As we have very much predicted, there are some positive changes due commence in the future. The key changes include the following:
Commencing 1 July – Increase of the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000. This key change may only affect a small number of occupations where the normal market salary rate is below $70,000. We will of course monitor this against any future visa application that is presented and alert our clients.
ENS Permanent Residency
Later this year, the government have announced that the Permanent residency program under Employer Nomination Scheme, Temporary Residency Transitional Stream will be available to all subclass 482 visa holders after 2 years (currently 3 years).
Based on the current legislation, applicants can only access this program if they hold a current 482 visa and have been working for the sponsor under the subclass 482 visa for a period of 3 years out of the last 4 years, unless they are a cohort where the concessions apply (2 out of the past 3 years). As we do not have details of the new legislation yet, we are not able to comment on whether the government will introduce any concessions for applicants who have previously held subclass 482 visas and transitioned onto 494 visas, or whether the age exemption continues to apply for those applicants earning above the Fair Work High Income Threshold.
As soon as the legislation is available, we will be holding short seminar updates to ensure everyone is across the information.
Citizenship for New Zealanders
From 1 July 2023, New Zealanders living in Australia for 4 years or more will be able to access citizenship by conferral.
Student Visa holders
From 1 July, subclass 500 student visa holders and their dependants will resume the standard work restrictions, 48 hours per fortnight during term timetables.
Exemptions to this apply only for Masters Degree by research or PHD Degree students.
Working Holiday Visa (subclass 417) and Work and Holiday Visa (subclass 467)
From 1 July, WHV holders have a condition to only work for 1 employer for a maximum period of 6 months. 1 employer means working in the same location for the same end user so the applicant cannot change contracts and work for via a Labour Hire firm for 6 months and then onto the payroll of the company that they have been outsourced to work for.
If a organisation has several branches or locations, the applicant could change work location to another branch after the 6 month period, even though they work for the same organisation. This would enable you to employ someone who could move from say Brisbane to Gold Coast or Sydney to Newcastle.
Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement
It was announced that the Free Trade agreement between Australia and the UK will commence from 31 May 2023.
Under the agreement, key changes will take place once the immigration legislation has been updated:
1) Australian businesses sponsoring skilled workers from the UK will no longer be required to undertake Labour Market Testing
2) Working holiday visa holders between 18 – 35 will be able to travel and work in Australia for up to 3 years, without the regional/farm work requirement
3) Easier mobility between countries for business persons, including intra-corporate transferees, short and long-term business visitors
Other expected changes that are expected over the next 12 months
• Moving to longer term migration planning periods
• Simplification of the visa classes
• Removal of Labour Market Testing
• Discontinue the use of occupational skills lists
• Allowing temporary workers to move between jobs to prevent exploitation
• Employer fees (Skilling Australia Fund Levy) to be paid monthly – supporting small businesses
• Direct Permanent Residency for certain graduate visa holders
• Settlement and integration programs for migrants
• Streamline skills recognition and increase the consistency of processes