Budget 2017-18 and Immigration: What You Need to Know

 

Below is a breakdown of the 2017-2018 Budget in relation to the immigration program.

 

Visa Application Charges (VAC) Increase

 

VAC Charges will increase from 1 July 2017. From 1 July 2017 all current VACs will be indexed annually in line with the forecast Consumer Price Index (CPI) and rounded to the nearest $5.

 

For a full list of the VAC charges applicable form 1 July, please click here.

 

Introduction of Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS)

 

As previously announced the 457 program will be replaced by the TSS visa in March 2018.

 

The Training Benchmarks for 457 sponsors will be replaced by a Skilling Australians Fund Levy in March 2018.

 

Permanent Migration program

 

The permanent migration program will remain at 190,000 places for the 2017-18 program.

 

Temporary Sponsored Parent visa

 

The temporary sponsored parent visa will be introduced in November 2017. There will be 15,000 places annually. The visa will allow parents sponsored by their Australian child to apply for a 3 or 5 year visa. This can be renewed once only from outside Australia. The visa holder’s sponsor, their Australian child, will have legal liability for any public health expenditure (including aged care arrangements) incurred by the visa holder in Australia.

 

Age Pension and Disability Support Pension (DSP) eligibility

 

From 1 July 2018, stricter residency rules for new migrants to access Australian pensions will be introduced.  Claimants will be required to have 15 years of continuous Australian residence before being eligible to receive the Age Pension or DSP unless they have either:

  • 10 years continuous Australian residence, with five years of this residence having been during their working life (16 years of age to Age Pension age); or

  • 10 years continuous Australian residence, without having received an activity tested income support payment for a cumulative period of five years.

Existing exemptions for DSP applicants who acquire their disability in Australia will continue to apply.

 

Foreign Investors

 

A Foreign Investors Tax Levy of $5000 per year will be imposed on foreign investors who do not occupy or lease their Australian properties for at least 6 months of the year.

 

The Government will extend Australia’s foreign resident capital gains tax (CGT) regime by:

  • denying foreign and temporary tax residents access to the CGT main residence exemption from 7:30PM (AEST) on 9 May 2017, however existing properties held prior to this date will be grandfathered until 30 June 2019;

  • increasing the CGT withholding rate for foreign tax residents from 10.0 per cent to 12.5 per cent, from 1 July 2017;

  • reducing the CGT withholding threshold for foreign tax residents from $2 million to $750,000, from 1 July 2017

 

Humanitarian Program

 

The number of refugee resettlement places will increase by 2,500 to a total of 16,250 places in the 2017-18 program.

 

To speak with one of our Registered Migration Agents please contact our office on +61 (02) 9386 9452

 

 

 

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