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Updated Australian Values Statement Temporary and Permanent Visa Applicants

Signing Process for the Updated Australian Values Statement

Thousands of people from all over the world apply for migration to Australia each year. Since the applicants come from all around the world, it is crucial for them to have a proper cultural fit in Australia. Keeping these requirements in view, it has now been made mandatory, as of 30th October, 2020, for temporary and permanent visa applications to sign a declaration that reflects the updated Australian Values Statement, with a greater focus on values such as freedom, respect, equality and rule of the law. By this, the Australian Government encourages people to know more about Australia, its value system, its people and their way of life, before applying for a visa to live in Australia.

Australian Values Statement

The values stated in the Australian Values Statement are listed below:

  • respect for the freedom and dignity of the individual;
  • freedom of religion (including the freedom not to follow a particular religion), freedom of speech, and freedom of association;
  • commitment to the rule of law, which means that all people are subject to the law and should obey it;
  • parliamentary democracy whereby our laws are determined by parliaments elected by the people, those laws being paramount and overriding any other inconsistent religious or secular ‘laws’;
  • equality of opportunity for all people, regardless of their gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, race, or national or ethnic origin;
  • a ‘fair go’ for all that embraces:
    • mutual respect;
    • tolerance;
    • compassion for those in need;
    • equality of opportunity for all;
  • the English language as the national language, and as an important unifying element of Australian society

To read the Australian Values Statement and view the form to be signed by the applicants, click here.

For more details on the Australian Values, click here.

Key Updates to the Statement

As a key update to the Australian Values Statement, a statement has now been included requiring permanent and temporary visa applicants to confirm that they understood and therefore will conduct themselves in line with Australian values and laws.

It is also necessary for permanent residence applicants to take reasonable efforts to learn English, the national language of Australia. This is to ensure that they are able to live with the community and get a job.

The changes made are initiative of the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison Government’s $62.8 million investment to protect Australia’s social unity and structure.

New Australian Citizenship Test

A new Australian Citizenship Test will also be brought into effect as of November 15, 2020. This test will have a stronger focus on Australian values. The updated test will contain 20 multiple-choice questions, including five questions on Australian values. Test participants will be required to correctly answer all questions on Australian values, with a score of at least 75 percent overall, to pass the test.

For more details about the test, click here.

To take a practice test, click here.


Keeping the immigration applicant’s social and cultural fit in view, signing of the Australian Values Statement by the applicants is a very crucial step in the visa application process. The Federal Government is taking constant measures to ensure that the Australian social unity and structure is always preserved.


Migration Agent In Melbourne

Ranbir Singh is a Registered Migration Agent with over 10 years of experience in Australian Migration Law. Ranbir specialises in General Skilled Migration, Employer Sponsored Visas, Partner Visas and Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviews. In his ten years of career, Ranbir has helped thousands of people in achieving their goal of securing Australian permanent residency.

SkillSelect Latest Invitation round on the 11/09 /2020

SkillSelect Invitation Process

Every year thousands of people from across the world apply for immigration to Australia. This includes people from the neighbouring New Zealand as well. The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs is allocated budgets for individual visas each year with invitations for visa lodgement being sent out every month to the chosen applicants.

Immigration to Australia is made possible based on the age of the applicants, their skills, educational qualification, work experience and other significant criteria. Based on these parameters, point scores are calculated for each applicant. Based on an applicant’s score percentile and the skills, the invitations are sent out for the visa processing. To know more about the points calculator, click here.


Skilled workers from a myriad of professions and business people need a skilled visa to migrate to Australia. For this they need to apply for an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. The two prominent visas under SkillSelect are Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and the family stream of Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491). Every month, invitations are rolled out for these visas, with the latest roll-out having taken place on the 11th of September 2020.

For more details about the two subclasses of visas mentioned, click the links below:
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

Occupation Ceilings

There is an Occupation Ceiling applied to invitations issued under the independent, skilled regional (provisional) visas. These ceiling limits the number of EOIs that can be invited for skilled migration from an occupation group.

There are various occupation groups considered under the skilled category. Each group is assigned an Occupation ID. For more details about Occupation Ceilings and the list of Occupation groups considered for the skilled visas, click here.

Government Considerations for the Visa Invitations in Times of Covid-19

While the visa invitations are sent out to the applicants based on their point scores, the government closely monitors the entire migration process to ensure that they are in compliance with the public health measures in force. Additionally, the government is also very particular that the process does not result in displacing job opportunities for Australians. This is keeping in view the various measures to be taken to recover from the impact of Covid-19.

SkillSelect Latest Invitation Round on the 11th of September 2020

As of September 2020, the following number of invitations (shown in Table 1) were issued under the Skilled category.

Visa Subclass Number
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) 350
Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
(Subclass 491)

Table 1

The invitations issued so far during the 2020-21 program year is given in Table 2 below.

Visa-Subclass July 2020 August 2020 September 2020 Total
Independent Visa
(Subclass 189)
500 110 350 960
Skilled Work
(Provisional) Visa
(Subclass 491)
100 90 150 340
Total 600 200 500 1300

Table 2

Outlook for Future Invitations

Keeping the Covid-19 situation in view, the government is presently considering only the Covid-19 recovery occupations for upcoming invitations. In fact, there is a high chance that invitations for all other skilled occupations, even at points as high as 95 or 100, could be delayed until late 2021. While the future developments in COVID recovery could change things a bit, it seems likely that the Government’s focus on prioritising the COVID-19 occupations will remain unchanged until a vaccine is found and administered throughout Australia . Till then, the below trend may follow :

  • With a budget of just 6500 invitations for subclass 189, including applicants from (NZ), applicants of non covid recovery occupations will have to ideally score 100 points to secure an invite.
  • Even after securing a score of 95-100 points, the above applicants may have to wait at least a year to receive an invite. State sponsorships especially the regional ones will therefore continue to be popular.
  • There seems to be hardly any difference in the points required for pro rata or non Prorata occupations as most of these occupations will have to secure between 95-100 points.
  • All of these future invites will be considered for Covid-19 recovery occupations. There may be very few or no invites allocated presently for other occupations.
  • healthcare professionals (Nurses and Medical Lab Scientists) are the biggest winners with point scores as low as 65 being eligible for an invite.


The Covid-19 situation has resulted in changes in the invitation process policies of the DHA. While this impacts applicants from occupations other than the critical occupations, this is primarily aimed at Covid-19 recovery which is the need of the hour. These policies of the DHA are subject to change every month. So these numbers can change over the course of time. Stay tuned for more.


Migration Agent In Melbourne

Ranbir Singh is a Registered Migration Agent with over 10 years of experience in Australian Migration Law. Ranbir specialises in General Skilled Migration, Employer Sponsored Visas, Partner Visas and Administrative Appeals Tribunal reviews. In his ten years of career, Ranbir has helped thousands of people in achieving their goal of securing Australian permanent residency.

SC 491 Visa: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the new SC491 Visa?
The SC 491 is a skilled visa with duration of 5 years. This visa is points tested and requires either a state nomination or sponsorship, from an eligible family member who is settled in a designated regional area of Australia.

What is the difference between SC 489 and SC 491 Visas?
Well firstly, the 489 Visa has been discontinued since last year. The 491 that has now been introduced in its place is almost as similar but has some changes and a few restrictions.
Let us quickly break it down for you-
• A 491 visa holder will have to wait for 3 years to get a PR. Under the 489 system it used to be 2 years.
• The 491 covers more regional areas compared to 489. It covers all areas except metropolitan Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth (Newcastle, Wollongong and NSW Central have been added to the list)
• A lot many more points are being allocated under the 491 compared to 489.

Here’s a list of the possible points that you could tally up-

  • 10 points for unmarried migrants, which is a huge bonus if you are single.
  •  15 points for eligible relative sponsorship. Previously, was just 10 under the 489
  •  10 points for spouse or partner skills. Previously, was just 5 under the 489
  • and 10 points for spouse or partner English. Previously, was just 5 under the 489

How Strict are the Conditions under the 491 visa?
Migrants with 491 visas cannot live and work outside the regional areas that have already been specified above.
They can however move from one regional area to another as per their convenience.
As per rules, migrants holding 491 will not be eligible to apply for most of the other skilled visas, unless they have completed living and working in a skilled designated regional area.
So be extremely careful, as these conditions will be monitored closely and non compliance will results in visa cancellation or disqualification.

What will be the pathway to Permanent Residency for SC 491 VISA holders?
SC 191 will be the pathway to Permanent Residency from November 2022.
The migrant must have held a SC 491 visa for the stipulated period of time, which is 3 years, and should have met all requirements.
The holder will have to meet the minimum taxable income requirements of AUD 53,900 per annum, for 3 years.
Spouse or partners can also be the main applicant for 191 if they meet the criteria.

Will moving to a regional area for 3 years be a disadvantage for prospective migrants?
First of all, living and working in a regional area will never pose as any sort of a deterrent for the migrants who apply for the 491 visa. Instead, the opportunities that will be presented to you will be a plenty and the experience that you gain will be advantageous, especially when you move ahead for a Permanent Residency.

What advise you might have for people eagerly awaiting the SC 491 visas?
Our advice for married applicants will be that apart from your documents, get your spouse or partner skills assessed well in advance and have their competent English records ready. Especially, if your spouse or partner is also interested in applying for the 491 visa.
It is very much advisable that you avoid taking any dubious shortcuts. There are cases where people have tried to exploit the ‘unmarried migrant’ status to claim extra points, by violating the divorce clause, and have found themselves to be disqualified from applying for the 491 visa. Do remember, your period of stay under the 491 visa will be thoroughly scrutinised and questioned. The same procedure will be applied to your Permanent Residency bid under SC 191, so again, we advice your to be careful and cautious about your conduct.
Above all- Stick to all the conditions applicable to the visa and you should be able to sail thought the processes without any difficulty.

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