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June 2014

More students eligible for simpler, faster visas

Study in AustraliaFor the first time students enrolled in advanced diploma level courses at low immigration risk providers will be able to access streamlined visa processing (SVP) arrangements.

SVP will benefit eligible students through simpler and faster visa processing.

It will make study in Australia even more attractive to overseas students, while at the same time ensuring that immigration risk is appropriately managed.

These changes will benefit Australia's vocational education and training (VET) and higher education sectors, supporting the sustainable growth of international education in Australia and boosting the economy.

Australia’s 2014-15 Migration Programme

A total of 190 000 places make up Australia’s 2014-15 migration programme, as announced by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on Budget Day.

Breaking down the numbers, next year’s programme planning levels comprise:

  • 128 550 places for skilled migrants, including employer sponsored, general skilled and business migrants
  • 60 885 places for family migrants sponsored by family members in Australia
  • 565 places for special eligibility migrants, who include former permanent residents who have maintained close business, cultural or personal ties with Australia.

Migration to Australia infographic

Latest visitor visa statistics now available


Australia continues to draw high levels of interest from international visitors according to the latest departmental report.
The department has granted more than 3.1 million visitor visas this financial year to 31 March 2014, which is nearly 6 per cent higher than last year.

Interest from Asia continues to rise significantly with tourism visa applications from China up 22 per cent (to more than 380 000 applications), Malaysia up nearly 26 per cent (to more than 187 000 applications) and applications from India up 19 per cent (to more than 102 000 applications).

Training Australian workers: an obligation for 457 employers

As stated in earlier posts, significant changes to the 457 visa were made on 1 July 2013. One of these changes included strengthening the requirement for businesses that employ 457 visa holders to actively contribute to the training of Australian workers.

As it stood prior to the changes on 1 July 2013, businesses have always needed to show they actively contribute to the training of Australian workers. Businesses demonstrated they had spent, in the 12 months prior to applying to be a sponsor:

Changes to Other Family and Non-Contributory Parent visas

On 2 June 2014 the government repealed the following visas:

Parent (non-contributory) visas:

  • subclass 103 (Parent)
  • subclass 804 (Aged Parent)

Other Family visas:

  • subclasses 114 and 838 (Aged Dependent Relative)
  • subclasses 115 and 835 (Remaining Relative) and
  • subclasses 116 and 836 (Carer)

Why is the Government ceasing new applications for these visas?

The focus of family migration is on the reunion of close family members, who are the partners, children and contributory parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents. Closure of the Parent (non-contributory) and Other Family visas will help free up places in the Family Stream for the migration of close family members.