Key Changes to the Australian Citizenship and Permanent Residence Visa from July 2023

  • Reduced Permanent Residence Visa Slots for Skilled Temporary Workers
  • Faster Australian Citizenship forNew Zealanders
  • A surge in Net Overseas Migration (NOM) as Australia Set to Welcome More Migrants

Are you planning to apply for Permanent Residence (PR) or Australian Citizenship? If yes, here are the important changes that have been rolled out from 2023 that you should know about.

Visa Slots for Skilled Temporary Workers

If you are a skilled migrant on a temporary visa, then you will be directly impacted by the new policy. There is a slight dip in the number of permanent migration visa slots to 190,000, down from the preceding year’s 195,000. However, 137,100 slots out of this, which is roughly 70%, will go to skilled migrants. This is again down from 142,400 slots that were available the previous year. As reduced available slots mean tougher competition, you have to ensure that your visa application is error-free before you apply.

For the family visas stream, 52,500 slots have been allocated. These primarily are made up of partner visas of Australian citizens and PR holders.Please refer to the official Department of Home Affairs website or reach out to Connect with Australia for a more accurate number of slots available, processing time, and associated costs.

Minimum TSMIT and New Pathways for Skilled Temporary Workers

Another benefit for skilled workers is the increase in the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to $70,000. This means the companies need to pay the minimum TSMIT to skilled foreign workers whose visa applications they sponsor.

Many changes are coming to the subclass 186 permanent resident visa. There is no requirement for the occupation of 482 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS) holders to be in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). They can apply for a permanent residency visa without this restriction. This is a great advantage for these visa category holders.

Also, if you are a Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) holder, you may be eligible to apply for your PR visa after two years. Earlier, the sponsorship requirement for this visa was 3 years. However, the condition is that you will still need to meet all requirements.

Australian Citizenship for New Zealanders

New Zealanders who have been in Australia for 4 years or more can directly apply for citizenship. They do not have to apply for and get a permanent residency visa before applying for citizenship in Australia. This is applicable for visa seekers who came here after 26 February 2001 and hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa or SCV. Moreover, those who hold the protected SCV remain eligible to apply directly for citizenship.

Now, the change for citizenship purposes is that all SCV-holding New Zealand citizens will be considered as permanent residents. If the SCV was granted before 1 July 2022, then the PR period will be backdated for the purpose of citizenship.

The slots under the permanent migration program of the Australian government have been set to 190,000. This is again down from 195,000 in the previous year (2022-2023). For migrants looking forward to an increase, this is a disappointing update. However, Net Overseas Migration (NOM), which is a key component of the overall permanent migration is expected to be around 315,000 in 2023–24.

In short, Australia plans to remain an attractive destination for skilled migrants who can boost its economy. This may reflect in both qualitative and quantitative increases in permanent migration visas in future.

If you are planning to apply for a permanent residence visa or Australian citizenship, you may consider taking expert help for the same. Connect with Australia is one of the most trusted immigration consultancies in Melbourne. With our MARA-registered visa agents, you get guidance on filing an error-free application and honest advice on your current visa situation.


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