491 and 494 visas: 2,000 more regional visas; regional areas defined; extra year for graduates clarified

491 and 494 visas: 2,000 more regional visas; regional areas defined; extra year for graduates clarified

Today, the Government announced there will be an increase of 2,000 regional visas due to the high demand and a rise in visa grants in the first quarter of the program year. The regional/non-regional dichotomy will be split into three categories: Major cities, Cities and major regional centres, and Regional centres and all other locations. This will impact the new Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa and Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa. Incentives for these areas are also explained, including the potential for an additional 2 years for international students who study at a regional university for a Subclass 485 - Temporary Graduate visa under the Post-Study Work stream.

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Permanent migration slashed to 160,000; 186/187 visa numbers increasing; two new regional visas announced

Permanent migration slashed to 160,000; 186/187 visa numbers increasing; two new regional visas announced

The much-rumoured new population policy and cut to Australia’s permanent migration was announced by the prime minister today. Permanent visa numbers will be cut from 190,000 to 160,000, however, for employer sponsored permanent visas, Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visas and Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas, they will actually increase. Two new regional visas have been revealed along with a bonus year for Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visas for international students who study at a regional university.

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Occupation list shuffle: 36 more GSM occupations; GPs sent to the country, new caveats

Occupation list shuffle: 36 more GSM occupations; GPs sent to the country, new caveats

Major changes to the occupations lists for GSM visas and temporary and permanent employer sponsored visas come into effect today. This includes 36 occupations now eligible to compete for an invitation for a Subclass 189 – Skilled—Independent visa or a Subclass 489 – Skilled—Regional (Provisional) visa sponsored by an eligible relative. New caveats have been added to the Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visas, Subclass 186 – Employer Nomination Scheme visa, and Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa occupation lists, including that General Practitioners will require a certificate to be nominated, which will see many required to work in regional or rural areas.

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Business sponsor shame list to begin 13 December 2018; Powers to request tax file numbers; Clarity on review rights for refused sponsored visas

Business sponsor shame list to begin 13 December 2018; Powers to request tax file numbers; Clarity on review rights for refused sponsored visas

New regulations will come into force on 13 December 2018 that will see the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs publish a list of sanctioned business sponsors, what obligation they breached, and the sanction they received.

The Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs will be able to request from visa applicants, sponsors, and nominators, tax file numbers of visa holders and former visa holders for many temporary and permanent skilled visas. The ramifications of this may see more visas refused and cancelled.

Lastly, amendments have been made to give more certainty to sponsored or nominated workers whose visa applications are refused to seek review at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

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