Final Visa Updates For 2020
With Christmas just around the corner and nearing end of 2020, we would like to inform you of some recent visa changes. From the team at Four Corners Emigration, we wish you a Merry Christmas and safe holidays.
Please see the visa updates that may concern you.
Business & Investor Visas Changes
Changes will be introduced to Australia’s Business and Investor Migration program on 1 July 2021. The new program will have fewer streams. There will only be four instead of nine.
The four are:
1. Business Innovation
4. Significant Investor
Certain existing streams of the program will be closed on 1 July 2021
1. Subclass 132 Significant Business history
2. The Premium Investor Visa
3. The Venture Capital Entrepreneur
The removal of the 132 visa shows that the Australian government is not wanting to give out permanent residence from the outset. They want Business & Investor Migrants to come to Australia and commit to Australia and add to Australia. All potential 132 visa applicants should act to lodge an application prior to 1 July 2021.
The provisional visas will now be valid for 5 years instead of previously, just over 4 years. All visa applicants from 1 July 2021 are able to apply for permanent residence after 3 years if they meet the requirements. This point is particularly good news for Investors and Significant Investors who currently have to wait 4 years before applying for permanent residence. There will be more consultation with investors and businesses about this change to the investment period to allow everyone time to adapt.
Please see below some more specific changes to specific visa subclasses:
188A – Business Innovation Visas
188A visa holders will still be able to extend their provisional visas if they need to. But it will be a one-off extension of two years rather than the current 2 extensions. Visa holders will need to prove a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating for the last two years.
188A visa applicants need to have minimum assets of A$1.25million. This is up from the current level of A$800,000. A number of state governments already require higher net asset levels than the prescribed A$800,000.
188A visa applicants will need to show their business in any 2 of the last 4 years had an annual turnover of at least A$750,000. This is an increase from the current A$500,000.
188C – Significant Investor Visas
SIV holders will continue to be able to extend their provisional 188C visa if required and they will be still able to apply for 2 x two-year extensions.
188E – Entrepreneur Visas
188E visa applicants will need to be endorsed by a State or Territory Government
188E visa applicants will no longer have to meet the A$200,000 funding threshold
These are quite significant changes coming in in the middle of next year. If you want to take advantage of the current rules then should act now.
NSW releases new occupation lists for visa subclass 190 & 491
NSW has released a greatly reduced occupations list for the 190 visa. It comprises only 31 occupations. 17 of the 31 occupations are health and medical occupations. ICT occupations are the next highest at 7 and engineering occupations the next at 6. The list does not comprise some occupations we might have expected to be there e.g. Civil Engineer
The occupation list for the 491 visa (see attached) is also reduced. In addition, it is very location-specific within regional NSW. Please note that Sydney is mentioned here and that seems strange as the 491 visa is a regional only one. But this simply means that some areas of Greater Sydney are deemed to be regional such as the Blue Mountains and parts of the Hawkesbury.
Whilst this announcement will be disappointing to some people it does have some positive aspects. At least NSW is open again for state nominations in Skilled Migration. We are also hopeful that this list will expand during 2021 to include more occupations. We will keep you updated as things develop.
Temporary visa suspensions for NZ overseas applicants
The current suspension of overseas applications for most temporary visas has been extended until May 2021.
This measure was introduced on 10 August 2020 to prevent applications from those ineligible to enter the country due to current border restrictions.
The suspension is reviewed by the Government every month.