Immigration News: June 2023

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In June, the Australian Government announced changes to the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) Visa and the Student (Subclass 500) Visa.

Furthermore, some states and territories have made changes to their state-sponsored visa programs.

Please find the details below.

1. Extension of post-study stay for eligible Subclass 485 visa holders

The Australian Government has extended the post-study stay for eligible Subclass 485 visa holders by two years:

  • From two to four years for select Bachelor’s degrees
  • From three to five years for select Master’s degrees
  • From four to six years for all Doctoral degrees

To qualify for this extended stay, international students must have graduated from Australian higher education providers with eligible qualifications in areas such as science, medicine, healthcare, engineering, and technology.

2. Increase in permitted working hours for Subclass 500 visa holders

From 1 July 2023, Student Visa holders and associated bridging visa holders are allowed to work 48 hours per fortnight. The permitted working hours were 40 hours per fortnight up to January 2022, when the limit was temporarily relaxed to allow students to work unlimited hours.

The only exception to the new measurement is Student Visa holders already working in the aged care sector on 9 May 2023. These students can continue to work unrestricted hours in the aged care sector until 31 December 2023.

3. Australian State-Sponsored Visa Programs updates

Several state-sponsored visa programs have recently undergone changes, and some programs have closed until the new financial year:

Australian Capital Territory

  • The next SkillSelect invitation round will be held before 14 July 2023.
  • The ACT Nomination Guidelines have been updated:
    • The eligibility criteria have been adjusted, and
    • changes have been made to the Canberra Matrix.
  • The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) has closed for this financial year.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory has new offshore General Skilled Migration nomination criteria, including:

  • Reduced work experience requirement – one year down from three years for most occupations
  • More occupations added to the Priority Occupations Stream
  • Expansion of the Family Support Stream to enable regional provisional (Subclass 489, 491 and 494) visa holders and those who hold bridging visas after having applied for regional permanent residency (Subclass 887 and 191 visas) to support family members who are applying for nomination

South Australia

  • General Skilled Migration Programs (Registration of Interest, Subclasses 491 and 190, 491 and 190 and the Business Innovation and Investment Program) closed to new applications on 8 June 2023. South Australia will:
    • delete any applications that had commenced but weren’t lodged before 8 June 2023 from the system, and
    • continue to assess existing applications that were lodged before 8 June 2023.
  • Pending an allocation of Subclass 190 visa nominations from the Commonwealth Government for the 2023-24 program year, applicants who are assessed as eligible for Subclass 190 visa state nominations will receive a nomination in the upcoming program year.

Victoria

  • The Victoria state nomination program has closed to Registrations of Interest (ROI).
  • Submitted ROI will continue to be assessed and selected for invitations to apply for Victorian visa nomination. If an ROI is withdrawn, applicants won’t be able to submit a new one until the 2023-24 program opens.

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