Immigration issues continue to be in the spotlight throughout 2017. A quick insight to let you catching-up on Australian visa-related news is due. Here’s the list as of November 2017.
1. Number of Permanent visas granted
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has granted over 183,600 permanent visas in 2016–17 to meet Australia’s skill and family needs. This is around 6,400 less than the numbers of visas granted previous year.
Of the permanent visas granted, skill stream visas totaled more than 123,500 and family stream visas totaled more than 56,200.
2. Changes to Australia Citizenship (or lack thereof)
On October 18, 2017, the Australian Senate landed a heavy blow to Turnbull’s Government plan of tougher citizenship requirements.
- Those who applied for citizenship prior to/on April 20, 2017 and have a plan to do it after the immigration minister announced the overhaul are no longer in uncertainties. Their applications will be processed under the current law, namely the 2007 Australian Citizenship Act.
- No higher English requirement and no extended PR requirement for eligible applicants.
3. Perth Metropolitan Area Removed from RSMS/187 Visa List
Back in March, Perth was off the list as regional in RSMS visa. It’s a move that many think as damaging to job market as it is to WA’s appeal to foreign students.
A few days before November 17, 2017, the Government also made this into legal instrument.
Under the new Instrument [Legislative Instrument IMMI 17/059] the Perth metropolitan area is not considered regional for RSMS applications.
This caused confusion to applicants who are still waiting for the decision, to which the DIBP gave the following statement:
The RSMS applications in the Perth metropolitan area that we have on-hand and lodged before the 13 March 2017 with RCB certification will proceed to assessment.
4. Temporary Skilled Visa/ Subclass 457 Visa Continues to Garner Criticism
Since the Prime Minister made an announcement to abolish 457 visa, the temporary skilled visa continues to be the target of criticism from industry stakeholders. The latest of which was from Scott Farquhar, the co-founder of Atlassian.
Atlassian, an enterprise focusing on developer, team and customer management software is reportedly having 25% of its total workforce on 457.
He argues that the premise the Government made is false. “The idea that if I bring in 100 people from overseas I will be taking away 100 jobs in Australia is not right,”
Not just that, but Farquhar also went further by criticizing the system of skilled occupation list, referencing on compounding effect that technology brings to industries.
“The idea of having a skilled occupation list is a crazy thing today. Everyone graduating today is going to have many careers. Some say as many as 17. “There are jobs which don’t exist today but will exist in two years time. Maybe in five years time the government will add them to the skilled migrant list, but in the meantime they will move to somewhere else and set up new industries there.”
5. Victoria temporarily closes skilled applications for engineering & building occupations
Applications for engineering and building occupations on the Visa Nomination Occupation List for Victoria will not be accepted from 16 October 2017 to 12 January 2018 due to the large volume of applications received.
Applicants who have an offer of employment in Victoria in their nominated occupation or meet the streamlined PhD or 457 pathways are not affected by this closure and may still apply during this time. Please note that we have also increased the work experience requirements and adjusted required specializations in some occupations.
Alright, that approximately sums up what happened in immigration and visa related world in Australia in November 2017. If you experience difficulty related to any of the issues above, feel free to contact us.