Australia has always been an attractive destination for skilled migrants, but the visas available to them have changed a number of times in recent years. The latest major change is the upcoming expiration of the current points based visa system in Australia, and the implementation of a new one that will be effective from July 1st 2022. Although there are many unknowns at this point, especially with respect to how long it will take to process visas after they are applied for, here is what we know so far.

Australia’s current immigration policy

Current immigration is restrictive with SOL (Skilled Occupation Lists), the proliferation of multiple lists has made the system more complex to navigate for both applicants applying for visa and sponsors who are trying to sponsor new workers to Australia:

  • Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL);
  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL);
  • Regional Occupation List (ROL); and
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

Emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in border closures and travel restrictions around the globe. Australia’s success in managing the pandemic, and minimizing the public health crises that have unfolded in other countries, can be attributed, in a large part, to their restrictions on overseas arrivals. The Australian Population Statement released in December 2020, projected that a combination of lower fertility rates and a decrease in net overseas migration (NOM) will see the rate of growth contract by 1.2% in 2019-20 and 0.2% in 2020-21. It is expected that NOM will fall from around 154,000 people in 2019-20 to around -72,000 people in 2020-21 and -22,000 in 2021-22.

Changes to Australia’s skilled migration system (visa changes) coming in 2022

In 2022, Australia is about to have Federal elections and no matter who ever party wins the elections, the future of Australian migrations looks bright. According to the Treasury’s mid year economic update, released this month, shows net overseas migration which was forecasted minus 41,000 will be expected to turn around to climb to a positive 180,000 in 2022-23. Also, the forecast remains high in immigration number at 235,000 people from 2025-25.

The biggest pie share of the skilled migration will go to Regional migration with visa subclass 491 and 190 with skilled visa requirements.

“This is a special concession recognizing those highly skilled migrant workers who chose to stay in Australia throughout the pandemic while continuing to address Australia’s acute shortages. This allows them to stay here, with a pathway to Australian citizenship,” Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said at the time reported by SBS news.

Mr. Hawke said there were about 20,000 visa holders who may benefit from the changes, with the largest cohorts employed in the health and hospitality industries. 

By 16 November 2022 according to the department, a new visa subclass 191 will introduce, it is a pathway you have to be on a 494 visa for three years and then apply for the 191.

Opportunities for migrants in 2022 and beyond in Australia

The Australian Government has finally decided to increase the number of migrants and also change their visa policies. So if you are planning to migrate in 2022, Contact us today for a free consultation on your visa requirements.

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