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Stay Informed - News from our Migration Agents

What do you need to apply for Australia Skilled Visa?

Are you a well-qualified individual and interested in working in Australia? Australia is well-known as the dream destination for many individuals to not only visit but work either in a short term or permanently in the country. Therefore, the Immigration Department has developed several skilled migration categories that can be applicable to different situations. Each skilled migration category has different requirements for entry to Australia. In most cases, applicants will need to satisfy the basic requirements and in many categories, they must pass the points test. Skilled Migration

 Following are the basic requirement to achieve an Australia Skilled Visa:

  • Age - applicants must be under 50 when you apply
  • English language - sufficient ability in the English language to work in Australia (at least at a competent level)
  • Nominated occupation - The skilled occupation applicants nominate must be found on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List
  • Skills assessment - before applying, applicants must have their skills assessed by the Australian assessing authority designated to assess their nominated occupation
  • Health assessment - applicants should be of reasonably good health and all applicants must have their health assessed by a panel doctor and undergo a medical examination
  • Character assessment - applicants should be of good character

To make sure you pass all these requirements and point test, contact us and stay informed: Migration Agent

migration-agent


 

Eligible occupation for employer sponsored visas

Numerous of the occupations which are eligible for employer sponsored visas are now subject to inapplicability conditions or “caveats”.  This means that, whilst the occupations are available for employer sponsored visas, there are conditions which apply to determine the availability of the relevant occupation that employers / employees need to be aware of.  

For example, the “marketing specialist” occupation (ANZSCO 225113) is not available if any of the following apply:

  • The position has a nominated base salary of less than AUD $65,000;
  • The position is based in a front line retail setting or predominantly involves direct client transactional interaction on a regular basis; or
  • The position is in a business that has an annual turnover of less than AUD $1,000,000.

Further guidance has been released on the interpretation of the inapplicability conditions / caveats which apply to the following occupations:

  • Accountant (ANZSCO 221111)
  • Animal Attendants and Trainers (NEC) (ANZSCO 361199)
  • Baker (ANZSCO 351111)
  • Cafe or Restaurant Manager (ANZSCO 141111)
  • Chef (ANZSCO 351311)
  • Chief Executive or Managing Director (ANZSCO 111111)
  • Conference and Event Organiser (ANZSCO 149311)
  • Cook (ANZSCO 351411)
  • Corporate General Manager (ANZSCO 111211)
  • Corporate Services Manager (ANZSCO 132111)
  • Customer Service Managers (ANZSCO 149212)
  • Facilities Manager (ANZSCO 149913)
  • Farmer – various (Group 121)
  • Hair or Beauty Salon Manager (ANZSCO 142114)
  • Hotel or Motel Manager (ANZSCO 141311)
  • Management Consultant (ANZSCO 224711)
  • Marketing Specialist (ANZSCO 225113)
  • Massage Therapist (ANZSCO 411611)
  • Mechanical Engineering Technician (ANZSCO 312512)
  • Pastry Cook (ANZSCO 351112)
  • Recruitment Consultant (ANZSCO 223112)
  • Sales and Marketing Manager (ANZSCO 131112)
  • Supply and Distribution Manager (ANZSCO 133611)
  • Technical Sales Representatives NEC (note: includes education sales rep) (ANZSCO 225499)
  • Transport Company Manager (ANZSCO 149413)

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Sponsoring Employees

Standard Business Sponsorship

How to become an approved sponsor?

 Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

 

migratioon-agent


 

Australian Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa

The Government announced that it would be introducing a new enhanced temporary sponsored parent visa in Australia as part of its election commitment.  It is expected that the new parent visa will be introduced by the Government after the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and other Measures) Bill 2016 (Bill) (which will implement a new sponsorship framework for the sponsored family visa program) has passed through parliament.

 

Existing parent visa categories will remain.  The key features of the proposed new temporary sponsored parent visa which have been announced are as follows:

  • Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and New Zealand citizens will be able to sponsor their parents to stay for up to 5 years per approval
  • Sponsoring children must be separately approved as sponsors, meet health and character requirements, and have lived in Australia for 4 years or more. There will be household income thresholds which must also be met.  Sponsorship and parent visa applications will be assessed separately.  This is part of the new framework being introduced under the Bill which seeks to address issues associated with the current lack of focus on sponsors of family sponsored visas leading to family violence.
  • Biological, adoptive or step-parents are eligible and in addition to having their child approved separately as a sponsor, parents who wish to be approved for the parent visa must also meet health and character requirements and not owe any debts to Australia.
  • Only two parents per household are permitted at one time.
  • The parent visa will cost $10,000 for a 5 year visa or $5,000 for a 3 year visa (with a maximum stay of 10 years).
  • Approved parents under this parent visa category will not have any work rights but will have limited study rights.
  • This visa is expected to address concerns over long waiting times associated with parent visas in Australia

 

Parent Visa and Partner Visa

 

 Further details will likely become available later this year. Contact us and stay informed: 

Migration Agent

migration agent


 

Skilled Occupations for SkillSelect

Skilled independent visas (subclass 189), skilled regional sponsored visas (subclass 489), and skilled or business state or territory sponsored visas (for example the subclass 190 visa) are each subject to “occupation ceilings” which means that the number of invitations that can be issued through SkillSelect each year for each occupation are limited or capped. If the limit for the relevant occupation has been reached, applicants will not be successful in their application.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection publishes the occupation ceilings and the relevant ceilings for the 2017-18 programme as well as the number of invitations which have been made to date can be accessed via the following link: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Skil#tab-content-3
We recommend that you apply sooner rather than later to ensure that your occupation is still available.

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Self Sponsorship

Skilled Migration

 Contact us and stay informed: 

Migration Agent

migration-agent-sydney

 


Tax file number requirements for Employer sponsored visas

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is planning to introduce tax file number collection from visa holders of permanent skilled migration visas such as the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa, the Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visa, the Skilled – Nominated (subclass 190) visa, and the Skilled –Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa.

Skilled Migration

The commencement of the collection of tax file numbers is scheduled to commence some time prior to 31 December 2017. The purpose of collection is to enable data to be examined against Australian Taxation Office records so as to ensure that permanent visa holders are actually being paid at least their nominated salary as notified to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. This is one of the measures to be introduced which seeks to preserve the integrity of the permanent visa programme and is welcomed by Sydney Migration International.

Contact us and stay informed: 

Migration Agent

Sydney-migration-agent


 

Minimum English Score will increase for ENS and RSMS visas

Recently, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced that from 1 July 2017, applications for ENS and RSMS visas made under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream will require, at a minimum, competent English language scores via the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test).  Competent English language means a test score of at least 6 in each component.

At the time of application, applicants need to provide the following evidence:

  • Test results with the required minimum test scores in a specified English language test that has been conducted within three years immediately before the date of application lodgement; or
  • a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and evidence that the applicant is a citizen of that country

The previous English language skills exemption for earners of more than $180,001 has been removed for these two visa subclasses. 

This change does not impact applications lodged before 1 July 2017 that have not yet been decided by the Department.

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Migration-agent-sydney


 

People looking to work or seek migration in a regional or low population growth area of Australia

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) provides a permanent visa pathway for skilled people looking to work or seek migration in a regional or low population growth area of Australia. This visa lets employers in these areas to sponsor migrants to fill skilled vacancies in their business which cannot be met locally.
The RSMS offers various benefits for skilled migrants looking for migration move to regional Victoria. It allows the visa holder and their dependent family members included in the visa application to live as permanent residents in Australia.

Permanent residents are able to:

  • live and work in Australia on a permanent basis
  • study in Australia at school or university
  • receive subsidised healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme
  • access certain social security payments (subject to waiting periods)
  • be eligible for Australian citizenship (subject to the residency eligibility criteria)
  • sponsor partner/ family for permanent residence

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Sponsoring Employees

Standard Business Sponsorship

 

Not only skillked migrants, employers looking to fill skill needs that cannot be met locally will also benefit from the RSMS visa. The only requirement for employers in sponsoring a skilled migrant is to offer a full time job to employee for at least two years.

Seek assistance for your migration path, contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

migration-agent-sydney


 

English language requirements for 457 visa applicants

 According to the Immigration Department, if you are applying for Skilled Migration, you will need to prove your English language ability (via IETLS, OET, TOEFL iBT or PTE Academic Test). The required level of English is subject to the visa subclass you are applying for and there are 4 different levels of English which may be relevant: Superior – Proficient – Competent – Vocational – Functional.

For all 457 visa applicants, it is compulsory to meet the English language requirements, the English requirements won’t apply for applicants from native English-speaking countries for example the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. However, a “proficient” or “superior English” test score might increase points test result.

There is also an exemption to the 457 visa English requirement for ‘intra-company transferees’ where the 457 applicant is an employee of your business overseas and will migrate to Australia to fill a position with a salary over $96,400.This is a welcome exemption as the government did not specify that salary related exemptions would be retained in any form. Other exemptions are provided for diplomats and individuals who have finished a minimum of five years full-time study in English.

Business owners and HR professionals will also need to factor in the time it takes applicants to book and sit the English test, as this may impact the times to secure an applicant for a role.

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Sponsoring Employees

Standard Business Sponsorship

Further advice for subclass 457 visas will be available. Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Migration-agent-Sydney


 

New amendments on accredited sponsorship

Lately, The Immigration Department has announced the new amendments on accredited sponsorship. These amendments are designed to ensure that a larger number of lower risk sponsors have access to accreditation and the priority allocation and streamlined processing arrangements that this entails. Previously, accredited sponsorship was generally only accessible to high volume users of the 457 program.
The DIBP believes that this will lessen subclass 457 processing times, whereas at the same time continuing to focus on Australian workers getting priority where skills shortages exist. 

Below are the new accreditation characteristics that are divided into four different categories. 

  • Category 1: Relates to SBSs that are Australian government agencies (Commonwealth, State & Territory)
  • Category 2: Relates to SBSs that are approved Australian Trusted Traders
  • Category 3: Relates to SBSs categorised as "Low risk" with low volume usage of 457 visas and high percentage of Australian workers (at least 90%)
  • Category 4: Relates to SBSs categorised as "Low risk" with high volume usage of 457 visas and medium percentage of Australian workers (at least 75%)


To qualify for accredited status, it is essential for a sponsor to meet all the requirements for SBS and prove that they meet the additional characteristics in one of the above four categories.

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Sponsoring Employees

Standard Business Sponsorship

How to become an approved sponsor?

 Contact us and stay informed:Migration Agent

Migration-Agent-Sydney


 

Good news for subclass 790 visa holders

Recently, the Immigration Department has added a new amendment to subclass 790 regulations.

The Subclass 790 Safe Haven Enterprise Visa allows holders who have studied or worked in regional areas for 42 months without accessing social security welfares, to apply for prescribed substantive visas leading to migration for permanent residency.
States and Territories have to opt-in to the Subclass 790 provisions for the Minister to specify specific areas as ‘regional’ for the purposes of this visa.  This amendment recognises that additional areas may be identified as regional in the future:

  • This amendment lets visa holders to retrospectively count study or work undertaken in an area before it was declared regional to be counted towards the 42-month requirements. This amendment relates to visa applications made on or after 1 July 2017, whether the relevant employment or study occurred before, on or after 1 July 2017.

Need assistance for your permanent residency, contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Sydney Migration International


 

New Age Limits for Working Holiday Visa

The migration regulations changes made by the Immigration Department this 1st July 2017 have brought good news to working holiday visa workers.

The Department has amended the eligible age for Subclass 417 Working Holiday, which applicants must be aged at least 18 and no more than 35 years old at the time of application. If an age younger than 35 is specified in an instrument for a specified passport, that younger age limit will be applied.

On the other hand, for subclass 462 Work and Holiday Visas, the increase to age limit is only available for those countries where Australia has negotiated a similar bilateral age increase.

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

migration agent

 


 

Newsflash on Skilled Visa Changes

 

Key recent changes prior to 1 July 2017

On 19 April 2017 the occupation lists which determine which occupations are eligible for skilled visas (i.e. subclass 457, 186, 189, 190, 407, 485, and 489 visas) were changed and the eligible occupations were significantly condensed resulting in fewer occupations being available.

For practical purposes, two new lists were in effect created:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Combined list including the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

457 visas for occupations on the MLTSSL are now issued for a maximum of 4 years.  However 457 visas for occupations on the STSOL are only issued for a maximum of 2 years.

 

1 July 2017 changes

A number of changes have been implemented effective 1 July 2017 which impact the 457, 186, 187, 189, 190, 485, and 489 visa subclasses.

The occupation lists which underpin many of these skilled visa subclasses and determine which occupations are eligible for each visa have again been changed.  Notably:

  • 36 occupations have been added and are now also eligible for subclass 457 and 186 visas
  • Some occupations have been moved between the STSOL and the MLTSSL
  • 12 occupations have been removed from the lists
  • Caveats or conditions which apply to certain occupations have also been revised

 

Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa

 The key changes are as follows:

  • The occupation lists have changed again.The lists which determine which occupations are eligible for the 457 visa and any conditions which apply to those occupations have been changed.
  • New English language requirements. The English language requirements and exemptions have been changed.  Notably, 457 visa applications lodged after 1 July 2017 will not be able to claim previous English language salary based exemptions (i.e. which applied to applicants whose salary was over AUD $96,400).  Passport holders of the UK, USA, Canada, NZ, and Republic of Ireland are still exempt in addition to other exemptions including applicants who are nominated by an overseas business sponsor if their base rate of pay is over $96,400.  
  • Training benchmark requirements have been changed. These have been clarified and prescribed in more detail. Note that from March 2018 the benchmarks will be substituted for a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.
  • 4 year visa grants are available to STSOL. Under policy, where requested by the sponsor and required to meet Australia’s international trade obligations, occupations on the STSOL can be granted 4 year terms. 
  • Mandatory police clearance certificates. Police clearance certificates are now mandatory.

 

 Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa

The key changes are as follows:

  • Temporary residence transition stream applicants are unaffected by occupation changes. For temporary residence transition (TRT) stream applicants (i.e. briefly, those who have worked for at least two years on a 457 visa in the same occupation) the criteria are not dependent on the occupation lists i.e. TRT applicants are not impacted by the changes.
  • New occupation list for direct entry stream applicants. For direct entry stream applicants (i.e. those who have never or only briefly worked in Australia and who do not qualify for the temporary residence transition stream) their occupation needs to be on the STSOL or MLTSSL contained in a new list.  The new occupation list requirements apply to nomination applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017.
  • Temporary residence transition English level requirements have been raised. TRT applicants must now have competent English (rather than vocational English) unless exempted (IELTS or equivalent test score 6 in each component).
  • There are English language exemptions for Temporary residence transition applicants. Applicants who have completed at least 5 years of full time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English do not have to demonstrate they have competent English at the time of application.
  • There is a new requirement to demonstrate a genuine need to employ the visa applicant for Temporary residence transition and Direct Entry applicants. Employers must now also identify a need to employ the visa applicant, as a paid employee, to work in the position under the employers direct control.  The application will only be approved if the Department is satisfied there is a genuine need.
  • Direct entry eligible age lowered to 45 (limit is still 50 for TRT for now). All DE applicants must now be under 45 years old unless exempted.  The TRT age limit remains at 50 for now.
  • Direct entry age restrictions do not apply to certain occupations. The age restrictions for the direct entry stream of this visa subclass do not apply to Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2 nominated by Australian scientific government agencies and academics nominated by an Australian university as University Lecturers or Faculty Heads.  Similar exemptions also apply to persons holding subclass 444 (Special Category) visas or subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship) (Temporary) visas who have been working in their nominated occupation for the same employer for at least 2 years in the 3 year period prior to their application, as well as medical practitioners employed in regional Australia and nominated in a position located in regional Australia subject to conditions.
  • Temporary residence transition stream age restrictions do not apply to certain occupations. The age restrictions for the TRT stream of this visa subclass do not apply to Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2 nominated by Australian scientific government agencies and academics nominated by an Australian university as University Lecturers or Faculty Heads.  Similar exemptions also apply to persons holding subclass 457 visas for 4 years with annual income above the Fair Work High Income Threshold, as well as medical practitioners employed in regional Australia and nominated in a position located in regional Australia subject to conditions. 
  • Training benchmark requirements for direct entry stream applicants have been changed. The training benchmark requirements have been clarified and prescribed in more detail. Note that from March 2018 the benchmarks will be substituted for a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.
  • There are exemptions from direct entry skills assessments. Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2 nominated by Australian scientific government agencies and persons nominated by an Australian university to be employed as University Tutors, University Lecturers, and Faculty Heads are exempt from the requirement to obtain a skills assessment for direct entry purposes.

 

Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa

 The key changes are as follows

  • Direct entry eligible occupations are now specified in a new instrument. The eligible occupations for this visa subclass are now specified in a new instrument. 
  • There are exemptions from direct entry skills assessments. Direct entry subclass 187 applicants who hold subclass 444 (Special Category) visas or subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship) (Temporary) visas are exempt from skills assessment requirements if they have been working in their nominated occupation for the same employer for at least 2 years in the 3 year period prior to their application.
  • Direct entry eligible age lowered to 45 (limit is still 50 for TRT for now).  All DE applicants must now be under 45 years old unless exempted.  The TRT age limit remains at 50 for now.
  • Direct entry age restrictions do not apply to certain occupations. The age restrictions for the direct entry stream of this visa subclass do not apply to Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2 nominated by Australian scientific government agencies and academics nominated by an Australian university as University Lecturers or Faculty Heads.  Similar exemptions also apply to persons holding subclass 444 (Special Category) visas or subclass 461 (New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship) (Temporary) visas who have been working in their nominated occupation for the same employer for at least 2 years in the 3 year period prior to their application, as well as medical practitioners employed in regional Australia and nominated in a position located in regional Australia subject to conditions. 
  • Temporary residence transition English level requirements have been raised. TRT applicants must now have competent English (rather than vocational English) unless exempted (IELTS or equivalent test score 6 in each component).
  • There are English language exemptions for Temporary residence transition applicants. Applicants who have completed at least 5 years of full time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English do not have to demonstrate they have vocational English at the time of application.

 

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa

 The key changes are as follows:

  • Eligible age lowered to 45.
  • There is a new pathway to permanent residence for New Zealand Special Category visa (subclass 444) holders.
  • The requirements for the points tested stream have also been amended. Applicants for the points tested stream must be on the MLTSSL

 

 Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa

 The key changes are as follows:

  • Eligible age lowered to 45.
  • Applicants must be on the MLTSSL or STSOL in a specified list.

 

Subclass 485 (Temporary Graduate) Visa

he key changes are as follows:

  • Applicants must be on the MLTSSL in a specified list. 

 

Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa

 The key changes are as follows:

  • Eligible age lowered to 45.
  • Family nominated applicants must be on the MLTSSL in a specified list.
  • Applicants who are state or territory nominated must be on the MLTSSL or STSOL in a specified list.

 

Read more about:

 

Sponsoring EmployeesStandard Business SponsorshipHow to become an approved sponsor?Self SponsorshipSkilled Migration

 

 

Upcoming Changes - Stay Informed

Further changes are expected on or around 31 December 2017 and again in March 2018. One of the key reforms is the abolishment of the 457 visa and its replacement with a new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa in March 2018.

Please contact our Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers if you have any questions. Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

migration agentMigration International Group is a proud member of the Australian Migration Agent and Immigration Lawyer Association

 


 

Information that all Permanent Residents need to know

 A lot of people might not realise that when their permanent residence is granted they receive a travel facility which is only valid for 5 years.

To maintain your Australian permanent resident status, you must either meet a residence requirement in Australia or prove that you have close ties to Australia.

Although your permanent visa will allow you to remain in Australia indefinitely, the travel facility is only valid for a period of 5 years.

If you wish to continue travelling to and from Sydney after the initial 5-year facility, it is compulsory to either:

  • Obtain a Resident Return Visa (RRV); or
  • Apply for Australian Citizenship

Australian citizenship is the preferred option as it will allow you to always re-enter Australia. As an Australian citizen, you could also obtain an Australian passport.

To qualify for Australian Citizenship, you must meet strict residence requirements. If the requirements are not met, the Resident Return Visa (RRV) would be the next best option.

For more migration information, contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

migration agent sydney


 

Our migration agents in Sydney say: It's Number Crunching Time

Finding skilled workers can be a challenge for employers across a range of industries and workplaces. Therefore, Australia's skilled migration system targets overseas skilled workers with the skills Australia needs, to help reduce skill shortages or recruitment difficulty.

Australia’s skilled migration system has prioritised the selection of skilled migrants with the skills to address the shortages in Australia's labour market. It targets overseas skilled workers with the skills Australia needs across many industries and complements domestic training policies.

Below are some facts which were recently published by the Department related to skilled migration:
• 128,550 skill stream visas were granted, with the Skill stream comprising approximately 67.7 per cent of the total programme (Skill, family and special eligibility streams).

• The top three occupation groups for primary visa grants in the Skill stream were Professionals (63.1 per cent), Technicians and Trades Workers (22.0 per cent) and Managers (8.6 per cent).

• For comparison, the government has granted approx. 85,000 subclass 457 visa in the previous 12 months.

Small business may consider a visa under the skill stream to avoid the political uncertainty of the 457 visa.

Skilled Migration

Sponsoring EmployeesStandard Business Sponsorship

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Sydney Migration International 35

 

 


 

Key Changes for Businesses 

We have previously discussed changes to the lists of occupations which are eligible for 457 / skilled visas as part of the Government’s planned replacement of the 457 visa by March 2018.

The occupation lists have changed, and new occupation lists determine whether or not an occupation is eligible for a skilled visa.

 

What key changes can businesses expect in the future?

In effect, there are two new lists for practical purposes:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic skills List (MLTSSL);
  • Combined list including the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

The maximum duration of 457 visas where the occupation is listed on the STSOL is 2 years. If listed on the MLTSSL the maximum duration is 4 years.

From a commercial perspective, the following key additional changes are planned in the coming months:

  1. Tax file number collection: It has long been the case that when nominating an occupation for employer sponsored visas, the salary for the nominated occupation must be notified to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, must be above $53,900, and must be equivalent to the market salary rate for the relevant occupation. Prior to 31 December 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will start to collect tax file numbers for employer sponsored visa holders in order to verify that visa holders are being paid at least the salary which was notified to the DIBP. We believe this measure seeks to further strengthen the integrity of the scheme and ensure that visa holders are in fact paid their full salary.
  1. Skilling Australians Contribution: From March 2018 the 457 visa will be replaced with:
    1. a Temporary Skills Shortage visa (Short Term Stream) for up to 2 years. The occupations in the STSOL list will apply for this visa; and
    2. a Temporary Skills Shortage visa (Medium Term Stream) for up to 4 years. The occupations in the MLTSSL will apply for this visa.

In both scenarios, employers will have to pay a contribution to the “Skilling Australians Fund” (payable in full at the time of nomination of the worker). Based on presently available information the contribution will be $3,000 if the business has an annual turnover of less than $10 million. Otherwise it will be $5,000.

Sponsoring EmployeesStandard Business SponsorshipHow to become an approved sponsor?

To minimise any possible interruption from upcoming visa changes for your business, contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Migration Agent Sydney 


 

Processing times for your visa application

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has published a list of processing times for various visa types and citizenship application programs. This information will be available for most visa and citizenship types, and can be found on DIBP’s website.

The objective: visa applicants may now receive up-to-date information regarding the status of their visa applications.

Two processing times will be displayed for most subclasses, indicating how long it takes to finalise 75% and 90 % of applications globally.

What does this mean for you?

To gain a precise estimate of the visa application processing time, applicants must lodge a complete application. It is significant to note that applications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and that actual processing times may vary depending on individual circumstances including:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application and included all necessary supporting documents
  • how long you take to respond to requests for additional information
  • how long it takes to perform required checks
  • how long it takes to receive additional information from external parties, particularly in relation to health,
  • character, national security, and Assurance of Support requirements
  • the number of places available in the migration programme
  • increased number of applications and peak periods.

Our migration agents in Sydney can help you to prepare decision ready applications to reduce unnecessary waiting times.

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

Sydney Migration International


 

Another country is added to the Australian Work and Holiday Visa Program

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection announced a total of potential 200 Vietnamese citizens aged between 18 – 30 will become entitled to enter Australia under the Work and Holiday Visa program. This is a result of the recently signed partnership between Vietnam and Australia allowing a certain number of young individuals to spend a vacation and/or work in their respective countries.
Joining other countries such as China, Indonesia, Spain, Thailand, the USA etc., Vietnam officially becomes the most recent addition to Australia's Work and Holiday Visa Program (subclass 462).

How long am I able to stay in Australia with this Visa?

This visa program allows a visitor to stay in the country for 12 months, work for six months, and study up to four months. The visitor is also given an unlimited “leave and re-enter” privilege while the visa is valid.Vietnamese citizens are able to apply for a second Work and Holiday visa if they have worked for three months in northern Australia in tourism and hospitality or agriculture, forestry and fishing.This program reopens on 1 July every year.

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

 

k Sydney Migration International 197


 

The Australian 457 Visa Reform

To kick off the Government’s planned abolishment (and replacement) of the 457 visa by March 2018, there are now two new occupation which lists apply and prescribe the occupations that are now eligible to be nominated for the purposes of various skilled visas (including 457 visas).

Please refer to our previous alert for further background information including:

  • What do these changes mean if your application has been lodged but not yet decided; and
  • What do these changes mean if you are already on an affected visa.

Our previous alert can be accessed here: 457 and Skilled Visa News

 

Is my visa application affected?

In effect, there are two new lists for practical purposes:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic skills List (MLTSSL);
  • Combined list including the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

Please refer to the following summary table for visa subclass specific information concerning:

  • affected visa subclasses;
  • the corresponding occupations which have been removed from the relevant occupation list for that subclass; and
  • the new list which applies to the relevant visa subclass.

Please also note it is likely that the lists will be further amended in the coming months. We recommend seeking advice if you are amongst the affected visa subclasses.

 

Australian Visa Subclasses and Relevant Changes

Visa

Relevant Changes

189

Skilled – Independent Visa

There are in effect practically no changes for the purposes of this visa subclass other than a change in the name of the relevant list.

The changes apply to invitations issued after 19 April 2017.  

489

Skilled – Regional (Provisional) Visa - with family sponsorship – no State or Territory nomination

There are in effect practically no changes for the purposes of this visa subclass other than a change in the name of the relevant list.

The changes apply to invitations issued after 19 April 2017 if the applicant is not nominated by a State or Territory government agency.

485

Temporary Graduate Visa

There are in effect practically no changes for the purposes of this visa subclass other than a change in the name of the relevant list.

The changes apply to applications made on or after 19 April 2017.

190

Skilled – Nominated Visa

Numerous occupations have been affected by the changes. Relevantly:

1.       Various occupations have been removed entirely from the list for all of these visa subclasses and are no longer available.

2.       Certain occupations are no longer available under subclass 190 and are now only available under 189, 485, 489 visas.

3.       Certain specific occupations are now only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

The changes apply in relation to a person who is nominated by a State or Territory government agency, or the spouse or de facto partner of a person who is nominated by a State or Territory government agency, and who is issued an invitation on or after 19 April 2017.

489

Skilled – Regional (Provisional) Visa with State/Territory nomination

Numerous occupations have been affected by the changes. Relevantly:

1.       Various occupations have been removed entirely from the list for all of these visa subclasses and are no longer available.

2.       Certain occupations are no longer available and are now only available under 189, 485, 489 (no state/territory nomination) visas.

3.       Certain specific occupations are now only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

The changes apply in relation to a person who is nominated by a State or Territory government agency, or the spouse or de facto partner of a person who is nominated by a State or Territory government agency, if they are issued an invitation on or after 19 April 2017.

457

Temporary work (Skilled) Visa

Numerous occupations have been affected by the changes. Relevantly:

1.       Various occupations have been removed entirely from the list for all of these visa subclasses and are no longer available.

2.       Certain occupations are no longer available under subclass 457 (and are now only available under 189, 485, 489 visas)

3.       Conditions have been imposed on 59 occupations for the 457 visa subclass which limit the breadth of the occupation that can be nominated. They can still be nominated for 457 purposes as long as they fit within the amended scope of the occupation. Please check in with us if you fall within one of these occupations.

4.       Certain specific occupations are now only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

The changes apply effective on 19 April 2017. No nomination or visa applications can be approved unless the occupation is on the new list and the occupation complies with any conditions.

186

Employer nomination scheme

Numerous occupations have been affected by the changes. Relevantly:

1.       Various occupations have been removed entirely from the list for all of these visa subclasses and are no longer available.

2.       Certain occupations are no longer available under subclass 186 (and are now only available under 189, 485, 489 visas)

3.       Certain specific occupations are now only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

The changes apply for applications made after 19 April 2017.

407

Training Visa

Numerous occupations have been affected by the changes. Relevantly:

1.       Various occupations have been removed entirely from the list for all of these visa subclasses and are no longer available.

2.       Certain occupations are no longer available under subclass 407 (and are now only available under 189, 485, 489 visas)

3.       Certain specific occupations are now only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

The changes apply for applications made after 19 April 2017.

 

Contact our Migration Agents if you think your application is affected:

The facts - 457 visas and skilled visas in Australia

On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that it will be abolishing the current 457 visa scheme by March 2018 and replacing it with a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa scheme.


With almost immediate effect after the announcement on 18 April 2017, the occupation lists which are used to determine which occupations are eligible for certain skilled visa subclasses (including 457 visas) have been significantly condensed.  These changes took effect on 19 April 2017.

 

Current Australian skilled visa changes as at 19 April 2017

It has long been the case that in order to nominate someone for the purposes of a subclass 189, 489, 485, 186, 190, 489, 457, or 407 visa (i.e. skilled visas) it is necessary for the nominated occupation to be specified on a prescribed occupation list.  These were previously known as the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).


Amendments to these lists have been made which:

  • reduce the number of occupation available for subclass 457 visa applicants from 650 to 434;
  • restrict 16 occupations so that they now only apply to the subclass 189, 485, and 489 visa where the applicant is nominated by a state or territory;
  • result in 200 fewer occupations being available for 186, 190, 489, 457, and 407 visas;
  • impose conditions on 59 occupations for the 457 visa subclass which limit the breadth of the occupation that can be nominated; and
  • ensure that specific occupations are only available in relation to certain visa subclasses.

 

New occupation lists now apply.  In effect, there are two new lists for practical purposes:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic skills List (MLTSSL) and
  • Combined list including the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).

 

 

What if my visa application has been lodged but not decided?

Subclass 190 and 489 visa applicants are basically affected if they have not yet received an invitation on or after 19 April 2017.  If they have received an invitation prior to 19 April 2017, then the previous occupations (i.e. the occupation which is the subject of their invitation) will apply to their applications.  Otherwise, their occupation must be in line with the new list.

Subclass 457 applicants who have pending applications which are yet to be decided will need to immediately ensure that they comply with the new list requirements / conditions.  Please contact us for further assistance.  For example, many occupations are still available, but have been restricted in their scope.  It may still be possible to proceed with your application.  Otherwise, if your occupation does not comply with the new list requirements, you should consider withdrawal (to potentially obtain a refund of your application fees) and consider alternative options (such as the employer sponsored 186 application which is a pathway to permanent residency, if available).  If however there are no issues with your proposed occupation and you are on the MLTSSL, your visa can be approved for up to 4 years.  If your visa is on the STSOL then it can only be approved for up to 2 years.

Subclass 186 and 407 applications which have been lodged but not yet decided should not be affected.  Only new applications made on or after 19 April 2017 need to comply with the new lists.

Further changes may come into force which affect the above in the coming months.

 

What shall I do now?

We provide the answers to all your questions!

>> Is my visa application affected?

 

What if I am already on an affected visa. What happens when I need to renew?

Please keep in mind that the news may not accurately reflect the current state of the law.

The 457 scheme continues to exist until the legislature amends the relevant legislation in the usual manner. We will continue to monitor any changes in this regard. We note for example that the Migration Amendment (Putting Local Workers First) Bill 2016 was registered by the House of Representatives on 28 November 2016. We anticipate that the current government will register a new bill soon to provide for further details of the proposed changes. We also anticipate that there will be transitional / grandfathering arrangements in place for existing 457 / skilled visa holders.

In the meantime, it is important for existing 457 visa holders to keep their current 457 visa expiry dates in mind, and seek prompt advice.

We can review your circumstances and suggest alternative pathways. Many of our business clients have already opted for the subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme to avoid the political uncertainty of the 457 visa.

 

Please refer to our webinar which was recently held earlier this year in conjunction with the NSW Chamber of Commerce: www.sydney-migration.com.au/business-solutions.html.

 

In the course of providing immigration services, Sydney Migration International and its Migration Agents are able to provide advice on a broader range of issues including:

Sponsoring EmployeesStandard Business SponsorshipHow to become an approved sponsor?

Contact us and stay informed:

Migration Agent

 

Skilled migrants in regional parts of Australia

In recognition of the great need for skilled migrants in regional parts of Australia, including capital cities such as Adelaide and Hobart, the Government has been presented with a Regional and Economic Migration Initiative (REMI) to boost migration.

The plan proposes an additional 40,000 migrant places be opened up for migrants seeking to live in areas other than the biggest Australian cities. The initiative presents an exciting prospect for those seeking to migrate permanently to Australia, as the REMI has been described as providing a fast-tracked pathway to permanent residency for investors, small business proprietors, employer nominated, student and temporary visa holders.

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