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Government Licensed Immigration Agency

Stay Informed - News from our Migration Agents

New visa pathway for highly skilled professionals under the Global Talent Scheme is now in effect.

In March 2018 the Australian Government announced the Global Talent Scheme (GTS) targeting talent and innovation in Australia.

GTS will run under the TSS visa program from 01.07.2018, initially for 12 months. It aims to benefit Australia and Australian workers by providing Australian businesses (established businesses and also StartUps) the opportunity to hire highly-skilled, experienced and globally mobile staff for positions in their business.

Skilling Australians Fund and Skilling Australian Fund levy (SAF Levy)

The Skilling Australians Fund came into effect on 22 May 2018. The Skilling Australian Fund levy (SAF Levy) replaces the training benchmarks scheme. There are now several visa classes affected by the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF Levy). It has been confirmed that for the financial year commencing 1 July 2017, the SAF Levy must not exceed:

  • $8,000 for a temporary visa; and
  • $5,500 for a permanent visa.


What do existing sponsors need to do?

  • Ensure compliance with existing sponsorship obligations; and
  • Stay tuned for further announcements and be prepared to pay the SAF Levy very soon.


Skilling Australians Fund


Stay informed and find out what your business needs to know:

Skilling Australians Fund


Sydney Migration International has been awarded “Best Migration Agency” in the 2017 Immigration Choice Awards

The Australian Migration Agent and Immigration Lawyer Association (AMAILA) host the prestigious Immigration Choice Awards each year. AMAILA is a membership organization of registered migration agents, licensed immigration advisers and immigration lawyers.

As noted by the board of the Migration Agent Association: “The visa regime in Australia is in a state of continual change. In a time of great confusion and ongoing changes to the migration regulations some migration agents ‘talk’, and some migration agents ‘do‘. The Immigration Choice Awards have been the benchmark for separating these, and for recognising those who continue to push the boundaries and shape the future of the migration industry.”.

Sydney Migration International and its migration agents are honoured to have been recognised as a winner of the 2017 Index:  Best Migration Agency 2017


Best Migration Agency 2017

We could not have achieved this recognition without the support of all of our clients. Thank you for your continued support.

Sydney Migration International also congratulates all other finalists and winners who are nominated in the Index and wishes them all the best.

Read more:

Migration Agent

Various changes to the subclass 186 visa (ENS visa) and subclass 187 visa (RSMS visa) have been recently implemented!

The key changes to the 186 visa (ENS visa) and 187 visa (RSMS visa) are summarized briefly below.  Please note that this list is not an exhaustive list of all changes but contains the major changes in bite size form which we consider would be of importance to our clients:

  1. Age limit requirements: Applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and Labour Agreement Streams must now also be 45 years or younger (the age limit has therefore been reduced from 50 years to 45 years).  This is in alignment with the age reduction from 50 years to 45 years under the Direct Entry Stream which occurred in July 2017.
  2. Minimum 3 years work experience: Primary applicants must have at least 3 years of work experience which is relevant to their nominated occupation.
  3. Annual market salary rate: Employees must be provided with terms and conditions of employment which are at least equivalent to those which an Australian worker, performing the same work at the same location, would achieve.  This is not vastly different to the previous requirements.
  4. Mandatory Licensing / registration: There is now a requirement that visa applicants must hold any mandatory licensing or registrations required in order to lawfully perform their nominated occupation at the time their nomination application is lodged.
  5. Refusal of nominations based on prior work experience: Visa applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition stream who have been performing a different occupation or one which is at a lower skill level may be refused their visa.
  6. Capacity of the employer to nominate: Case officers may refuse a nomination if they consider that the employer does not have the capacity / resources to nominate their employee at the annual market salary rate for at least two years.
  7. TRT stream work requirements: There is now a requirement that applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream must have worked for at least three years out of the previous four years in the same occupation as their subclass 457 or 482 visa was held (previously the requirement was 2 years work).  There are exceptions to this rule.  The first four digits of the ANZSCO code for their nominated occupation under the subclass 457 / 482 visa must match their proposed nominated occupation. 
  8. Subclass 187 additional requirement: Employers wishing to nominate under the subclass 187 Direct Entry stream must now also demonstrate that that the position cannot be filled by an Australian worker who would be willing to move to the relevant regional area.
  9. Subclass 187 specified Regional Certifying Bodies: Specific Regional Certifying Bodies are now responsible for specified local areas under the Direct Entry Stream.


We have provided a comprehensive overview of the ENS visa and RSMS visa online:

Skilled Migration

Sponsoring Employees


Skilled Migration - ENS and RSMS visa


As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Migration Agent


TSS visa (482 visa) came into effect

We have previously provided various updates relating to the Skill Shortage Visa (subclass 482) visa (TSS Visa) and the abolition of the Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa. As you may be aware, this scheme (amongst other schemes) is in a state of transition.

On 18 March 2018, the Migration Legislation Amendment (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and Complementary Reforms) Regulations 2018 (TSS Regulations) came into effect and amended the current Migration Regulations 1994. The stated purposes of the TSS Regulations are to:

  • Support Australian businesses to access critical skills if skilled Australian workers are not available;
  • Better meet Australia’s skill needs; and
  • Increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants.

The 457 visa has now been repealed, and the TSS Visa has been formally introduced into legislation and is now in effect.

We have provided a comprehensive overview of the new TSS visa (482 visa) online:

TSS visa (482 visa)

Sponsoring Employees


TSS visa (482 visa) - important details at a glance

The key additional details relating to the 482 visa which have now been released from our perspective and which we consider to be of particular importance to the majority of our clients are summarised below. We anticipate issuing further information relating to each of the below in subsequent newsletters:

  • Overseas business sponsors: A definition of an “overseas business sponsor” has been introduced to reinforce the validity of persons / businesses who may be approved to sponsor on the basis that they wish to “place an overseas worker in Australia to establish a business or fulfil contractual obligations1”.
  • STSOL and International trade obligations: The short term stream is used to source workers in occupations on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) for a maximum of 2 years. However, importantly, if the two year limitation would be inconsistent with an international trade obligation, then occupations which are on the STSOL are available for up to 4 years.
  •  Annual Market Salary Rate: There has been a reformulation of the basic requirement to provide terms and conditions of employment to the nominated employee which are at least equivalent to the conditions that are, or would be, provided to an Australian worker performing the same work at the same location. Rather than referring to “base salary” for these purposes, there is now a definition of the “annual market salary rate” which applies to all nominations to simplify and strengthen this requirement. The annual market salary rate must still be over $53,900.
  • Certification regarding employment conditions: Sponsors must now certify as part of their nomination of an employee that the employment contract complies with all applicable requirements imposed by Commonwealth, State or Territory law relating to employment including (but not limited to) the National Employment Standards. Employment lawyers from our independent & affiliated law firm, Sydney Migration International Legal, can assist in this regard.
  • Skilling Australians Fund and Mandatory Labour Market Testing: This has been discussed in previous newsletters but has not yet passed through Parliament. Therefore the training benchmarks still apply for the time being.


482 visa - important details


As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us:

Migration Agent


    482 visa (TSS visa): 2 years of relevant work experience required for all applicants

    As you may be aware, the 482 visa (TSS visa) has replaced the subclass 457 visa effective 18 March 2018. 

    One of the new requirements for applicants who wish to apply for a 482 visa is that they must have “worked in the nominated occupation or a related field for at least 2 years”.  This criteria must be satisfied at the time of decision, which means that it may be possible to apply for the 482 Visa before the applicant has acquired 2 years of experience.

    The stated purpose of this criteria is to ensure that the applicant has the skills to do the job and contribute to Australia’s economy.  We expect, based on comments made by Government in relation to the criteria, that relevant work experience will be considered by reference to the tasks and functions of the nominated occupation, and that experience in related roles and flexible working arrangements may be recognized as being relevant work experience.

    Additional information about sponsoring employees and the 482 visa:

    Sponsoring Employees

    TSS visa (482 visa)


    482 visa work experience requirement


    Contact us and stay informed: Migration Agent


    The TSS visa (482 visa) regulations were registered

    We have previously provided various updates relating to the abolition of the subclass 457 visa and its replacement by the TSS visa (482 visa).  As you may be aware, this scheme (amongst other schemes) is in a state of transition. 

    Yesterday evening, 15 March 2018, the Migration Legislation Amendment (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and Complementary Reforms) Regulations 2018 (TSS Regulations) were registered.

    Importantly for now, the TSS Regulations will commence on 18 March 2018.  Therefore, if you wish to be processed under the 457 regime you will need to lodge both your nomination and visa applications (decision ready i.e. with all of your evidence) prior to 18 March 2018.  Otherwise, your applications will be processed under the TSS regime (and additional charges may apply).

    Rread more about the new TSS visa

    TSS visa (482 visa)

    Stay informed and read more on how to Sponsoring Employees


    Sponsoring Employees


    Contact us and stay informed: Migration Agent


    Since 17 January 2018, changes to the Australian skilled occupation lists came into effect


    Two occupations were removed from the lists, but are still available for Sc. 187:

    • Hair of beauty salon manager (ANZSCO 142114)

    • Building associate (ANZSCO 312112)

    Three occupations were added to the STSOL:

    • Psychotherapist (ANZSCO 272314)

    • Property Manager (ANZSCO 612112)

    • Real estate representative (ANZSCO 612115)

     Two occupations that were previously on the STSOL are now on the MLTSSL:

    • Real estate representative (ANZSCO 612115)

    • Horse breeder (ANZSCO 121316)

    • Management consultant (ANZSCO 224711)

    Furthermore, caveats for some occupations have changed.

    Contact us and stay informed: Migration Agent

    k Sydney Migration International 79



    The Department has issued some information about applications for Subclass 888 visas recently

    It had issued a warning that a lot of visas of this category were lodged too early so that they were at risk to be refused. 

    The Department now clarified that this warning only concerned applications for the Investor and Significant Investor (SIV) streams of Subclass 888.

    The relevant date to determine how long you must have held your provisional visa is 1 July 2015. If you applied for your provisional visa before this date, you need to hold it for 3 years and 11 months or more while you need to hold it for at least 4 years if you applied for it after this date.

    Contact us and stay informed: Migration Agent

    k Sydney Migration International 162



    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



    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




    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:
    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



    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



    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



    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



    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



    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



    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



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