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The new financial year brings with it many changes in the law. From July 1, several significant changes regarding immigration will take effect.

Changes in Visa Quotas towards Regional Migration

The changes the Federal Government announced in March 2019 regarding decreasing the immigration cap has now taken effect. The permanent immigration intake is now 160,000, 30,000 less than the previous cap of 190,000. The majority of the 30,000 spots were taken from the Skilled Independent visa scheme which now has a cap of 18,000, down from 43,000. At present, the Government has indicated this cap will be maintained for the next 4 years.

The decrease in the Skilled Independent visa cap is followed by an increase in the number of visa places for migrants seeking to live and work in regional Australia. There will now be 23,000 skilled visas reserved for those who want to live and work in areas outside of Sydney, Melbourne, Southeast Queensland and Perth. Those who apply under this scheme will enjoy points bonuses – 5 points as well as another 10 if a skilled spouse applies under the same application or if no spouse applies. Please note however, that if applicants under this scheme, must now spend at least 3 years in these regional areas instead of the 2 years previously mandated.

Furthermore, those studying in any of these regions under a study visa will be able to stay an additional year in that region after they have completed their studies.

Parent Visa

Applicants seeking to temporary visas for their parents can now apply under the new Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa (subclass 870). Applications to become a sponsor opened on 17 April 2019. Those who have been approved to sponsor their parents can now apply for the visa.

Eligible parents under this visa must be biological, adoptive, stepparents or parent-in-laws of the sponsor.
Increase in Visa Application Fees

From 1 July, all visa applications will face increased fees. These fee increases will apply to most of the common visa subclasses including Student, Skilled Migration, Parent and Business.


If you would like to discuss anything in this article further, please email Straits Lawyers at or call us at (08) 8410 9069.

Please note that this article does not constitute legal advice and Straits Lawyers will not be legally responsible for any actions you take based on this article.