The Federal Over-Budget?
The ramifications of the recently released Federal Budget has been widespread and there has been some impact on the Australian Visa categories as well.
Despite the perceived harshness of the Budget savings measures and the majority of Australians expressing disapproval (and even downright anger!), PM Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey has remained steadfast in their support of the Budget.
There hasn’t been much details released so far but from the information I have gathered, here is a summary of the 2 main points.
No reduction in Australian visa numbers
Firstly, the good news. The 2014‑15 Migration Programme is expected to retain the same allocated Australian visa number of 190,000 with the breakdown as follows:
- Skilled Stream – 128,550
- Family Stream – 60,885
- Special Eligibility Stream – 565
This means that the Skilled Stream (by far the most popular and covered in my recent blog post Moving to Melbourne – Australian Visa Categories) will continue to be the focus of the Migration Programme. Employer sponsored visas will be given a higher priority.
Emphasis will be on Australia’s longer term skills needs and helping out with the significant skills shortages in regional Australia. So if you are willing to move to Australia and live / work in regional areas, your application might stand a better chance of being prioritized.
Change in focus for the Family Stream visa
The policy for the Family Stream will be adjusted to increase the number of Australian visa given to partners and child places – or “close family reunions” according to the Immigration department. The number of places in the contributory parent category will also increase.
Unfortunately, this will mean that other areas of the Family Stream will have to compensate for the increase in “close family” Australian visa spots.
The unlucky area are the Other Family and Parent (non‑contributory) places. These Australian visa categories might cease as soon as 1st July 2014. The Immigration department has not categorically stated if the approvals must be submitted or must be approved by the deadline, so it’s anyone’s guess how the policy changes will be implemented.
Time to take action is … NOW !
What the above means is that if you were planning to apply for an Australian visa is these categories, I would contact the Immigration department to find out more ASAP.
You may only have just over a month to get your application in ! Good Luck !
If you need more information on any of the above or questions about moving to Melbourne or about the Australian visa categories in general, post a comment below and I will help you the best I can.