Immigration changes which will take effect from 1 July 2023
Here are some of the latest developments in Australian and New Zealand Immigration Law:
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Direct pathway to Australian citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens
On 22 April 2023, the Australian Government announced that all Special Category Visa (SCV) holders, who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001, will be able to apply for Australian citizenship by conferral without the need to be a permanent resident for 12 months before application if they have been physically resident in Australia for at least 4 years and other eligibility requirements.
This means from 1 July 2023:
- All SCV holders will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
- Current or former holders of an SCV before last leaving Australia will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022.
- Those granted an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022, will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
- Any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to an SCV holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth.
These changes will reflect the close ties between Australia and New Zealand and better align with the ambition of the Australian government to build a fairer, better-managed and more inclusive migration system. It will also acknowledge the positive contribution of New Zealand citizens living in Australia and provide them with the opportunity to enjoy the rights and obligations that come from citizenship.
Increased Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
On 27 April 2023, the Australian Government announced that the TSMIT for subclass 482, 494, and 186 nomination applications will increase from AUD53,900 to AUD70,000.
This means from 1 July 2023:
- New nomination applications will need to meet the new TSMIT of the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher.
- The minimum guaranteed annual salary offered to a visa applicant must not be less than AUD70,000.
- All Labour Market Testing (LMT) advertisements must indicate a base salary of more than AUD70,000 or include a salary range that covers AUD70,000 if the annual earning of the nominated position is less than AUD96,400.
At present, the department has stated that this change will not affect existing visa holders or approved nominations lodged before 1 July 2023.
The department has made changes to its recent release and now stated that the changes to TSMIT will not affect existing visa holders and nominations lodged before 1 July 2023.
These changes will address concerns regarding worker exploitation in low-wage jobs and maintain the integrity of the temporary skilled visa as a program used to lift the productivity and capacity of Australian workers.
Extended Post-Study Work Rights for Temporary Graduates
On 21 February 2023, the Australian Government announced that Temporary Graduate visa holders with select qualifications, which are in areas of verified skill shortage, will be eligible for an extra 2 years of post-study work rights.
This means from 1 July 2023, post-study work rights for international students with select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages will be increased from:
- Two years to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
- Three years to five years for select Master’s degrees
- Four years to six years for all doctoral qualifications
These changes will ensure that Australia maintains the capacities needed to build Australia’s future, and the skills needed to tackle urgent national challenges.
Increasing allowable work hours cap for international students
The working hour cap for international student visa holders will be increased by 8 hours from pre-pandemic levels of 40 hours to 48 hours per fortnight.
This means from 1 July 2023 international students will be able to work an additional 8 hours per fortnight no matter when they began studying.
Only international students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the capped fortnightly work hours and will have unlimited working hours until 31 December 2023.
These changes will help international students better support themselves through their studies and gain work experience while ensuring the support of essential industries.
Increased Fee and Charges
Visa Application Charges will increase by the CPI across the following visa subclasses as well as the increase noted below:
The Passenger Movement Charge paid by carriers will increase from $60 to $70.
This means from 1 July 2023 it can be more expensive to apply for any of the above visas. As a result, it is highly recommended that you lodge an application before 1 July 2023 if you wish to save on costs.
These changes are made on an annual basis during the beginning of each financial year on 1 July and are calculated in relation to the forecasted consumer price index (CPI), which is published in the Federal Budget papers.
Gilton Valeo can answer your questions about Australia’s immigration system
As experts in Australian immigration, Gilton Valeo can guide you in identifying the best immigration pathways to bring people over to start your Australian office, provide you with strategic consulting along the way, and connect you with our partners to make sure everything goes smoothly.
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