Immigration News

  • Employer Invitation to Comment on Skilled Shortage List

     

    The Department of Jobs & Small Business (formerly the Department of Employment) has taken over the responsibility of the various skilled shortage occupation lists from the Department of Home Affairs. This makes perfect sense, as they are better situated to make judgment calls as to what is in demand and where [Not that I agree with all their data!!]. The Department of Jobs & Small Business is open to consultation.

    The Medium to Long-Term Shortage (MTLSSL) is scheduled to be updated annually on July 1, and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) is scheduled to be updated bi-annually on January 1 and July 1. 

     

  • New Global Talent Visa

    Senator Michaela Cash announced the introduction of a new pilot highly skilled "Global Talent Visa" to come into place on July 1.

    According to Innes Willox, Australian Industry Group (AIG), CEO, "The Global Talent Scheme visa trial announced today puts Australia in a more competitive position to attract the world's best talent". Emerging and startup businesses have been the most critical of the recent 457 clampdowns, and some may be able to utilise the new visa. We are still awaiting more details from the Department, however, the MIA has provided the following information sheet: https://www.mia.org.au/documents/item/1349

  • Changes to Permanent Employer Sponsored & General Skilled Migration Visas

    There have also been changes to the ENS (Subclass 186), RSMS (Subclass 187) and General Skilled Migration visas as follows:

    • Raising English language requirements to "competent" level (IELTS 6), consistent with TRT and Direct Entry requirements;
    • Upper age limit of 45 for Direct Entry applicants. ENS (Direct Entry) will also be affected by the skilled occupation lists amendments;
    • Occupations will be limited to those on the relevant Skills Occupation List (grandfathering arrangements anticipated for applicants who held a 457 visa on April 18, 2017); and
    • Upper age limit for General Skilled Migration (subclasses 189, 190 and 489) to decrease to 45.
    • If legislated, payment of Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) Levy. Refer to the SAF Levy proposals.
    • For RSMS, (Subclass 187) visa under the Direct Entry stream an important change in requirement is that a skills assessment will be required for all nominated occupations for all applications lodged on or after 1 July 2018. Currently, only a skills assessment is required for trade occupations.

     

  • Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) Levy - Not Yet Legislated

     

    Further debate of the Migration Amendment (Skilling Australians Fund) Bill 2017 in the Senate is expected to continue when parliament resumes.

    The Senate will not be sitting again until 8-10th May 2018, so this Bill will not receive further consideration before then. This is also budget week, so if not debated then next Senate sitting is June 18, 2018.

     

     

  • Transitional ‘Grandfathering’ Arrangements

    Essentially, people who held a Subclass 457 visa, or made an application before 18 April 2017 that was subsequently approved, will still be able to access certain existing provisions under the ENS (Subclass 186) visa and RSMS (Subclass 187) visas (Temporary Transitional Streams). The guidelines to determine whether an applicant is still eligible for this visa are as follows: 

     

    1.       Occupation requirements remain the same. The nominated employee continues to work for the same employer in the same position as approved by their current Subclass 457 visa grant;

    2.       The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age.

    3.       Work experience remains at a minimum of 2 years together with the requirement to have worked for at least 2 years out of 3 prior to the nomination of the Subclass 457.

     

  • TSS Visa Replaces the 457 Visa

    Effective 18th March 2018, the 457-visa program was replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. This was a year-long process in the making with new occupation lists underpinning the new TSS Visa. 

  • Changes to Permanent Employer Sponsored & General Skilled Migration Visas

     

    There have also been changes to the ENS (Subclass 186), RSMS (Subclass 187) and General Skilled Migration visas as follows:

    • Raising English language requirements to "competent" level (IELTS 6), consistent with TRT and Direct Entry requirements
    • Upper age limit of 45 for Direct Entry applicants. ENS (Direct Entry) will also be affected by the skilled occupation lists amendments;
    • Occupations will be limited to those on the relevant Skills Occupation List (grandfathering arrangements anticipated for applicants who held a 457 visa on April 18, 2017); and
    • Upper age limit for General Skilled Migration (subclasses 189, 190 and 489) to decrease to 45.
    • From March 2018, payment of Skilling Australia Fund (SAF) Levy:

    o    Costs for Permanent visas (ENS & RSMS, Subclasses 186 & 187):

    §  $3,000 one-off per nominee for small business; and

    §  $5,000 one-off per nominee for larger businesses i.e. defined as $10 million and over.


    Disclaimer: Specific applications may vary due to a number of factors, including complexity of individual cases, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding a particular type of visa subclass before making an actual application. 

     

     

     

  • Skilling Australian Fund (SAF) Levy

    It is highly recommended for employers to review their current inventory of 457 visa holders, and if possible consider lodging permanent visas before the March 2018 changes to avoid the SAF 

  • The New TSS Visa

     

    The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa will consist of two streams:

    1)      Short-Term Stream which provides up to two years; and

    2)      Medium to Long-Term Stream providing up to 4 years visas

     

  • The End of An Era – The Abolition of Subclass 457 Visa

     

    The Subclass 457 visa will cease as of March 2018. How will this affect the current holders of the visa and their sponsors? This remains to be unveiled by newly created Department of Home Affairs. However, there has been some insight into some of the changes that will take place.

    Essentially, people who held a Subclass 457 visa, or made an application, on 18 April 2017 will still be able to access certain existing provisions under the ENS (Subclass 186) visa and RSMS (Subclass 187) visas (Temporary Transitional Streams). The guidelines to determine whether an applicant is still eligible for this visa are as follows:

    1.       Occupation requirements remain the same. The nominated employee continues to work for the same employer in the same position as approved by their current Subclass 457 visa grant;

    2.       The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age.

    3.       Work experience remains at a minimum of 2 years together with the requirement to have worked for at least 2 years out of 3 prior to the nomination of the Subclass 457.

     

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