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Immigration changes effective from 1 July 2024

Immigration Immigration changes effective from 1 July 2024: key updates and implications

From 1 July 2024, the Australian Government is implementing significant immigration changes affecting various visa programs and conditions. These updates will impact sponsor businesses, skilled migrant workers, and temporary visa holders. Here is an overview of the key changes:

 

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) increase

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) has risen from AUD 70,000 to AUD 73,150. This increase reflects the government’s commitment to ensuring that temporary skilled workers are adequately compensated and helps protect the Australian labour market. Employers must comply with this new threshold when sponsoring skilled workers.

Additional information is available here.

Changes to visa conditions for 482, 457, and 494 visas

The conditions 8107, 8607, and 8608 for visa holders under the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482), Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457), and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494) visas have changed to provide more flexibility.

Visa holders now have up to 180 days at a time, or a cumulative maximum of 365 days throughout the visa period, to secure a new sponsor, apply for a different visa, or arrange their departure from Australia. During this period, visa holders can work for other employers, including in occupations not listed in their original sponsorship nomination, to support themselves financially.

For detailed information, read our article here.

New exemptions for UK citizens on Working Holiday Visas

UK citizens can now benefit from new exemptions under the Working Holiday Visa program. These exemptions include an extension of the eligible age range from 30 to 35 years and the removal of the ‘specified work’ requirement, which typically involves completing certain tasks such as fruit picking, construction labour, or mining activities in designated regional areas of Australia to be eligible for a second or third visa. These changes aim to encourage more young UK citizens to participate in cultural exchange and work opportunities in Australia.

Full details can be found here.

Philippines passport holders eligible to apply for a Work and Holiday (Sc 462) visa

Citizens from the Philippines aged 18-30 now have the opportunity to participate in Australia’s expanded Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa program. This visa allows them to spend up to twelve months in Australia, engaging in short-term employment and exploring the country freely. To qualify, applicants must possess a tertiary qualification or have completed at least two years of undergraduate or post-secondary education.

Further information can be found here.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to be replaced with the National Innovation Visa

The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) is now closed and will eventually be replaced by the new National Innovation Visa. This change aligns with Australia’s strategic shift towards fostering innovation and attracting high-calibre entrepreneurs and investors. The new visa aims to streamline the application process and provide better support for innovative business ventures.

More about this transition can be read here.

The impacts of the 2024-25 budget on immigration

The 2024-25 federal budget introduces several measures impacting immigration policies and programs. From today, the Permanent Migration Programme cap has been set at 185,000 places, with 132,200 allocated to the Skill stream. This change aligns with the government’s focus on addressing long-term skills needs.

For an in-depth analysis, visit this link.

Visa hopping restrictions

From now, the government will restrict certain temporary visa holders from applying for a student visa while in Australia. This includes holders of the Temporary Graduate, Visitor, and Maritime Crew visas, among others. These measures aim to address the issue of ‘visa hopping,’ where former international students remain in Australia on a series of temporary visas by requiring genuine students to apply from offshore. Temporary Graduate Visa holders are encouraged to either leave Australia or seek skilled employment or other visa pathways that could lead to permanent residency.

More information is available here.

Updates to Australia’s Temporary Graduate Visa program

Significant updates to the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) program are now in effect, including renaming the Graduate Work Stream to the Post-Vocational Education Work Stream with an age cap of 35 years, except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders who are eligible up to 50 years.

The Post-Higher Education Work Stream will also have an age cap of 35 years except for Masters (Research) and Doctoral Degree (PhD) graduates who are eligible up to 50 years.

The Second Post-Higher Education Work Stream will retain its structure but be renamed, and the Replacement Stream will be discontinued. These updates aim to match Australia’s evolving economic landscape and skill demands.

Detailed updates can be found here.

Skilled-Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) visa to permanently close

The Skilled-Recognised Graduate (subclass 476) visa is now permanently closed, with no new applications accepted after today. This visa was previously available to engineering graduates from specified institutions. The closure reflects a shift towards other skilled migration pathways.

Further details can be read here.

Support for partner visa applicants in family violence cases

With the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence Provisions for Partner Visa Applicants) Regulations 2024 changes are in place to support partner visa applicants experiencing family violence. These changes include expanded eligibility for permanent residency (Subclass 191) even if the relationship has ended, allowing Prospective Marriage (Subclass 300) visa holders to apply for a Partner visa without being married, and removing the requirement for applicants to be in Australia when a decision is made (Subclass 309). These amendments aim to provide greater protection and a clearer pathway to permanent residency for affected applicants, enhancing their ability to build a safe life in Australia.

Full details can be found here.

Migration amendment strengthening employer compliance

The Migration Amendment (Infringement Notices) Regulations 2024 introduces significant changes to ensure stricter employer compliance with migration laws. Key updates include increased penalties for civil penalty provisions, new civil penalty provisions targeting employer misconduct, removal of the half-penalty option for first-time contraventions, and standardised penalty amounts.

For detailed information, read our article here.

 

For assistance with understanding these changes that will come into effect from 1 July 2024, contact one of our migration strategists at aisupport@absoluteimmigration.com.

Absolute Immigration’s experts are here to help business sponsors and individuals navigate these updates, ensure compliance, and maximise opportunities.

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