Australia Implements Significant Visa Changes Effective 1 July 2024

Australia's new immigration regulations effective 1 July 2024, include major changes to visa policies, the introduction of a Digital Nomad Visa, revised student work hours, and increased citizenship and passport fees. These updates aim to streamline processes, attract global talent, and address labor market needs.
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As of today, July 1st, 2024, Major updates to Australia’s immigration policies take effect, including modifications to visa regulations and adjustments to citizenship and passport fees. These modifications aim to improve flexibility for certain visa holders, offer better support for victims of family violence, and streamline the student visa process.

These changes are part of the Australian government’s broader strategy to enhance immigration efficiency, attract global talent, and ensure sustainable revenue for public services.

Key Changes to Temporary Graduate Visa (485)

1. Age Limit Adjustment: The age limit for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) has been reduced from 50 to 35 years. This change emphasizes the focus on younger professionals who can contribute longer to the Australian economy​.

2. Application Location Requirement: All 485 visa applications must be lodged from within Australia. Recent graduates must now be in the country at the time of their application​.

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3. Visa Duration Revisions: The Temporary Graduate Visa durations are now standardized:

  • 2 years for bachelor’s and master’s coursework graduates.
  • 3 years for master’s by research and PhD graduates​.

4. Discontinuation of the 485 Replacement Stream: The 485 Replacement Stream, designed for those affected by COVID-19, is now discontinued. Applicants must follow the standard process​.

Student Visa (Subclass 500) Changes

1. Work Hours Cap: The work hours cap for student visa holders has been reinstated at 48 hours per fortnight during study periods​.

2. Extended Post-Study Work Rights: Graduates in health, engineering, and technology fields now have extended post-study work rights​.

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Introduction of the Digital Nomad Visa

A new Digital Nomad Visa permits remote workers to live and work in Australia for up to 12 months, attracting digital professionals without the need for traditional employment​​.

Skilled Migration Adjustments

1. Simplified Points Test: The points test for skilled migration has been streamlined, with additional points for qualifications and experience in high-demand sectors​.

2. Priority Processing: Visas for critical sectors such as medical and tech fields will receive priority processing to address skill shortages​​.

Citizenship and Passport Fee Changes

1. Citizenship Application Fees: Starting from July 01, the application fees for Australian citizenship have been increased across various categories:

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  • General Citizenship: The standard application fee has been raised to AUD 490, up from AUD 300.
  • Concession Applicants: Fees for concession applicants have been adjusted to AUD 200​​.

2. Passport Fees: Australian passport fees have also been revised:

  • Standard Adult Passport (10-year): Increased to AUD 410 from AUD 308.
  • Child Passport (5-year): Raised to AUD 205 from AUD 154​ ​.

These fee adjustments are intended to cover the rising costs associated with processing applications and enhancing security features in passports.

Impact on Applicants

The visa changes aim to attract younger, skilled workers and support sectors critical to Australia’s economy. The citizenship and passport fee increases reflect the need to sustain quality service and security in immigration processing.

Further Considerations

It’s important to note that these are just some of the key changes implemented on July 1st. For comprehensive and up-to-date information on Australian visa regulations, it’s advisable to consult the official website of the Department of Home Affairs.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Travelobiz.com, he's passionate about writing.

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