Oct 07, 2020


The Australian government released some detail into its immigration planning for 2020-21.

According to the information provided by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison, the planned ceiling for the Migration Program will remain at 160,000 places with family, business and employer visas prioritised.

The program will have a strong focus on attracting the best and brightest migrants from around the world, with a tripling of the Global Talent Independent program allocation to 15,000 places and an increase in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places. The BIIP will also be streamlined and reformed to ensure that investments are targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery.

These are the highlights quoted from the budget papers regarding immigration:

Family and Partner Visa Changes

  • The Family stream planning level has been set at 77,300 places, including 72,300 within the Partner category
  • The Government will apply the family sponsorship framework to Partner visas which will mandate character checks and the sharing of personal information as part of a mandatory sponsorship application and subject the sponsor to enforceable sponsorship obligations. These changes will complement existing family violence provisions within the Partner visa program
  • A new English language requirement will be introduced for Partner visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors. These changes will help support English language acquisition and enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes
  • Partner visa applicants where the relevant sponsor resides in a designated regional area will also be prioritised for the 2020-21 Migration Program.

COVID-19 Related Visa Application Charge (VAC) Refunds

  • Prospective Marriage, Pacific Labour Scheme and Seasonal Worker Programme visa holders will be able to access a VAC refund
  • Temporary skilled workers and visitor visa holders will be eligible to have the VAC for a subsequent visa application waived, to allow them to return to Australia once travel restrictions are lifted
  • Working holiday makers will be eligible to have the VAC for a subsequent visa application waived, to allow them to return to Australia once travel restrictions are lifted or otherwise be able to access a VAC refund.

Business and Investment Visa Changes

From 1 July 2021, the Government will streamline and improve the operation of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). The Government will introduce changes to improve the quality of investments and applicants. Visa application charges for BIIP visas will also be increased by an additional 11.3 per cent (above regular CPI indexation) on 1 July 2021.

For more information visit: https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au

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