Our Sydney Office reopened today!
Welcome back to our Sydney office staff! It’s peopled again.
Everyone is back on deck there, in from working remotely for weeks. Michelle O’Donnell and Matt Wong, and Rebecca Crofts are delighted to be back.
Most of our Melbourne staff are still working remotely – and we are all looking forward to getting back on deck too. It’s business as (un) usual though and we’ve been providing all of our usual services to assist you all through this weird time.
We will continue to offer free telephone consultations until we can get face to face again – you can book yours here.
Mama Mia, its winter already!
It’s officially the beginning of winter down under in Australia! While Melbourne is embracing the new season with a 13C chillsome maximum today, Sydney is a lovely 22C and beautiful Darwin is a seriously gorgeous 32C and sunny.
We’ve flattened the COVID!
We’re also officially beating the coronavirus and it appears we have well and truly flattened the curve. The whole country is climbing out of its cocoon and starting to get on with life. Some states and territories are more ahead than others, and the Northern Territory faced no competition when it well and truly sprinted out of the starting blocks before any other state mid-May.
Who can forget the Northern Territory’s NT Times headline a couple of weeks ago – “screw you were having a brew!”, while the rest of the country was turning green with envy while confined at home. The paper even came with cut out your own commemorative coasters!
We can only imagine the good time that was had by the Territorians! we hope you enjoyed yourselves. Lucky you. See you soon.
Victoria, all play and no work!
Currently, Victorians are getting a lesson in patience – we’ve been let out to play, but not to work.
Our premier, Daniel Andrews is gradually opening things up, but he refuses to allow workers back into the office.
Today in Melbourne we can go to the pub, eat at restaurants, return to the gym, get our nails done and travel regionally, as long as we don’t go by the office. Crazy no?
Patience everyone….. our time will come. In the meanwhile, keep enjoying your slippers and activewear, it’ll soon be back to the heels and suits, and deducting your commute time from your wake up time! Oh No!
Most borders are still closed
Most of Australia’s interstate borders remain closed, with the exception of Victoria, ACT and New South Wales. There has been at least one constitutional challenge to the Western Australian border closure, and we will need to wait and see whether or not the High Court decides in favour of the applicant.
It’s still extremely difficult to enter Australia unless you are an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident. Even if you do, a two week period of isolation is required in a hotel of the government’s choice. Even leaving Australia is extremely difficult, and we have heard of Australian permanent residents being refused permission to travel outside of the country, even on ostensibly significant compelling and compassionate grounds.
It’s time to plan
June 1 always makes us think about the new migration program year which commences on 1 July each year. The new migration year always presents us with migration changes, usually good and bad (sometimes only bad).
Bad – Visa price increases
Visas always go up by around 5-6% on 1 July, and whilst 5-6% doesn’t seem a lot for the cheaper visas, such as Visitor Visas, it can heap on a lot of extra onto say a Partner Visa, which is almost $8000 already. Contributory Partner Visas, already at a completely incomprehensible almost $50K (for each applicant) become even more unattainable for the average parent trying to settle here with their family.
If you can, we recommend that you lodge your visa application before 1 July to avoid these extra costs (book your complimentary Telephone Consultation today, if you haven’t already started preparing).
Good – New program quotas offer visa opportunities
Program quotas reset at midnight on 30 June for skilled visas, and the states and territories also reset their quotas for their state and territory migration programs.
Getting your application lodged before the end of this program year can often mean you’ll be first off the blocks when the quotas reset. It’s also a great idea to get your application in as early as possible to avoid missing out when quotas close.
A couple of years ago, the NSW quota closed even before mid-July because there was an absolute tsunami of applications. If your application is lodged prior to such quota closures, chances are your application will continue to be processed.
Good – Global Talent Independent Quota will reset.
This year the Global Talent Independent stream of the Subclass 124/858 Distinguished Talent visa had a quota of 5000 (see our recent blog and video about this visa here).
This visa is designed to attract the brightest and best talent to Australia, and it specifically seeks expressions of interest from holders of technology based PhDs and high-level Master’s Degrees who can earn at least A$148,700 per annum in their girls of speciality. There are a few other hoops to jump through, but basically, if you have the qualifications and an Australian nominator, its a very fast track to permanent residence with no occupation list, no age limit (it’s a bit harder if you’re over 55), no skills assessment and no English requirement other than “functional” English (think IELTS 4.5 – but if your graduate education was in English, that’s OK too)
We’re uncertain as to what the quota will be for the coming program year, but we believe that the quota will be at least the same as it was this year – ie 5000.
A reason to be optimistic – you’re needed in Australia – Scott Morrison wants to kick start the economy
Our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has fairly and squarely put us on notice that now that the corona thing is on the way out, its time to light a match under the Australian economy by investing in infrastructure, building and manufacturing. This means that we will need more skilled labour than we have – and we will have to import it.
This means that those of you reading this with skills in demand, qualifications and experience – are needed, and we envisage that skilled migration, whether Skilled Independent, Global Talent, Employer Sponsored or Employer Nominated will take off this coming program year.
Click here to get on with it.
Another reason to be optimistic? Family Visas
We are hearing rumblings that family visa processing may be speeded up following the coronavirus crisis. Currently, there are approximately 100,000 partner visas in the processing queue, and some politicians are pushing to have the processing times shortened. This would be great news if true, but the government also needs to consider speeding up Parent Visas as well. At the moment Contributory Parent visas (the really really expensive ones) are taking up to 4 years, and the Aged Parent visas are taking over 30 years (and no that is not a typo).
What will happen next? Watch this space, subscribe to our Immigration News and you will get all the updates as they come to hand.
In the meanwhile, if you need some expert migration advice to help get you started on your Australian migration journey, book your self a complimentary telephone consultation, and we’ll explore your options.