Since our last post things remain pretty much the same as before, which is that the states are still closed for new applications and we still have no precise idea when that will change. In the last update we received the following was given as a guide in this regard:
New South Wales
NSW is currently not accepting or issuing new nominations for 491 via. In line with Home Affairs direction, NSW will commence invite applicants currently in selected health, ICT and engineering occupations, and who currently reside in NSW.
Victoria is operating on a limited list of occupations at present, primarily in the critical skills list. Further details are to be announced soon.
South Australia will be publishing their occupation list soon. At present, South Australia is operating under interim arrangements and closed to offshore applicants.
491 invitations are still being sent out to applicants who reside in Queensland and have a skill on the critical skills list. BSMQ will advise a re-opening of the skilled program via our homepage and across social media in December 2020.
The 190 program is currently suspended and is expected to re-open later in the year. No further details are available at this stage.
Offshore GSM nomination applications remain closed and no nominations can be issued until the Northern Territory has been allocated quotas.
Australian Capital Territory
The 491 program is open to those who are on the Critical Skills Occupation list. Off-shore applications will not be accepted.
So, clearly at this stage invitations and visas are only being to a handful of applicants who have skills that are on the critical list (and for the most part who already reside in Australia).
I think this will remain the case until the international borders reopen and covid settles down – or the vaccine has been widely distributed. As mentioned in our various emails, Australia has taken a very hard line against covid - we have had very few cases and the Government is not likely to risk that by allowing too many foreigners in for now. This is especially true while 2nd and 3rd waves rage across the world.
It’s primarily for this reason that the Government has reduced the number of available skilled visa allocations for this financial year – ending June 2021.
But having said that, and as per my previous posts, there is light at the end of the tunnel. As said, the reduction is only for this financial year, and as stated, there has been specific comment from the Minister that the Government will increase the annual visa allocations to record numbers in time to come to make up for the net loss in migration over the last year. If that unfolds, it should make for ample opportunity for skilled migrants going forward.
Additionally, in my opinion, the fact that Biden won the election may also be helpful in an overall encouragement towards immigrants in the future. It was after all after Trump’s election that Brexit occurred, and the right centric Liberal Party strengthened in Australia. In fact, after Trump’s election the Australian Liberal Government introduced several severely restrictive measures in the skilled visa application process, making life a lot harder for prospective migrants.
So, while things are not great for the moment, it is important to not only believe that that this will all be over some day but also to be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities when it is.
To do that, and to give yourself the best chance of getting an invitation quickly, I recommend that you undertake the preliminary steps such as the skills assessment and English test now, while things are still quiet. You can be sure that when things pick up again, there is going to be a mad rush by a mass of new migrants for the increased visa allocations.
If you are of mind to explore your visa prospects and to see how Pathway can assist you in taking the first steps, please send me an email to email@example.com .