Key Australian Immigration Changes July 2024

Australian Immigration Changes July 2024 – Effective 1 July 2024 

The Australian government has implemented significant immigration changes affecting various visa classes across the program from 1 July.  Whilst we have received the new legislation, the policy around these key changes has not yet been released.

  1. Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) Increase

The new TSMIT has increased from $70,000 to $73,150.  All new nomination applications from 1 July will need to meet the new TSMIT of $73,150 or the annual market salary rate, whichever is higher. The change will not affect existing visa holders and nominations lodged before 1 July 2024.

2. Changes to Conditions for 482 & 494 Visas 

The Conditions 8107, 8607 and 8608 for visa holders under the TSS Subclass 482 and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional Subclass 494 visas have changed to provide more flexibility.

Visa holders now have up:

  • to 180 days at a time, or
  • a cumulative maximum of 365 days throughout the visa period

to secure a new sponsor, apply for a new visa or arrange their departure from Australia.

The new immigration changes July 2024 will make it easier for visa holders to move between sponsors.

It will also open opportunities for employers to hire sponsored workers in any occupations for up to six months without the need to sponsor them.

Sponsoring employers will still be required to notify of changes in circumstances (including changes in occupation) and cessation of employment within 28 days.

3. Working Holiday Visas

UK citizens will now benefit with the removal of the regional work requirement to be eligible for their second or third working holiday visa.  A reminder that the age range for UK citizens moved to 35 years of age last year, from the typical 30 years of age for many citizens.

Citizens from the Philippines, aged 18-30, now have the opportunity to apply for a Subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa which allows them to spend up to twelve months in Australia providing them with work rights and ability to explore Australia.  To qualify applicants must possess a tertiary qualification or have completed at least two years of post-secondary education.

4. Temporary Graduate Visa

Significant updates to the Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) program are now in effect including re-branding the Graduate Work Stream to Post-Vocational Education Work Stream with an age cap of 35 years.  Unless you’ve completed a Master by Research or PhD Doctoral Degree, the age limit will remain at 50 years of age.

English skills requirement to be at least 6.5 (IELTS), average.

No more than 4 subclass 485 visas to be held.

If applicant holds HK or BNO passport or completed master degree by research or PhD – must be less than 50 years old

5. Ending Onshore Visa Hopping

Notably graduate, visitor, student and student guardian visa holders in Australia are no longer able to submit valid student visa applications whilst in Australia

6. Permanent Migration Programme Cap:

Set at 185,000 places, with 132,200 allocated to the Skill stream.

7. Closure of Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa:

No new applications will be accepted for this visa. The 476 visa (Skilled-Recognized Graduate Visa) has now permanently closed.

8. Support for Partner Visa Applicants:

Enhanced protections and pathways to permanent residency for applicants experiencing family violence.

9. Strengthening Employer Compliance:

The Strengthening Employer Compliance Bill 2023 introduces new criminal measures against employers who exploit migrants.

10. Workplace Justice Visa Pilot:

This new visa allows temporary visa holders to remain in Australia temporarily while pursuing workplace justice.

11. Superannuation Guarantee Rate Increase to 11.5%

Where superannuation component is part of total remuneration packages and base salary is reduced, there is a risk that the sponsorship may be breached as superannuation guarantee obligations are excluded from annual earnings.

12. Fair Work High Income Threshold

Current threshold as of 1 July 2024 is $175,000 Relevant for age exemptions for ENS and eligibility criteria for other visa categories.

13. Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Bill 2023

The new instrument amends the Migration Regulations in response to the ‘Strengthening Employer Compliance Act’.  It increases the fines payable under infringement notices, introduces infringement notices for violations of newly introduced civil penalty provisions under the SEC Act, and eliminates reduced penalty amounts for first-time infringements.

These amendments aim to boost employer compliance with migration regulations by imposing stricter penalties and ensuring consistent enforcement of workplace standards.

14. Business Innovation and Investment (BIIP) Subclass 188

BIIP program is permanently closed from July 2024, no new applications will be accepted. This visa is set to be replaced by the new National Innovation Visa expected in late 2024.

15. Increased Visa Fees for International Students

The fee for international student visas will rise from $710 to $1,600. This adjustment reflects the growing value of education in Australia and the Albanese Government’s commitment to restoring integrity within the international education sector.

The additional revenue will fund several crucial initiatives, including:

  • Universities Accord Measures: This includes making the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS) fairer, providing paid practical training, and offering FEE-Free Uni Ready courses.
  • Vocational Education and Training Sector Support: Financial assistance for apprentices and their employers.
  • Migration Strategy Implementation: Ongoing measures to strengthen the migration system.

16. Work experience requirement

With the recent Federal Budget announcing that from 23 November 2024, the two-year work experience requirement will be reduced to one year, questions are raised on the imbalance of skill and pay if a potential candidate would only need to have one year work experience to benefit from the new TSMIT salary.

Employment Related Changes Effective 1 July 2024 

  1. Minimum Wage Increase: Following the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review, the national minimum wage has gone up by 3.75%. The national minimum wage has increased from $23.23 per hour to $24.10 per hour. For casual employees, the new national minimum wage is $30.13 per hour (this includes a 25% casual loading rate). These new minimum rates apply to all employees from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2024.
  2. Modern Awards and Penalty Rates: The changes to pay rates within moderns awards, and the minimum wage increase described above, mean that there are now also different pay rates and penalties for weekends, public holidays, shift work, overtime, etc.
  3. Fair Work Information Statement: Following the Annual Wage Review, the Fair Work Information Statement was updated. You can find it here.
  4. Superannuation Guarantee Rate Increase: The new rate has increased from 11 to 11.5% (per year).
  5. Parental Leave: Paid parental leave offered by the Federal Government (for eligible workers) has increased from 20 to 22 weeks from the 1 July 2024.

Contact Visa Lounge Team with any questions – Australian Immigration Changes July 2024

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Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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