A Year 2020 has been an exceptional year for immigration that asked for a slew of changes to Australia’s immigration guidelines in response to the evolving issues caused by the ongoing health emergency and following steps that were taken to include the covid-19 pandemic.
Here is a summary of immigration policy and visa changes that will be affected in 2021:
Changes to Migration Program:
The Morrison Government decided to retain the planned maximum for the 2020-21 Migration Program at 160,000 places, but suggestively changed the conformation of the plan, placing better importance on family stream visas, which were higher from 47,732 to 77,300 spots on a ‘one-off bases for the existing program year.
Priority to employer-sponsored, worldwide talent and business visas:
As part of its most significant budget announcement in October 2020, the federal government revealed that it will be giving priority to inventors, financiers, and job creators.
“Those who are moving to grow Australian businesses, generate Australian jobs and supercharge our commercial economy recovery – will be the first target of our skilled visas,” said Immigration Minister Alan Tudge.
He also added that priority within the Skill stream will be given to International Talent, the Business Innovation, and Investment Program (BIIP) and Employer-Sponsored visas.
Skilled visa nomination programs reopen in January 2021:
The Department of Home Affairs has issued the final allocations to states and provinces for the remainder of the program year 2020-21, paving the way for the reopening of skilled visa nomination programs in early 2021.
Changes to support family visa applicants:
In Nov 2020, the Australian Government announced temporary modifications to the Family visa to support applicants stuck by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the temporary agreement that will come into effect early in Jan 2021, opt for family visa applicants who have lodged visas offshore will no longer have to rush overseas to obtain their visa grants.
Announcing the changes on 30 November, Minister Tudge said “temporary visa reductions will benefit about 4,000 applicants presently in Australia, predominately individuals who have applied for offshore partner visas (Subclass 309/100).
New Rules and Tougher Requirements for Business Migrants:
The Australian Government has revealed that it will be reducing business and investment visa streams from the existing categories to four – Business Innovation, Entrepreneur, Business Investor, and Major Investor, to support Australia’s business post-COVID-19 economic revitalization.
As part of the visa changes, the conditions for Business Innovation visa – which permits successful applicants to manage a new or existing business in Australia – will now be increased, making it harder for new applicants to develop their ‘business insight.’
Business owners will now be obligated to hold business holdings of $1.25 million, up from $800,000 and need to have a yearly turnover of $750,000 up from $500,000.
At the same time, some visas will have smaller limits, for instance, the $200,000 funding maximum currently required for Entrepreneur visa applicants will be ditched from next year.
In addition, the Superior Investor, Significant Business History and Project Capital
Entrepreneur visas will be shut down to new applications from 1 July 2021. Applications already settled for these visas will remain to be managed.
These changes will be applied from July 2021.
Extra one or two years for international students in provincial areas:
From Jan 2021, Subclass 485) Temporary Graduate visa (TGV) holders who have obtained their degrees from a regional educational university or institution and have lived in provincial Australia on their first TGV will be qualified for a second TGV.
For more information on student visa extension or visitor visa extension, feel free to ask our migration agent on 08 89635728