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Australian Immigration and Visas – Changes in the Covid Era 2021

Australian Immigration and Visas – Changes in the Covid Era 2021

11 June 2021 | Category

The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been affecting the worldwide economy and Australia is no exception!  In this present scenario, the Australian Government has announced new immigration planning levels for 2021.

The country Australia is going through its worst economic shock in nearly a century! The travel restrictions and the delayed release of Skilled Migration quotas have created a detrimental impact on the country & the first negative net overseas migration since the Second World War.

In Australia’s Federal Budget, elaborate long-term plans to ward off the effects of Covid-19 on immigration were announced

Key takeaways of the Federal Budget:

In 2020-21, the ceiling for the migration programme will remain at 160,000 places.

Skilled stream visas

Employer Sponsored (subclasses 482 and 186) and Provisional Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visas will be prioritised.

The reduction in ceiling of migration spots:

  • General Skilled Migration – 30,000
  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189) – 6,500
  • State Nominated Skilled visa (subclass 190) – 11,200
  • Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass 491) – 11,200

Family stream visa spots also increased by a tremendous 61.75% (from 47,732 to 77,300), the vast majority of which (72,300) are partner visas (subclasses 820 and 801).

Provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188)

In this category, changes to investment and residency requirements focused on higher value investors, business owners and entrepreneurs are to be implemented. Places have doubled from 6,862 to 13,500. Starting 1st July 2021, fees will increase by almost 12%.

Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce

Furthermore, a new governmental Global Business and Talent Attraction Task Force will be established to attract greater international businesses and exceptional talent to Australia.

Enhancing Family Stream migration

Applying for a Partner visa to settle in Australia is going to be easy! The majority of visas within the Family stream will go to partners.  It is also expected that 75% of all Partner visas will go to those already in Australia.

Covid-19 refunds and extensions

Government is also planning to put in place Visa Application Charge (VAC) refunds for visa holders who were unable to travel to Australia due to Covid-19, including:

  • Temporary skilled workers
  • Visitor visa holders
  • Prospective marriage visa (PMV) holders
  • Pacific Labour Scheme visa holders
  • Seasonal Worker Programme visa holders

Government also announced that a waiver of application fees for those who had paid for visas and were unable to travel to Australia because of border closures, these include:

  • Working Holiday visas
  • Visitor visas
  • Temporary skilled workers re-application

All these changes are based on the expectation that Covid-19 vaccine will be made available and distributable in the latter half of 2021.

To know more on immigration to Australia from Saudi Arabia, get in touch with us at MilkyWay Immigration Consultants.


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