‘This is the fastest way to get permanent residency in Australia’
As per the planning levels, the government has tripled the allocation of the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program to 15,000 places, a massive increase from the previous program year’s planning level where the government had set an objective to grant 5,000 visas.


The nominations for GTI applicants in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector has a quite a significant increase for the fledgling program that is currently in its second year. The GTI program seems to be growing, and ACS is increasingly seeing evidence of a significant pool of candidates. It nevertheless remains to be seen whether such growth can be realised,

In addition, the government has also raised the allocation for the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places.

The Budget papers said “From 1 July 2021, the Government will streamline and improve the operation of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). The Government will introduce changes to improve the quality of investments and applicants”.

The immigration number fall for 2020-21: The 2020 budget estimates reveal that Australia will suffer its first negative net overseas migration since the Second World War in a major blow to the country’s economy already bruised by the pandemic.

Net migration numbers are expected to fall from 154,000 in the 2019-20 financial year to a net loss of 72,000 in 2020-21 and 21,600 in 2021-22.

International students in Australia.
The Government will also offer Visa Application Charge (VAC) refunds, waivers or visa extensions to visa holders who have been unable to travel to Australia due to COVID-19.

This includes waiving the VAC for Working Holiday Makers and Visitors to boost tourism once the borders re-open.

August 6, 2020

Australia government student visa fee relief for student effected by COVID-19

The Australian Government has been making several changes to visa requirements in recent weeks.

One of the most notable is that applicants will be given

additional time to hand over their English language results and
complete biometric and health checks, allowing future students who’ve been impacted by COVID-19 the chance to finish their visa applications.

In addition to these measures, Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has announced that current international students who will be unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to COVID-19 will be able to lodge another student visa application free of charge.

This will certainly be warmly welcomed by the thousands of international students who’ve been worrying about what the future will hold for their education in Australia.

What is the fee waiver?

The fee waiver means that any international student who is unable to complete the requirements of their student visa due to the pandemic, will be able to reapply without paying the usual application fees. This fee waiver came into effect at midnight on Wednesday 5 August 2020.

A spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs has confirmed that the waiver will only be available to students who had a valid visa from 1 February 2020:

“A visa application fee waiver will be available to students

who held a student visa on or after 1 February 2020 and
who were unable to complete their course within their original visa validity due to the impacts of COVID-19.”

This fee waiver will only apply to new applications and no refunds will be offered to those who applied before midnight 5 August 2020.

Even if you are eligible to receive the fee waiver, there are some extra steps that must be taken in order to receive the free application.

First, you’ll need to submit COVID-19 Impacted Students form from your education provider, in addition to your visa application.
This form will have to be signed by your education provider, showing how the pandemic has affected your visa requirements.

As well as fee waivers, the Australian Government has announced that the eligibility requirements for a post-study work visa have been relaxed. If you’ve been impacted by COVID-19 and are enrolled with an Australian education provider, you may be eligible for the following:

New or current student visa holders who have been forced to undertake online study outside Australia due to the pandemic will be able to count this toward the Australian Study Requirement.
Graduates who have been affected by the travel restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be able to receive a temporary graduate visa outside of Australia.

It’s clear from these announcements that the Australian Government wants to make sure that international students will be safe in the knowledge that they will be able to continue their education in Australia.

June 25, 2020

Population growth will help propel Australia to become the world’s 11th biggest economy within a decade, a report predicts.

The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13.

Countries that depend on brainpower to drive their economies will generally overtake those dependent on natural resources, with China tipped to replace the US as the world’s biggest economy in 2030, the centre says.

While Australia’s economic growth has been fuelled by resources in recent years, the centre also noted that it’s become one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration.

The London-based Centre for Economics and Business Research is forecasting Australia will climb two places on its world economic league table by 2026 from its current ranking of 13. And it’s particularly Australia’s intake of migrants with highly sought-after skills that will help fuel its future growth.

“Australia is one of the most popular countries in the world for inward migration as well as having natural resources.

“The growing population means that the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026.

“Investment in urban infrastructure will need to accelerate as population increases.”

Australia welcomed 245,400 immigrants in the year ending June 30, 2017, a 27 per cent increase from the year before.

 

“The growing population means the economy is forecast to rise from 13th largest in 2017 to 11th largest economy in 2026,” said the centre’s 2018 World Economic League Table, which ranks the world’s economies by gross domestic product measured in US dollars at market prices to 2030.

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