The Australian government announced additional changes to its migration strategy.

Key Points:

  • As BAL previously reported, the Australian government released a migration strategy outlining key actions and new policy commitments to overhaul the current migration system.
  • As part of that effort, the government announced changes to the temporary graduate visa program that will take effect July 1, including realigning certain work streams:
    • Post-vocational education work stream (formerly graduate work stream)
    • Post-higher education work stream (formerly post-study work stream)
    • Second post-higher education work stream (formerly second post-study work stream)
  • The maximum eligible age for applicants in these categories will lower to 35 years or under at the time of application, and certain nationality restrictions will remain in place. The list of requirements and additional information can be found here.
  • In addition, government officials announced effective immediately that student and student guardian visa applicants will require additional financial capacity to be eligible. The financial capacity requirement has been updated to align with the national minimum wage. The table outlining the funds now required can be found here.

Additional Information: Officials further outlined the qualifications that determine the stream an applicant should apply for to meet the Australian study requirement. Applicants who hold an associate degree, diploma or trade qualification should apply for the post-vocational education work stream, while applicants with higher degree levels should apply for the post-higher education work stream; the qualification must closely relate to the nominated occupation on the medium and long-term strategic skills list. The student visa financial capacity requirement has been updated to better indicate the amount of money considered reasonable to provide a minimum standard of living while studying in Australia and considers students’ time spent at home and their access to unrestricted work.

BAL Analysis: These changes are part of the Australian government’s migration strategy released in December 2023 that is designed to reduce net overseas migration to pre-pandemic levels. The government is tightening visa regulations for international students, specifically targeting temporary graduate and student visas. These measures represent important changes to the immigration system for international students, and employers should be aware of these policy updates as well and consider them in their employment strategies and recruitment efforts.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice Group.

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