Immigration News - Budget 2017


Last night the Coalition Government delivered their Budget for 2017. This has provided some interesting insight in relation to Australia’s immigration program for the year ahead. Below is key point summary of the Budget.

Job Cuts at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Evident restructure within Government departments was seen across all sectors. Around 245 positions will go from Immigration and Border Protection, explained through "net movements in measures and operational pressures". This could mean further delay in visa application processing times. Current 457 visas take around 59 days to be processed with approximately 90% of cases processed in 6 months.

VAC | Visa Application Fees

Visa application fees will increase on 1 July 2017. Increase is being determined at slightly above the CPI level with rounding to the nearest AUD$5.

Visitor visa (Subclass 600) will now cost AUD$140.

Temp Work Visa Subclass 457 visa will cost AUD$1080 (single applicant).

Permanent residence applications such as subclass 186 will be AUD$3670 (single applicant).

TSS Visa will cost anywhere between AUD$1150 to AUD$2400 depending on the stream applied for.

TSS - Temporary Skills Shortage Visa will be introduced in March 2018 to replace the 457 visa


Training Benchmarks

From March 2018, businesses with turnover of less than AUD$10 million a year that employ foreign workers on the new TSS visas will be required to make an upfront payment of AUD$1200 annually. In terms of permanent visas, subclass 186 and 187 visas will require $3000 one-off payment.

Where a business makes a turnover of more than AUD$10 million a year, the levy is AUD$1800 per annum.

In terms of permanent visas, subclass 186 and 187 visas will require AUD$5000 one-off payment. This levy will replace traditional Training Benchmark A and B where a standard business can choose to contribute a figure equating to 2% of payroll to an industry training fund or spend 1% of payroll in training staff who are Australian or hold permanent residency.

Performance Criteria

DIBP will be required to finalise 85% of all applications within the advertised processing time frame.

Stringent Rules for foreign Investors:

Foreign investment applicants should be aware of the following changes announced in the 2017‑18 Budget:

  • The introduction of an annual vacancy charge on foreign owners of residential real estate.

  • The introduction of a 50 per cent cap on the total amount of dwellings a developer can sell to foreign persons under a New Dwelling Exemption Certificate. This will be applied as a condition on applications submitted after the effective date.

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