Immigrate to Australia – new rules for 2023/2024

Immigrate to Australia – new rules for 2023/2024

Immigrate to Australia

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Upcoming immigration changes for Australia 2023/2024

Australia is a popular destination for skilled migrants worldwide and South Africans have long loved to immigrate to Australia. The country is known for its thriving economy, diverse culture, high standard of living, and exceptional quality of life. With a welcoming attitude towards immigrants and a stable political environment, Australia offers several opportunities to people seeking to build a career, settle with family, or start a new life.

Changes to the Australian migrant system

A recent review of Australia’s migration system has identified several areas that are in a state of disorder. As a result, the government was given 38 “reform directions” to consider. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil made two significant announcements so far.

Firstly, the minimum salary an applicant needs to receive sponsorship from an employer has increased. And, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) has been raised to $70,000 from its frozen state of $53,000 a decade ago. Secondly, the government will provide all skilled temporary workers with a pathway to apply for permanent residency by the end of this year. Abul Rizvi, former deputy secretary of Australia’s immigration department, welcomes these changes and views them as positive steps towards a more targeted and efficient system.

Additional investment

The recent announcement unveiled the Australian government’s substantial investment of $630 million to bolster the country’s migration program and reinforce its border and national security measures. The funding will be allocated to the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force. This aligns with the government’s vision for a streamlined and targeted migration system that prioritises national interests while fostering the prosperity of migrants in Australia’s society and economy. Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Immigration Minister Andrew Giles jointly delivered this news. They emphasised their unwavering dedication to enhancing Australia’s migration program and ensuring its effectiveness.

Skilled migrants will be prioritised

The government will also prioritise skilled migrants by allocating 137,100 places out of the total planning level of 190,000 places. This is a slight decrease from the previous year’s program. Through this decision, the government aims to address the ongoing skill shortages in the country. However, 52,000 places will still be allotted to the family stream, mostly consisting of demand-driven partner and child visas.

For a review of the migration system of Australia, visit Australia’s Department of Home Affairs website.

What does this mean for South Africans who want to immigrate to Australia?

In an article published in January, Australian migrant agent Sam Hopwood (in BusinessTech 2023) suggested that “If the changes were to come about, it would flip the traditional skilled migration system from a system where migrants are selected based on their potential to find work in skilled jobs after they have been approved for a visa, to an employer-driven system where potential migrants will need to first find an employer with a vacancy for them to apply for a visa.”

The article suggests that although this is good news for people who are looking for a change and have the qualifications and skills to do so, it may affect non-skilled workers from being able to relocate to Australia as their country of choice. However, another consideration is that change does not happen overnight. Instead of taking advantage of the current migrant system, skilled workers may unnecessarily wait for the new system.

Recent announcements that have an immediate impact

Starting from July 1, 2023, a significant change in Australian immigration policy will allow New Zealanders residing in Australia to directly apply for citizenship. This will eliminate the need for a prior application for a permanent visa. It’s important to note that this change specifically applies to New Zealanders holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) and who arrived in Australia after February 26, 2001.

However, in contrast, the month of July will also witness the reintroduction of work restrictions for student visas. These were previously relaxed during the global pandemic. Treasurer Jim Chalmers has announced that international students engaged in the aged care sector will be exempt from the capped increased rate of 48 hours per fortnight until December 31, 2023.

Additionally, to ensure that international students are genuinely in Australia to pursue their studies, significant changes will be implemented to the student visa system. The Australian Home Affairs Department expressed its strong commitment to enhancing the quality assurance of education providers, thereby ensuring that students receive a high standard of education. The government has also recognised the need to reduce the duration that students spend on bridging visas. They will achieve this by establishing a smoother pathway to graduate visas. These measures signify the government’s dedication to maintaining the integrity of the student visa program while simultaneously supporting international students in their educational journey.

Immigrate to Australia with Elliott

If you are considering moving to Australia, ask one of our highly skilled sales consultants to assist you with your relocation journey. Our team has successfully moved tens of thousands of South Africans abroad. We will ensure that your experience is organised and comfortable.

For more information about Australian immigration and citizenship:

Visit the Australian Government of Home Affairs webpage, “Learn about being an Australian citizen”.

If you want to immigrate to Australia with Elliott, get in touch with a skilled sales consultant. You can reach us via our contact page.

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