Key Immigration Changes from 1 July 2024

Written by Albert Fang | MARN 1280959 | Published 1 July 2024

The Australian government has implemented significant immigration changes affecting various visa classes across the program from 1 July.  Whilst we have received the new Regulations; the policy around these key changes has not yet been released.

Fee Increases

The Government lodgement fees for most subclasses have increased from 1 July by approximately 2.8 %, as has Citizenship Application charges.  The fees for appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal has also seen an increase.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) Increase

The new TSMIT has increased from $70,000 to $73,150.  All new nomination applications from 1 July will need to meet the new TSMIT of $73,150 or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher.

The change will not affect existing visa holders and nominations lodged before 1 July 2024.

Changes to Conditions for 482 & 494 Visas

Conditions 8107, 8607 and 8608 for visa holders under the TSS Subclass 482 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Subclass 494 visas have changed to provide more flexibility.

Visa holders now have up to 180 days at a time, or a cumulative maximum of 365 days throughout the visa period to secure a new sponsor, apply for a new visa or arrange their departure from Australia.

The changes will make it easier for visa holders to move between sponsors.  It will also open opportunities for employers to hire sponsored workers in any occupations for up to six months without the need to sponsor them.

Sponsoring employers will still be required to notify of changes in circumstances (including changes in occupation) and cessation of employment within 28 days.

Working Holiday Visas

UK citizens will now benefit from the removal of the regional work requirement to be eligible for their second or third working holiday visa.  A reminder that the age range for UK citizens moved to 35 years of age last year, from the typical 30 years of age for many citizens.

Citizens from the Philippines, aged 18-30, now have the opportunity to apply for a Subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa which allows them to spend up to twelve months in Australia providing them with work rights and ability to explore Australia. To qualify applicants must possess a tertiary qualification or have completed at least two years of post-secondary education.

Temporary Graduate Visa

Significant updates to the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) program are now in effect including the re-branding the Graduate Work Stream to the Post-Vocational Education Work Stream with an age cap of 35 years.  Unless you’ve completed a Master by Research or PhD Doctoral Degree, the age limit will remain at 50 years of age.

English skills requirement to be at least 6.5 (IELTS), average

The 476 visa (Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa) has now permanently closed.

Ending Onshore Visa Hopping

Notably, graduate, visitor, student, and student guardian visa holders in Australia are no longer able to submit valid student visa applications whilst in Australia.

Superannuation Guarantee Rate Increase to 11.5%

Where the superannuation component is part of total remuneration packages and base salary is reduced, there is a risk that the sponsorship may be breached as superannuation guarantee obligations are excluded from annual earnings.

Fair Work High Income Threshold

The current threshold as of 1 July 2024 is $175,000, Relevant for age exemptions for ENS and eligibility criteria for other visa categories.

Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Bill 2023

The new instrument amends the Migration Regulations in response to the ‘Strengthening Employer Compliance Act’.  It increases the fines payable under infringement notices, introduces infringement notices for violations of newly introduced civil penalty provisions under the SEC Act, and eliminates reduced penalty amounts for first-time infringements.  These amendments aim to boost employer compliance with migration regulations by imposing stricter penalties and ensuring consistent enforcement of workplace standards.

Business Innovation and Investment (BIIP) Subclass 188

BIIP program is permanently closed from July 2024, no new applications will be accepted. This visa is set to be replaced by the new National Innovation Visa expected in late 2024.

Before any immigration advice can be provided, we must hold an initial consultation which will attract a fee of $385.

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