6 Major Visa Updates for 2023 That Should Not Be Ignored
2023 seems like a good year for those interested in settling in Australia. A lot of significant changes to Australia’s immigration policies have already come to light under the new Labor government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. These changes are likely to boost permanent migration in 2023, increasing the number of places from 160,000 to 195,000. Plus, they are also going to deal with the visa backlog.
Let’s talk about the 6 primary visa updates that you must know about in 2023;
According to the former Department of Immigration Secretary, visas granted through states and territories are going to increase remarkably due to the larger regional allocation.
One of the major benefits of subclass 190 and 491 visas, which are often called Australian state-sponsored visas, is that they do not bind holders to a specific employer. Applicants for these visas must be below 45 years old. Moreover, they are supposed to look for job opportunities themselves.
States and territories are continuously introducing changes to make the application criteria more convenient for applicants. Skill occupation lists have been expanded in order to make state-nominated visas more accessible for prospective applicants.
You can find more information regarding state and territory selection requirements on the website of the Department of Home Affairs.
Expert Review of Australia’s Migration System
The news suggests that three experts are going to provide a comprehensive review of the migration system of Australia by the end of February 2023. They will also deliver a strategy by April.
Australia had a visa backlog of up to one million applications, but the government aims to bring those figures down to 600,000 by hiring extra staff to assist with visa processing.
Recently, the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship, and Multicultural Affairs said that the Department of Home Affairs is going to speed up the processing of visas by hiring more than 400 new staff. He further praised his government’s hard work that led to the processing of more than four million visa applications since taking office.
These measures allowed many Australians to reunite with their loved ones before Christmas while also tackling the issue of skills shortage faced by the country.
Demand-driven partner and child visa
Families are going to reunite without facing any difficulties due to the introduction of demand-driven partner visas.
The issuing of these visas is no longer subjected to any sort of limits. As per the department’s estimates, it is going to grant up to 40,500 partner visas in this financial year.
Moreover, child visas have also become demand-driven. It has been estimated that 3,000 child visas are going to be issued.
Establishing new rules for prioritizing Skilled visa applications
The government of Australia is taking measures to alter the way it prioritizes Skilled visa applications. Healthcare and education professionals are now at the top of the list. News has claimed that the Department of Home Affairs is not utilizing the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) to rate Skilled visa applications anymore.
Instead, applications are now prioritized according to the order of priority in the following manner;
- Healthcare or Education worker applications
- Applicants going for the employer-sponsored visas who have been selected by an Approved sponsor holding Accredited Status
- Visa applications for a particular region
- Applications for permanent and provisional visa subclasses that are included in the migration program with the exception of the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa
- Remaining visa categories
Individuals with eligible passports will be prioritized, regardless of their visa category. Applicants going for provisional and permanent Skilled visas while living outside Australia will be prioritized in every visa category.
The government claims that Nurses and teachers can have their visas issued within a matter of days.
The Introduction of a new visa category for Pacific countries and Timor-Leste
In July 2023, Australia is going to announce a new visa offering up to 3,000 places for eligible migrants belonging to Pacific countries and Timor-Leste.
A ballot process is going to be used every year for allocating the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV). Such visas are going to be offered on top of the areas found in Australia’s permanent migration program.
More information regarding this visa is going to be announced before it is launched.
Visa Processing of New Zealanders Gets Priority
There’s good news for New Zealanders residing in Australia, as the processing of subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa applications available in the New Zealand stream is going to be prioritized.
A lot of visa requirements have been eliminated, including the ones demanding applicants to have lived in Australia for a minimum of five years or that applicants need to fulfill specific health criteria. Plus, requirements involving specific taxable income thresholds have also been dropped.
The department stopped accepting new visa applications on 10 December 2022 in order to deal with the backlog of previously submitted applications. The department is not going to take any new applications till 1 July 2023.
Citizenship pathways for successful applicants in the New Zealand stream will also be fast-tracked from 1 January 2023.
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