If you missed our free webinar on immigration changes and updates, you may watch it online. If you prefer to get information in writing, please see below a quick summary of facts.
Summary of facts:
NEW ONLINE APPLICATION PORTAL
Over the next 18 months new portal will be released to lodge visa applications.
When transition to the new system is completed, ALL applications, including Skilled Migrant and Variation of visa conditions will be made online.
Approximate release dates by visa category:
- Work visas rolled in April 21
- Visitors’ visas rolled in July 21
- Student and partnership visas October 21
SMCs and VOCs will be online too at some point, not clear when.
WORK VISAS CHANGES
Work visa changes will be rolled out as expected, by mid-year this year.
Policy decisions will be made in April and more detailed information will be released by INZ.
New fees will be in place from July for this process.
When will current accreditation cease? This will be decided in April, not clear at this stage. INZ expect to see some transitional provisions, but no further information can be released at this point.
Should the visas be updated now? Maybe yes as there’s still a lot of uncertainty and the rules are getting stricter.
Huge number of changes – 50 instead of 10-15 IACs. INZ are having issues forecasting applications.
Current SMC allocations: Priority – 2 weeks, Non-priority – August 2019.
SMC EOI draw – not decided when EOI pool will start selections. Policy change is still being contemplated (considerations about onshore and offshore applicants, points threshold.
Would INZ hire more officers? They keep the same SMC officers, maybe slightly more but not to the extend to clear the backlog fast.
FAMILY residence – partnership is tracking well, they want to be allocating files to case offices within 2 weeks by September.
Low approval rates. Humanitarian – test is ‘exceptional circumstances’, 10% of approvals. Evidential requirements are high, applicants must to ensure they make the case as well as possible.