The Australian Government presented the 2019/20 budget on 2 April 2019.
As is the norm for the Immigration portfolio budget, an increase in visa application charges was announced. These charges will increase by 5.4% from 1 July 2019 for all visa subclasses except subclass 600 (Visitor) visas.
This will mean an increase of approximately AUD 132 for an employer-nominated subclass 482 temporary visa (MLTSSL occupation) and AUD 202 for an employer-nominated subclass 186 permanent visa.
As reported a few weeks ago (see our blog of 25 March 2019), three new visa categories are to be introduced on 1 November 2019, aimed at attracting migrants to regional areas of Australia.
The budget also included information that the current permanent regional employer-sponsored visa (subclass 187) and the state-nominated temporary regional visa (subclass 489) will be discontinued when the new regional visas come into effect.
Further enhancing the Government’s aim to attract people to regional areas, the budget announced a subsequent 12-month validity post-study work visa where the applicant studied in a regional area and then spends two years on the first post-study work visa, in a regional area of Australia, and scholarships for international and domestic students to study in regional areas.
As we reported earlier, a lower migration program planning level of 160,000 visas was announced. The budget reported that the revenue from the Skilling Australians Fund levy is forecast to be AUD 126 million less than originally forecast for the four years to 2022-23. This is due to lower than expected demand for employer sponsored visas.
There were however a number of large infrastructure projects announced in the budget which, if they proceed, may well require employers to bring in more skilled workers from overseas, especially with the latest Australian seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inching lower to 4.9%, the lowest jobless rate since June 2011.
With the upcoming election in mind, Newland Chase will continue to monitor the immigration landscape and advise our clients accordingly of any developments which may impact business.
Employers will need to factor in the application fee increases of 1 July 2019 though and where possible may wish to lodge applications prior to this date, to avoid the additional costs.
For advice specific to your business, please contact your Newland Chase immigration professional.
For general advice and information on immigration and business travel to Australia, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org