How Australia’s visa changes affect South Africans

CAPE TOWN –With Covid-19 battering the global economy, the Australian government is updating its migration laws for 2021 to counteract the effects of the pandemic.

According to migration expert for Sable International, Sam Hopwood, migration has played a considerable role in Australia’s culture and economy, and due to the travel restrictions, the country has been hit hard.

For South Africans who were planning on attaining a Partner visa and settle in Australia, the updated laws will play in their favour as the majority of visas within the Family stream will go to partners.

The Family stream’s allocation increased from 47 732 to 77 300 with the majority being partner visas.

Meanwhile, South Africans who have already migrated, it is expected that 75% of Partner visas will go to those already living in Australia upon character checks and English language requirements.

“In 2020-21, the ceiling for the migration programme will remain at 160,000 places. The programme will also continue to have a strong focus on attracting the best and brightest migrants from around the world,” said Hopwood.

“The General Skilled Migration ceiling has decreased by about 30,000 spots, with the Skilled Independent visa receiving a reduction from 16,652 to 6,500 places,” he said.

Hopwood added that residents holding a visitor’s visa, temporary skilled workers visa or seasonal worker programme visa but were unable to travel Down Under due to the global pandemic, will receive Visa Application Charge refunds.


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