Changes to Partner Visa Program
We have previously advised that the changes to partner sponsorship will come into effect in November. The changes will mean that Australian permanent resident sponsors and visa applicants will need to pass an English test to evidence a functional level of English, and sponsorships will need to be approved before a visa application can be lodged.
While the Department has not provided a date for when this will be introduced, an explanatory statement provided in a legislative amendment by the Department of Home Affairs states that new regulations will come into effect on 13 November 2021, to align with updates to system upgrades by the Department.
As such, we believe it to be highly likely that this will be when the changes will come in.
As we have previously advised, we strongly encourage any clients preparing a partner visa application to attempt to lodge the application as soon as possible.
Changes for Barred Applicants
The Department of Home Affairs has announced that they will lift the ‘section 48 bar’ for skilled migrants applying for certain skilled migration visas.
The ‘section 48 bar’ applies to visa applicants in Australia who have had a visa refused or cancelled. Prior to this announcement, s48 meant that these applicants could not apply for another type of visa whilst onshore.
These applicants will now be able to apply onshore for the following visas, regardless of whether they have had another visa refused:
- Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491);
- Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) (subclass 494); and
- Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa.
The above change applies to applicants in Australia who cannot depart due to the pandemic.
South Australian State Nomination
South Australia added an additional 24 Engineering occupations to their skilled occupation list for state nomination. The additional occupations are as follows:
- 133211 Engineering Manager;
- 233111 Chemical Engineer;
- 233112 Materials Engineer;
- 233211 Civil Engineer;
- 233212 Geotechnical Engineer;
- 233213 Quantity Surveyor;
- 233214 Structural Engineer;
- 233215 Transport Engineer;
- 233311 Electrical Engineer;
- 233411 Electronics Engineer;
- 233511 Industrial Engineer;
- 233512 Mechanical Engineer;
- 233513 Production or Plant Engineer;
- 233611 Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum);
- 233912 Agricultural Engineer;
- 233913 Biomedical Engineer;
- 233915 Environmental Engineer;
- 233999 Engineering Professionals nec;
- 312211 Civil Engineering Draftsperson;
- 312212 Civil Engineering Technician;
- 312311 Electrical Engineering Draftsperson;
- 312312 Electrical Engineering Technician;
- 312511 Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson; and
- 312512 Mechanical Engineering Technician.
These occupations are open to offshore applicants from 2 November 2021. Applicants for state nomination in these occupations must have:
- Minimum of 8 years work experience in the nominated occupation or a closely related occupation;
- Superior English; and
- A points score of at least 85 (if seeking nomination for a subclass 491 visa).
For more information, please visit the South Australia Migration website below.