Migration and the Federal Budget 2019

New Skilled Work Regional visas and changes to the migration program planning level are some of the impacts for migration and BSMQ from the Federal Budget 2019.

On 2 April the Federal Government delivered its 2019 budget. What do the budget’s initiatives and other recent announcements mean for migration in the year ahead?

  • The RSMS (Subclass 187) and Skilled Regional (Subclass 489) will be discontinued.
  • New Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visas will be introduced from 16 November 2019.
  • The Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa for regional graduates (previously announced) will be extended – an additional 12-month second post-study work visa for international graduates providing a total of 3 years will be introduced from 2021.
  • Base VACs for visa subclasses (excluding Visitor Subclass 600) will increase by 5.4% from 1 July 2019.
  • The Migration Program Planning level will be reduced to 160,000 permanent places per year for the next 4 years.

How do these changes affect BSMQ?

The biggest change affecting BSMQ is the discontinuation of the Subclass 489 visa and the introduction of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa from 16 November 2019.

The new Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will be valid for 5 years (instead of 4 under the current Subclass 489) and an applicant will need to be living and working in a regional area for 3 years (instead of living in regional Queensland for 2 years and working for 1 as currently). This visa will be subject to priority processing and enhanced compliance activities will also be implemented.

For FY2019-20 Queensland has negotiated an increase in the number of nomination allocations across both the business and skilled programs. Our programs will re-open with new quota in the new financial year (July 2019).