July 2024 Upcoming Changes To Australian Immigration

On 1 July 2024, there will be significant changes in the Australian immigration space reflecting the Australian Government’s Migration Strategy and addressing the latest policy intentions outlined in the federal budget.

1. Lodgement fees increase

Government lodgement fees (for visa and citizenship) will increase on 1 July 2024.

Lodgement fees to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will also increase.

2. Increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to $73,150 and Superannuation Guarantee to 11.5%

From 1 July 2024, the TSMIT will increase from $70,000 to $73,150.  This is the minimum salary required to sponsor a person for a Temporary Skill Shortage (482) visa.

New nominations from this date will need to meet the new TSMIT or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher. Existing visa holders and nominations lodged before 1 July 2024 will not be affected.

Further, the superannuation guarantee will increase from 11% to 11.5% on 1 July 2024 as well.

3. Increase in the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) to $175,000

The FWHIT will increase from $167,500 to $175,000.

This is the benchmark for the GTI program and also referred to in the case of an employer-sponsored age exemption.

4. Temporary Graduate (485) visa changes and closure of Skilled-Recognised Graduate (476) visa

A wide range of changes are coming to the Temporary Graduate (485) visas lodged on or after 1 July 2024 including a reduced age cap of 35 years, except for Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders who are eligible up to the age of 50 years.

The Skilled-Recognised Graduate (476) visa is permanently closed as the Department stated that this visa program no longer aligns with policy priorities and will be abolished.  Applicants with pending applications should have received an email from the Department on withdrawal and refund of the visa application charge.

5. Working Holiday (417) / Work and Holiday (462) visa changes

Starting 1 July 2024, UK citizens and British National Overseas passport holders no longer need to satisfy the 3-month of “specified work” in order to obtain a second or third Working Holiday visa (WHV). UK passport holders can choose to apply for their WHVs at any time as long as they meet the age requirement (i.e. from 18 to 35 years of age inclusive).

Filipino passport holders aged 18 to 30 years will be able to access the Work and Holiday (462) visa, subject to specific eligibility and application requirements.

From 2024/2025, the federal government will introduce a visa pre-application ballot process for the capped Work and Holiday (462) visa program for China, Vietnam and India. As the program is capped, the ballot process aims to help manage the program demand, fairness and application processing time for these countries.

6. Temporary Skill Shortage 482 visa – reduction in work experience requirement

From 23 November 2024, the Government will reduce the work experience requirement for the Temporary Skill Shortage 482 visa from 2 years to 1 year for all applicants.

7. Family violence provisions – Prospective Marriage and Partner visas

With the introduction of the Migration Amendment (Family Violence Provisions for Partner Visa Applicants) Regulations 2024, changes are in place to support partner visa applicants experiencing family violence.  These changes include expanded eligibility for permanent residence even if the relationship has ended, allowing Prospective Marriage (300) visa holders to apply for a Partner visa without being married, and removing the requirement for applicants to be in Australia when a decision is made.

These amendments aim to provide greater protection and a clearer pathway to permanent residence for affected applicant enhancing their ability to build a safe life in Australia.

8. Visa conditions 8107, 8607 and 8608 changes

From 1 July 2024, 457, 482 and 494 visa holders will have greater flexibility when changing employers. Visa holders will have up to 180 days at a time, or a cumulative maximum of 365 days throughout the visa period, to secure a new sponsor, apply for a different visa or arrange their departure from Australia. 

During this period, visa holders are permitted to engaged in employment with different employers across any occupation.  It is crucial that they first terminate their current employment with their sponsoring employer. 

Sponsors are required to promptly notify the Department of any changes to a visa holder’s employment status within 28 days. 

These amendments impact both current visa holders and individuals who are granted a visa on or after 1 July 2024.

9. Visitors / Temporary Graduate visa holders can’t apply for Student visas onshore

From 1 July 2024, Visitors and Temporary Graduate visa holders will no longer be able to apply directly for a Student visa while onshore in Australia. This is to prevent ‘visa hopping’ and reduce non-genuine Student visa applications.

10. Global Talent (858) visa replaced by National Innovation visa

The Government plans to introduce a new National Innovation visa by the end of 2024.  This visa will replace the existing Global Talent (858) visa and is designed to attract highly skilled migrations who can contribute to the growth of key sectors.

11. Closure of BIIP to new applicants

The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will be formally closed to new applicants from 1 July 2024.  It will be replaced by a new National Innovation visa in late 2024.

Applicants who choose to withdraw their BIIP applications will be eligible for a refund of their visa application charge starting September 2024.

Please note that the government is planning on redesigning the program to focus on applicants who can make specific and substantial contributions to Australia.

12. Health examinations – mandatory Hepatitis B testing for individuals from certain countries

Individuals over 15 years of age who are born in ‘high risk’ Hepatitis B countries will be required to undertake mandatory Hepatitis B testing as part of the visa health examination process.

 

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