October 2016 - News, Views & Clues from Migration Plus
Our latest news, views and clues focus on the changes to Australia's Working Holiday visa program, and the new backpacker tax rate. We give you an update on Family visas, allocation dates and processing queues, and look at changes to the ACT state occupation list. International students will be thrilled to hear how they can gain an extra 5 points towards skilled migration, and we discuss the introduction of a new stream of business and investment visas for high calibre entrepreneurs.
Read on for this and other interesting migration news!
Additional Skilled Migration points for Students
From 10 September 2016, International Students may be eligible for an additional 5 points towards Skilled Migration for completing a PhD or Masters by Research in one of the STEM fields, which includes Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Information and Communication Technology. To be eligible, students will need to have completed 2 years' study in Australia. Call one of our experts to discuss your eligibility!
NSW Business Talent visa
NSW Business and Skilled Migration have announced a shorter processing time for the Business Talent (permanent) visa (subclass 132) applications for nominations. Complete applications will receive an outcome within 5 business days.
New Entrepreneur visa from September
Also under the changes implemented on 10 September 2016, candidates seeking to establish a new business in Australia or to commercialise a product or service may be eligible for a 4-Year Entrepreneur visa. New streams have been created within the existing Business Innovation and Investment visa classes, which can provide a pathway to permanent residence for candidates who meet the following criteria:
- High calibre entrepreneurs with financial backing from a third party in Australia, and;
- who are nominated by a State or Territory Government, and;
- who meet the residence requirements, and ;
- succeed at completing their nominated entrepreneurial activities.
In the 2016-2017 Migration Program year, 1,500 places are available for non-contributory parent visa places, and 7,175 for contributory places. According to the latest published standards from the Department of Immigration (DIBP), high numbers of applications for contributory parent visas were received in May and June in 2014, which means that processing time currently exceeds 2 years.
As non-contributory parent visa places are restricted to 1,500, applications can spend up to 30 years in the queue, and the waiting time is expected to become longer. The DIBP is currently processing non-contributory parent visa applications that were queued in 2009.
Current Processing dates for contributory visas
Offshore Subclass 143/173 applications lodged up to and including 24 June 2014
Onshore Subclass 864/884 applications lodged up to and including 9 December 2015
Upcoming changes to the Parent Visa program
The "Migrant Intake into Australia" Productivity Commission report released in April calls for the Federal Government to substantially increase the fees for Contributory Parent visas. The Commission estimates that the cumulative lifetime cost of a parent visa holder in 2015 - 2016 to be between $335,000 and $410,000 compared to current contributory visa application charges of around $50,000. Whist there is no indication of the fee that would be charged if the Commission's recommendations were to be adopted, a 10% increase is likely.
Additionally, the Commission report calls for a narrowing of the eligibility criteria for the non-contributory parent visa to those who can evidence strong compassionate reasons for the grant of the visa.
If you are an Australian Permanent Resident or Citizen who meets the residency requirement and balance of family test, you and your family may like to consider applying now for the Contributory Parent Visa.
The Permanent Partner section have updated their expected service standard for Permanent Partner visa applications. Previously, partner visas were decided within around 8 months, but are currently taking 12-15 months.
10 Year multiple entry visa for Chinese citizens
Pilot Program: The Australian Federal government has announced that Chinese citizens may be eligible to apply for a 10 year multiple entry visitor visa in a pilot program available from the end of 2016. The visa will have a three month stay period and cost $1000.
Employer Nominated and Regional work visas
If you have recently lodged a subclass 186 Employer Nominated (ENS) visa or a subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa, it is likely that you will have a further 6 months to wait until your application is allocated to a case officer. The DIBP is currently looking at ENS applications that were lodged in early January 2016, and RSMS applications that were lodged late November 2015.
New ACT Occupation List from 1 September 2016
The Australian Capital Territory has released a new Occupation List effective 1 September 2016. The new list reflects changes in the labour market and the occupations of Restaurant Manager, Management Consultant, Solicitor and Financial Adviser are now closed in the ACT.
Demand for occupations within Corporate Management, Human Resources and the creative / design sector has increased in the ACT, and these occupations are now open.
The demand for Civil Engineers, General Practitioners, Retail Pharmacists, Early Childhood Teachers, Architects, Medical Imaging Professionals, Registered Nurses, Counsellors, Mechanics, Psychologists and Real Estate Professionals has remained constant, and these occupations are still open for nomination.
The "Backpacker Tax" update
A compromise has been reached on the previous Government's proposal to increase the tax rate from 0 to 32.5% for Working Holiday Visa holders. The proposed changes severely compromised Australia's attractiveness as a working holiday destination, and caused uproar from the agriculture sector, who rely upon labour from working holiday makers to harvest their produce.
From 1 January 2017, Working Holiday visa holders will be taxed 19% on earnings up to $37,000 rather than 32.5%. The cost of applying for a working holiday visa, either subclass 417 or 462 will reduce by $50 to $390. A date has not yet been finalised for the increase in the maximum age limit, which will go up from 31 to 35 years.
Hands Across the Water
We are thrilled to have been able to help Thai orphans suffering long term effects from a tsunami in 2004. Migration Plus donated $500 to this worthy cause: https://sna.etapestry.com/fundraiser/HandsAcrosstheWater/southern2017/individual.do?participationRef=1879.0.690863135
You may wish to support Lyvia in her work for this cause.
Soleman Tang is a dedicated young man who has set up an English school on Alor island in Indonesia to provide the young people in his remote village better opportunities in life. Migration Plus and the team support his endeavour, most recently with the funds to purchase tables, chairs and a map of Alor Island.
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"Your agency did a great job on helping me applying a subclass 457 visa successfully. Especially I am impressed by your agent's professional attitude and patience."
China - Sept 2016
"We are delighted to have Kinga assisted the application. She is an expert. She gave us the feedback regularly and always respectful to answer the questions we asked, even she sent those answers before. We never worried about anything after the lodging, as we have Kinga and all other processional employees in Migration Plus to assist. Thank you again for your help."
China - Sept 2016
"Very helpful and friendly team. Providing excellent services to achieve positive outcome. My Big thanks to Caroline Cheng, Veronica Kyriakou and specially to Dr Chris White for his advice and support."
India - August 2016
"My family has received their citizenship yesterday. I have attached one picture here. Thank you for all your assistance and guidance over this long period of time. A simple word "thank you" is not just enough. We will keep in our pray for your good health and prosperity."
Bangladesh - August 2016
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