BUSINESS migration agents are expecting a decline in the number of business migration applications following changes to the business skills visa arrangements.
The predictions come on the back of changes, introduced on March 1 this year, that raised the bar for many applicants and excluded a large proportion of smaller business, such as sole traders.
Australia has also become a less attractive destination for some business migrants due to more stringent criteria and increased financial requirements, agents say.
The rush of applications prior to the changes being introduced are still being processed, but business migration agents spoken to by WA Business News are expecting a fall-off in the total number of applications as the year progresses.
The Immigration Group managing director Lance Fee said the changes would make Australia a less attractive immigration destination for some business migrants.
“The uncertainty associated is a big detractor, especially when we are in competition with New Zealand and Canada,” he said.
However, Mr Fee said it would be some time before the impact of the changes were evident.
“I think most of us will see that the decline has started already but this has been somewhat offset by the rush up to March 1. It will probably be October this year before business migration agents start to see a decline in applications,” he said.
Mr Fee said WA would face significant problems due to the decline in business migrants.
“The change now is that a group of people that had been previously able to apply are now excluded,” he said. “All types of people that were working at mid to high management and sole traders, especially in trades.”
Mr Fee said the age limit of 45 and a focus on regional WA would deter some business visa applicants who would instead look at establishing themselves in other counties.
AAA Australia Migration Limited managing director Peter Rozsy said that the changes would have an effect on every business migration agent, but good business migration agents would be able to work within the changes and the more hands-on role of the State Government.
“The migration agents with enough experience and background were able to predict the changes and were able to work around that, hence the recent rush on 457 Visas,” he said.
“A good agent will know about the changes and will be able to assist.”
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