The Australian Government has made radical changes to migration over the last weeks and last night’s budget was no exception.

Below are highlights of how the 2017 budget will affect Australian businesses and visa applicants:

  • Visa Application Charges (VAC) increase: Unsurprisingly, VAC will increase come 1 July 2017. All current VACs will be indexed annually in line with the forecast Consumer Price Index (CPI).
  • Training Benchmarks – Skilled Australians Fund Levy: March 2018 will see the introduction of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (previous Subclass 457 visa) and the ‘Skilled Australians Fund Levy’. This levy will replace current training benchmarks for sponsoring employers requesting they make lump sum payments for all employees with TSS visas or sponsoring applicants for permanent residency.
  • Temporary Sponsored Parent visa: The new temporary parent visa will be introduced in November 2017. 15,000.00 places for this visa will be made available annually and this will permit sponsored parents to remain in Australia for 3-5 years. It appears the visa can be renewed offshore with a maximum stay period of ten years. This will be no cheap feat however, with the 3-year Temporary Parent costing $5,000.00 and the 5-year Temporary Parent costing $10,000.00
  • Age pension and Disability Support Pension (DSP) eligibility: From 1 July 2018, there will be stricter residency rules for new migrants to access Australian pensions. Claimants will be required to have 15 years of continuous Australian residence before being eligible to receive the Age pension or DSP. There are three exemptions including:
    • 10 years continuous Australian residence, with five years of this residence being during their working life (16 years of age to Age Pension age); or
    • 10 years continuous Australian residence, without having received an activity tested income support payment for a cumulative period of five years
  • Foreign Investors: A Foreign Investors Tax Levy of $5000 per year will be imposed on foreign investors who do not occupy or lease their Australian properties for at least 6 months of the year.

If you have any queries or concerns regarding your Australian visa status or overseas national employees, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Ready to get started? Contact First Class Migration today to begin your visa application process with the support of experts who truly care about your future in Australia.