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Visa Changes – Industry Insights

Job Capital recently held our 2017 457 Visa Changes Panel Discussion event to better understand the impacts and options of the policy changes announced in April by the federal government.

In our on-going series of 457 Visa Change – Industry Insights, we offer our latest findings and updates on the New 457 Visa Landscape.

Australian Citizenship Legislation

  1. Mid-June 2017 – the Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 had its first reading in the House of Representatives.
  2. The Greens and the Labour Party have both indicated they do not support the Bill!

1 July 2017 changes

Visa Cost Increases

  1. All Visa Application Charges (VACs) will indexed in line with inflation (around 1.6%) on 1 July 2017.
  2. AAT lodgement fees are increasing by $58.

MLTSSL and STSOL Lists Update

  1. MLTSSL and the STSOL will be re-released on 1 July 2017 after review by Department of Education and Department of Employment.
  2. STSOL will then be reviewed on a 6 monthly basis and the MLTSSL on a less frequent basis and as yet, unspecified time-frame.

Leaving Australia – Passenger Cards Gone!

  1. Are you leaving Australia? Well the good news is that you will no longer need to beg, borrow or steal a pen whilst ‘sardined’ in economy class.
  2. Outgoing passenger cards are going….going….gone!
  3. A little known fact that these cards are actually an official form Department of Immigration and can be treated as an application form. So if anyone lies on one, the Department has access to them and will use it against you!

Changes to Modern Awards

  1. Changes to Modern Awards regarding penalty rates and public holidays will take effect on 1 July 2017.
  2. Employers must ensure that guaranteed annual earnings agreed to in the nomination for 457 visa holders must be maintained.  FairWork can assist with advice on these changes.

Indian Passport Holders

Indian Passport holders will not be able to lodge Visitor visa (600) applications online any longer.

Singapore – 1 August 2017

Singapore will have access to 500 Work and Holiday visas in Australia.

457 Visa Changes – Business & Individual

Mandatory Police Clearances

  1. Mandatory Police Clearances will be required for all visa applicants 17 years and older, for countries lived in (accumulatively) for 12 months or more in the past 10 years.
  2. It is thought that any applications currently lodged and not decided prior to 1 July will be sent a request for further information instructing applicants to supply requisite police check.

English Language Exemption

Current English language exemption for income earners over $96,400 will be removed!

Business Revenue Turnover

  1. The subclass 457 nomination form will now collect information regarding the turnover of the business for the last financial year, which will be used to determine whether or not a caveat applies.
  2. It will also require disclosure of the number of employees employed by the business, whether they are Australian or overseas workers – similar to the current Sponsorship application form.

Occupations/Nationalities – Mandatory Skills Assessments

The occupations/nationalities that require mandatory skills assessments will expand. Stay tuned to lean which occupations and which nationalities will be impacted.

Training Benchmark Policy

  1. Policy settings for training benchmark requirements are being clarified and tightened, by setting out the types of training funds eligible for Training Benchmark A.
  2. Further, there will be a definition of the types of expenditure on training that are acceptable for Training Benchmark B

Skilled Migration Visas

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

  1. There will be a raising of English language requirements to “Competent” for all applicants (IELTS 6), which will mean the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) and Direct Entry requirements will now be consistent
  2. Direct Entry maximum age will be lowered to 44 (not turned 45)
  3. Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) maximum age will be lowered to 44 (not turned 45)

Welcoming our Kiwi Cousins

The 189 visa will have a new stream added for NZ citizens holding the 444 visa.

  1. Less criteria and no age limit
  2. No skills assessment
  3. No English requirement
  4. No points test and no invitation required.
  5. Minimum salary for 5 years (TSMIT) as for a usual resident in Australia.

Western Australia – Reduced Occupation List – From 178 to 18!

  1. Good news if you are a Doctor or a Nurse, bad news for everyone else!
  2. Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) and Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) – WA have reduced the State Government sponsored occupation list from 178 to 18 occupations.
  3. In essence, WA has culled all occupations (E.g. Engineering, Construction & Technical) and have only kept medical roles.
  4. Now only GP/Specialist Dr’s and RN Specialist nurses can be sponsored, given that they can provide an employment contract for a minimum of 1 year.
  5. Announced that Perth will be removed as a regional area in the future.

South Australia – Occupation List Changes to Come 4th July 2017

Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 489) and Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) – SA will announce their new State Government sponsored occupation list on 4 July 2017.

Partner Visas – Holding Pattern

  1. The proposed changes to partner visa sponsorship’s, whereby a sponsor had to be approved prior to being able to lodge a partner visa, have now been held back until 2018.
  2. The Bill is currently still before the Senate.

Stayed Tuned and Start the Conversation With Us.

We will continue to provide you with insights and analysis, so stay tuned for our next installment.

Ultimately the recent policy changes means that each case needs to be considered individually and must be supported by a Registered Migration Agent (RMA), who is also full informed on the detail of these changes and how to interpret the myriad of information and misinformation currently ‘floating’ around the market.

Visit our ‘Contact Us’ page on our website to request contact or simply call in on the number below to start the conversation with us.

(+61) 28005 3420

Note: Information of general nature only.  Professional advice should be sought to match individual circumstances.  Information correct as at 21 June 2012.