Australian Immigration Update 2023: Ten Changes to Invigorate Your Migration Plans

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australian immigration update 2023

2023 is set to be the most welcoming and exciting year for all Australian immigration aspirants, especially because of its high amount of allocations for general skilled migration program with visible progress on fast-track processing ( Read Ministerial Direction on Priority Processing of Australian Skilled Migration Visas )

Here are the 10 changes that will kick-start your plan for moving to Australia in 2023, whether it’s for a visit, study, or migration.

1. Highest Allocation Ever for Skilled Migration Visas 

A record-breaking allocation of 142,400 total Skilled Visa places is eagerly awaiting a large number of skilled professionals in 2023.

In the General Skilled Migration program, 97,100 places have been allocated for Skilled Independent, State/territory, and region-sponsored visas (Subclass 189, 190 & 491) which was previously only 28, 900, indicating a striking 236 % increase from the previous year.

Employer-sponsored Visa for 2022-23 with 35,000 places is geared to welcome 13,000 more professionals than the previous year (22,000 places in 2021-22).

Australian Migration Planning Program Levels 2022-23
Increase in skilled visa quota in Migration Planning Program Levels 2022-23 compared to the previous year. A screenshot from Australian Govt web portal.

These record-breaking allocations have one core purpose, which is to gain Australia its largest numbers of skilled professionals in coming years who can fill the skills shortage caused by COVID-19 pandemic.

2. Skilled Occupation Lists to be Reviewed; More Occupations in Store

Graduates with work experience have so much more reason to be optimistic 2023 for their Australian skilled migration eligibility. You may already know that finding your desired occupation is one of the first eligibility hurdles after you have satisfied the minimum 65-point score for skilled migration.

3 main skilled occupation lists will be reviewed to include more occupations so that more professionals from diverse fields, experiences and expertise can be eligible to apply for skilled migration:

  • Short-Term Skilled Occupation List
  • Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List
  • Regional Occupation List

3. Even Faster Processing (3 days) for School Teachers and Medical Workers

Whether you are a highly qualified medical professional or a more easy-going primary school teacher who is great with children, you will have equal opportunity for Australia’s skilled migration in 2023.
According to SBS news, Australian Immigration spokespersons had reportedly confirmed fast-track priority processing of skilled visas for teachers and medical workers. Their visas are set to be processed as early as within 3 days after application!
This is one of the outcomes of the new Ministerial Direction No. 100 which has set a new priority method for visa processing.

The new approach will prioritize visas as follows:

  • Healthcare and teaching related visa applications
  • Applications where the applicants are nominated by an Approved sponsor (Employer) with Accredited Status.
  • Visa applications for occupations which are meant for Designated Regional Areas
  • Permanent or provisional visa applications that count towards the migration program (Subclass 188 visa excluded)
  • All other visa applications.

For each category mentioned above, offshore applications (Permanent and provisional) will be given priority in processing.
Direction 100 aims at bringing skilled workers to Australia to mitigate the skill shortages caused by the border closure during COVID-19 pandemic.
It has been designed to prioritize visa subclasses like 189, 190, 491, 482 and 494.

4. No Limits on Partner & Child Visas

40,500 partner visas and 3,000 child visas are predicted to be issued by Australian immigration in 2023. Thanks to the major visa backlog solution in parent visa processing under Australia’ new government, Australian permanent residency for partner and child will no longer be limited by a capping and queuing approach and the approval of these visas will be more demand-driven.

5. A New Visa Granting Australian PR to 3000 Migrants from Pacific Countries & Timor-Leste

3,000 new Australian PR visas will be allocated every year starting July 2023 for people living in New Zealand, Fiji and other Pacific countries and territories. Timor-Leste will also receive significant allocations for Australian PR applications.
This new visa, the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV), was introduced on 25th October, 2022, as a policy of Australia’s Federal Budget to increase the population and economic diversity of these pacific regions by allowing permanent settlement to migrants from Pacific countries.

6. Student Visa Applications will Break Previous Records; Australian Government Shows Complete Support

Student visas for bachelor’s programs will be more in demand in 2023 as international students can now hope to stay and work 4-6 years on Post-study Work visas, and that is in addition to their student visa period.

The Australian government added 2 years on each study level under Temporary Graduate and Post-Study Work visas

  • Bachelor’s degrees (4 years instead of 2 years)
  • Masters degrees (5 years instead of 3 years) and
  • PhDs (6 years instead of 4 years)

International students can add more years of residency and longer work experience starting which will help them score higher points for skilled migration starting 2023. ( Also read 6 Reasons to Apply for Australian Student Visa Now )

7. Fast-tracked Australian PR for New Zealanders; Subclass 189 Requirements Eased.

Starting 1st July 2023, New Zealanders will no longer be required to meet any income ceiling and health status requirement to apply for Australian PR.
The following terms will help to understand the more flexible requirements:

  • No requirement of minimum 5 year residency in Australia before citizenship application
  • No requirement to earn any predetermined taxable income
  • Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4007 for health standards will no longer need to be satisfied.

In fact, the health requirement will no longer be needed for the family members of the primary applicant.

8. 1-Day Processing for Working Holiday Visas

It’s almost like what you see in the movies where a young traveler is experiencing new places and adventures while enjoying the excitement and challenges of paying for their daily expenses. It is the dream tourist visa for the modern-day carefree vagabond. And what’s great, in 2023 you can avail the Working Holiday Visa in just 1 day after your application! So, pack your bags and get ready to move this year.

9. Indian Students will Get 1-3 years Additional Stay Period on Temporary Graduate Visas

Indian students studying and graduating in Australia will be greatly benefited in 2023 and onwards in their transition to highly eligible candidates for skilled migration. This is the result of a free trade agreement between the Australian and Indian government on 29th December 2022 which officialized the following benefits:

  • Post-study stay period on Temporary Graduate Visa to increase by 1-3 years for Indian students
  • No more waiting for Labour Market Testing for their onshore Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS/Subclass 482) visa.
  • Work and Holiday visa (Subclass 462) will be granted to 1,000 additional Indians each year starting 2023.
PM Alabanese and PM Modi on free trade agreement April 2022
Australia and India struck a free trade deal on 2 April 2022 at the G20 Summit, Bali, Indonesia. Image Source: India TV.

10. 19000 Refugees will be Welcomed into Australia

Refugees are always a tricky section to consider for any country. In spite of Australia’s strict border security for the welfare of its residents, the Labour government also feels that immigration must take humanitarian approaches to ensure the welfare of refugees who are holding Temporary Protection Visas. In 2023, the Labor government aims to welcome 19000 new refugees into Australia. These people will enjoy similar social security rights and options to bring their family to Australia.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles twitted about this, saying:

“The Albanese Labor Government has made a commitment to transition those who have been found to be owed our protection on temporary protection visas to permanent protection”

What Our Migration Consultants Think…

Migration experts at Bridging West are expecting huge numbers of eligible applicants who will take advantage of these new changes.
General and Employer-sponsored Skilled Migration and student visas are now the top priority Australian immigration as the government is determined to reward maximum allocations, requirement flexibility, processing capacity and stay period extensions for these categories.

Our Migration experts are confident that 2023 is going to be a year of unprecedented opportunities for migration aspirants who wish to migrate to and settle in Australia, or for students who want to obtain a world-class education in Australia and help build a better future.

If you are interested in any Australian visa, make sure you check your eligibility first from a MARA-Registered agent.

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