According to Government data, Australia welcomed 186,000 skilled migrants in 2018, with nearly 70 per cent moving to Sydney or Melbourne. As city infrastructure struggles to meet the demands of unsustainable population growth, politicians have responded with changes to immigration policy. Noticeable changes include reduced skilled visa invitations, increased points requirements and the introduction of the 491 visa.

Consequently, more applicants are relying on state nomination to secure skilled visas, and regional Australia is becoming more attractive (and achievable) to expats.
With the changing dynamics of Australian cities and migration policy, migrants are encouraged to consider regional Australia as a serious resettlement option. There is an abundance of opportunity outside Australia’s major cities, and there are so many reasons to actively seek relocation to these areas.

Some of the benefits in choosing Australia’s regional towns and cities are:

1) Increased visa options – Applying under the new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) subclass 491 Visa opens up more opportunities for migrants, such as:

  • With over 500 new occupations eligible under the new 491 visa, this visa will be accessible for more people.
  • To help meet the demand in regional Australia, 491 visa applicants will receive priority processing.
  • Securing regional state nomination will allocate you 15 points towards your visa application. This is hugely beneficial considering the minimum points score to apply is 65.
  • The Government is increasing the total number of regional places to 25,000.

2) Affordable homes – Regional Australia offers a larger plot of land and home size for your money. If you are moving to Australia for a better quality of life, then your living situation is a massive part of this. The reality is that the median house price in Sydney has not been less than $1 million since March 2015. So, if you’re expecting a 4 bedroom house with a swimming pool as part of your Aussie dream, you may need to consider regional Australia.

3) Job opportunities – According to a 2019 report published by the Regional Australia Institute there are four key industries which are critical to regional Australia’s continued economic growth; food processing, tourism, advanced manufacturing and creative industries. These industries are set to continue the creation of extensive employment opportunities in rural towns and cities across Australia.

Moreover, the healthcare and social assistance industry is expected to be a major job contributor in most regional areas. The Gold Coast in Queensland, which has recently been specified as regional city, is projected to have the most growth in health care and social assistance jobs in Australia.

Employment rates across Australia continue to perform highly, with little difference between metropolitan and regional Australia jobless rates and expected growth. The Australian Government Employment Outlook to November 2019 projects regional job growth will increase by 8.5%, compared to 10.7% in metropolitan areas.

With increased visa options, strong job markets and affordable housing, creating a new life in regional Australia is an attractive option. As migration policy constantly changes, it is becoming more challenging to secure a skilled visa. Using the services of an experienced Registered Migration Agent can help ensure the success of your application, saving you time and money. To seek visa advice from Darren Chatt MARN:0211214, please complete our online visa assessment.

Visa Bureau Australian Migration Seminars are the most professional and comprehensive visa information events in the UK, delivering expert advice on all aspects of migration to Australia.

Designed to give you a broad overview of some of the key decisions you will face when planning a move to Australia, our Migration Seminars are second to none for up-to-date migration information, news and advice.

What can you expect from our seminars?

An experienced Registered Australian Migration Agent will discuss at length your visa options, the application process and recent changes to the Australian migration program.
The South Australian Government is supporting our London Seminar and will be discussing State Sponsorship opportunities and the benefits and opportunities available to new migrants in their State.

Collect information on the Australian healthcare system, schooling, universities and real estate. A number of financial providers will be able to advise on securing mortgages, transferring your money to Australia and setting up bank accounts for your arrival. Discuss completing the TOEFL English Language test to claim more points towards your skilled visa.

VETASSESS, Australia’s leading skills assessing body will provide advice about the processing requirements for Australian skills assessments.

Discuss current employment opportunities, salary expectations and tips on applying for your dream job in Australia. There will be job posts available at our event and industry experts advising on a variety of sectors; teaching, construction, finance, technology, engineering and more!

We are delighted to announce the following organisations are attending:

anzuk Education:

Professional recruitment company helping to place Teachers into jobs in Australian schools. Bring your CV to the seminar and discuss your employment options with anzuk – https://anzuk.education/au

bdhSterling:

Provide financial solutions for migrants, specialising in pensions, tax and multi-currency investments. Their licensed advisers have the knowledge to ensure that your income, savings or investments are managed properly – both immediately and for the years ahead – http://www.bdhsterling.com/

Bupa:

Health and Dental Insurance providers, offering advice on the Australian Healthcare system – https://www.bupa.co.uk/

Halo Financial:

An award-winning UK foreign exchange brokerage, simplifying the currency exchange market to save you time and money – Halo Financial

Hays Recruitment:

Providing Job market information and opportunities in the finance, engineering, construction, IT and marketing industries  – Hays Globalink

John Mason International:

International shipping services, including household removals, excess baggage, motor vehicle shipping, storage solutions, pet shipping and more – John Mason

Migration Cover:

The first insurance product of its type to reduce the risks associated with migrating; such as job loss and travel requirements – Migration Cover

South Australia:

Highly regarded as one of the most liveable places in the world, South Australia offer state sponsorship for a variety of skilled occupations. Open the door to South Australia – South Australia

TOEFL English Language Test:

Discussing the English Language Test for skilled migration, including the format and helpful advice – https://www.ets.org/toefl/ibt/about/who_accepts_scores/australia

VETASSESS:

VETASSESS provide skill assessments for a variety of professionals and trade occupations. They are Australia’s largest and longest serving Registered Training Office (RTO) for Australian skill assessments – https://www.vetassess.com.au/

Westpac Banking:

Assistance with opening accounts up to twelve months before arrival in Australia, setting up your online banking and introducing you to an Australian based banker ahead of your arrival. – Westpac Banking

*Please note that exhibitors can vary between events.

Saturday, 7 September 2019 – Australian High Commission, London:

Please note this exclusive event will consist of two sessions – Morning 10:30-13:30 and Afternoon 13:30-16:30. Tickets grant you access to one session only and we encourage you to arrive promptly to make the most of your time slot. You will be prompted to choose your session when purchasing tickets.

Registered Migration Agent Darren Chatt will update you on the latest visa changes and answer all your questions about migrating. Australia’s original and highly regarded Skills Assessing body, VETASSESS will be on hand to talk about the skills assessment process, and the South Australian Government can advise you about State Sponsorship and The Australian lifestyle. Our partners in banking, money transfer, shipping, healthcare and more will also be there to offer you advice and assistance.

This is the ultimate Australian Migration Event and is not to be missed!

Entrance to the Australian High Commission will require a security check and presentation of official photographic identification. For example passport or drivers license.

Saturday, 14 September 2019 – Manchester City Centre:

Doors open at 12pm with presentations commencing at 12.30pm.

A Registered Migration Agent will conduct a talk on Australian Visas, answering all your questions about migrating. You will also be introduced to our exhibitors and how they can assist with a variety of relocation matters such as banking, money transfer, shipping, healthcare and more.

There will be multiple opportunities for you to talk to exhibitors throughout the day before doors close at 4:00pm.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Saturday, 21 September 2019 – Edinburgh City Centre:

Doors open at 12pm with presentations commencing at 12.30pm.

A Registered Migration Agent will conduct a talk on Australian Visas, answering all your questions about migrating. You will also be introduced to our exhibitors and how they can assist with a variety of relocation matters such as banking, money transfer, shipping, healthcare and more.

There will be multiple opportunities for you to talk to exhibitors throughout the day before doors close at 4:00pm.

Light refreshments will be provided.

How to book?

If you would like to attend, we’ll need to first assess your eligibility through our Online Assessment form.

Once completed, please purchase a ticket through Eventbrite.

Tickets from £12 per person.

Please note that our events are not child-friendly and we politely request you make child-care arrangements.

No suitcases or large items of luggage are permitted.

Testimonials

How our past clients have rated our seminars:

April 2019

Meeting all the exhibitors was very beneficial as there were a number of relocation matters I hadn’t thought of. I also met other migrants in my position, and can see that it’s not going to be as straight forward as I first thought which is good to know that at this stage.
Tammy, London Event

April 2019

All our questions were answered in one place. To have access to so many other services involved in such a big decision was a huge asset and helped us make the right choices.
Andy, London Event

April 2019

It was all very informative and each person we spoke to was able to answer all of our questions and we feel a lot better about our move to Australia. It was all very friendly and relaxed. Thank you to everyone who arranged it.
Gloria and Peter, London Event

March 2019

Having struggled to get definitive answers regarding migrating, we found this seminar answered them all.
Connie and Peter, Manchester Event

March 2019

Darren’s knowledge was exceptional and put our mind at ease about many things and gave us more confidence to apply for our Visa. Also enjoyed that everyone was approachable and all explained things really well. I look forward to using Visa Bureau to apply for my Australian visa really soon.
Christine, Manchester Event

October 2018

It felt very informal and everyone was very approachable – I thoroughly enjoyed the seminar!
Paul, Edinburgh Event

October 2018

We enjoyed that our questions were incredibly well answered and everyone was well informed and approachable. This event has helped us greatly in our next steps towards migrating to Australia.
Edinburgh Event

Our Australian Migration Events are the most diverse and professional in the UK, providing you access to the most exclusive and varied exhibitors. If you are migrating to Australia, then this event is not to be missed!

 

As of 1 July 2019 there has been an increase in visa application charges on most visa subclasses.

If you have not yet lodged your visa then these price increases will apply to you.

Visa Go Emigration specialise in skilled, partner and parent visa applications. The updated prices for these are listed below:

Skilled Migrant Visas (subclasses 189, 190, 489)

  • $4,045.00 – Main applicant
  • $2,020.00 – Secondary applicant over 18
  • $1,015.00 – Secondary applicant under 18

Partner and Prospective Marriage Visas (subclasses 820/801, 309/100, 300)

  • $7,715.00 – Main applicant
  • $3,860.00 – Secondary applicant over 18
  • $1,935.00 – Secondary applicant under 18

Contributory Parent Visa (subclass 143)

  • $4,155.00 – Main applicant
  • $1,400.00 – Secondary applicant over 18
  • $705.00 – Secondary applicant under 18

Aged Contributory Parent Visa (subclasses 864, 884)

  • $4,155.00 – Main applicant
  • $2,075.00 – Secondary applicant over 18
  • $1,040.00 – Secondary applicant under 18

The above fees are paid when you lodge your visa application. A card surcharge also applies (typically 1.32% – 1.40%).

You can read more here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/fees-and-charges 

To assess your visa eligibility you can complete our free online assessment here: https://visa-go.com/australia/

The 1 July 2018 saw the beginning of a new migration year in Australia. Over the last 6 weeks there have been an abundance of changes to the skilled migration process. These changes are outlined below:

1) Minimum points required for skilled migration increase to 65

Applicants applying for a Skilled Visa for Australia must achieve a minimum of 65 points to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). This change applies to all applicants on 60 points who have not yet received an invitation to apply for a skilled visa.

Achieving the new minimum point score of 65 does not assure you an invitation to apply for a visa. As per previous invitation rounds, applicants currently need a minimum of 70 points to apply for a Skilled Independent 189 Visa.

Completing a recognised English Language Test or securing State Sponsorship are the two primary ways in which to increase your points score. Most Australian states have reopened their nomination programmes to new applicants.

2) SkillSelect rounds now occur monthly

As of 11 August 2018, SkillSelect invitation rounds will take place monthly. The number of invitations issued monthly will remain the same; however this is subject to change in accordance with the department’s processing capacity and pipeline.

Once submitted, an Expression of Interest is valid for 2 years.

3) Visa application charges have increased

As of 1 July 2018, the new visa application charges for General Skilled Migration (subclass 189, 190 and 489) are as follows:

Base application charge$3755.00
Additional applicant aged 18+$1875.00
Additional applicant under 18$940.00

 
The Department of Home Affairs charge a card fee on payments of 1.32% (Visa and Mastercard) and 1.40% (AMEX).

If you are interested in migration to Australia you can complete our free online assessment.

The points required for Australian General Skilled Migration is increasing to a minimum of 65 points.

Applicants applying for a Skilled Visa for Australia must secure a minimum of 65 points to apply from 1 July 2018. This change will affect all applicants on 60 points who have not yet received an invitation to apply for a skilled visa.

It’s important to note that obtaining the new minimum points score of 65 does not guarantee an invitation to apply for a visa. The points for skilled visas remains inflated, with applicants requiring a minimum of 70-75 points to secure an invitation to apply for a Skilled Independent 189 Visa.

The most common ways to increase your points score include completing an English Language Test or applying for State Sponsorship. The majority of states are temporarily closed due to the large volume of applications received. We anticipate most states will reopen after 1 July 2018.

To assess your visa points score complete our free online assessment.

Immigration South Australia has announced temporary closure of their state sponsorship programme.

Immigration South Australia has announced closure of their state nomination 190/489 application system from Monday 25 June 2018. As a result no further invitations to apply for South Australia nomination will be given after this date.

All received applications will continue to be processed as normal. You must submit and pay for your application before 25 June 2018. Failure to do so will result in your draft application being deleted.

Immigration South Australia will announce the opening of their nomination programme in the first week of July.

As the points threshold for skilled migration remains inflated, an increasing number of applicants are seeking state sponsorship. Consequently it’s becoming more difficult to secure state sponsorship and quotas are being filled quickly.

State sponsorship programmes for Victoria, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales are currently closed. As a result applicants are unable to apply to these states for state sponsorship.

Northern Territory and Tasmania currently remain open to new state nominations.

As General Skilled Migration becomes more difficult it can be beneficial to seek professional advice from a Migration Agent.

Assess your eligibility for an Australian Visa by completing our FREE ONLINE ASSESSMENT.

Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) have announced temporary closure of their state sponsorship programme due to a backlog of applications. BSMQ will no longer be issuing new invitations for applicants to apply for state sponsorship. As a result skilled and business applicants will no longer be able to apply for Queensland state sponsorship. BSMQ have not stated when they will re-open applications.

Barriers to State Sponsorship

As a result of Immigration reducing the number of invitations available, the points required for securing an invitation to apply (ITA) for a skilled visa has fluctuated to 70 and beyond. Previously the points required for an ITA were 60, and while you can still successfully lodge an EOI on 60 points it is highly unlikely you will receive an invitation at this given time. This in turn has seen people waiting substantially longer to receive an invitation to apply for a 189 Skilled Independent Visa, with many people opting for alternative solutions such as State Sponsorship. Consequently it’s becoming more difficult to secure state sponsorship.

The ACT skilled migration programme has been closed since 23 August 201 to overseas applicants and no date has been released as to when (and if) it will re-open. While other states remain open, there are strict criteria in place which create barriers for potential migrants. Common criteria include meeting financial requirements or evidencing employability in the main applicant’s profession. Additionally, many states are increasing their processing times for state sponsorship applications. The Northern Territory are currently taking 6-8 months to make a decision on submitted applications.

Identifying the best Skilled Visa pathway for you

As skilled migration becomes more difficult it can be hugely beneficial to seek professional advice from an experienced Migration Agent. Darren at Visa Go has over 15 years experience in the industry and has helped hundreds of families successfully move to Australia. You can complete a free online visa assessment here: https://visa-go.visasystems.com/australia/assessment/skilled/default.aspx

The Australian Government will increase the value of Assurance of Support (AoS) bond.

The AoS Bond amount will increase from 1 April 2019 and will impact those visas already lodged. The new amounts are as follows:

  • Main Applicant $15,000 AUD (previously $10,000 AUD)
  • Secondary Applicant $6,000 AUD (previously $4,000 AUD)

This legislative change is driven by Social Security and not by Immigration.

Assurance of Support FAQ’s

 

What is an Assurance of Support?

The Assurance of Support (AoS) is a commitment to pay back any income support provided to the visa holder during their initial stay in Australia.  The AoS support period differs for each visa type.

  • 10 years for Contributory Parent Visas (143 / 864)
  • 2 years for Parent Visas (103/804)

This time starts from when your visa is granted.

What is the Assurance of Support bond?

The Assurance of Support includes a ‘bank guarantee’ or ‘AoS bond’. This is held with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia for the duration of the AoS period (either 2 or 10 years).

Should you experience any financial difficulty during the AoS period then the money used to provide you with income will be deducted from the ‘AoS bond.’

Who is the assurer?

Generally the sponsor (your Australian Child) acts as the assurer unless you have  arranged someone else to act as the assurer either alongside your sponsor or in place of them. The assurer agrees to financially support you during the AoS period if required.

You can use a maximum of 2 people as part of the assurance of support. For example, your sponsoring child and their partner can both act as assurers.

You do not need to choose who will be your assurer until you have been contacted by the Parent Visa and asked to arrange the assurance of support. This gives your sponsor a choice to act as the assurer or use someone else. The assurer must be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident.

Should you not claim any social security during the AoS period then the AoS bond is returned in full to the assurer.

Why does the assurer/sponsor have to complete an income test with Centrelink?

Should the income support you need exceed the bond amount then the assurer will be required to support you financially. To ensure the assurer can support you financially they will need to provide details of their income and details of how many dependents they have.

If your sponsor does not work full time then they can use another Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident to help them with the Assurance of Support. Centrelink can guide them on what they need to do for this.

Will the increase in the value of AoS bond impact me?

If your Assurance of Support has not been finalised before 1 April 2019 then the bond increase will apply. The new fees from this date are as follows:

  • Main Applicant $15,000 AUD (previously $10,000 AUD)
  • Secondary Applicant $6,000 AUD (previously $4,000 AUD)

For more details on the Assurance of Support please visit the Department of Human Services website.

Can I speed up my visa application to avoid the increase in cost?

No – the processing times for the parent visa will continue to fluctuate. I  will continue to monitor progress of your visa application and provide updates on the processing times. Unfortunately there is nothing which can be done to expedite your visa application and they will continue to be processed in date order.

All applicants can monitor visa processing times on the Government website.

South Australia has confirmed restrictions to their High Points category, in addition to other recent changes.

Immigration SA will be closely monitoring the level of High Points category applications in the coming weeks, due to the high number of applications that have been submitted. When the number of applications is close to the quota allowed for the High Points category, the minimum points threshold will be automatically raised to 90. If the quota is completely filled then the High Points category will be closed until the end of the 2017/2018 migration year (until 20 June 2018).

Additionally, if an application is submitted after 19 February 2018, the list of occupations below will no longer be eligible for sponsorship in the High Points category:

  • 132211 Finance Manager
  • 221111 Accountant (General)
  • 221112 Management Accountant
  • 221113 Taxation Accountant
  • 221213 External Auditor
  • 222112 Finance Broker
  • 222199 Financial Brokers nec
  • 222211 Financial Market Dealer
  • 222299 Financial Dealers nec
  • 222311 Financial Investment Adviser
  • 222312 Financial Investment Manager
  • 225113 Marketing Specialist

The High Points category is for those who want to apply for a Skilled Visa but who need State or Territory sponsorship to achieve higher points.

If an applicant has an occupation on the South Australia Supplementary Skilled List and can achieve 75 points, then they can apply for sponsorship in South Australia under the High Points Category. Another option is the South Australia State Nominated Occupation List where listed occupations have special conditions.

Essentially, an applicant whose occupation is on the South Australia State Nominated List OR the South Australia Supplementary Skilled List may be eligible for the High Points category.

Quotas do apply to the High Points category, so occupations will only have a certain number of spaces available. If you are approved for the High Points category then you will be automatically invited to apply for a Skilled Visa. However, you will still need to meet the other nomination requirements for South Australia.

Applicants who require 5 points will be invited to apply for the Skilled – Nominated (190) Visa.

Applicants who require 10 points will be invited to apply for the Skilled – Nominated (489) Visa.

A Registered Migration Agent can help you to identify the visa pathway that suits you best. Contact us today by completing a free online visa assessment.