Australian Immigration – May Edition New 2024 - Office of Immigration Australia

The Australian Immigration Bulletin

Exclusive Australian Immigration News, Updates & Opportunities


May 2024

This bulletin is for members only, and provides our members with month to month updates on Australian immigration policy changes and consequential opportunities. Opportunities are found via federal and state government policy shifts for the demand and supply for certain occupations.

This bulletin will keep you up to date so that you do not have to employ expensive immigration lawyers to provide you with monthly research.


Features of this bulletin:
  • Current Australian Federal Government and State Government policy changes/ immigration opportunities.
  • Self-help area providing ways to improve your Australian Skilled Visa Point Score Assessment.
  • Be connected to Australian immigration lawyers.
  • Be connected to our recommended English school to help increase your English score, including IELTS English test preparation.
  • Current Australian economic headlines effecting immigration.
  • Current headlines and government policies impacting the Australian International Student Market.
  • Learn more about Australia’s culture and lifestyle via viewing all that’s been happening in Australia, on a month to month basis.
Welcome Back

May 2024 has arrived and Australia’s population now numbers around 27 million people !

In this months bulletin we unpack Australia’s new population composition revealing how Australia’s population is growing, changing and the opportunities that lay ahead!

In this month’s ‘Federal News ‘, new ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics’ data recently released showed capital cities alone added 517,200 people during the last financial year with Perth being Australia’s fastest growing metropolis as record-high immigration pushes capital city population growth to a new all-time high!

In other federal news, migration strategy reforms begin to take effect as the Australian government has begun the rollout of certain policies announced as part of the migration strategy. These measures represent significant changes to the immigration system and are designed to attract greater numbers of highly skilled foreign talent and better prepare international students to enter the Australian workforce.

In this month’s ‘State News’, skilled workers residing offshore remain eligible to be considered for ALL State and Territory nominations! Please view the State Migration Section of this month’s bulletin for all State and Territory programs and opportunities available!

In this month’s ‘Economic News’, strong migration is now seen to be the answer to save Australia from recession in 2024 as a weaker economy hits.

Also in this month’s economic news, we talk to an entry-level fly-in fly-out migrant worker who’s goal it was to make quick money and travel the world . We hear of his experience in Australia and how he is now living the adventure that he was searching for !

In this month’s ‘Student News’ , Australia achieves a new record-high , with more than 700,000 international students now studying Down Under !

Also in this month’s student news, we hear from a group of international students who discuss how studying in Australia compares to their home countries.

All this and  much more  in the  May  issue of  The Australian Immigration Bulletin!  Let’s take a deeper look at what has happened so far and what is planned for the remainder of May 2024  in Australian Immigration, so that you can start planning!

In case you missed it…

All members now have FREE access to an online IELTS English Platform and course to practice, study and improve their English and IELTS score. The IELTS exam is one of the key recommended exams you will need to take in order to Apply for Skilled Migration to Australia and the better your results, the higher points you will get when submitting an expression of interest. The advanced English and IELTS platform will allow all members to practice Mock IELTS Exams, learn cutting edge tips and gain a greater understanding of how to achieve a Band 9+.

All members also have access to “ImmiConnect” which is now available in the member’s area. ImmiConnect is the Office of Immigration Australia’s Employer Sponsored program which allows overseas workers to receive job interview invitations from  Australian employers, when job opportunities come available.

The program aims to bring globally mobile, highly-skilled and specialised individuals to Australia who can fill critical areas of need.

ImmiConnect is exclusive to active Australian Immigration Bulletin Members only. You must be a current Australian Immigration Bulletin Member to be eligible to receive job interview invitations.

So if you are interested in receiving these invitations, please sign up for FREE by Clicking “ImmiConnect” and adding your name and email address.

Immigration Prize Giveaway


Current Round: March 2024 – July 2024
(10 Winners/Prizes in total)

Latest Winners

There is always a winner, and the next one could be you!

The winners of the May 2024 Immigration Prize Giveaway were drawn at 10am AEST on 1st May 2024.

Congratulations to the May 2024 winners! You have been sent a confirmation email with details on how to claim your prize!

The next 2 lucky winners will be drawn at 10am AEST on 1st June 2024.

COVID-19: International Travel to and from Australia

As of 6th July 2022, people entering Australia do NOT need to provide evidence of Covid-19 vaccination status. Additionally, people leaving Australia will NOT be asked to provide evidence of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated visa holders do NOT need a travel exemption to travel to Australia. It is however important to remember that airlines, vessel operators and other countries may have specific requirements that travellers need to comply with.

Please see the list of vaccines that are recognised by the Australian government for travel purposes here.

This Bulletin - Contents:

We asked those who have established themselves with skilled……….. Read more

People form the foundation of society, determining all manner of things from housing needs to economic wellbeing……….. Read more

If you are interested in applying for a general skilled migration visa to Australia, it is important to have a good understanding……….. Read more

Australians should brace for a weaker economy in 2024 as higher interest rates force families to tighten their belts……….. Read more

More than 700,000 international students are studying in Australia……….. Read more
There was plenty of action at the epic 3-day Aqua Rugby sevens……….. Read more


This Bulletin and its contents is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

As legislation and travel requirements are constantly changing, we strongly recommend obtaining advice on your individual situation from a Registered Migration Agent.

Please click here to book a consultation with one of our Registered Australian Migration Agents, located in Australia.

Australia – A migrant nation

Sydney, New South Wales

The Results of the August 2021 census were made public on 12th July 2022, and revealed that Australia has become a majority migrant nation, as the census data shows for the first time that more than 50 per cent of residents were born overseas or have an immigrant parent. Last year’s census counted nearly 25.5 million people, including 1 million new residents.

Australia’s 2023-24 Migration Program has been carefully designed to boost the social and economic outcomes that meet Australia’s needs. In fact, the migration programme was first launched in 1945 following the aftermath of World War 2. Given this long history, it is worth understanding how it works. The Australian Immigration Bulletin exists to help explain this in more detail.

As we’ve entered the 5th month of the year, join us for a look at the latest news and developments in the world of Australian Immigration!

“My Story” – Story of the Month - May 2024

We asked those who have established themselves with skilled jobs to share their experience and tips for a career in Australia.

“Keep following your dreams” – Kitchen Designer

We spoke to Astrid, a skilled Migrant working as a Kitchen Designer for a Hardware Manufacturing Company.  

Have you attended a Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) program? If so, what MRC programs have you attended?   

I participated in some online workshops about getting a job in different industries in Australia. The workshops spoke about, construction, accounting etc. I participated in 4 or 5 workshops. In these workshops they invite people from that industry to explain how they got their first job. Someone who was in recruitment also spoke and they explained what to put in your resume and cover letter and what to avoid. They also mentioned the importance of updating your LinkedIn profile. 

What did you find most useful from attending the MRC sessions?  

There were two important things for me.  

First was how to get into the industry, by creating and updating your LinkedIn profile and checking for possible jobs and people in the industry.  

The second was update your knowledge. This was by finding out what software was used by companies in Australia. I then checked what Tafe offered as an option, then enrolled myself in night classes to update my knowledge with that software. 

Previous work experiences in Australia?  

I did everything including Waitressing, Bar work, Barista, Supermarket worker and a Showroom Consultant in a Furniture store and Kitchen company. 

How did you apply?  

I began to build my resume and cover letter, then gave it to a friend to have a look, fix any mistakes and make it more Australian and presentable. I then started applying for jobs in April. I passed my letters around to every job that I found that was related to my area of experience and  that will further my career.  

I found 5 options that were for a showroom consultant, one included the job I have now.  I had 5 interviews, and I was successful in 3 and offered a job. I had someone check my LinkedIn profile from the company I am at now. I knew I wanted to work with this company because they are an international company and I was researching the products, so I had knowledge that could help me through the process. They also offered me a full time job as a Kitchen designer, so the job position changed. I then started working for them in mid-June. 

Did you need any previous experience?  

For the role advertised they asked for someone who was passionate for design, but did not require practical experience. In the second interview they preferred someone who had previous experience. 

How did you prepare for your Job interviews?

I checked the company online, made 2 pages of notes about their products and what is important to the company then adapted my CV to that. I then researched points to talk about. 

What was the interview like?  

The role I applied for was for a showroom consultant, which is more customer service and showing products. 

When I began to tell them about my background and previous experience as a kitchen designer in my home country. They started asking what I knew about kitchens and started to think about implementing that into the service they offer for clients. I told them how my experience is relevant and how I would love to be a part of their business.

In my second interview they had a plan on implementing kitchen designs into their range they offered for clients.  

On a scale 1 to 5 (1 being very unhappy and 5 being very happy) how do you feel about your job?  

6, Super happy 

What is the best thing about your work now?  

I get to do what I really love to do. My passion is to design kitchens and make solutions for people.  

What are the job trends in your industry?  

Interior design or Product design. 

What is your biggest piece of advice for someone looking for a job?  

Keep following your dreams, keeping trying to get into the company where you want to work and show them why you’re good for the position. 

Put all your experience and assets in your CV, you could be overqualified, but at some point that will help you.

Australian Federal Government - Announcements & Opportunities
Federal Migration Program Updates – May 2024

Six charts on how Australia’s population is growing – and changing

People form the foundation of society, determining all manner of things from housing needs to economic wellbeing. And population characteristics can tell us much about how the inhabitants of a place have changed over time and where the population might be headed in the future.

Australia’s population now numbers around 27 million. On its own, however, this figure says little about Australia’s demography. Unpacking Australia’s population composition reveals the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.

Living longer and with fewer children

Australians can expect to live into their eighties. Our increased longevity, alongside below-replacement fertility, means Australia’s population is structurally ageing. The challenges of an ageing population include greater aged care needs, amid a relative shrinking workforce.

In other words, populations like Australia need to work out how to fund more with fewer financial resources or risk declining living standards.

The chart below is a unique way to visualise population projections. It shows the size of Australia’s population for males and females, broken down by age. Over time, some ages balloon out, like the 50–80 year olds. Some ages barely move, like the 0–10 year olds.

Australia’s population growth, 1981-2071

If the population becomes too top-heavy with older people, younger generations may not be able to support them. Population projections also calculate people living 100 years and above, which is why the top of the chart flares outward again.

With Australia on track to become a nation of predominantly middle-aged people (and older) by 2065, a healthy and robust workforce is crucial to economic sustainability.

The shape of population age distribution matters more than ever, especially with evidence indicating children in Australia will be outnumbered by people aged 65 and over in the coming ten years.

Populations of younger (20 and under) and older people (65 and over)

The numbers of people 65 and over are projected to overtake those 20 and under in 2048, as growth among younger people levels off.

Increasing women’s participation in paid work has been one response to Australia’s ageing workforce.

Monthly male and female labour force participation rates, 1978-2024

Participation rates for women have increased dramatically since 1978, but are yet to catch up with the participation rates of men.

And growing intergenerational inequality threatens the future prospects of young people. Job insecurity, housing affordability, gender inequality and climate change are all placing enormous strain on younger people, contributing to their deep uncertainty about the future. Young people just aren’t getting a go.

High short-term growth, potential for population decline

Australia’s population has grown at a historically high rate since the reopening of international borders during COVID-19. Most of Australia’s population growth is from overseas migration, as has been the case since 2005 (except during COVID border closures).

While net overseas migration has increased in the short term, this is projected to decline in the coming years. However, immigration will still contribute the most to population increase.

Annual population increase projections

Showing the two major components of population growth – natural increase and net migration.

Natural population increase – the number of births versus deaths – also contributes to Australia’s rising population. However, this rate is also on the decline. By 2054, official projections anticipate deaths will outnumber births, meaning in the absence of overseas immigration the nation’s population would start declining.

Migration helps offset the adverse consequences of an ageing population. Without immigration, Australia’s population would start shrinking decades earlier than expected. The national budget would be adversely impacted and the societal contributions that migrants make would be lost.

More diverse than ever

Half the world has below-replacement fertility, and the average number of births per woman is set to decline even further. Australia is competing with the likes of Germany, Canada, the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to attract suitable people to migrate.

Australia can no longer rely on migration from countries like the UK to sustain its workforce. From a prior European colonial settlement, Australia now relies heavily on people migrating from alternate parts of the world including India, China, etc.

Not all populations in Australia have the same demography. First Nations people, for example, have a much younger age profile and higher growth rate than the non-Indigenous people. They also have a lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality, reflecting the enduring discrimination First Nations people face in Australian society.

City living

Australia’s population is also highly urbanised, with a high concentration of people living along the southeastern coastline from southeast Queensland to Victoria.

Cities in Australia continue to reign supreme, growing faster than regional areas overall. Vital infrastructure – transportation, housing, education, health care and employment – are a major draw card. Despite numerous attempts throughout Australia’s history, population decentralisation is unlikely.

Annual change (%) in capital city populations, 2002-2023

While Sydney and Melbourne are nearly twice as big as the next largest capital (Brisbane), the rate of change in 2023 shows Perth as the fastest growing

Cities offer the largest opportunities for education and employment, attracting the bulk of international movers. Sydney and Melbourne draw in more than half the nation’s overseas migration intake.

By 2036, Melbourne is projected to be Australia’s largest capital city, not surprising given Sydney has a considerable surplus of people moving to live in other places in Australia. And, no, Melbourne hasn’t already overtaken Sydney – this is just some fancy accounting using unconventional definitions.

Proportion of household types

The proportion of one-person households in Australia has climbed over the past 40 years

Households are changing, too. More people are living alone, and the number of people in each household on average is declining. A close examination of Australia’s demography helps contextualise the country’s housing mismatch.

Perth experiences Australia’s biggest population growth

Perth is Australia’s fastest growing metropolis as record-high immigration pushes capital city population growth to a new all-time high. 

New ‘Australian Bureau of Statistics’ data recently released showed capital cities added 517,200 people during the last financial year, for an overall 3 per cent population growth pace.

Beidar Cho, the government’s head of demography, said record population growth in Australia’s biggest cities was ‘largely driven by net overseas migration’.

In Melbourne, Adelaide and Canberra, overseas migrants made up nine-tenths of the population growth.

Meanwhile in Sydney, Hobart and Darwin, the number of foreigners moving in was higher than the overall net population growth number because of a huge exodus to other parts of Australia.

More than two-thirds or 67.5 per cent of Australia’s population lives in a capital city – or 17.991 million people in a nation of 26.6 million.

Hobart is in the extraordinary position of having a zero birth rate, as more residents also leave Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin for another part of Australia.

While Sydney and Melbourne take the biggest share of overseas migrants, Perth was Australia’s fastest growing capital city with a 3.6 per cent growth pace in 2022-23.

This made it Australia’s fourth biggest city, that is home to 2.309 million people.

Overseas migration of 59,331 made up 73 per cent of the West Australian capital’s annual population increase of 81,318 new residents, including 11,329 net births.

Perth is also Australia’s hottest real estate market, with the median house price soaring by 18.6 per cent during the past year to a still relatively affordable $718,560, CoreLogic data showed.

Melbourne, despite being the world’s most locked down city during the pandemic, had Australia’s second highest growth pace of 3.3 per cent.

This occurred as 6,678 people moved out and 27,390 babies were born.

Overseas migration accounted for 87.6 per cent of the city’s 167,484 new residents, with 146,772 foreigners moving in, boosting the population to 5.207 million people.

Sydney is still Australia’s most populated city with 5.451 million residents.

But its population growth of 2.8 per cent was below the national average, owing to an exodus of 38,425 residents, ahead of the 28,511 births.

The scoreboard of residents leaving is outweighing the number of new babies, in a city where the median house price of $1.4 million is a third higher than the capital city median of $949,410.

Sydney’s overseas migration of 156,616 was higher than the overall population growth of 146,702.

Brisbane was Australia’s third fastest growing city with a 3.1 per cent population increase, with 51,801 new foreigners making up 63.8 per cent of the 81,220 increase in new residents – taking the population to 2.707 million.

In Adelaide, with a smaller population growth rate of 2 per cent, the 26,471 overseas migrants made up 94 per cent of the 28,057 increase, taking the overall population to 1.446 million.

Immigration is also a major driver of population growth in the less populated parts of Australia where more residents are moving out than moving in.

Hobart had Australia’s weakest population growth pace of 0.5 per cent in a city of just 253,654 people, with a zero natural increase and 1,961 moving out.

But the 2,780 overseas migrants moving in was still double the net population increase of 1,165, which accounts for deaths and relocations to another part of Australia.

It was a similar story in Darwin with the 2,591 migrants double the net population increase of 1,582 in a city with 150,736 people.

In Canberra, the 8,541 new migrants made up 88.5 per cent of the 9,651 new residents in the national capital of 466,566 people.

Australia: Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance)

The Migration Amendment (Strengthening Employer Compliance) Act 2024, which was enacted on February 22, 2024, amends the Migration Act 1958 to strengthen measures for ensuring employer compliance. This new law, which will become effective on July 01, 2024, introduces several important components:

The compliance Notices for Work-related Violations: Outlines how authorized officers can issue compliance notices to non-compliant employers, detailing necessary corrective actions and penalties for non-compliance.

Prohibited employers: Establishes a system to designate individuals or organizations as prohibited employers for failing to comply with migration laws, particularly regarding sanctions against migrant workers. Criteria for designation include past violations and the level of non-compliance, with prohibited employers facing restrictions on hiring certain non-citizens and significant penalties for breaches.

New Employer Sanctions: Imposes penalties, including jail time and fines, on employers who coerce or improperly influence lawful and unlawful non-citizens to accept employment arrangements that violate visa conditions or impact their immigration status.

Enforceable Undertakings for Work-related violations: Introduces a process for enforceable undertakings to resolve compliance disputes outside of court.

Additional Amendments: Makes various changes to improve the functionality of the Migration Act, including adjustments to delegation authority and removal of certain sections.

The legislation underscores the Australian government’s commitment to protecting non-citizens from exploitation by employers and ensuring that non-compliant employers face serious consequences. It aims to strengthen the integrity of the migration system through consistent penalties, enforceable actions, and detailed compliance notice requirements.

Australia’s Growth Card

Migration once again seems likely to keep Australia out of more serious economic trouble. That makes it all the more important to get housing right.

Once again, Australia’s special standing as a magnet for migrants may help save it from any prolonged downturn.

Many of the 40 economists surveyed this month believe that the extra workers and consumers, after half a million people arrived last year in a catch-up surge of migration, will prevent Australia from following New Zealand and parts of Europe into downturns during 2024.

Back in 2008-09, a sharp rise in the working-age population through migration kept Australia out of recession even as the rest of the world collapsed into a post-global financial crisis torpor. It ensured that Australia’s record run of economic expansion from 1991 kept going until 2020, when the pandemic changed everything.

In the short term, the extra demand from more people has been buoying up price inflation while the Reserve Bank has been pushing it down. But over time, migration eases labour and skills shortages that would prolong inflation. Jobs beget more jobs, and it is shortages of labour, skills and talent that will stifle our prospects in the long term.

That helps ensure that a bigger economy is also a better economy for most Australians. Joblessness is set to inevitably rise from its record post-lockdown lows, but the reason why Australian CEOs are generally optimistic about businesses is the resilience of job numbers.

For most mainstream Australians, the most tangible aspect of a decent economy is having a job. Yet even if Australia gets away with at worst only a technical recession of two negative quarters, as most economists suggest it will, the economy at the kitchen-table level will still feel tighter. Per capita GDP growth is down, and the bout of inflation will still leave prices and costs higher than they were.

Australia | Migration strategy reforms begin to take effect

The Australian government has begun the rollout of certain policies announced as part of the migration strategy.

Key Points:

  • The strategy is aimed at tightening visa regulations for international students, specifically targeting temporary graduate and student visas in the vocational and private tertiary sector.
  • For all student visa applications lodged on or after March 23, the genuine student requirement replaced the genuine temporary entrant (GTE) requirement for student visas so that applicants no longer need to satisfy the GTE requirement to provide that they genuinely intend to only stay in Australia temporarily and that they are not motivated to obtain work authorization status.
  • The government has simultaneously granted the Australian skills quality authority the ability to crack down on education providers, focusing on integrity and quality.
  • In addition, higher English language levels requirements for temporary graduate and student visa candidates are now in effect and applications for student or temporary graduate visas will now be assessed under the new English language requirements.

Additional Information: The genuine temporary entrant requirement will remain in effect for student guardian visa applicants. The new genuine student requirement is designed to attract international students with studies and qualifications obtained in Australia and allow them to stay and fill key skill shortages and provide post-study pathways to permanent residence. Australian officials describe that the English language reforms for student visas will support international students and prepare them for the workforce should they decide to pursue work after graduation.

Analysis: These measures represent significant changes to the immigration system and are designed to attract greater highly skilled foreign talent and better prepare international students to enter the Australian workforce.

Nadia thought she understood English. When she arrived in Australia, she was shocked

From job opportunities to making friends: new research has highlighted the benefits of English language proficiency for skilled migrants.

When Nadia arrived in Australia from Tehran in July 2018, she had big dreams. The seed was planted at the age of 12 when it became apparent that STEM subjects — science, technology, engineering and maths – were deemed a pursuit for the boys. “I took part in a physics tournament. I put all my heart into it and I had to do this tournament and compete for weeks and weeks in a row,” she said. “But right when I was about to be announced as the winner, the principal of the other school talked to the judges and changed the results to favour my competitor. “So it was right then the injustice made me feel like my future is definitely somewhere else, not in Iran.”

Nadia wanted a future in that field, and growing up hearing about her father’s trip to Australia before she was born, she was intrigued to see if she could be successful overseas. Despite a steady and sustained diet of English-language TV shows and songs, she found it took a few months to get used to Australian English. “I was in the airport grabbing my luggage and I said ‘thank you’; the other person told me ‘cheers,'” she said. “And I was thinking, ‘We are not drinking right now, I don’t know why you said cheers.'” After the first shock, she realised that “vocabularies are different, not only the accents”. “And I would say the first three months was not easy at all.”

Four years after arriving in Australia, after completing a master’s degree in international business, she applied for a permanent resident visa. An English language test became necessary. She undertook the IELTS english exam a few times before achieving a score within the highest percentile. That helped to smooth the way for her visa application and helped with job offers. She said it was also instrumental in making social connections. “It wasn’t just for finding [a] job. English helped me a lot to find friends here from all over the board,” she said. “The diversity in Australia is amazing, and it helped me to have the confidence to go ahead and say hi to new people, the strangers that now are my best friends and they are like my family — the family that I don’t have here in Australia.”

Employment outcomes and ‘filling the gaps’

That trajectory has also been reflected in a report compiled by Pearson of 3,000 visa applicants who took their English language test in the six years until 2023. Those individuals reported higher salaries and employment outcomes, including earning an additional $20,000 per year to the median Australian salary six months after arriving in Australia.

‘It actually boosted my confidence’

Eric John de Guzman is originally from the Philippines, and said his teaching qualifications were not recognised in Australia. This put him on a path to entering childcare and then pursuing a master’s degree in secondary education. Taking the IELTS test with a high score allowed him to eventually get a job offer with a secondary college before completing his master’s. “It actually boosted my confidence in my English skills,” he said. “I believe that the employer also feels the same way; seeing that I have that score, they feel confident that I’d be able to do the job. “So I was able to get a job in different childcare centres, and also with my school right now.” He said he was initially warned against coming to Australia by some who believed he would encounter racism — but that was not his experience. “I’ve seen things like that happen in the media — but coming here now, not at all,” he said. “Actually when it comes to culture and diversity, this is the melting pot … there are just many different people here. “Having that realisation actually makes me feel more comfortable.”

How important is English proficiency for skilled migrants? 

Abul Rizvi is a former deputy secretary of the Department of Immigration and a scholar on immigration policy. He said while English language proficiency is not the only determinant of success for skilled migrants in securing a job, it’s certainly a factor. “There are many migrants who have limited English, but still make a really great life in Australia, so it’s not an across-the-board thing,” he said. “But on average, better English increases your prospects of success both in the labour market and in Australian society. So to the extent that we can help migrants improve their English, that can only help.” 

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Australian State Government - Announcements & Opportunities
May 2024

State & Territory Nomination – General Program Overview

  • Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) Visa
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

If you are interested in applying for a general skilled migration visa to Australia, it is important to have a good understanding of the skilled visa options and how the migration points test works, so that you can maximise your chances of being eligible to apply for a skilled visa.

The General Skilled Migration Program

A general skilled migration visa is an option available to skilled workers who are seeking to qualify for a skilled visa independently, or under a state or family sponsorship. It is an alternative to an employer sponsored visa.

One of the key criteria to qualify for a general skilled migration visa is the points test (a criterion that does not apply to employer sponsored visas). This is often the most challenging aspect for prospective skilled visa applicants to overcome when seeking an invitation to apply for the relevant skilled visa.

If you are considering applying for a general skilled migration program visa, an important concept to understand is the Expression Of Interest (EOI).

What Is An Expression Of Interest (EOI)?

If you are considering applying for a general skilled migration visa, it is important to be aware that for certain visas in this visa class, you will first be required to lodge an EOI with the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) through Skill Select. The EOI is not a visa application, but rather, it is the process by which you can express your interest in applying for the relevant skilled visa (It’s important to note, that there is NO fee to submit an EOI).

This requirement applies to the following skilled visa subclasses:

  • Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) visa
  • Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) visa
  • Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

Let’s take a brief look at each of these visas below:

Subclass 189 Skilled (Independent) Visa

The ‘subclass 189’ is a federal sponsored visa that grants automatic permanent residence in Australia. It is subject to nil visa conditions or obligations. For this reason, it is often considered to be the most flexible of the skilled visa options available.

A subclass 189 points-based visa allows you to live and work in any state or territory permanently.

Subclass 190 Skilled (Nominated) Visa

The ‘subclass 190’ is a state/ territory sponsored permanent residence visa. It is another points-based visa for which invitations are issued throughout each month by individual states and territories. One of the benefits of applying for state nomination is that you will be granted an additional 5 points.

An important aspect to consider, which does not apply to the subclass 189 visa is that there is an added step in the application process. In this case, you must also apply for nomination approval to a state or territory government. Only upon receipt of an invitation from the relevant state or territory to which you apply can you then apply to the Department for the visa itself.

Your obligations as a subclass 190 visa holder are that you must commit to your nominating jurisdiction’s obligations and commit to residing in your nominating State or Territory for two years from visa grant.

Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa

The ‘subclass 491’ is also a points-based state/ territory (or family) sponsored visa. It is a regional visa with a term of five years. The Department issues invitations for family sponsored EOI applications only (in invitation rounds). Invitations for state sponsorship are issued by individual states and territories throughout each month. This will grant you an additional 15 points for the nomination.

Being a provisional visa, this means it provides a pathway to permanent residence in Australia with the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, subject to meeting specified requirements.

Be mindful that as a subclass 491 visa holder, you must abide by visa condition 8579, which requires you to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia. For migration purposes, most locations of Australia outside of major cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, etc.) are classed as regional areas.

How Can You Receive An Invitation To Apply For A Skilled Visa?

If your EOI is successful, you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa, as specified in the invitation letter. This then enables you to proceed with lodgment of your visa application (provided you meet all other visa lodgment and visa grant requirements).

Please note, the below State and Territory program updates is a general overview only. It does not take into account any of your personal circumstances. You must check the State/Territory information carefully to ensure you can meet all the requirements for nomination.

State Migration Program Updates – May 2024

Australia is currently facing a shortage of skilled migrants to fill workforce demands. In response, states and territories have been easing the conditions of their visa programs to help attract skilled workers from overseas.

Below is the monthly update for some of the State and Territory opportunities available.

Northern Territory – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

UPDATE: Closure of NT General Skilled Migration (GSM) nomination applications for 2023-24

The number of NT nomination applications received under the GSM program has now exceeded the available allocations for the 2023-24 program year. (Please note, the 2023-2024 program year ends on the 30th June 2024)

Existing applications that have already been lodged through the online MigrationNT portal prior to 4th December 2023 will continue to be assessed under existing eligibility criteria, and eligible applicants will be issued nominations, subject to availability of allocations. Some eligible applications may need to be placed on hold until new allocations are received in the 2024-25 program year (commencing 1 July 2024). You will be contacted via our online portal if this applies to your application.

Once the above mentioned temporary closure is lifted, you may be able to proceed with the NT’s usual skilled migration program. Program details below:

*The Northern Territory (NT) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

People residing offshore are eligible to be considered for Northern Territory (NT) nomination. Invitations to apply for Northern Territory nomination will be via the ranking system.

The ‘Northern Territory Offshore Migration Occupation List’ identifies the occupations in current demand in the Northern Territory. This List is important if you want to apply for Northern Territory nomination for either a:

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

The ‘Northern Territory Offshore Migration Occupation List’ is only applicable for those applying for NT nomination from outside Australia, under the Priority Occupation stream.

Please note: The Northern Territory government has advised that offshore applicants will generally only be offered a Northern Territory nomination for a subclass 491 visa. Subclass 190 nominations will only be offered in exceptional circumstances, such as cases where the applicant has strong connections to the NT.

Applying for skilled migration in the Northern Territory (NT)

The NT advises eligible applicants to apply as soon as they meet the eligibility criteria. To receive a nomination from the NT Government, you must:

  • Meet the Australian Government’s requirements
  • Meet the NT Government’s nomination eligibility criteria
  • Commit to living and working in the NT in your skilled occupation for a minimum of three years following the grant of your visa.

Before submitting an EOI for The Northern Territory, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements.

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Northern Territory Government website.

Queensland – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*Queensland (QLD) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

To manage Queensland’s COVID recovery response, applicants currently residing offshore are now able to apply.

Depending on your occupation and situation, there are two state nomination options available for skilled migrants through Queensland.

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

For Queensland state nomination, prospective applicants must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements, state-specific occupation requirements and have skills in an occupation that is available on the Queensland Skilled Occupation List.

You may undertake employment once onshore in Queensland through:

  • work for one or more employers,
  • work at two part-time jobs, or
  • work in your own business as an owner operator.

Offshore applicants meeting the minimum published requirements are eligible to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Applying for skilled migration in Queensland (QLD)

NOTE: The 2023 – 24 program opened on 5 September 2023. Migration Queensland will only consider EOIs lodged on or after 5 September 2023 – updated EOIs will not be considered.

Migration Queensland criteria requires you to:

  • have a points-test result of 80 or higher for the 190 (unless otherwise specified), and 65 or higher for the 491
  • have an occupation on the Offshore Queensland Skilled Occupation List (QSOL)
  • have Proficient English or higher (except where otherwise specified)
  • have a minimum of 3-years of post-study work experience (except where otherwise specified). Note: You must be employed in your nominated or closely related occupation immediately prior to submitting an EOI.

The agency also requests all applicants to ensure they have carefully read and understood the new criteria relevant to their stream or pathway, and that they meet the criteria before submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).

The 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program will be open to both onshore and offshore applicants and provide pathways for skilled workers, graduates, and small business owners.

Before submitting an EOI for Queensland, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements.

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Queensland Government website.

Victoria – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*Victoria’s 2023-24 state nominated skilled visa program is now closed to new Registrations of Interest (ROI). Please note, the 2023-2024 program year ends on the 30th June 2024.

Once the above mentioned temporary closure is lifted, you may be able to proceed with the VIC’s usual skilled migration program. Program details below:

*Victoria (VIC) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

Open to offshore applicants, the program provides skilled migrants with a pathway to permanent residency in Victoria. The skills that successful applicants bring to Victoria benefits employers and the broader Victorian economy.

The program provides two visa pathways:

  • The Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) is a permanent visa for skilled migrants to live and work anywhere in Victoria.
  • The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) is for skilled migrants to live and work in regional Victoria and provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191).

As with previous years, applicants will first need to submit a Registration of Interest (ROI) and then be selected on competitive merit to apply for visa nomination.

Applying for skilled migration in Victoria (VIC)

NOTE: If you submitted a subclass 491 ROI for the 2022-23 program, you must submit a new ROI for the 2023-24 program.

If you submitted a subclass 190 ROI for the 2022-23 program, you do not need to submit a new ROI for the 2023-24 program. You should ensure that all information in your ROI is still correct.

Both onshore and offshore applicants are eligible to submit a Registration of Interest (ROI) for both the subclass 190 and subclass 491 visas.

Your ROI will remain in the system for selection until it is withdrawn, selected or the program year ends.

Before submitting an ROI for Victoria, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements.

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Victoria Government website.

Western Australia – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

UPDATE: Closure of the WA State Nominated Migration Program applications for financial year 2023-24 

The number of WA applications received under the State Nominated Migration Program (SNMP) has now exceeded the available allocations for the 2023-24 program year (1st July 2023 – 30th June 2024).

WA Migration Services will stop accepting new SNMP applications from close of business on 2 February 2024.

Existing applications that have already been lodged prior to this time will continue to be assessed under existing eligibility criteria, and eligible applicants will be issued nominations (subject to availability of allocations).

Some eligible applications lodged prior to the program closure date will not be considered as part of the 2023-24 program year. Applicants will be contacted if this applies to their application.

Once the above mentioned temporary closure is lifted, you may be able to proceed with the WA’s usual skilled migration program. Program details below:

*Western Australia (WA) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE Applicants.

People residing offshore are eligible to be considered for Western Australia (WA) State nomination. Invitations to apply for WA State nomination will be via the ranking system.

The Western Australian Skilled Migration Occupation List identifies the occupations in current demand in Western Australia. This List is important if you want to apply for Western Australia nomination for either a:

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491
Applying for skilled migration in Western Australia (WA)

Please note that to be eligible for an invitation in the WA State Nominated Migration Program, you must meet both:

Before starting your application, you will need to check whether your occupation is available on either the WA Skilled migration occupation list (WASMOL) Schedule 1 or 2, or the Graduate occupation list. You can search for your occupation here. (The occupation list search bar is located under the heading ‘Eligible Occupations’.)

Features of the WA 2023-24 State Nominated Migration Program:

  • no application fee;
  • equal invitation ranking for Interstate and Overseas candidates;
  • prioritised invitations for candidates with an occupation in a WA industry sector with critical demand for skilled workers; and
  • reduced employment requirements for candidates invited through a WA building and construction industry sector occupation (as classified on the WA State nomination Occupation lists).

Before submitting an EOI for Western Australia, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements.

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Western Australia Government website.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*Australian Capital Territory (ACT) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

The ACT Critical Skills List identifies the occupations in current demand in the ACT. This List is important if you want to apply for ACT nomination for either a:

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

The ACT Government will update this list every four months to make sure that the ACT Skilled Migration Program adapts and responds to the evolving critical skills needs of the ACT economy.

The Canberra Matrix is weighted to ensure that applicants who will make a positive economic contribution to the Territory and/or have demonstrated a genuine commitment to the ACT are more likely to be ranked and invited to apply for ACT nomination.

*ACT nomination does not guarantee a migration outcome. You must still meet the Department of Home Affairs criteria.

Applying for skilled migration in The Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Every month, a certain number of nomination invitations are available (prorated on the annual allocation) to those working in the highest ranked Matrix in each occupation.

You can view the ACT’s most in-demand skills for skilled migration by consulting the ACT Critical Skills List.

Before submitting an EOI for The Australian Capital Territory, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements.

Once you’ve submitted a valid Department of Home Affairs Skill Select EOI, follow the ACT Government Process to apply for ACT nomination.

For a further explanation, see the Resources page on the ACT Government website.

South Australia (SA) – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*South Australia (SA) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

To manage South Australia’s COVID recovery response, applicants currently residing offshore are able to apply.

Depending on your occupation and situation, there are two state nomination options available for skilled migrants through South Australia.

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

For South Australian state nomination, prospective applicants must meet the Department of Home Affairs requirements, state-specific occupation requirements and have skills in an occupation that is available on the South Australian Skilled Occupation List. Offshore applicants meeting the minimum published requirements can now lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Applying for skilled migration in South Australia (SA)

There is an enormous range of occupations on South Australia’s Skilled Migration Occupation List in a range of industries – search for your occupation here.

South Australia will select offshore applicants to apply for state nomination from those who have submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. Offshore applicants will not need to lodge a Registration of Interest (ROI) for this year’s program. South Australia will be nominating offshore applicants from over 250 occupations on South Australia’s Skilled Migration Occupation List. To be eligible, ensure all the information in your SkillSelect EOI is up to date and you have selected South Australia as your first preferred state or territory to move to in Australia.

South Australia will be assessing candidates on merit by the following factors, within their nominated occupation:

  • Years and field of skilled employment experience
  • English language ability
  • EOI points score

Before submitting an EOI for South Australia, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the South Australia Government website.

Tasmania – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*Tasmania (TAS) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

Working in Tasmania

The two state nomination options available for skilled migrants through Tasmania are:

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

The Tasmanian State Nomination Skilled Migration Program supports Tasmanian businesses and increases the state’s working age population. It does this by attracting and retaining migrants with skills genuinely in need by employers, or with the capacity to settle in Tasmania through skilled employment in the long-term, and business activities that will increase employment opportunities.

Tasmania’s skilled migration program is for people wanting to move to the state who have skills that Tasmania need. Skilled migrants are attracted to Tasmania because of the state’s enviable lifestyle, career opportunities, affordable housing, reputable schools and a globally recognized university.

Applying for skilled migration in Tasmania

The Migration Tasmania Application Gateway is now available for registrations of interest (ROI) and applications for skilled visa nomination from Tasmania.

Anyone seeking Tasmanian nomination for a Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa or Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional Visa must first register in the Migration Tasmania Application Gateway .

Before submitting an ROI for Tasmania, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements for either;

ROIs submitted before 1 July 2023 will remain valid for the 2023-24 program year.

ROIs and applications submitted from 5 July 2023 fall under the new eligibility requirements.

In cases where new requirements are likely to be beneficial, candidates may wish to withdraw their current ROI and submit a new one. (There is no charge to submit a Registration of Interest)

For a further explanation, see the Frequently Asked Questions page on the Tasmania Government website.

New South Wales (NSW) – 1st May 2024

‘Skilled Nominated- Subclass 190’ & ‘Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)- Subclass 491’

Program Status Update

*New South Wales (NSW) 2023-24 Skilled Migration Program for OFFSHORE applicants.

The New South Wales government has invited applications from offshore migrants under the following nomination streams:

  • Skilled Nominated – Subclass 190
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) – subclass 491

The NSW State Government announced that offshore applicants skilled in certain ANZSCO unit groups are still eligible for NSW nomination.

*Please note: Invitation rounds occur frequently throughout the financial year with no set date.

Applying for skilled migration in New South Wales (NSW)

NSW invites and nominates SkillSelect EOIs at the ANZSCO unit group level. To be eligible for NSW nomination (for either Subclass 190 or Subclass 491) you must be skilled in an occupation that both:

  • appears within an ANZSCO unit group identified here, and
  • is eligible for the respective visa

It is important to note that not all occupations within ANZSCO unit groups are eligible for the respective visa. It is the responsibility of the prospective migrant to ensure their occupation is eligible for the visa before obtaining a skills assessment.

Your EOI must be exclusively for the ‘Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190)’ or ‘Skilled Work Regional visa (subclass491)’ and seeking nomination from NSW only.

This means that if your Skillselect EOI has multiple visas and/or multiple states selected (this includes selecting ‘ANY’), your Skillselect EOI will not be considered for NSW nomination.

What are the NSW target sectors?

The NSW target sectors are specific industry sectors that have been identified by data research as having critical skills shortages in NSW. They include:

  • Health
  • Education
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Infrastructure
  • Agriculture

Although all validly submitted SkillSelect EOIs will be considered during an invitation round, priority is given to EOIs in these target sectors.

Is my occupation within a NSW target sector?

The NSW government cannot confirm whether individual occupations fall within NSW’s target sectors. So long as you maintain a validly submitted EOI in SkillSelect, your EOI will be considered in all future NSW invitation rounds.

Will NSW invite EOI’s in occupations outside of the NSW target sectors?

High-ranking EOIs in occupations outside of the NSW target sectors may be considered during invitation rounds; however, it’s crucial to understand that the odds of receiving an invitation are exceptionally low due to high demand and limited spots.

Before submitting an EOI for New South Wales, applicants should check that they meet all eligibility requirements for either;

For a further explanation of how the skills list works, see the Common questions about skilled visas page on the NSW Government website.

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Australian Economic Headlines Effecting Immigration – Updates
May 2024

Migration to save Australia from recession in 2024 as weaker economy hits

Australians should brace for a weaker economy in 2024 as higher interest rates force families to tighten their belts, but the country should avoid a recession this year due to strong migration.

Forecasts published on Wednesday by Oxford Australia foreshadow a new phase in the cost-of-living crisis defined by a looming peak in interest rates.

Analysts predict a per-capita (population-adjusted) downturn will likely continue into 2024 as consumers, which account for two-thirds of the economy, struggle with financial pressures.

But Oxford Australia’s head of macroeconomic forecasting Sean Langcake said that budgetary pain will be tempered in aggregate because population growth is set to remain quite strong.

In other words, while individual families are doing it tougher and spending less on goods and services, there are enough new people coming into the economy to ensure growth continues.

Budget projections for net overseas migration are 316,800 in July 2023- June 2024 and 261,800 in June 2024- July 25, which is markedly lower than the past financial year but still well ahead of longer-term averages.

That should translate into annual GDP growth remaining above 1 per cent, Oxford predicted, which would be well below the 2.1 per cent posted over the year to the September quarter.

“It’s still very much a population growth story,” Langcake said of Australia’s growth prospects.

Migration to stave off recession

The Oxford forecasts paint a picture for the economy that has many similarities to last year, when strong population growth was enough to offset three quarters of a per-capita downturn.

On one hand that’s positive because it means a spike in unemployment is unlikely, particularly as strong population growth to date hasn’t really disrupted the jobs market, with analysts saying migrants added as much to labour demand as they have to supply in the post-pandemic period.

NSW struggling to meet housing targets due to funding and labour shortfalls, says Premier

New South Wales Premier Chris Minns reveals the state is struggling to meet housing targets as he calls on the federal government to fast-track tradesman migration into Australia.

The target for New South Wales which was set out by the federal government in August will need to see an average of 75,000 new accommodations built per year over the next five years.

“In the next year and a bit in New South Wales our proportion of the national figure will be extremely difficult to meet.

“I want to be upfront about that.

“We’re coming from a long way behind; we’ve got major constraints when it comes to financing from banks as well as labour to build the actual houses.

“In the long run, it’s important to have targets and in the end, everyone needs to know the scale, particularly when it comes to completions for a major city like Sydney.”

I wanted to make quick money and travel the world — so I moved to Australia and became a FIFO (Fly-in fly-out) worker

As an entry-level FIFO worker, Mcilwaine has around $80K USD before taxes so far this year, and gets a week off every month.

  • Cal Mcilwaine gets flown in to Pilbara, Australia to work 12-hour days for three weeks straight.
  • So far he’s made around $80K before taxes, has no living expenses on-site, and travels on his week off.
  • After a year of working, Mcilwaine plans to use the money he made to go on a 10-month trip.

This is based on a conversation with Cal Mcilwaine, a 29-year-old FIFO worker in Australia. His identity, employment, and salary has been verified. 

I’m the lone wolf of my friend group.

Back in Ireland, all of my friends were getting married, buying houses, and having kids. I wanted to set off on an adventure and travel the world.

I started to research different career opportunities that would allow me to make good money that I could spend on travel. I always had an interest in visiting Australia and I had heard about mining jobs years ago.

I figured if I did that for a couple of months, I would have a piggy bank for traveling. So in June 2023, I left Ireland and moved to Perth, Australia to become a FIFO worker, which stands for “fly in, fly out.”

FIFO is an industry that largely exists only in mining fields in Australia, Canada, and Alaska. Mining companies in Australia extract iron ore along with other minerals and send it to crushers and refineries. Then, it goes to Port Hedland, which is the main port in Australia, and cargo ships send it to China.

Australia is one of the most mineral-rich countries in the world, so there are a ton of mining projects and FIFO jobs available here.

But that doesn’t mean it was easy to land one.

I found some YouTube videos about FIFO work, but there was no how-to guide on what to do if you want to enter the industry from a foreign country.

I had to come up with my own game plan, which included applying for a working Visa. I had no experience in mining and I had never driven a truck or bulldozer — I also didn’t have a license in Australia. It wasn’t going to be easy moving to another country and landing one of these jobs, but I was determined.

After arriving in Australia, I spent about three days exploring tourist sites before I turned to the job hunt process. In Australia, you need to get tickets, which are like qualifications. I spent two and a half weeks at a training center getting certified in CPR and working on an elevated platform, along with a heavy rigid license to drive big trucks.

Once I did that, I paid a company called W1n W1n to do my résumé and absolutely hammered job pages and applied to as many FIFO jobs as I could for about 10 days. Within a month of arriving in Australia, I secured a FIFO job.

Now, I help others get into the industry with videos on social media and a guide I made for foreign workers interested in FIFO.

I work 12-hour days for three weeks straight.

I get flown in from Perth to work in Pilbara, a northwest region of Australia that’s rich in iron ore.

I wake up around 4 a.m. to get ready for work, which starts at 5:30 a.m., and I spend the next 12 hours in the mining field.

The conditions are physically strenuous and the average temperature during the day is 95 degrees Fahrenheit. In peak summer time, it hits about 113 degrees.

As a serviceman, I maintain a fleet of 45 or 50 machines, including dump trucks, diggers, dozers, scrapers, and other mining equipment. Throughout the day, I fill them up with fuel, grease them up, top up fluids, and blow out their air filters.

Then I pack everything back into my truck and drive to the next machine. I usually end work at 5:30 p.m., and the ride back to the site takes about 40 minutes so I usually get home at 6:10 p.m.

Normally, when I get back I try to chuck down food and organize lunch for the next day. I aim to go to bed at 9:30 p.m. so that I can get as much sleep as possible for the next day.

During my week off, I get flown back out to Perth. The flight takes about two hours. Some people go on weekend trips to Bali. I like to go on road trips around Australia.

I also have the flexibility to go on breaks during the year. I took seven weeks off around Christmas and went to Esperance, which is on the southwest coast of Australia.

I’ve made around $80,000 so far this year pre-tax, and my expenses on-site are paid for.

As a FIFO worker, companies pay for employee flights to and from the mining field. They also pay for housing accommodations and offer amenities like a food court and gym at the housing site.

My room is dorm-like and it’s nothing special but it has everything I need and I use it for sleep.

There’s a big workout culture among FIFO workers and the gym is well-equipped to satisfy those needs. The gym has a strength room, a cardio room, an outdoor gym, a CrossFit room with classes offered, and a female-only gym. I usually walk about 25,000 steps a day on the job but still try to work out about two or three times a week.

As someone completely new to the industry, I make $5,329 Australian Dollars per week before taxes, which is around $3,477 USD — but I also don’t work every single week of the month. So far, I’ve made around $80,000 before taxes working the last nine months, including a seven-week break I took to travel around Australia.

During my week off, I fly back to Perth and either go away for a week or pay a friend to stay with him for the week. My expenses during my week off usually come out to around $1,300 USD.

I’m getting the adventure I was searching for.

I originally planned to work this job for three or fourth months at most.

But now I’ve been here for nine months and I plan to stick it out for the rest of the year. Once I learned about the machines, became a part of the crew, and started making good money, I didn’t see a point in leaving.

I’m enjoying learning new skills and my bank account just keeps growing. Once I wrap up the year, I’m going on a 10-month trip to Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

I won’t have to worry about working and I’ll get to experience the adventure I’ve been craving.

Once I’m done, I plan to get right back into FIFO work for my second year and do it all over again.

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Australian International Student Market – Updates
May 2024

Australia: Record-high foreign student enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • More than 700,000 international students are studying in Australia now, a record high
  • Actions now being taken by the Australian government will also certainly bring this number down over the next year
  • Student Visa applications are declining, refusal rates are skyrocketing, and the Australian education sector is predicting over AUS$300 million in lost revenues for 2024
  • A rigorous new “Genuine Student” test is now being used by immigration officials and prospective students need higher English-language scores to be considered

The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming students have “genuine” intentions to study (rather than work) and have sufficient English-language proficiency to succeed in their courses with Australian education providers.

Australia’s international student population reached 713,145 as of February 2024, a record high. However, immigration officials have become much more likely to reject new student visa applicants amid the surge. More than 50,000 international students had their visa applications rejected from November 2023 to February 2024. Many students – aware of the higher likelihood of being refused – are choosing to apply elsewhere. The Economic Times reports that there has been a “decrease in visa applications for the first time in over two years,” and Australian Education Department data show that student visa arrivals were down by 8 percentage points in January 2024 versus January 2023.

New test introduced to judge whether prospective students have “genuine” intentions

The previously administered Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) test has been eliminated and in its stead is a “Genuine Student (GS)” requirement. This is in effect now and has been in place for all student applications lodged on or after 23 March 2024. This test, says the government, “asks students to answer questions about their study intentions and their economic circumstances, with a declaration to be made that they understand what it means to be a genuine student.”

Specifically, applicants must now fill in the following sections on their online visa application, for a maximum of 150 words (in English) per question area.

  • “[Details of] their current circumstances. This includes ties to family, community, employment, and economic circumstances.
  • [Reasons they] wish to study this course in Australia with this particular education provider, including “their understanding of the requirements of the intended course and studying and living in Australia.”
  • [Explanation of why] completing the course will be of benefit to them.
  • Details of any other relevant information they would like to include.”

Applicants who have previously held a student visa are asked an additional question. All applicants “must attach supporting documents to their ImmiAccount.” The evidence required is explained in this official government release.

Higher English scores required

Students will now have to achieve a score of IELTS 6.0 and, for graduate visas, IELTS 6.5, to be considered for an Australian study visa. The previous required scores had been 5.5 and 6.0. This change occurs as a result of the Migration Review (conducted in 2023 and leading into the new immigration settings) finding that “student English language requirements may not set up students to succeed.”

Providers deemed “highest-risk” will receive warning notices

In the next few weeks, the government will start to act on its previously stated plan to crack down on education providers it believes are at the highest risk of non-compliance with immigration rules. A related statement from the Department of Home Affairs says:

“In coming weeks, the highest risk providers – otherwise known as ghost colleges and visa factories – will be issued with warning notices. They’ll be given 6 months to get their act together, if not, they’ll be suspended from recruiting international students.”

Are these good or negative trends?

In answer, the Australian government would say “good,” while many international education stakeholders would say the opposite.

Commenting on the changes that took effect in March, Minister for Home Affairs and Cyber Security Clare O’Neil said:

“Since September, the Government’s actions have led to substantial declines in migration levels, with recent international student visa grants down by 35% on the previous year. The actions this weekend will continue to drive migration levels down while delivering on our commitments in the Migration Strategy to fix the broken system we inherited.”

But 16 university chancellors have sounded the alarm on how damaging the government’s actions will be to the sector. They wrote a letter in February 2024 to Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil and Education Minister Jason Clare saying that the new government stance on international education will cost their institutions AUS$310 million in 2024 alone.

As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, signatories to the letter included chancellors representing Victoria University, Federation University, Western Sydney University, the University of Wollongong, the University of Newcastle, the University of New England, and the University of Southern Queensland. The chancellors wrote:

“Given the ongoing recovery from the impacts of COVID-19, this situation is particularly alarming,” they wrote. The 16 institutions endorsing this letter conservatively estimate a collective revenue downturn of approximately $310 million in 2024 alone, akin to the impact of the pandemic. The consequences outlined have far-reaching implications, potentially jeopardising Australia’s brand as a preferred study destination and presenting significant financial threats to affected universities, especially as they continue to recover from the impacts of the past several years.”

University of Central Queensland vice chancellor Nick Klomp added:

“The situation is now urgent, with university semesters about to commence and thousands of genuine student visa applications – and a $29 billion export industry – hanging in the balance. Australian universities are uniformly world-class; we need to level the playing field to ensure all Australian public universities receive priority processing of genuine international students.”

International students compare studying in Australia to their home countries

A good work-life balance and better career prospects have convinced thousands of students from Asia to come and study in Australia.

International students were quick to praise Australia’s work culture, saying it allowed them to expand their learning and seek opportunities outside the classroom to develop their careers.

Earlier this month, the Asia-Pacific Association of International Education conference took place in Perth, and students shared their experiences.

Work-life balance

Tsubasa Wada is studying for a Master of Accounting at Murdoch University.

The Japanese student has revelled in Australia’s work-life balance culture.

“In Japanese society, it’s often considered desirable to devote my time to work in order to earn good money,” she said.

“When facing my future, I realised that finding happiness in both work and personal life is essential for me.”

Although studying has its challenges, Ms Wada found her life has had more balance in Perth, giving her more fulfilment.

Exploring new opportunities

Sheldon Ying appreciates how Australian students focus on working together instead of competing.

He is studying for a Master of Information Technology at the University of Western Australia and previously worked as a data developer in his home country, China, before returning to university.

He was motivated to pursue a postgraduate degree in Australia to fill the knowledge gaps he found when working at home.

“In Australia, the most important … characteristic I noticed is the choice we have, different courses,” he said.

Having space outside of the classroom has given him time to explore new opportunities through volunteering and community development.

“I think it let me have a better understanding of my role here in Australia,” Mr Ying said.

“I feel like I need to adapt to local culture here, for example, volunteer engagement in social networking … which can give me a chance to explore different things.”

He joined a network of volunteer coders who have helped various charities improve their online presence.

“My job was to redesign websites for charity, helping those [who have] survived domestic violence,” he said.

“Not only did I gain some friendships, but also I combined my professional skills with social responsibility.”

The support international students receive is something Mr Ying has greatly appreciated.

Welcoming community

Andre Aquino is studying for a Master of Professional Communication at Edith Cowan University.

Although he hails from the Philippines, he has felt more connected to other cultures by spending time in Australia.

“Australia has a reputation internationally for being a prime educational provider, and so people from different countries come here to study and you get to meet them,” he said.

The accommodating nature of Australian culture has also allowed him to engage with different types of people.

“[People] are a lot chattier here than they are back home,” he said.

“It’s nice for someone who comes from a country or a culture that, I suppose is more insular, you don’t talk as much to strangers, to a country where people do talk often to strangers.

“It makes you feel more a part of the community,” Mr Aquino said.

Ms Wada has also found the collaborative nature of Australian culture beneficial.

“In Australia, networking and meeting new people is really essential,” she said.

“In Japan, I didn’t experience that … because in the education system, we don’t have it.”

Gaining confidence

Abby Leong recently graduated from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Commerce.

She is from Malaysia and said she gained more independence and confidence to pursue her career goals from studying in Australia.

“The thing that I learned in work [in Australia] is that you have to believe [in] yourself, that you can be built through the work,” she said.

“Currently, I’m more likely to encourage myself, if I really liked the job description, no matter how hard it looks, to just go apply for it.”

Ms Leong feels a strong sense of freedom in Australia, driven by the community-based learning and support networks available.

“I feel so much freedom here, so much freedom,” she said.

“I think when you really put yourself into a situation you can gain [a lot].”

Click for More Articles
Australian Culture and Lifestyle – What’s On
There was plenty of action at the epic 3-day Aqua Rugby sevens tournament!! Sydney, NSW. April 2024
Jamie Elliott of the Magpies takes a spectacular mark over Ben McKay of the Bombers! Melbourne Cricket Ground. Melbourne, Victoria. April 2024
Sydney Swans soar into the top two with a 118 – 42 demolition over the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground! Melbourne, Victoria. April 2024
Australia’s Jack Robinson has won the Margaret River Pro for a second time, beating Hawaii’s John John Florence! Margaret River, Western Australia. April 2024
Australian 14-year-old Arisa Trew has been named action sportsperson of the year at the Laureus World Sports Awards! Madrid, Spain. April 2024
Australian Hannah Green has claimed her second consecutive LA Championship title after a strong finish! LA, USA. April 2024

Australia’s largest community-driven heritage event the ‘Australian Heritage Festival’ featured hundreds of free and ticketed events and activities for all ages & interests! Sydney, NSW. April 2024


With over 180 ancient Egyptian treasures, museumgoers were transported back 3,300 years, across the sands of the Sahara Desert where they reached the heartbeat of Ancient Egypt! At the ‘Ramses & the Gold of the Pharaohs’ exhibition. Sydney, NSW. April 2024


A beautiful afternoon to soak up the summer sun! Sydney, NSW. April 2024

That cuteness is priceless! Mudgee, NSW. April 2024
A magical summer day for a swim at Teardrop Falls! Lorella Springs Wilderness Park, Northern Territory. April 2024
A beautiful sunset at Uluru! Uluru, Northern Territory. April 2024

This Bulletin and its contents is for general information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional advisors.

As legislation and travel requirements are constantly changing, we strongly recommend obtaining advice on your individual situation from a Registered Migration Agent. Please click here to book a consultation with one of our Registered Australian Migration Agents, located in Australia.