Don’t hold off on your emigration due to COVID-19!

/ / Immigration Advice, Immigration to Australia, Our latest posts

Our social media team did a poll on Facebook last week to ask our followers if they’re putting their emigration on hold due to COVID-19. Every single person who responded said that they have pressed paused until further notice.

Can you blame them?

Australia and New Zealand’s borders are still closed to most people from overseas and no-one can say when this will change.

With that being said, we don’t agree that putting your emigration on hold is the best decision.

Here’s why we say this:

1) Australia’s borders ARE open to critical workers

Australia has opened its borders to critical workers who find themselves on the new Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) and to individuals in critical sectors or with critical skills:

Priority Migration Skilled Occupations List

Australia has developed a new priority skills list with 17 occupations called the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL). The purpose of the list is to allow small numbers of sponsored skilled workers into Australia to fill urgent skills needs in critical sectors.

The PMSOL includes occupations in the healthcare, construction and IT sectors and applies to subclass 482, 494, 186 and 187 visas:

  • Chief Executive or Managing Director (111111)
  • Construction Project Manager (133111)
  • Mechanical Engineer (233512)
  • General Practitioner (253111)
  • Resident Medical Officer (253112)
  • Psychiatrist (253411)
  • Medical Practitioner nec (253999)
  • Midwife (254111)
  • Registered Nurses:
    • Aged Care (254412)
    • Critical Care and Emergency (254415)
    • Medical (254418)
    • Mental Health (254422)
    • Perioperative (254423)
  • Registered Nurses nec (254499)
  • Developer Programmer (261312)
  • Software Engineer (261313)
  • Maintenance Planner (312911)

Travel exemption for individuals in critical sectors or with critical skills

Australia is extending travel exemptions to eligible in critical sectors or with critical skills such as:

  • Travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority to assist in the COVID-19 response
  • Providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • With critical skills required to maintain the supply of essential goods and services such as in:
    • Medical technology
    • Critical infrastructure
    • Telecommunications
    • Engineering and mining
    • Supply chain logistics
    • Aged care
    • Agriculture
    • Primary industry
    • Food production
    • Maritime industry
  • Delivering services in sectors critical to Australia’s economic recovery where there are no Australian workers available. Examples of such sectors are:
    • Financial technology
    • Large scale manufacturing
    • Film, media and television production
    • Emerging technology
  • Providing critical skills in religious or theology fields
  • Individuals whose entry would otherwise be in Australia’s national interested, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority

2) You can complete critical parts of your skilled migrant visa application despite the border closures

Let’s first explain why you’d want to do that. It’s simple. If you complete the critical parts now, you’ll be ready to submit your visa application as soon as the restrictions are lifted. You’ll be streets ahead of migrants who chose to wait and see what happens first.

Our advisors always tell our clients that their focus should be on the long term not the short term!

Let’s now look at those critical parts that you can tick off your to-do list. It is specifically the skills assessment, English test and Expression of Interest as it applies to subclass 189, 190 and 491 skilled migrant applications.

The skills assessment is valid for between two to three years and the English test is valid for 3 years. Expressions of Interests, which you submit if you score enough points, is valid for two years from the date of submission.

While there is still so much uncertainty all around the world, we are sure to have more certainty over the 12 to 18 months and things should return to something that closely resembles our ‘old normal’. This includes visa applications for Australia.

3) Australia might change its immigration regulations and you might end up being unable to apply for a visa

We don’t say this to scare you. We have seen this happen all too often in the past.

Take for example the increase in work experience requirements for employer sponsored work visas from two to three years. Let’s also not forget the increase in required points from 60 to at least 65 for the skilled migrant category.

Looking into the future, there are the reduced allocated visa numbers for the skilled migrant category for the 2020-21 migration year.

The skilled independent visa, for instance, had 16,652 allocated spots in the 2019-20 year. For the 2020-21 year, there are only 6,500 spots available. The skilled nomination visa and the skilled work regional visa saw similar large decreases for the new migration year.

Further to this, Australia is looking to implement mandatory English tests for the partners of Australians who are applying for permanent residency. If it’s passed in parliament, this legislation change will come into effect mid next year.

The requirement will also apply to the Australian partner if the partner is a permanent resident. Citizens would not have to complete an English test.

Ready to get going with your visa application?

If you read all of that and you agree with us that continuing with your visa application is the best idea, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

Our advisors can assess your eligibility and work out a personalized immigration plan. Our administrative team then helps you get your visa application ready for submission.

We want to see you realise your dream of living in Australia as much as you do, so we’re looking forward to walking this road with you!

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

You'll get immigration advice and be the first to know about visa changes.

Return to our blog