International tourism may resume
For most of the COVID-19 pandemic, borders across the world have become increasingly hard to cross, with few examples that can highlight this better than Australia, which had one of the most stringent border controls in place.
Previously, Australians were restricted from travelling internationally, requiring an exemption to granted on compassionate or compelling reasons. Now, the international travel bubbles are beginning to resume and by mid-year, Australians may be able to holiday overseas.
Queensland's Business Migration Program is currently open.
The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) visa is a state-nominated five-year provisional visa and a pathway to the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).
At the time of writing, the 188 visas that remain available are:
Each of the visas available require the applicant to demonstrate a genuine commitment to Queensland, and requires the applicant to hold assets of at least $A 1.25m that can be readily transferred into Queensland.
The process to apply involves submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) with SkillSelect.
"... the essential elements for driving innovation are all there"
-- Chrstine Pitt,
Managing Director of Farmers to Founders
Student and Working Holiday Visa
PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON announced changes in mid-January to help with shortages caused by the spread of the Omicron variant, waiving visa application charges in the form of rebates to those who arrive in Australia:
A$630 for international students; and
A$495 for working holidy makers.
This is expected to ease the workforce pressures that continues despite the relaxation of self-isolation and quarantine orders for close contacts.
The changes are also expected to alleviate some pressure from the labour shortages in the agricultural industry, stemming from working holiday makers being unable to enter the country for the past two years.
An estimated 175,000 foreign students and working holiday makers are expected to come to the country and the cost of the scheme is expected to be $55 million.
"We are putting out the welcome mat"
-- Josh Frydenberg,
Treasurer of Australia
Queensland relaxes domestic borders
At the time of writing, 89.2% of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, just shy of the 90% target that will prompt the reopening of international borders for fully vaccinated arrivals - without the need for quarantine.
Anticipating the state reaching this target, Annastasia Palaszczuk announced the opening of Queensland borders to domestic travellers mid-January.
Police personnel manning the barricades at border have been reassigned to normal operational duties where required, as the state faces the difficulties expected with the Omicron wave.
The situation is changing and we must remain prudent so long as the threat remains.
The Australian Economy
Properties are up; stocks are down
Australia's shares have fallen to a 10-month low and property prices in the capital cities have appreciated by almost 30%, year-on-year; a result few have been able to predict.
It remains unclear where 2022 will lead the Australian economy—particularly in the current COVID climate that has thusfar, with renewed interest in properties this January, completely contradicting the property downturn that the major banks had predicted.
Whether the next movement comes from another episode in the Evergrande default or a shift in the US rates; or even domestic incident: it's hard to predict—one thing we know is that the market can respond in the strangest ways.
"We definitely have captured that rebound, and that's why we've seen such strong rates ..."
--Dr Nicola Powell,
Chief of Research and Economics at Domain