Federal Budget: Immigration changes and implications

Federal Budget: Immigration changes and implications

On 6 October 2020 the Federal Budget was delivered, and as a part of this there have been key changes and announcements in regard to the Australian immigration program.

Partner Visa Changes 

Multiple changes to Partner Visa applications and requirements have been announced. Firstly, the family sponsorship framework will be applied to all partner visa applications. This will include the requirement of character checks and the sharing of personal information as a part of the application. Additionally, the sponsor will be subjected to enforceable sponsorship obligations. These changes will complement the existing family violence provisions included within the Partner Visa program.

In addition to the above, English language requirements will be introduced for the Partner visa applicants and their permanent resident sponsors. These changes are designed to assist in supporting the English language acquisition, to enhance social cohesion and economic participation outcomes.

The number of Family stream places for this program year will be increasing from 47,732 to 77,300, with 72,200 of these being specifically dedicated to partner applications.

New Zealand Pathway to Permanent Residency (Subclass 189)

Eligibility for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand Stream) visa will be extended to Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who have a taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migrant Income Threshold for at least three of the past five income years, including the most recent year.

Business, Investment and Innovation Program

The Government will also be introducing changes to Business, Investment and Innovation Program (BIIP) in order to improve the quality of investments and applicants. As a part of these changes there will be a focus on higher value investors, business owners and entrepreneurs. Visa application charges will also be increased by an addition 11.3% (above regular CPI indexation) on 1 July 2021.

If you require any further information regarding the Federal Budget immigration changes to the Partner visa, Skilled Independent visa, Business, Investment and Innovation visa programs, or the implication that these recent announcements may have to your Australian immigration prospects, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of migration lawyers here at Ramsden Lawyers, and we would be pleased to guide you.