With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting the usual round of skill-based visas and immigration nomination cycles, there were concerns that the skilled migration program would be affected as well. Amidst the rumors, new information was released by the Australian government which caused many potential immigrants to heave a sigh of relief. According to the renowned migration agent, the Department of Home Affairs organized the first round of invitations and interviews for application to visa subclass 189 and 491 Family Sponsored visa. Here are the highlights that could be gleaned from all the available information.
The migration said that the issuing of the first round of invitations on July 14 2020 was the first round of invitations for the 2020-21 financial year, and it meant that the Australian immigration department’s regular monthly process is going to stay in its place. Another migration agent said that applicants from both social and non-social occupation sectors have received invitations to make their application. They said that most of the invitations have been issued to individuals who are employed as engineers. They also mentioned that the Department of Home Affairs is being lenient with regard to the applicant’s professional scores. Earlier, scores of 95+ were being considered whereas now applicants with a score of 90 are also being considered.
The initial halt in accepting applications
During the first few months of the coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government imposed a nation-wide lockdown and social distancing orders. During this time, in the month of June, many states stopped accepting applications for state nomination for visa subclass 490 and 190. There were no updates of any kind from the Department of Home Affairs and this abrupt stop in application processing led to the development of rumors about the skilled immigration program. All these fears were dispelled after the first round of invitations were issued. It is now plainly evident that the 2020-21 immigration program and the Skilled Occupation List will continue to be functional. There will be no unilateral stop put on the immigration process by the Australian government.
Protocols would be in place
Since that time, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian government have categorically informed and advised immigration agents in the country that the protocols put down by the 2019-20 migration program will continue to remain in place. Thus, expectant skilled immigrants will have no cause for worry at all. One of the people from the migration industry said that they have received a similar email from the Australian government’s Department of Home Affairs. This would mean that the application ceiling of 160,000 for the 2019-20 migration protocol would remain in place for the financial year of 2020-21 as well.
Out of these 160k total seats, 108,682 visas are reserved for applicants who are coming in through the skilled stream. There are 47,732 places for the Family Stream, 3350 places for Child Visas, and 236 places for specially-eligible applicants.
The existing protocol will remain in place and there will be no modifications to the skilled migration program until there is a further notice. For more information and expert guidance in all such immigration matters, ISA Migrations will always help you.