Thames Migration, Australian Emigration and Visa Specialists

Changes to Australia’s Skilled Migration programme – 1st July 2017

Eligible skilled occupation lists
*36 occupations added to the lists
*12 occupations removed from the lists
*9 of the removed occupations were eligible for sc457 and sc186 visas
* Movement between STSOL and MLTSOL

 

Inapplicability conditions

  • Conditions now apply to 67 occupations
  • Impact sc457 and sc186 direct entry applications only
  • sc186DE applications lodged on or after 1 July
  • sc457 applications lodged on or after 1 July, or lodged and not yet decided as at 1 July

 

Three main groups:

*Group A: work experience onl

*Group B: regional location only

*Group C: occupation specific caveats

 

 English language – Subclass 457

Exemption from English language test on the basis of salary removed.
English language test results must be provided unless the visa applicant has:
*A valid passport issued by either the UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Ireland; OR
*Employment with an overseas business who is coming to Australia to work for that company or their associated entity and they have a nominated base rate of pay of at least AUD$96,400; OR
*Completed a minimum of five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English.

Character

*Police clearance certificates are mandatory
*Military record or discharge certificates are required, plus police certificates from the countries of service

Visa validity

* Maximum visa validity for occupations on the STSOL is 2 years, unless a longer period is required to meet international trade obligations

* Maximum visa validity for occupations on the MLTSSL is 4 years

 

Training benchmarks

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) comes into effect from 1 March 2018. Sponsorship and 186 nomination applications lodged from 1 July, must satisfy a new training instrument which:

Business with a turnover of less than AUD $10 million per year will pay:

* $1,200 per TSS visa per year

* $3,000 for each ENS or RSMS application

 

Business with a turnover of more than AUD$10 million per year will pay:

* $1,800 per TSS visa per year

*  $5,000 for each ENS or RSMS application

Furthermore, Sponsorship and 186 nomination applications lodged from 1 July, must satisfy a new training instrument which:

  • Defines payroll
  • Clarifies acceptable and non-acceptable training expenditure
  • Outlines the training expenditure period

 

Sponsorship Accreditation

Expanded to accommodate certain low risk sponsors

  • Further reduce 457 processing times
  • Benefits of accreditation are:

* sponsorship validity of six years

* priority allocation of all nomination and visa applications

*additional streamlined processing of certain low risk nominations

The new accreditation characteristics are divided into four categories:

Category 1- Australian government agencies
Category 2 – Approved Australian trusted traders
Category 3 – “low risk” with low volume usage of the 457 programme and at least 90% Australian

Category 4 – “low risk” with high volume usage of the 457 programme and at least 75% Australian workers
Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
English language requirements

 

Exemption from providing an English language test for applicants whose salary is in the top tax bracket removed.

Acceptable means of demonstrating English:

*A valid passport issued by either the UK, USA, Canada, NZ or Ireland; OR
*Employment with an overseas business who is coming to Australia to work for that company or their associated entity and they have a nominated base rate
of pay of at least AUD$96,400; OR
*Completed a minimum of five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where the instruction was delivered in English.
ENS and RSMS Skill exemption

  • Exemption from a skills assessment for nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current ATO top individual income tax rate removed

Age

  • Direct entry applicants must be below the age of 45 at time of application
  • Current age exemptions will still be available
  • TRT stream applicants must be below the age of 50 at time of application (valid until March 2018)

Genuine need

  • Nomination must identify a ‘genuine need’ for the nominee to be employed in the nominated position
  • Nominee must work under the direct control of the nominator as a paid employee
  • Details of the nominee must be included in the nomination

 

Other immigration changes
New Zealand Pathway

  • NZ citizens usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
  • resided in Australia for at least 5 years
  • minimum taxable income requirements
  • mandatory health, character and security checks
  • pathway to citizenship after a period of 12 months

 

Visitor visa application

Indian passport holders can now lodged Visitor (Subclass 600) visa applications online
Visitor visa priority consideration

Certain passport holders will be able to apply for online priority consideration service for visitor visa applications. Eligible countries are – China, India and UAE
APEC Business Travel Card

Australian citizens can apply online for an APEC Business Travel Card from 1 July
Working holiday and work and holiday visas

Age limit increased to 35 or under, for certain passport holders

 

For further information or any questions, please contact our staff in Australia or the United Kingdom to learn more.