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Australia Faces Population Slump But Migration Will Return

Businessman in Australia

Australia has always been regarded as one of the most migrant-friendly countries in the world, whether in regards to its work culture or cost of living. In 2018, over 29% of the country’s population were born overseas.

However, the country has seen dramatic changes in migration policies in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which poses severe threats to health and safety as well as the dreaded economic downturn.

But fret not; all hope is not lost if you want to immigrate to Australia from Singapore. The government’s recent budget review has reflected a focus on migration policies to attract skilled labourers and travellers. Here are four things to take note of.

  1. Federal budget undergoes a review

When Australian politician and treasurer of the Library Party Josh Frydenberg unveiled the federal budget in May, there was a heavy emphasis on the change in population growth.

The budget covered a wide range of topics, such as the likelihood of remaining in a budget deficit over the next 40 years to come. Frydenberg also assumed that all Australians would be vaccinated against the coronavirus by the end of 2021.

The Treasury report highlighted population growth as a key concern. An ageing population poses many problems for the economy. Aside from a smaller workforce, the working population would also shoulder a larger burden when caring for the elderly. It is estimated that by 2060, less than three working adults would be working for every Australian over 65.

Hence, a review of migration policies is necessary to ensure continued population growth and prevent an ageing population. At the same time, medical advice will steer the government in the right direction when deciding on border policies.

Frydenberg emphasised that public safety will affect economic recovery, so following medical and scientific advice will protect both the current population and the economy in the long run.

  1. Dramatic change in the composition of population growth

Beyond worries about an ageing population, the Morrison government also faces the challenge of low fertility rates.

Historically, migration was the main driver of Australia’s population growth. However, according to a report by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this trend has changed dramatically since the onset of the pandemic. Local births accounted for 98 per cent of population growth in 2020.

The reason behind this dramatic change lies in the shifts in migration patterns. Birth and death rates have remained consistent without much variation, but international travel and immigrants from overseas fell sharply. In 2019, the net migration rate was 6.157 per 1000 members of the population, and it fell by 8% to 5.665 per 1000 in 2021.

Population growth is necessary for an economy to sustain continued growth and account for an ageing population. The government’s reliance on migration as a continued driver of economic growth will encourage the development of new migration policies to develop the economy and Australia’s society.

  1. Travellers are kept away, but not for long

The Morrison government rejected the concept of a “fortress Australia”.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison corrected current assumptions about Australia’s COVID-19 suppression strategy, and he claimed that there was no “elimination strategy” or goal for “zero cases”.

He also acknowledged that the return of Australians from abroad will always pose the risk of COVID-19 cases. However, international borders would have to close to prevent a severe outbreak until it is “safe” to reopen them.

It is already difficult for Australians to return home. Currently, the limited number of weekly arrivals has caused prices to shoot up. To return from London to Sydney, a one-way flight in economy class already costs as much as $28,000. Travellers will definitely not be able to enter the country as of now, but the Morrison government promises changes in both travel and immigration programmes.

The risk of COVID-19 and poor growth prospects require a careful balancing act. As the government aims to keep transmission rates low for the rest of the year, they are also looking to reopen the borders in the following year. Migrants will soon return via a “generous, sustainable immigration programme”, and Australia will continue to be an “open, tolerant, diverse country”.

  1. The hospitality sector has been hit especially hard

The government has also expressed concerns about the hospitality sector, which has been hit especially hard due to its high reliance on migrant workers, who often come for temporary periods on working visas.

From experienced chefs to international students working as part-time staff, the closed borders have revealed the importance of migrants in the hospitality sector.

In the middle of May 2021, there were over 46,000 job openings in the hospitality sector. Other sectors such as finance and engineering are also experiencing a massive shortage of skilled applicants.

To combat this, the government expanded the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List to include over 20 new positions in these sectors, with calls for engineers, chefs, and auditors.

Conclusion

As regulations are reviewed in line with the severity of the pandemic, Australia will once again welcome migrants to protect the country’s economic and population growth. If you intend to migrate in the near future, continue to work on your application and upskill yourself to ride upon this new wave of employment opportunities.

Moving to Australia from Singapore does not have to be an intimidating process. Let NTRUST assist you with our experience and familiarity with the various application processes. While we do assist in Work visa applications, we also offer services for Family Migration and Business Migration visas. Whichever visa application you’re looking towards, we’re here to help. To get started, simply contact us at +65 6299 0245 to learn more.

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NTURST's Corporate Position: Addressing The Covid Situation

covid situation in Australia

Globally, the future remains uncertain with regards to the developing health situation. The virus mutates, scientists try to catch up as governments struggle to contain and manage pandemic. Against a backdrop of uncontrollable factors, what will you do to protect and safeguard your future and lifestyle?

Compared with other countries, most of Australia has dealt with the COVID-19 relatively well. Millions of Australians continue to enjoy the same life as it was before the pandemic but not because Australians are more resilient against the diseases, more hygienic, or that their leaders or health authorities better able to cope with the global pandemic. Quite simply, Australians are blessed to live in a big country with excellent, well-spaced out infrastructure. Most Australians live in large homes and travel in their own private transport; yes, it is very unusual for an Australian family not to have at least 1 family car.

Crowded cities are where the diseases are always going to wreak the most havoc. Unfortunately, there are 3 small parts of Australia that continue to struggle to contain the pandemic. Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are unnecessarily overcrowded and this is due, in no small part, to immigration. However, Australia is much bigger than these three overcrowded cities, and whilst they struggle with the challenges of containing the Delta variant, much of the country has been presently flourishing and shall continue to live out socially distanced lifestyles.

A quick check on Google review will show NTRUST to be the most reputable Australian immigration service provider in Singapore. Since 2003, we have assisted thousands of families in moving to Australia from Singapore. In improving our client’s lives through immigration, we have consistently recommended settling into designated areas as migrants within these regions are able to enjoy equally good prospects of an improved lifestyle, work-life balance, quality education, and healthcare.

You don’t have to immediately make a move after a successful Australia PR application. But knowing the demand for it and how long it would take before it is approved are both equally important, what are you doing now to protect you and your loved one’s future?

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Changes To Biip Since June 2021: What To Watch Out For

Man working on laptop in Australia

Since the advent of the COVID pandemic, countries worldwide have suffered due to its effects on their businesses, both big and small.

Australia is no exception, with its government being forced to close its borders to suppress the spread of the virus. Although having achieved its objective, this course of action did not come without repercussions, with the primary one being the drastic fall of the country’s net overseas migration during the 2020-2021 FY.

Given how essential it is for talented individuals and investors to migrate to Australia from Singapore and other countries for the nation’s economy, relevant authorities have deemed it necessary to further maximise the economic contribution of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) in an effort to boost the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

With new changes now in effect reflecting this move, get in the know about the latest amendments to the program since June 2021.

Simplification of Subclass 188 Streams

The nine streams available in the BIIP (Subclass 188) visa shall be simplified and cut down to four (Entrepreneur, Business Innovation, Investor, and Significant Investor).

This means that the other streams, namely, Significant Business History, Significant Investor Extension, Business Innovation Extension, Premium Investor, and Venture Capital Entrepreneur streams, shall no longer be open to new applicants effective 1 July 2021. Additional changes also include a substantial increase of 11.3% in application charges for the remaining visas.

With these changes, the focus is fixated on bringing in higher value investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs ‘of scale’ to Australia for the purpose of heightening the economic return of the BIIP.

However, those who have applied prior to the effective date can still expect the Department to process their applications.

Extension of Subclass 188 Visas

All visa applications under the BIIP (Subclass 188) submitted on 1 July 2021 and onwards shall be granted five years instead of four, meaning holders will have more leeway to gather the requirements needed to transition into the Subclass 888 visa for permanent residency.

However, this change also comes with an amendment to the minimum time requirement in the eligibility of applying for the Subclass 888 visa from two years of Subclass 188 visa ownership to three years.

Significant Investor and Business Innovation Subclass 188 visa holders are still eligible for Subclass 188 Visa Extension

Although these two streams are already closed, their existing visa holders will still be eligible for an extension of up to two years in their visas in the event that they were unable to meet the residence and business thresholds within the initial period of their Subclass 188 visas. But to be eligible, they must fulfil the following requirements:

  • For Business Innovation (188A) visa holders: exhibit the means and will to commit to continuing to manage a business actively operating within Australia in the last two years.
  • For Significant Investor (188C) visa holders: demonstrate the ability to remain in compliance with their significant investment.

Business Innovation requirements increase

The requirements for the Business Innovation stream under BIIP Subclass 188 shall be increased effective 1 July 2021. The requirement changes are as follows:

  • Applicants must now possess business assets worth AUD 1.25 million instead of AUD 800,000
  • Applicants must now have an AUD 750,000 annual turnover instead of AUD 500,000 for a minimum of two out of the last four fiscal years

Scrapping of the Entrepreneur Stream AUD 200,000 funding

The Subclass 188 Entrepreneur stream’s original AUD 200,000 funding threshold requirement will be scrapped. Despite that, applications still require endorsement from a Territory or State government.

Conclusion

For those interested in migrating to Australia from Singapore, it pays to stay updated about current and future changes to BIIP. But since they are not always easy to understand without help, it is recommended to seek experts on the topic.

In such cases, NTRUST can step in as we know what exactly it takes to secure a successful visa application. In fact, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Check out our free Australia Immigration Webinar or simply get in touch with us directly at +65 6299 0245 to kick start your Australia PR application today, starting with discussing your eligibility with our resident consultants. 

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What Expats Need To Know About Australia’s Work Culture

expats Australia's work culture

Australia is highly favoured as a migration destination for its opportunities to climb up the corporate ladder while maintaining some semblance of work-life balance.

This rapidly growing economic hub is home to so many flourishing industries and promising opportunities – it is no wonder that so many people are flocking to work in Australia. Still, there are quite a few notable differences between working life in Australia and Singapore – so, you’ve got to keep them in mind before packing your bags and leaving the country!

So, as if you’re moving to Australia from Singapore, here are some changes you will start having to adapt to. Let’s understand a day in the life of a typical Australian worker to catch a glimpse of their work culture.

Commute to work differently

Most Singaporeans are used to squeezing in tightly packed Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) trains and public buses or tolerating long traffic jams to get to work. In general, public transport is reliable and efficient, but the commute can still get pretty tiring in the long run.

In Australia, there is a greater variation in commuting time compared to Singapore. On average, most Australians commute for up to an hour to and from work. Commuting times vary, but workers from cities such as Sydney and Brisbane average higher commuting times.

While public transport may not be as efficient in Australia, traffic is a lot better, and it is cheaper to drive a car. Furthermore, walking and biking are also popular options.

In other words, if you are working in Melbourne, do consider biking to work! It is one of Australia’s most bike-friendly cities with dedicated on-road bike lanes and dedicated bike tracks.

Working overtime is less likely in Australia.

In Australia, employees are legally allowed to work a maximum of 38 hours per week.

This is a sharp contrast compared to Singapore, where employees are allowed to work an additional 6 hours per week, making the maximum a whopping 44 hours per week.

Work-life balance varies from industry to industry, but in general, Australian workers spend fewer hours in the workplace. With more time away from work, it is common to see Australians socialising over drinks at night and pursuing their hobbies during the weekends.

Socialising after work and coffee are common social practices.

Many Singaporeans report feeling surprised by the differences in coffee and drinking culture after moving to Australia from Singapore; mainly because coffee and drinks play huge roles in maintaining business relationships in Australia.

After all, in Australia, people take their coffee really seriously; it is not surprising to see a younger colleague grab a cup of coffee with their superiors. You may also be surprised to see that coffee is a way of life and coffee joints are the perfect place to socialise, meet new people, and secure business deals. On the contrary, business in Singapore is often done in the office or a fancy restaurant.

Similarly, socialising after work over drinks in a pub is a common practice in Australia. It is common to see a boss invite his fellow employees out for drinks on a Friday after work or even a regular weekday night.

And the best part? You’ll see local pubs often holding special deals that are eagerly snapped up by hungry office workers looking to unwind with their colleagues!

The hierarchy in the workplace is less important than you think

One key difference you may notice after moving to Australia from Singapore is the lack of power differentials between employees in Australia.

In the workplace, hierarchies are pretty much absent aside from mere titles. Regardless of position, employees are encouraged to share their opinions and provide input and insight whenever they deem fit.

Bureaucracy is less common in Australia than in Singapore. In Singapore, traditional Asian values take precedence over more liberal mindsets. Authority figures are respected, and distance is maintained between bosses and subordinates. Strict rules regulate and standardise operations in businesses.

So, ready to work in a laxer environment? Australia’s your best bet!

Life in Australia promises many exciting possibilities for your career and plenty of new connections. With greater awareness of the work culture in Australia, you will be able to find fulfilment and joy as you begin a new stage of your working life.

Culture aside, it is important to have the necessary documents ready as you prepare to immigrate to Australia from Singapore. Consult us at NTRUST, where our Registered Migration Specialists will be able to assist you. With our help, navigating the complicated processes of obtaining a successful visa or Australia PR application has never been easier. Simply call us at +65 6299 0245 or book an appointment with us to better understand what the application process entails!

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Migrating To Australia: Can You Bring Your Pet Over?

migrating to Australia with your pet

When moving to Australia from Singapore, you will have to navigate various legal processes that may be foreign and complicated. Worse yet, these tricky processes may seem unclear as there are many conflicting resources on the Internet.

Pet owners may experience added confusion as migrating comes with another concern; how can they safely and legally bring their pet abroad with them? After all, migrating to a new country is not complete without taking your beloved pet along with you.

Migration laws vary in each country, and Australia has its own unique set of rules. Here are things you need to know when bringing your pet along as you immigrate to Australia from Singapore.

Some breeds are prohibited from entering Australia

Australia categorises countries by the risk of rabies, and Singapore is considered a Group 2 country. Each country comes with its unique set of procedures to clear.

When importing cats and dogs from Singapore, check the breed of your animal. Hybrid cats and dogs are generally prohibited from entering Australia. Some breeds are banned for their aggressiveness and their history as fighting dogs. Examples include Savannah cats, Bengal cats, Pitbull Terriers, and Japanese Tosas.

So, be sure to read the prohibitions and requirements first before making a final decision on bringing your pet abroad permanently.

Be sure to microchip your pet

Microchipping is the practice of inserting a very small identification chip under the skin of an animal.

Each chip comes with a unique code that can be scanned by the relevant authorities. Details about the owner and the pet’s health are recorded in a database with the code, and animal shelters can hence identify your pet if it is lost.

Microchips must be compatible with ISO readers, such as Avid, Trovan, and Destron. Ensure that your chip is ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 compliant, and it has to be at least 15 digits long. The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment also rejects microchips that start with “999” as they are not unique and would not be effective in identifying your pet.

It’s up to you as the furparent to get the right microchip to keep your pet safe and sound, at all times!

Apply for an import permit

Like their owners, pets need a passport when moving to Australia from Singapore.

All pets entering Australia require an import permit. Import permits take a long time to process, so get started as early as you can. It is advisable to begin applying for a permit at least 50 days before you move.

You can register an account on the Biosecurity Import Conditions system (BICON) and submit all relevant documents and payments according to the website’s instructions. Some documents include the RNAT test declaration form, RNAT test lab report, and proof of vaccination against rabies.

And voila! Your pet’s passport is secured – you can focus on other preparations to get your furry friend ready for the move.

Get your pet vaccinated and tested early

It is essential to get your pet vaccinated against rabies. In Australia, laws mandate that all pets under category II have to be vaccinated against rabies after their microchip implantation.

Cats also have to get additional vaccinations against feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis, and calicivirus. Dogs from Singapore also have to be vaccinated against the canine influenza virus (CIV).

Check with your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is fully vaccinated in compliance with Australian laws.

Transport your pet safely

Pets are not allowed to travel in the cabin with their owners. Instead, they must travel in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved crate.

You can refer to the guidelines for the necessary dimensions and requirements for the crate online. From your pet’s size and weight, suitability of a container, to the number of animals for transportation – there are many considerations to make prior to the confirmation of a pet’s move.

Furthermore, all pets must arrive directly at Melbourne International Airport for their quarantine.

Book a quarantine slot for your pet.

All pets entering Australia must be quarantined in a facility located in Mickleham (Melbourne, Victoria) for at least ten days.

After being granted an import permit, you should book a quarantine slot immediately as they are subject to availability, and waiting periods may take longer than expected. Without a confirmed booking, your pet will not be allowed to fly into Australia.

Still, rest easy – you do not have to worry, as your pet will be well taken care of by veterinary professionals. The animals will stay in pens with regulated temperatures and climate. High-quality dry food will be provided once a day, but you can also submit a form specifying any dietary requirements for your pet.

Moreover, you’ll find that bedding and toys are all provided by the facility. Any bedding or toy in the crate will be removed and disposed of as the pet comes into contact with them during their travel.

Say hello to happier and safer travels for your pet too!

Australia contains many pet-friendly outdoor spaces, and pet services such as clinics and groomers are widely available. Be sure to comply with these importation laws, and you will be able to reunite with your pet after the quarantine period!

NTRUST is a migration agency that can help you with migration processes, including pet importation. Not to mention, we’re the first registered Australia migration company that specialises in Australia PR application – be it consultation, documentation, or legal matters – we’re the right person for the job. So, feel free to contact us at +65 6299 0245 and schedule an appointment to immigrate to Australia from Singapore with ease!