Global Consult

Recent changes in visa process for migration

2020/2021 has been an unpredictable year due to themajor impact of COVID-19. Various changes have occurredin Australian Immigration this year from borderclosure, travel ban, and lockdown. There are variouschanges in a visa that Australia has brought to ensure,it recruits talented individuals to help with theeconomic recovery that is Employer-Sponsored, GlobalTalent and Business Innovation and Investment Programvisas will be given priority.

The 2020-21 migration program aims to support theeconomic recovery post-COVID-19. For this reason,places for the business, investment, and innovationprogram have increased to 13,500. The government will be streamlining and improving the operation of theBusiness Innovation and Investment from 1 July 2021.The visa application charges will also increase by11.3% from 1 July 2021.

A Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce willbe established. The purpose of the task force is toattract international businesses and outstandingtalents to Australia to help with the post-COVID-19economy recovery. It builds on the existing Globaltalent Initiative and Business Innovation andInvestment Program.

The Department of Home Affairs has announced a newinitiative for an additional Temporary Graduate visawith an extra one or two year of post-study work rightsfor international students who graduate from theregional campus of a registered university orinstitution with higher education or postgraduatequalification, and maintain an ongoing residence in aregional area while holding their first Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa. The second TemporaryGraduate visa will require ongoing residence in aregional area.The definition of regional Australia for this purposewill be the same as the definition for skilledmigration all of Australia excluding Sydney, Melbourne,and Brisbane.

In order to be eligible for this visa extension,students need to have graduated from a regionalinstitution and resided (including all work andstudy) for at least two years in a regional areaimmediately before applying for their second 485visa. The second Temporary Graduate visa is also available to current post-study 485 visa holders whograduated from a regional institution, and who willhave resided (including all work and study) for atleast two years in a regional area immediatelybefore applying for their second 485 visa. Visaapplication fee is $650 main applicant, $325 forspouse or partner and $165 for children under 18.Applications can be made from 21 Jan 2021 onwards.

485 Visa- Secondary Applicants not excluded

The law regulating the Temporary Graduate Visa has beenamended. The change was introduced on 20 January 2021and there was confusion regarding the interpretation ofthis new law.One of the interpretations of the law is that thischange will limit the number of people who can applyfor the subclass 485 visa. If you have held a subclass485 visa as a secondary applicant on your partner’s 485visas, you will not be eligible for a subclass 485 visaas a primary applicant. However, DHA has now confirmedthat this is an error in drafting the legislation andthe previous arrangement continues to apply.

The law as it stands today and updated on 20 January2021:

The applicant:

(a) has not previously got a Subclass 476 (Skilled –Recognised Graduate) visa that was granted on thebasis that the applicant satisfied the primarycriteria for the grant of the visa; and

(b) has not previously held a Subclass 485(Temporary Graduate) visa in the Graduate Workstream; and

(c) unless the applicant has nominated thePost-Study Workstream in the application and meetsthe requirements of clause 485.232 or 485.233—hasnot previously held a Subclass 485 (TemporaryGraduate) visa in the Post-Study Work stream; and(d) has not previously held 2 Subclass 485(Temporary Graduate) visas in the Post-StudyWorkstream.

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