Latest Australian immigration News April 2021 – Australia New Zealand travel bubble, new minister
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00:42 Australia and New Zealand Travel Bubble
01:32 Australia’s new minister for Home Affairs
02:12 Student visa update
03:25 Family visa update
05:02 Business visa update
05:56 General Skilled Migration update
Australia New Zealand Travel Bubble
Starting from 19 April, certain travellers will be able to fly between the two countries without mandatory quarantine.
This is a potentially attractive opportunity to people who need to be offshore to apply for a visa, such as those under a Section 48 bar, as the bubble would allow them to leave Australia for 14 days and return without having to go into quarantine.
You’ll need a New Zealand visa to get there and an Australian visa to get back.
Minister for Home Affairs
In parliament this month, Karen Andrews has replaced Peter Dutton as Australia’s new Minister for Home Affairs.
Victorian universities have proposed a program similar to the Australian Open in which they would pay for returning students’ flights and quarantine in the wake of the Covid pandemic.
International arrivals to Melbourne Airport have now resumed but continue to be capped at 800 passengers per week.
In January, there were approximately 130,000 students enrolled in Australian courses who were stranded in other countries.
New partner visa applicants and their sponsors will be required to have a functional level of English.
To help applicants meet the new criteria, the Department is providing a free Adult Migrant English Program.
Concessions continue in relation to Partner and Child visa applications.
The Government has not yet announced when the concession period will end so it’s important that people in these categories not postpone making their applications.
Applications for 132 visas are closing at 5pm local time on the 16th of April. Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.
With the 132 visa no longer available, many will be turning next to the 188A visa.
If this change has affected your business plans, you may be eligible for a Significant Investor Visa.
General Skilled Migration
Invitation rounds for Skilled Independent visas (subclass 189) and Skilled Work Regional Provisional visas (subclass 491) have now changed to quarterly, and the next round is expected to be announced in late April 2021.
Given the low numbers in the January round, and in 2020 generally, our expectations continue to remain modest.
Another option is to consider country New South Wales, with the state expanding its Skilled Occupation List for 491 visas in regional and rural areas on April 1st.
You can see the list online at this address:
All states are now open for General Skilled Migrant visas. Queensland is currently only receiving applications for the 491 stream, but anticipates opening in full again in April.
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