Visa updates for the new financial year

The 2021 financial year has just ended, and we now look ahead to what this new financial year will bring. This article intends to discuss the updates in relation to Australian visa matters.

Price increase effective 1 July 2021

Visa fees have increased within 1-2%, while the citizenship fee has increased 72%. Here’s a table showing a list of common visas and citizenship fees plus the old and new pricing:

DescriptionOld PriceNew Price
Student Visa$620$630
Visitor Visa$365$370
Skilled Independent 189 Visa/Skilled Nominated 190 Visa$4,045$4,115
TSS 482 Visa (role on STSOL)$1,265$1,290
TSS 482 Visa (role on MLTSSL)$2,645$2,690
Partner Visa 820/801 and Partner Visa 309/100$7,715$7,850
Child Visa (802 and 101)$2,665$2,710
Citizenship Fee$285$490

Note that there is an applicable credit card surcharge for credit card payments on visa/citizenship fees.

Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List Updated

This is great news for applicants who are under the twenty-two new occupations added on the PMSOL. The new occupations added include Accountants, Auditors, Engineers, some IT roles, Medical Laboratory Scientists, and Chefs. You can find the complete list of the added occupations here.

Note that the PMSOL is only applicable to Employer Sponsored Visas such as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa subclass 482), Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494), and Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186). 

Meanwhile, here are some of the common questions that applicants have regarding PMSOL.

I don’t have an employer who is willing to sponsor me, but my role is on PMSOL, can I still apply for employer sponsored visas?

No, the PMSOL is for applicants who have employers willing to sponsor them on the visas mentioned above (TSS 482, SESR 494, and ENS 186 visas).  

What does it mean for me if my role is on the PMSOL?

It means that your visa application for any employer sponsored visa will be prioritised by the Department of Home Affairs. You can expect that you can get a decision on your visa application faster than those whose roles are not on the PMSOL.  

For example, if you are applying for a TSS 482 visa as a Chef, your application should be processed faster than someone applying for the same visa as a Cook or any role that is not on PMSOL.

Another benefit for people whose role is on the PMSOL is that if their TSS 482 or SESE 494 visa is granted while they are outside of Australia, they can apply for a travel exemption under the critical sector stream.

Note that Permanent Residency visa holders are not required to apply for a travel exemption as they can enter Australia even if the borders are closed. For example, you were granted an ENS Direct 186 Visa (Direct Entry stream) as a Multimedia Specialist while outside of Australia, then you can fly to Australia on this visa without applying for a travel exemption.

Will my PR visa under subclass 189 or 190 or 491 visa application be prioritised too if my role is on PMSOL?

There is nothing in the Migration legislation that states that the PMSOL also applies to Permanent Residency Visas under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) stream. This means that it is not guaranteed that your application for 189 or 190 or 491 visa will be prioritised even if your role is on the PMSOL. However, some states might rely on the PMSOL as their state nomination skills list.

New Agricultural Visa for ASEAN countries

On 16 June 2021, The Hon David Littleproud MP, Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, announced a plan to implement a new Seasonal Agricultural Worker visa targeted to ten ASEAN countries. The objective is to have an additional stream of workers who can work on Australian farms.

This planned visa is set to be available by the end of this calendar year. As of the time of writing, this new visa is not yet included in the Migration legislation and the criteria for this visa are not available yet.  

These are just the changes that were announced in June 2021. As the Australian Migration legislation changes frequently, I expect that there are more changes to come soon. If you would like to know how these changes affect you and your migration plans, it is recommended that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.