There was a great discussion about annual permanent intake in Immigration to Australia (Australian Visas). Presently, Sydney and Melbourne are overcrowded. Moreover the Government is thinking of a proposal for sending migrants to rural and regional areas of Australia for some years before giving permanent residency. Inviting Low-skilled migrants The Federal Government entered into two special Designated Area Migration Agreements. This will benefit the Great Southern Coast of Victoria and Northern Territory. Here there is an offer of a pathway to gain permanent residency for such low skilled migrants who have limited proficiency in English. The Immigration Minister wishes to sign agreements with additional regions for meeting the labor needs of these areas. The Government also has the aim to improve immigration program and also to match the specific needs of locations in a better manner. These Agreements have a low language, skills, and income requirement and allow migrant workers to enter a pathway for permanent migration. New Parent visa to be made available In the first half of 2019 A new sponsored parents visa will permit parents of migrants to stay in the country for five years. Here the parents of migrants can choose a three-year visa at the cost of $5,000 or a five-year visa at the cost of $10,000 fees. It has the opportunity for renewal only once. The children of visa holders must ensure that the parents are insured and do not acquire a debt on health issues.  New sponsorship framework for sponsored family visas The Parliament passed a Migration Amendments Bill 2016 which paves the way for a new framework of sponsorship exclusively for family visas. This aims at safeguarding susceptible family members, children and partners from violent sponsors.  Moreover, there will be a wait of 12-weeks when the Partner Visa sponsor gets approved. It will also have additional scrutiny of the sponsoring partner. A business visa not needing a proof of investment Additionally there is a special visa to boost the economy of South Australia. This visa does not require capital outlay. The Subclass 408 visa allows the visa holder to stay in the country for three years accompanying the families. The state government prioritized businesses involving cyber security, defense and space, big data, food, digital and block chain, wines and Agriculture Technology, health technology, medical technology, robotics, and industries related to media and films. It is set to continue until Nov 2021. Immigration intake declines The annual permanent immigration intake in Australia was 162,000 and was a low since 2007. The government wants to cap the annual intake at 160,000.. The PM is ready to give more powers to the states/territories to decide their level of intake for their areas. Australian citizenship Furthermore, the Government has decided to introduce a few changes to the Citizenship law in the parliament making the permanent residents to wait for a period of four years. Additionally they need to pass an English test prior to applying for citizenship. The changes were applied retrospectively after an announcement in April 2017. Opposition to the law The Labor and the Greens opposed these changes making it hard for the government to pass the legislation in the Senate. The Immigration Department intended to pass the proposed changes in July 2018 but could not do so till August 2018. It now intends to have a discussion and pass it in the Spring session of the parliament. For this presently the Government needs the support of many senators who have reservation against some major elements of this law.

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