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Top 10 Immigration Changes Effective July 1, 2024: An Overview

Top 10 Immigration Changes Effective July 1, 2024: An Overview

1 July 2024 marks the start of the new Migration Program year (2024/25) and this year, in particular, there are several significant changes. Here’s our top 10.

  1. Upcoming Lodgement Fee Increases: Starting the new financial year, the Department of Home Affairs is expected to increase lodgement fees for various visa categories, with details to be published soon. Typically, these fees rise by a small percentage in July each year. Importantly, the fees for appeals to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will also see an increase. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
  2. TSMIT and FWHIT Increases: Effective from 1 July 2024, the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) will increase to $73,150, excluding superannuation. This adjustment impacts new nomination applications, requiring employers to meet this threshold or the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR), whichever is higher. Additionally, the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) will rise to $175,000, influencing criteria such as age exemptions in employer-sponsored visas and the minimum salary threshold for the Global Talent Independent (GTI) program.
  3. Changes to visa conditions 8107, 8607, and 8608: Starting 1 July 2024, the Australian Government will implement significant updates to visa conditions 8107, 8607, and 8608, affecting holders of Temporary Work (Skilled) visas (subclass 457), Temporary Skill Shortage visas (subclass 482), and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visas (subclass 494). These changes include extended time frames for job transitions, increased sponsor responsibilities for reporting employment changes, and strict compliance with licensing and registration requirements specific to occupations. The revisions aim to support visa holders during job changes, enhance regulatory compliance, and encourage a fair and dynamic labour market in Australia. More details here.
  4. Changes to Graduate 485 Visa (and Closure of 476 Visa): The Australian Government will modify the Temporary Graduate visa program from 1 July 2024 to align visa conditions with current educational and occupational demands. Changes include renaming streams, adjusting age limits, and revising stay durations. The Post-Vocational Education Work Stream will have an age cap of 35 years (50 for certain passport holders) with specific qualification requirements. The Post-Higher Education Work Stream will have updated stay durations and age limits, with some extensions for eligible nationals.
  5. Working Holiday Maker Changes: The Working Holiday visa program will see two key changes:
    1. Nationals of the Philippines can now access the Work and Holiday (Subclass 462) visa.
    2. UK nationals are no longer required to complete 3 months of “specified work” to obtain their second or third Working Holiday visa.
  6. Deadline Approaching: Legacy 457 Visa Holders Urged to Apply for ENS Subclass 186 Visa by June 30, 2024: The age exemption for legacy 457 visa holders seeking to apply for employer-sponsored permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa will cease to be available after 30 June 2024. All eligible applicants are encouraged to submit their applications before this date.
  7. Infringement Notices under the “Strengthening Employer Compliance Act”: The new instrument amends the Migration Regulations in response to the “Strengthening Employer Compliance Act” (SEC 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.
  8. Changes to Student Visa Eligibility for Onshore Visitors and Graduates: Starting from 1 July 2024, Visitor (Subclass 600) visas holders, eVisitor/ETA visas, and Graduate (Subclass 485) visas will no longer be permitted to apply for a Student (Subclass 500) visa while they are in Australia. They must apply for a Student visa from outside Australia and await a decision before entering the country. This change is part of the Migration Strategy aimed at preventing “visa hopping” onto the Student visa program. Further details can be found here.
  9. Health Requirement: Mandatory Hepatitis B Testing for High-Risk Country Residents: Starting 1 July, individuals aged 15 years and older who were born in “high-risk” Hepatitis B countries will be mandated to undergo Hepatitis B testing as part of their visa health examinations. This new requirement aims to ensure health security and prevent the spread of Hepatitis B in Australia.
  10. Closure of BIIP and Introduction of National Innovation Visa in 2024: The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will officially stop accepting new applications starting from 1 July 2024. This decision was included in the government’s budget announcement. The BIIP will be succeeded, together with the Global Talent visa, by a new National Innovation visa, expected to be launched in late 2024.

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Content in this publication is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice, nor should it be relied on as such. Australian immigration law is complex and its policies and visa eligibility criteria are changing regularly. For additional and current information on the issues discussed, please book a consultation with one of our immigration lawyers.

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