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The Australian Government has launched a consultation to look at reducing the number of Visa types. At present there are 99 different visa subclasses including, Skilled independent 189, Skilled State and Family sponsored Visas 190 & 489, the soon to be replaced 457 and 400 series visas, 309 and 100 Temporary and Permanent Spouse /De-facto Partner Visas. These are just a few of the nearly 100 visa types currently available.

  • The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) is looking to reduce this number of Visa types to 10. Other areas that the Australian Department If Immigration and Border Protection are looking to review are:
  • The delineation between temporary entry and long term or permanent residence.
  • The Role a period of provisional residence could play in enhancing the integrity of the visa system and easing the burden on Taxpayers.
  • Ensuring that the Australian visa System supports Australia as a competitive and attractive destination for temporary and longer-term entrants

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Policy Consultation Paper also mentions the increase in entries generally into Australia.

Temporary migration has increased to 8.5 million Temporary Visas being granted in the financial Year 2016 – 2017.

The predication from this is that Border Crossings are likely to grow from almost 40 Million a Year to reach nearly 50 Million by 2020.

Temporary and Permanent Residence is something that the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection are also looking at for those onshore looking to stay after being on 457 or other Visas or the Offshore applicants who are looking to Emigrate to Australia using 189, 190 or 489 Skilled or Sponsored Visas.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection are looking at what is the best way of doing this comparing their current approach with more formal assessment process and period for evaluating those who seek to stay permanently. This may mean a more staged approach such as the current 489 visa which has a 2 year temporary period prior to then transitioning to full Permanent Residence.

Australia generally is still very interested in attracting high quality skilled Migrants to Australia, as well as attracting both International Students and Tourists to Australia. These activities all benefit Australia, both economically and socially. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is seeking to streamline processes as well as make sure that the Visa Program as a whole still fits with the Needs of Australia.

This survey that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection is undertaking will hopefully shed some light on this and position the Visa Program in line with Australians views of what is important
This article has been based on a Consultation Paper titled Visa Simplification: Transforming Australian Visa System.

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