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.

Jobs and Migration Australia Open Day

Jobs in AustraliaThis Open Day is designed for all ages from 18+. Australia is undergoing a number of changes across the board. If you are seeking to make Australia home, or even just wanting to explore Australia for a year to ‘try before you buy’ then this evening is for you!

Our Australian Registered Migration Agent, Hannibal Khoury, has recently returned from Australia with a number of jobs on offer. He will be speaking on the day about the current trends in Australia, what is takes to get a visa, and the work/life opportunites that are available for Brits seeking a stable and positive labour market. This is a great opportunity to learn what the process entails whilst gaining an insight on the lifestyle, jobs and opportunities in Australia. Don’t miss out on the chance to speak about your aspirations to live in Australia.

Date:    Thursday, 24th August 2017

Venue:  Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace, London W44JN

Time:   5.30pm – 7.00 pm

Cost:   FREE

Open Day Registration

Can’t make it? We will be offering individual one-to-one consultations until the end of August for FREE! (usually £150 +VAT).  Please contact us with your details to book an individual consultation.

Contact Us

Australian Partner Visas are about to change

Australian Partner Visas are about to change

There is about to be a major change to the way partner visas are processed splitting the process into 2 distinct and separate parts. Prior to these changes an application consisted of a sponsorship application by the Australian half of the relationship together with a visa application by the other partner and dependants. These processes from the 1st of July will now be considered separately on their own individual merits.

From this date, the Australian sponsor of the Partner visas will be required to apply for, and be approved as a sponsor before the visa application is lodged. If for any reason the sponsorship is not approved (the sponsor for example, is found to not be of good character) then the visa application cannot be made. There is no indication yet as to what fees will be charged or the exact requirements that sponsor and applicant will have to meet, though they will in all probability have at least to meet the current standard. Whether additional criteria will be set for sponsor or applicant is not yet known. The other unknown at present is how long it is going to take to complete this new process.

There will also be obligations on the sponsor to notify of any changes in circumstances and failure to do this will most likely result in penalties.

Australian Partner Visa – Character Requirement

​Everyone who wants to enter or stay in Australia must satisfy the character requirement as set out in Section 501 of the Migration Act 1958 (the Act). This includes all non-citizens, sponsors of visa applicants and non-migrating family members seeking to enter or stay in Australia.

Irrespective of which visa you apply for, you must advise the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) if you have any criminal convictions inside or outside of Australia, and you may be asked to provide police certificates as part of your assessment against the character test. Since 18 November 2016, sponsors of these visa applications will now need to:

  • provide Australian (AFP) and/or foreign police checks when requested
  • consent to us disclosing their convictions for relevant offences to the visa applicant(s).

Furthermore, when applying for a Partner visa, if you do not inform the DIBP of your criminal history, your visa application may be refused. A refusal can occur via Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020. PIC 4020 enables refusal of a visa if an applicant provides a bogus document or information that is false or misleading in relation to their application, or if the Minister is not satisfied of an applicant’s identity.

Given the new arrangements there is a very real risk that additional delays will be introduced when the system is changed leading to an increase in the time it will take to apply for and complete the partner visa process.

It is noteworthy to mention that the 1st July is the start of the new Financial Year in Australia and traditionally when changes to pricing and visa requirements are made. There is every indication this year that there will be significant changes to a number of visa programs including 457 employment visas and the Skilled Migration program.

Traditionally, at this time fees are increased in line with inflation but there have been a number of notable years where fees for some visas have risen substantially above this figure. Again traditionally the new fees and regulations are often published for the first time on the 1st July on the Department’s website.

Thames Migration suggest that if you are considering applying for an Australian Partner visa (Subclass 309/100) or (Subclass 300) or (Subclass 801/820) and you are eligible now, it would be wise to apply sooner rather than later, before 1 July 2017.

Contact Hannibal Khoury, our Australian Registered Migration Agent who specialises in Australian Partner visas from the United Kingdom to Australia.

Thames Migration is the leading Australian visa agency in London, United Kingdom offering all Australian visa and immigration services.

Jobs and Migration Australia Open Day, 20th April

Jobs in AustraliaThis Open Day is designed for all ages from 18+. Australia is undergoing a number of changes across the board. If you are seeking to make Australia home, or even just wanting to explore Australia for a year to ‘try before you buy’ then this seminar is for you!

Our Australian Registered Migration Agent, Hannibal Khoury, has recently returned from Australia with a number of jobs on offer. He will be speaking on the day about the current trends in Australia, what is takes to get a visa, and the work/life opportunites that are available for Brits seeking a stable and positive labour market. This is a great opportunity to learn what the process entails whilst gaining an insight on the lifestyle, jobs and opportunities in Australia. Don’t miss out on the chance to speak about your aspirations to live in Australia.

Date:    Thursday, 20th April 2017

Venue:  Chiswick Town Hall, Heathfield Terrace, London W44JN

Time:   5.30pm – 7.30 pm

Cost:   FREE

Open Day Registration

Can’t make it? We will be offering individual one-to-one consultations until the end of May for FREE! (usually £150 +VAT).  Please contact us with your details to book an individual consultation.

Contact Us

Australia visa application processing times 2017

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced a new update to the visa processing times for all visa applications. The new schedule of processing times – “Global visa and citizenship processing times”, will be updated monthly and do not include:

·         visa subclasses closed to new entrants

·         visa subclasses capped and queued

The new visa schedule does not differentiate applications from low-risk or high-risk countries, but instead publishes two different processing times for 75% and 90% of ongoing applications. Here are some of the current processing times listed:

Visa type Description 75% of applications processed in 90% of applications processed in
457 Temporary Work (Skilled) 86 days 6 months
186 Employer Nomination Scheme (Direct Entry Pathway) 9 months 11 months
186 Employer Nomination Scheme (Transition Pathway) 8 months 9 months
187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Direct Entry Pathway) 11 months 12 months
187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Transition Pathway) 8 months 9 months
189 Skilled – Independent 4 months 6 months
190 Skilled – Nominated 4 months 7 months
489 Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (Skilled Regional – GSM) 5 months 6 months
489 Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (State/Territory Nominated visa classes – GSM) 5 months 7 months
887 Skilled – Regional 7 months 10 months
300 Prospective Marriage 12 months 17 months
309 Partner (Provisional) 11 months 15 months
100 Partner 15 months 23 months
801 Partner 16 months 20 months
820 Partner 18 months 20 months
802 Child 7 months 8 months
101 Child 9 months 15 months
143 Contributory Parent (Migrant) 32 months 33 months
173 Contributory Parent (Temporary) 32 months 32 months
188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Business Innovation) 16 months 18 months
892 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner 15 months 17 months
600 Visitor (Sponsored Family) 41 days 58 days

Source: DIBP

Australian citizenship application processing times

Last updated: 14 March 2017

Australian Citizenship application type 75% of applications processed in 90% of applications processed in
Conferral (lodgement to ceremony*) 10 months 12 months
Descent (lodgement to decision) 63 days 4 months
Evidence (lodgement to decision) 5 days 12 days

 

You can view the schedule of visa processing times here, or visit the individual visa pages to view the current processing times (example below).

DIBP 457 processing times

Source:

https://www.border.gov.au/about/access-accountability/service-standards/global-visa-citizenship-processing-times

This information is accurate on 17 March 2017

 

For more specific information regarding applications submitted by Thames Migration, please contact us directly on 02089960120 in the United Kingdom or on 0412525232 in Australia.

 

Work and Holiday – Subclass 462 visa now available for second year

Effective from 1 November 2016, subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa holders will be eligible to apply for a second Work and Holiday visa if they have worked for at least 88 days or 3 months in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, tourism and hospitality industries for northern Australia. Northern Australia in this aspect includes all of the Northern Territory, and northern parts of Western Australia and Queensland.

The subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa is for young travellers aged 18 to 30 from the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Chile
  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Malaysia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • USA
  • Uruguay

Please be aware that the subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa is different from the subclass 417 Working Holiday visa. With the changes introduced the subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa will be on par with the subclass 417 Working Holiday visa which allows for visa holders to apply for a second visa to extend their stay in Australia.

The move will designed to also provide a boost to regional Australia tourism and employers who find it difficult to find help in the bush or the outback.

Sources:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2016L01696/Explanatory%20Statement/Text

https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/462-

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(+61) 0 412525232 or +44 0 2089960120

New changes for Working Holiday Visa: January 2017

Coming soon in 2017, Working Holiday visa (for both Subclass 417 and 462) applicants/ backpakers will be taxed at a lower rate. The changes are seen to increase and further promote the Australian tourism sector.

working holiday visa

New changes for Working Holiday Visa: January 2017

Employers are required to register with ATO for purposes of having a Subclass 417 workers employed with them in order for the visa applicant to receive the reduced tax rate of 19%. This will be a employer public register for the program for visa holders to be able to check and manage the details of employers. If employer is not registered, backpackers will otherwise be taxed at 32.5 cents.

 

  • Extended age criteria from 31 to 35 years of age eligibility
  • 417 and 462 visa applications to be reduced to $390 (less $50)
  • Both 416 and 462- The Australian government will withhold 95% of departing backpackers superannuation and increase the passenger movement charge

 

Furthermore, the Australian government has announced it will be increasing the passenger movement charge by $5 to fund particular initiatives whilst supporting the tourism industry.

 

Travels in Australia will not be subject to additional surcharges such as credit card surcharges in order to improve visitor experience.

 

To apply or learn more, please complete our form below

Contact Us

 

 

 

Caps for non-contributory parent, other family visa classes set

The Australian Government has set its annual caps for non-contributory parent and other family visas.

What does the change mean:

Australia will make a total of 1550 Parent (Migrant) (Class AX) and Aged Parent (Residence) (Class BP) visas available for visa grant in the financial year that began 1 July 2016. A total of 520 Other Family (Migrant) (Class BO) and Other Family (Residence) (Class BU) visas will be allocated for visa grant in the current financial year.

  • Implementation time frame: The visa caps for the financial year that began 1 July 2016 were put in place by a Legislative Instrument 2 September.
  • Visa/permits affected: Parent (Migrant) (Class AX), Aged Parent (Residence) (Class BP); Other Family (Migrant) (Class BO) and Other Family (Residence) (Class BU) visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals applying for (or who have already applied for) any of the visa classes listed above.
  • Next steps: Individuals who have applied for one of the above visa classes and whose applications have been queued and released for final processing will have their applications finalised up until the annual caps are reached.

Background: The caps set for the 2016-17 financial year for the visa classes listed above were the same as last year and nearly identical to 2014-2015.

Fiscal Year Visa Category Visa Cap
2014-15 Parent* 1,550
Family** 510
2015-16 Parent 1,550
Family 520
2016-17 Parent 1,550
Family 520

* Parent (Migrant) (Class AX) and Aged Parent (Residence) (Class BP).
** Other Family (Migrant) (Class BO) and Other Family (Residence) (Class BU).

It should also be noted that New Zealand citizens who are not normally included in Australia’s Migration Programme are included in the caps listed above.

Please Note: The caps set for non-contributory parent visas and other family visa classes have changed very little since 1 July 2014. New applicants for a non-contributory parent visa can expect to wait upwards of 30 years (if not longer) before their application is released for final processing, whilst those seeking to apply for an aged dependent relative, remaining relative or carer visa can expect to wait upwards of 50 years (if not longer) before their application is released for final processing.

This news alert has been provided by Thames Migration Ltd . For additional information, please contact info@thamesmigration.com

MARN: 0426562

Entrepreneur visa introduced: Start-up in Australia

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced Australia’s visas in December as part of more than 20 measures in an ambitious A$1.1 billion (574 million pounds) plan to boost innovation and spark an “ideas boom”.

Its incentives include reductions in the capital gains tax for startups, generous income tax rebates for retail investors, and changes to bankruptcy laws to encourage more risk-taking by entrepreneurs. Subsequently, the new Supporting Innovation through Visas measures was introduced on 10th September 2016.

Entrepreneur visa criteria

The Entrepreneur visa will be part of the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme. Entrepreneurs and start-ups interested in applying for the Entrepreneur visa will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory government.

Key eligibility criteria include:

o Applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.

o The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.

o Applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30% interest in their entrepreneurial venture.

o There must be one or more funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.

o Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP). Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.

o Applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.

An Entrepreneur visa holder can progress to permanent residency after four years if they can meet a measure of success, which includes factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.

A 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Index (GEI) ranked Australia 3rd, amongst the most entrepreneurial countries. Top regional leaders included the United States in North America, in the Asia-Pacific region, Denmark in Europe, Chile in South and Central America/the Caribbean, and South Africa in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The report looked at GDP, income equality, economic freedom and peace. The most correlation was found between the entrepreneurial ecosystem rankings measured against digital evolution and environmental performance factors.
The United States topped the rankings again this year, with a GEI score of 86.2. Canada placed second (79.5) and Australia came in third (78.0), and was first in the Asia-Pacific region. The top 10 countries for 2016 show a pattern similar to last year’s – they are high-income and mostly European nations. Australia was followed by (in order) Denmark, Sweden, Taiwan, Iceland, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France.

 

The United Kingdom fell in ranking this year, moving from fourth to ninth place. This was primarily driven by declines in four individual level variables over a three year period – education level among entrepreneurs, competitors, new products and exports. Because the scores in the highest range are so close, small changes in score from one year to the next can produce a relatively large shift in ranks among the top 10.

 

The impact of the UK’s exit from the EU is wide-ranging directly and indirectly touching many aspects of your business, in the UK and elsewhere.

Thames Migration has assisted many UK and European companies over the years to set up in Australia. We work to understand your business needs and priorities, and to assess the most suitable visa strategy for the shift in your valued human capital.

To learn more about the Australian Entrepreneur Visa or determine if your company may qualify, please contact us on 02089960120 or complete our online form.

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Changes to student visas – from 1 July 2016

New student visa applicants

From 1 July 2016, there will be only one student visa available to study in Australia – the Student visa (subclass 500).

After 1 July 2016, if you want to study in Australia, you will need to apply for the Student visa (subclass 500) regardless of your field of study.

To find out the documents you might need to provide with your student visa application, select your education provider from the list available at: Education providers.

For more information, refer to the factsheets below:

Current visa holders

If you hold a student visa with subclass numbers 570 to 576, your visa will remain valid and your visa conditions will not change after 1 July 2016.

After 1 July 2016, family members of Student visa holders (subclasses 570-576) will need to apply for a subclass 500 visa if they want to join a family member in Australia.