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11 Ways Your Australian Migration Plans Could Change

This blog summarizes the following changes to Australian migration set to become effective from 1 July 2023;

  • Increase In TSMIT
  • No More Labour Market Testing (LMT)
  • Pathway To PR For TSS Visa Holders
  • New Zealand Citizens To Become Eligible For Australian Citizenship
  • Government Plans To Reduce Visa Subclasses
  • A Pro-rated SAF Levy
  • Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement
  • Increase In Visa Application Fees
  • Work Restrictions For Student Visa Holders
  • Changes For Working Holiday Makers (WHMs)
  • New Australian Visa For Pacific Nations

It is safe to say that these changes would affect employer sponsors and skilled workers in a similar manner.



1. Increase In TSMIT

From 1 July 2023, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) is expected to be changed to $70,000 from $53,900. As a result, employers interested in sponsoring overseas workers must offer an annual salary of $70,000, along with superannuation, to potential candidates.



2. No More Labour Market Testing (LMT)

Labour Market Testing (LMT) is a procedure under which employers must advertise a job locally even if the shortage of workers and skills is obvious. Interestingly, LMT will not be required for the top 2 tiers of skilled workers earning more than a minimum salary of $70,000 from 1 July 2023.

3. Pathway To PR For TSS Visa Holders

According to the announcement by the Australian government, all Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) subclass 482 visa holders will be offered a pathway to permanent residency by the end of 2023. Needless to say, this would offer migrants and employers more certainty while boosting the skill level in the permanent skilled migration program.

4. New Zealand Citizens To Become Eligible For Australian Citizenship

New Zealand citizens living in Australia for four years or more will become eligible for Australian citizenship directly from 1 July 2023. Consequently, they wouldn’t have to apply for a permanent visa first. These changes concern New Zealand citizens who came to Australia after 26 February 2001 holding a Special Category subclass 444 visa (SCV). Protected SCV holders will remain eligible for Australian citizenship directly.

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5. Government Plans To Reduce Visa Subclasses

The Australian government plans to reduce visa categories with hopes of streamlining the country’s visa system. The authorities would consolidate several visa categories into comprehensive visa types. This would simplify the application process and improve efficiency in handling all immigration-related matters.

6. A Pro-rated SAF Levy

The Australian government is thinking of launching a pro-rated Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy. This means the amount of the levy will be calculated on the basis of the duration of the visa given to the employer’s sponsored worker. This change will promote fairness and flexibility in paying the levy.

7. Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement

The UK and Australia have agreed to new arrangements under the Youth Mobility Scheme and the Working Holiday Maker (WHM) program. The Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement became effective on 31 May 2023.

Let’s see how the new arrangements affect UK passport holders;

  • They can apply for a Working Holiday visa from 1 July 2023 if they are aged between 18 and 35 years.
  • They will be given three Working Holiday visas from 1 July 2023 without fulfilling any specified work requirements.

The Free Trade Agreement between the UK and Australia enables working holidaymakers from the two countries to explore more opportunities for travel and work. Moreover, it provides better access to visas, extension of stay, and increased age limits. Ultimately, it leads to improved flexibility and exchange of cultural experiences for youngsters seeking temporary work during their exploration of a new country. There have also been reports of the removal of Labour Market Testing for UK passport holders.

8. Increase In Visa Application Fees

The government plans to increase application fees by 6 to 40% from 1 July 2023.

Let’s see how the increments are distributed across different visa subclasses.

Visa Subclasses % Increase Over Indexation
Visitor, working holiday, work and holiday, training, temporary activity and temporary work (short stay specialist) visas 15%
Business innovation and Investment visas 40%
Other visas 6%
Pacific Engagement Visa and Pacific Australia Labour Mobility visas Exempt from increase


The Passenger Movement Charge will be raised from $60 to $70. The business innovation and investment visa faces the largest increase, as the visa application charge for it will be increased to over $12,000.

According to estimates, these changes in visa application charges will increase Government’s earnings by $665 million over the next five years from 2022-23.

9. Work Restrictions For Student Visa Holders

Work restrictions are expected to be reinstated for student visa holders in Australia from 1 July 2023. Work restrictions were eased during the pandemic while being fully removed in January 2022 to tackle the issue of workforce shortages. Regardless, all student visa holders will be restricted to working 48 hours a fortnight from 1 July 2023. There are a few exceptions for overseas students employed in the Aged Care sector, permitting them to work as many hours as they want until 31 December 2023.

10. Changes For Working Holiday Makers (WHMs)

The Australian government has given a concession for working holidaymakers (WHMs), allowing them to continue working for the same employer for an extra 6 months without asking permission from 1 July. As a result, any work done before 1 July will not be considered in the six-month limitation period. Plus,  WHMs can seek employment for any employer for an additional six months even if they started working before 1 July. Your visa must be valid for another 6 months if you want to avail this concession. You will have to apply for an appropriate visa to continue your stay lawfully if your existing one expires during the 6-month period.



11. New Australian Visa For Pacific Nations

Australia is introducing a new visa with 3000 placements for eligible migrants from Timor Leste and Pacific nations. A ballot process will be utilized to allocate places for the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV). The selected ones can go for permanent residence in Australia. Online applications are expected to open in July.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on Australian immigration.



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