By Jeffrey Stone & Grace Convey
We’re seeing now more than ever that the world is back to business after the extensive Covid-19 lockdowns, and Victoria is once again focused on making Migration opportunities available to benefit our local economy. Victoria’s Skilled Migration Program is now open with two pathways to permanent residency. Read on to understand the changes, and whether or not you may be eligible to apply.
Australian Migration Planning
The Australian Government currently has a focus on attracting skilled migrants in areas where Australia is still emerging and developing. There are 190,000 places on offer for the 2023-2024 calendar year (only a small reduction from the 195,000 places on offer last year), with many offering streams for permanent residency or citizenship for eligible applicants. There are several streams which make up the places, including:
- Skilled Independent visa stream
- Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) visa stream
- Global Talent visa stream
- Family stream
Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190) & Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491)
Registrations of Interest (ROI’s) are now open to international residents who fulfil the requirements to qualify as a skilled migrant, and who are looking to live and work anywhere in Victoria, can apply for a Visa subclass 190 (2,700 places open). Those who are interested in working in regional Victoria specifically can apply for a Visa subclass 491 (600 places open). Both visa options may provide a pathway to permanent residency in Victoria.
Changes to subclass 190
While this program remains largely unchanged for the 2023-2024 application year, it is worth reviewing your application to ensure nothing has changed. If the information you provided has changed, you will need to submit a new Expression of Interest (EOI). If your partner points and/or annual salary have changed, withdraw your existing EOI and submit a new one to ensure it is correct.
Changes to subclass 491
Those applying for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 491) must be living and working in regional Victoria at the time of their nomination to successfully qualify as an onshore candidate. Several outer Melbourne suburbs are included in the regional zones, making this a potentially attractive option for clients looking to have access to some of the benefits of living in a bigger city.
If you submitted a ROI in the 2022-2023 year and were unsuccessful, eligible candidates must submit a new ROI to be considered for the 2023-2024 year.
Business Innovation & Investment Program (subclass 188)
Unfortunately, no states of territories (including Victoria) received any places for this much anticipated Visa stream in the 2023-2024 year. While there are no places available for this year, if you are considering a long-term residence in Australia with significant business purchase or investment, this may be one to look out for in next year’s program.
Global Talent (subclass 858)
Global Talent visas are available to select individuals only: those who are highly skilled in one of the Minister’s defined sectors (or a related sector) and who have the potential to earn, or are currently earning, above the Fair Work high income threshold. Submitting an EOI is essential, though note that a successful EOI is not a guarantee of receiving a visa. For more information about Global Talent visas and whether you may be eligible, please contact us to speak to one of our migration team members.
Family visas are a group of approximately 37 visas which are available to relatives of Australian citizens or permanent residents, to allow them to permanently or temporarily migrate to join, visit, or care for their family members. Due to the wide variety of visas available in this category, we suggest speaking with a migration lawyer to better understand which options are available to you.
Disclaimer: This publication contains comments of a general and introductory nature only and is provided as an information service. It is not intended to be relied upon as, nor is it a substitute for specific professional legal advice. You should always speak to us and obtain legal advice before taking any action relating to matters raised in this publication.