Changes to Australian visas: What to expect this year
There are several changes expected to happen with Australian visas in 2018.
Replacement of the 457 with the Temporary Skill Shortage visa
One of the major changes related to visa is the replacement of the 457 visa with the new Temporary Skill Shortage -or TSS- visa, which will happen in March.
The new visa replacing the 457 visa program will be divided into two streams, Short-Term and Medium-Term.
Sponsors nominating occupations on the short-term list will only provide the visa applicant with a two-year stay in Australia, with only one option to extend for a further two years.
However, on the medium to long-term list, these visa applicants will get a four-year visa, and that visa holder will be able to transition into permanent residency, under the nomination of the same sponsor, after being on the TSS visa for a period of three years.
The government is also making changes to the partner visas. The two-step process that the government wants to implement involves approval of the sponsoring partner prior to making a visa application.
[The] Sponsors will face and that is to have obligations on those sponsor obligations and sanctions imposed on those sponsors in case those obligations are not met.
Temporary parent sponsored visa
In 2017, the government also announced a new temporary sponsored parent visa. The bill enabling the visa to come into effect still needs to be approved by the Senate.
The three-year-visa would cost $5000, the five-year-visa $10,000 and the 10-year-visa $20,000. Once the visa-holder has been in Australia for 10 years, they wouldn't be able to reapply and wouldn't have a pathway to permanent residency, which is worrying some migrants.
The biggest concern is how that ten-year period drop-dead comes about. Everyone is excited about that visa. This visa will come through. The biggest problem is not the cost of that visa. People who have their parents abroad, who want to bring them in, are not concerned about that as much as they are concerned about what happens after the ten years mark. That's the big problem that needs to be considered before this legislation gets up.
The government is also expected to bring back an amended version of its citizenship bill, which would toughen the conditions to obtain citizenship.
The proposed change is that they would need to be a permanent resident for at least four years before being able to be eligible to apply for citizenship and as I said, a higher English language standard.
Currently, applicants only need to be permanent residents for a year before to be eligible for citizenship and there's no English test required.
More visa cancellations and deportations
Australia will see more visa cancellations and deportations based on character this year.
If you think you might get affected by those changes, keep an eye on the Department of Home Affairs' website homeaffairs.gov.au to stay up to date.