Last night’s release of the 2020/21 Federal Budget provided new announcements and information related to the Australian Migration Program for this financial year.
Overall Planning Levels
• The government will maintain the planning level for 160,000 places this financial year, however the distribution of those places will change.
• Family stream places for this year will increase from 47,732 to 77,300 with 72,300 of those being allocated to the partner applicants;
• Business Investment and Innovation Program places have increased to 13,500 places;
• Global Talent Independent program places have tripled to 15,000.
Partner Visa Changes
• English language requirements will be introduced for Partner visa applicants AND the sponsor to enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes
• Sponsorship provisions will be implemented requiring character checks, sharing of personal information and enforceable sponsorship obligations.
• Onshore applicants with sponsors in designated regional areas will be prioritised.
Covid-19 Related Refunds
• Prospective marriage, Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Workers can access a VAC application refund.
• Temporary skilled workers, visitors and can have the VAC for a subsequent visa waived once travel resumes.
The income eligibility requirement for NZ stream of the Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa will be extended to subclass 444 visa holders who have eligible taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold for at least three of the five income years, including the most recent year. The government plan to promote uptake of this pathway to eligible NZ citizens.
Please click on this link to download the above highlights of the 2020/2021 Budget in PDF format.