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What's New

COVID-19 Travel Restrictions

Australia now has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time.

All travellers arriving in Australia (including,  Australian citizens, permanent residents) are subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility in their port of arrival.​ You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. 


Want to apply for Visa

Please contact us if you would like to apply for an Australian visa or would like more information about the entry exemptions.


Visa Processing  

The Department of Home Affairs is currently prioritising processing visa applications for those travellers in the exempt categories to support urgent travel.

They encourage applicants to apply online wherever possible, as these applications will be processed faster than paper applications.

You will not be able to apply for an ETA online while the travel restrictions are in place.

The Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa continues to face processing delays and is taking around 8 weeks to process, with an additional 4 weeks processing for travel exemption requests.

Travel requests should be submitted once the relevant visa has been approved and at least 2 weeks but not more than 3 months before the planned travel.

Under current arrangements, the requests have been prioritised based on date of requested travel, which means that generally the travel exemption approvals come through very close to the date of expected travel. 


International Travel Caps  

The international passenger arrivals caps are extended until 24 October 2020 to manage quarantine arrangements across the various States and Territories.

As a result, the following caps apply (subject to further advice on quarantine capacity) per week:

  • Adelaide – 500 passenger arrivals
  • Brisbane – 500 passenger arrivals
  • Canberra, Darwin – passenger limits on each flight to be discussed with jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis
  • Hobart – no international flights
  • Melbourne – no international flights
  • Perth – 525 passenger arrivals
  • Sydney – limit of 350 passenger arrivals

The departure ban for Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents remains in place, in accordance with the health advice to the Government.


Latest SkillSelect Invitation Round

So that Australia can effectively respond to the impacts of COVID-19, the Government is closely monitoring migration and visa settings to ensure they are consistent with public health measures, are flexible and do not displace job opportunities for Australians. As a result, targeted invitation rounds occurred in May, June and July 2020.

The 11 June 2020 Invitation Round saw a dramatic drop in invitations for the permanent visa .

Only 170 invitations issued (85 minimum points score) for the permanent Skilled - Independent (Subclass 189) visa (1,750 invitations issued in March 2020, only 50 for April 2020 and 550 for May 2020).

With 30 invitations issued (70 minimum points score) for the provisional Skilled - Regional (Subclass 489) visa (family-sponsored).

Pro-Rata Occuptions (minimum points score):

  • Accountants (N/A)
  • Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers (N/A)
  • Electronics Engineer (N/A)
  • Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers (N/A)
  • Other Engineering Professionals (95)
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts (N/A)
  • Software and Applications Programmers (N/A)
  • Computer Network Professionals (N/A)  

The above figures do not include invitations issued for State and Territory Government nominated visa subclasses (190/491).


New Regional Visas

In November 2019, there will be two new provisional regional visas:


  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Subclass 494) visa (sponsored by an employer in regional Australia)


  • Skilled Work Regional (Subclass 491) visa (nominated by State or Territory government or sponsored by family member residing in designated regional area) to live and work in regional Australia

The new provisional visas with validity period of up to 5 years will be for skilled migrants (and dependent family members) who want to live and work in regional Australia.

Holders of the new provisional skilled regional visas will be able to apply for a permanent Skilled Regional (Subclass 191) visa which is expected to commence in November 2022.


Definition of Regional Australia

In November 2019, the definition of Regional Australia for all skilled visas will be simplified and expanded to include all of Australia except for the following metropolitan areas:


  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Gold Coast
  • Perth  


Australia is one of the world’s most popular destinations for tourists.  It is also one of the best places in the world in which to work, study, or live.



Unless you are an Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen, you need to obtain a visa before travelling to Australia.  The visa requirements for Australia are complex and change frequently, often three or four times a year. 

So it is important if you are applying for a visa that you are aware of all the specific visa requirements that you must meet in order to be successful, if these are not met the visa cannot be granted.

If you lodge a visa application in Australia and it is refused, it may be difficult to lodge a further application if you do not hold a substantive visa as the Migration Act allows only a few such applications to be made.

So the general rule is that if you have had a visa application refused in Australia and you do not hold a substantive visa, you will need to go overseas before you can lodge another application.

People located living or working illegally may face serious consequences (including, detention, removal and exclusion periods from Australia) while employers of illegal workers can face fines and possible criminal charges.


Migration Specialist

Travelling South Migration Services is a boutique migration practice established in August 2003, specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application. 

We provide advice and solutions to people interested in visiting, migrating, working or studying in Australia.  Our point of difference is highly personalised attention and great value for money.

As a Registered Migration Agent, we must meet competency standards, abide by the OMARA’s strict Code of Conduct and keep our knowledge of migration law and procedure up-to-date.  Please view the Code of Conduct.

We have an in-depth understanding of the needs of both business and individuals.  We ensure that applications have a high chance of success and that this very important process is handled carefully and properly.  

You may not be aware of the difficulties and potential pitfalls associated with applications, we aim to make the process as straightforward and as simple as possible.

Not everyone is eligible to migrate to Australia.  If migrating to Australia is something you dream of doing then you should contact us to see if you are eligible.


Visa Confusion obstacle to Global Sourcing

New research by Robert Walters suggests that confusion over visa and immigration changes is preventing employers from engaging top international talent. 

The survey of 200 Australian hiring managers found that most hiring managers recognise the business benefits in securing international talent (including, learning from international best practice (60%), improved workplace culture (51%), global competitive advantage (57%), direct impact on ability to hit profit and growth targets (63%), and creating a "knowledge-based economy fuelled by innovation" (69%)). 

Despite this, less than a third (32%) have a strategy in place to source overseas talent, and less than half (49%) facilitate international transfers.  Meanwhile, 52% of the organisations surveyed say their business has been impacted by skills shortages. 

Source:  Mobilising global talent to drive innovation,Robert Walters, August 2018  


Global Talent Scheme Pilot

The Global Talent Scheme pilot program has been launched to help Australian businesses attract the world's best and brightest workers to support business growth, skills transfer and job creation.

From 1 July 2018, the 12 month pilot program will provide businesses with clearly defined and accessible pathways to access global talent for specialised positions where there are no suitable Australians to fill the vacancies.

Businesses will have the opportunity to sponsor highly-skilled overseas workers with niche skills to engage in innovative and entrepreneurial activity, that are not covered in short-term and medium-term streams of the Temporary Skill Shortage program.

A four year Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa will be issued with option to apply for permanent residence after three years.


Two Streams

Established Business Stream:  Allows employers who are accredited sponsors to employ highly-skilled individuals with cutting-edge skills to contribute to innovation in an established business.

Startup Stream:  Allows employers to sponsor highly-skilled individuals with cutting-edge skills to contribute to Australia's startup ecosystem and bring new ideas, new jobs, new skills and new technology for Australia.  For startups operating in a technology based or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field and must be endorsed by independent startup advisory panel.


Migration Program Planning Levels 

The Migration Program is set annually, with the total places available capped at a ceiling of 160,000 for 2019/2020.

The total program is broken down into the following streams:

Skill Stream – designed to improve the productive capacity of the economy and fill skill shortages in the labour market, including those in regional Australia.  The majority of the places in the program are in the Skill Stream (108,682 visa places in 2019/2020, 69.5% of the program).

Family Stream – is predominately made up of Partner visas, enabling Australians to reunite with family members from overseas, and provide them with pathways to citizenship (47,732 places in 2019/2020, 30.5% of the program).

Special Eligibility – this covers visas for those in special circumstances.  This can include permanent residents returning to Australia after a period away, and is the smallest stream (236 places in 2019/2020). 

At least 3,350 Child places will be available in 2019/2020.


160,000 Visa Places for 2019/2020


Employer Sponsored                                           30,000

Skilled Independent                                             18,652

State / Territory Nominated                                  24,968

Skilled Regional                                                         n/a

Skilled Employer Sponsored (Provisional)             9,000

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)                     14,000

Business Innovation and Investment                     6,862

Global Talent                                                          5,000

Distinguished Talent                                                  200

Skilled Total                                                        108,682


Family Stream

Partner                                                                 39,799

Parent                                                                    7,371

Other Family                                                             562

Family Total                                                         47,732



Special eligibility                                                       236

Child                                                                      3,350

Other Total                                                            3,586


Want an Australian visa?

A Registered Migration Agent can help you

A Registered Migration Agent can guide you through complex application processes, handle the paperwork for you and present your case in the strongest possible way.

If you are thinking of living and working in Australia, now may be
 the best time to apply.  Why wait, call us today on 0416 084 889.

knowlege  -  ethics  -  professionalism

Disclaimer: Australian immigration law and policy is complex and constantly changing. Every effort is made to ensure information on this website is current and accurate but cannot be guaranteed. The information provided is general only and we take no responsibility for any adverse consequence which may arise from any action taken on the basis of information provided in this website. You should consult our Registered Migration Agent prior to any application.
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