Four Important Immigration Changes Coming in 2019

With the start of a new year Australia’s immigration program is set to undergo several major shake-ups in the coming months.

In 2019, the following changes to the immigration system will come into effect:

1. The ATO will begin data-matching tax records of employer-sponsored migrants
The Department of Home Affairs will begin cracking down on the underpayment of employer-sponsored migrants in 2019.

As part of this new initiative, the Immigration Department will begin working with the Australian Tax Office (ATO) to match the tax file numbers of 457 and 482 visa holders with current tax records.

This new measure is intended to ensure that migrant visa holders are being paid at their nominated salary level, in accordance with Australia’s minimum payment rates.

2. South Australia will launch a new visa aimed at start-up entrepreneurs

SA is set to begin trials of a new pilot visa program aimed at attracting start-up entrepreneurs.

The new “start-up visa” will have significantly lower requirements than the similar Business and Innovation (subclass 188) visa. Unlike the 188 visa, applicants will not be required to demonstrate a minimum of $200,000 to qualify, and will only need to achieve a 5 average band score on the IELTS.

Instead, foreign entrepreneurs will have to present a “start-up authority” with an original idea and detailed business plan to apply for the visa.

3. Visa processing times will be even longer

In November last year, the Australian Senate successfully passed the Family Violence Bill, making it harder for foreign nationals convicted of domestic abuse to secure partner visa sponsorship.

This means that partner visa sponsorship now needs to be approved before an application can be lodged.

As a result, offshore applicants will now have to go through tougher character and history assessments. The Department has confirmed that this may significantly prolong the processing time for partner visa applications.

4. International student evidence of funds requirement to increase

The evidence of funds requirement for international students studying in Australia will increase in 2019, with applicants now needing to demonstrate approximately $20,290 to the Department of Immigration.

If applicants wish to bring a partner then an additional $7,100 will be required, while $3,040 will need to be provided for a child.

If you have any questions or would like us to assist with your global immigration queries, simply click this link to schedule a call with one of our Registered Migration Agents OR call 1300 ABSOLUTE (1300 227 658).