Every year on 1 July, the Australian Government releases the annual Federal Budget which includes information about visa policy. This means new Skilled Occupation Lists, visa fee increases and more.
This year, because of COVID, the budget will be delayed until October 2020.
Below, we have outlined the ways in which this could affect your skilled visa application.
How does the 1 July impact me?
- States delay re-opening – The Federal budget includes visa quotas, which simply states how many visas will be issued for the migration year. Without this number, States cannot begin to offer sponsorship invitations under the 190 and 491 visa programs. State nominations will remain temporarily closed until the Government allocates visa quotas for the 2020-21 migration year.Therefore, we expect states to re-open around October time, meaning invitations to apply will be delayed. We cannot advise your state sponsorship options until the states reopen and publish their new occupation lists.
- Visa fee increase – The budget details the new visa application charges (due on visa lodgement). Generally, the fee increase is in line with inflation and is therefore minimal. Once these costs have been published you can view them on the Government website. A minor increase to the surcharge on credit card and PayPal payments has already come into effect.
What can I do while I wait?
States will be inundated with applications as soon as they open, so we advise using this time to prepare the best possible application to put forward. It is preferable to be ready to apply once the States re-open their programs.
- Completing your skills assessment
- Completing your English test (as soon as centres re-open)
- Continue working in your nominated occupation (unless furloughed)
- Collecting the required documents for EOI lodgement
- Ensuring you have the funds available for your State nomination application
- Research each state and take notes of what lifestyle and jobs each state offers
Should I take migration advice from Facebook groups and forums?
No. We like to remind our clients to proceed with caution when using Facebook groups and forums. Do not post copies of your documents online such as skills assessments, as you leave yourself open to fraudulent activity.
Some of the comments made on forums can create hysteria and false expectations in regard to migration law and visa processing times. Discussion amongst expats is very different to the actual Australian Migration Law. If you are uncertain then speak with an experienced Registered Migration Agent.
We have seen recent 1 July comments stating that Australia’s skilled visa program is closed indefinitely. We would like to reassure you that the program has been closed temporarily by the Australian Government, to allow time to restructure the Skilled Occupations List, visa fees and quota for skilled migration.
It will be quiet over the next few months as Australia recovers from COVID, and determines what skills are needed to rebuild their economy.
Skilled visas will remain competitive, so if you can gain extra points from re-sitting the English test or are open to moving to different states, then you will secure your visa more quickly. States have more people apply than there are spaces. This means states generally choose applicants with the highest points and most work experience. You need to be prepared to relocate to where the work is.
It will take longer to secure your skilled visa and you may need to be more flexible about where you initially relocate. Using the services of Visa Go Australia can ensure you put forward the best application possible and remain fully updated throughout the constant changes.