Although many migrants will benefit from the 2019 federal budget measures that were announced this week, they will also be subjected to visa intake cuts and higher visa application fees.
- Support for Australian Migrants:
Many migrants will benefit from the investment of $64.2 million that will go toward, ‘social cohesion’ measures that seek to help migrants integrate and establish themselves within their communities.
The budget pledges to provide funding to local sports, national community hubs and community languages to encourage mutual understanding and to celebrate diversity in Australia.
Over the next three years, $12 million of this investment will be allocated to a new Community Languages Multicultural Grants Program that aims to support language schools, while connecting young Australians with the heritage, culture and language of their community.
Over four years, $22.6 million of this ‘social cohesion’ investment will be used to grow community hub programs and create a national youth hubs program.
According to the federal budget, a further $7.3 million will go toward support community organisations that wish to help newly-arrived migrants integrate into Australian society.
The Melbourne Greek community will also benefit from the budget, with $5 million being allocated to the Greek Centre Hub and Hellenic Chair at the School of Culture and Communications (University of Melbourne).
The federal budget has also confirmed that there will be a significant reduction in Australia’s annual migration intake. For the next four years, the intake will be cut from 190,000 to 160,000 places.
There will be 108,682 places in the skilled stream and 47,732 places in the family stream.
Employment in Australia is set to increase by almost a million positions by 2023, and yet Australia is already experiencing severe shill shortages across a range of industries.
Australian metropolitan areas are faring well compared with the current situation in regional Australia. Even though there is significant demand for employees, there are not enough people willing to take these regional jobs. This leaves regional businesses with limited staff and limited capabilities, in terms of business expansion and development.
The Australian government has begun to address the growing issue of job vacancies, through new incentives for migrants to work and live in regional Australia.
There will be $50 million invested in new visas to encourage more migrants to live and work outside of major cities, while also helping to support the labour needs of regional Australia.
By the end of 2019, two new regional visas will come into effect that will be available to skilled workers who wish to stay and work in regional Australia for a five-year period. Those that obtain this visa will be eligible for permanent residency.
In the General Skilled Migration program, there have been approximately 20,000 Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa places removed, in a bid to reduce the number of overseas migrants that can settle in metropolitan areas.
- Changes to the Skilled Migration Points System
From November 2019, new changes to the Skilled Migration Points test will come into effect and will affect single applicants and applicants with a partner.
As outlined in the federal budget, the points test will be adjusted to reward primary applicants with additional points if their partner has competent English, even if they cannot meet other requirements of the skilled partner points.
- More places for Holiday Visa Holders
There is good news for Indonesian citizens who wish to live and work in Australia temporarily, as there will be more than double the amount of work and holiday visas available for Indonesian migrants. Over the next six years, the annual cap for the Work and Holiday (subclass 462) visa will increase from 2,500 to 5,000.
- Visa application fees set to increase
Unfortunately, the Australian Government has also announced that there will be a 5.4% increase to visa application fees for the majority of Australian visa subclasses. These fee increases will be effective from July 2019 and is estimated to generate an extra $275 million over the next four years.
If you have been thinking about applying for an Australian visa, you may wish to do so before the application fee increase comes into effect.
If you need assistance or advice, in relation to your Australian Visa Application, Results Migration are the best in the field, with a team of experienced migration lawyers and registered migration agents that are available to guide you through this complex area of law. Call Results Migration on 1800 808 717 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and book your free consultation today!