Australian Immigration News: May 2021

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In May, the Australian Government announced a special consideration for Sponsored Temporary Parent Visa holders and significant changes in the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

The Government also published the results of the latest General Skilled Migration Invitation round.

You can get all the details below.

Results of April’s General Skilled Migration invitation round

The Australian Government stipulates on their website that Invitations to Apply are to go to the highest-ranked individuals by points score. Yet, the latest General Skilled Migration invitation round once again instead targeted specific skills critical for Australia’s COVID-19 response. Further to this, the focus was mainly on onshore applicants.

The Government extended invitations to:

  • General Practitioners & Resident Medical Officers
  • Registered Nurses
  • Mining Engineers
  • Industrial, Mechanical & Production Engineers
  • Veterinarians
  • Social Workers
  • Other Engineering Professionals
  • Medical Laboratory Scientists
  • Medical Imagining Professionals
  • Other Medical Practitioners
  • Life Scientists
  • Special Physicians
  • Geologists, Geophysicists & Hydrogeologists

Special consideration for the Sponsored Temporary Parent Visa

On Tuesday, 11 May, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg delivered Australia’s 2021-22 Federal Budget speech. In his speech, the Treasurer announced that the Government would extend the validity of the Sponsored Temporary Parent visa (subclass 870) by 18 months for individuals who cannot use their visas due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This special consideration comes into effect in July and is the latest COVID-19 concession granted by the Australian Government.

Business Innovation and Investment Program changes

The Department of Home Affairs has announced a number of changes to the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). These changes come into effect on 1 July 2021 and are being implemented to drive investment in key sectors and to create jobs.

Acting Minister of Immigration Alan Tudge said in a press release that almost AU$1.3 billion was invested through the Business Innovation and Investment Program in 2020. He added that the changes “….will maximize the economic contribution of these high value investors to get the best possible outcome for Australians.”

The key changes coming into effect are as follows:

  • The BIIP will be simplified from nine to four visa streams:
    • Business Innovation
    • Entrepreneur
    • Investor
    • Significant Investor
  • Provisional visa holders in all four streams will be able to apply for permanent residence if they meet the requirements, but the provisional visas will now be valid for five years, giving visa holders more time to meet the PR requirements.
  • The Premium Investor, Significant Business History and Venture Capital Entrepreneur visas will close to new applications from 1 July 2021.
  • Investor and Significant Investor stream:
    • The investment amount for the Investor stream will increase from AU$1.5 million to AU$2.5 million. The investment amount for the Significant Investor stream will remain at AU$5 million.
    • The Complying Investment Framework (CIF) will be applied to both the Investor and Significant Investor stream.
    • The venture capital and private equity component of the CIF will be increased from 10% to 20% with a further 30% dedicated to emerging companies. The balancing investment component will be reduced from 60% to 50%.
    • Funds will be required to provide annual independent audit reports showing their compliance with the CIF
  • The requirements for Business Innovation visa holders will increase to ensure the program is attracting migrants with proven business skills. Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold business assets of AU$1.25 million (up from AU$800,000) and have an annual turnover of AU$750,000 (up from AU$500,000) to prove their business acumen.
  • The AU$200,000 funding threshold for Entrepreneur visa applications will be scrapped. Instead, visa applicants will need an endorsement from a state or territory government.

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