July at Nomos
The first month of the new financial year has proven to be just as unpredictable as the rest of 2020. Here’s a little of what’s kept Nomos busy in July:
- The questions we’ve been asked most often this month relate to Australia’s current travel bans – who these apply to, how to get an exemption and so on. Many people are frustrated at the inability to travel internationally, especially when separated from their families and/or employment. The constantly evolving pandemic, complemented by widespread media coverage, has left a number of would-be travellers confused as to whether or not they might be eligible for an exemption to enter or leave Australia whilst our international borders remain closed. We have spent a lot of time this month keeping on top of the situation for our clients. If this applies to you or someone you know, we encourage you to reach out to us for information.
- The new financial year has given us the opportunity to look back on the 2019-20 Skilled Migration programme. Amongst other changes, the last programme year saw the government’s focus shift towards attracting migrants to regional Australia, with the unveiling of the new skilled regional visas (including the subclass 491 and subclass 494 visas), updates to the definition of ‘regional Australia’ and the introduction of Designated Area Migration Agreements. COVID-19 undeniably affected the programme in the last financial year and continues to do so. We are already seeing the effects of the pandemic in delays in visa processing, atypical requests for further information and additional scrutiny of lodged applications, particularly in the employer-sponsored categories.
- Despite the pandemic, the government has announced a number of proposed changes to certain visa programmes this month, including new arrangements for Hong Kong passport holders and changes that will assist international students who have been affected by COVID-19. The legislation relating to many of these proposed changes has yet to be released, but if you want to discuss how they may affect you, please contact us.
That’s the Nomos wrap-up for July. We hope you all continue to stay safe!