2019 will see many changes introduced to the Australian Skilled (GSM) , Employer Sponsored visas (ENS)and Family Visa Program. The Migration updates and changes in 2019 page is updated on a regular basis. You can see the migration changes that happened in 2018 on our 2018 Australian Visas and Immigration Updates page.
Partner Visa Changes Ahead
The Family Violence Bill passed in Senate. The Bill means sponsorships have to be approved before Partner visas can be lodged. If you are planning to apply for a Partner visa we recommend booking an appointment to discuss and understand how these changes may impact you.
The change of Partner Visa will require the sponsor, and not just the applicants, to be assessed as well.
These key changes amends the Migration Act 1958 to establish a sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program to: establish a sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program to:
- separate sponsorship assessment from the visa application process for family sponsored visas;
- require the approval of persons as family sponsors before any relevant visa applications are made;
- impose statutory obligations on persons who are or were approved as family sponsors and provide for sanctions if those obligations are not satisfied;
- facilitate the sharing of personal information between parties identified in a sponsorship application;
- enable the refusal of a sponsorship application and the cancellation or barring of a family sponsor in certain circumstances;
- enable the regulations to prescribe details for, and in relation to, the operation of the sponsorship framework; and make consequential amendments.
New Temporary Sponsored Parent Visas
The introduction of the new temporary sponsored parent visa for bringing in overseas parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents will be introduced in 2019. 15,000 visas will be made available annually. The visas will be valid for 3 or 5 years at a cost of $5,000 and $10,000 respectively. The new parent visa will be renewable for a combined maximum of 10 years.
This inserted regulation prescribes the visas for which TFN may be requested from holders or former holders of the specified visas for the purposes of the Migration Act.
The Department will use this information to identify sponsors who have not complied with sponsorship obligation and visa holders who have not complied with their visa conditions.
Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA)
Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) is for promising overseas seed-stage entrepreneurs – anyone who has an innovative, entrepreneurial idea or concept, or is working on an innovative early-stage business ideally with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and some demonstrable traction or market fit, and wants to develop this idea or concept and build their business in South Australia.
Entrepreneurs must first be endorsed by the South Australian Government (Department for Trade, Tourism and Investment), and then apply to the Department of Home Affairs for a Temporary Activity (subclass 408) visa in order to participate. SISA will run for three years, commencing November 2018 and ending November 2021. However, the length of your visa will be dependent on when the visa is granted. International students cannot participate in SISA. While on the 408 visa you will not be able to access medical and health benefits like permanent residents or Australian citizens and your children will pay international student fees in primary and secondary schools. Subclass 485 visa holders may participate in SISA in limited circumstances. Dependents have unlimited work and studyrights.
In 2019, the evidence of fund needs to show living cost is the following:
- Main Student or Guardian: $20,290 (up from $19,830)
- Partner or Spouse: $7,100 (up from $6,940)
- Per Child: $3,040 (up from $2,970)
- The Department is looking to simplify the visa system from 99 visa subclasses to only 9.
- The Department of Home Affairs released the next steps in its years-long process to privatise Australia’s visa processing system, detailing what would be required of the company involved.
2018-19 Migration Programme planning levels
The programme is set annually, with the total places available capped at 190,000 for 2018-19, unchanged from 2017-18. The total programme is broken down into the following streams:
- Skilled –This represents the majority of places offered (128,550 places in 2018-19).
- Family – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (57,400 places in 2018-19).
- Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances that do not fit into the other streams. This can include permanent residents returning to the country after a period away, and is the smallest stream (565 places in 2018-19).
At least 3,485 Child places will be available outside the managed Migration Programme in 2018-19. See more on Occupation Ceilings.