On the 1st of July (2017), a number of changes were made to the temporary and permanent skilled migration schemes. These changes follow the reforms announced by the Federal Government on the 18th of April, which included the 457 abolition which will take place in 2018. Summary of the July changes are provided below:
Changes to the list of eligible skilled occupations: A number of occupations were added, removed and moved between lists.
For summary of the changes, please visit http://www.border.gov.au/WorkinginAustralia/Pages/summary-of-1-july-2017-changes-to-list-of-eligible-skilled-occupations.aspx
For the combined list of eligible skilled occupations for subclasses 457 and 186, please visit
English language requirements
Temporary Work (skilled) Visa (subclass 457) program: According to the new changes, The English Language Salary Exemption Threshold (ELSET) has been removed for applicants lodged on or after the 1 July 2017.
ELSET previously exempted certain candidates whose salary was over $96,400. However, there is still at exemption for applicants who are employees of overseas companies, coming to Australia to work for that company or an associated entity, if they have a nominated base rate of pay of at least $96,400. Furthermore, any other current exemptions will continue to apply.
Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187): ENS and RSMS Applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream, lodging applications on or after the 1st of July 2017 must achieve at a minimum, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each band.
The English language skills exemption for both subclasses is removed for applicants who have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate ($180,001).
Evidence of character: Subclass 457 Subclass 457 applicants must provide penal clearance certificates for applications lodged on or after the 1 July 2017.
Visa Validity: Subclass 457
According to the Visa Validity Policy, subclass 457 visa can now be granted for up to 4 years for occupations listed on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) if requested by the sponsor and there are requirements to meet international trade obligations.
This applies to Applicants for ENS and RSMS Direct Entry (DE) stream. Such applicants, lodging applications on or after the 1 July 2017 must be under 45 years of age. The existing exemptions will continue.
However, the age requirement for TRT stream applicants will remain under 50 years of age until 1 March 2018. On the 1 March 2018, the 45 year age limit will also apply to TRT stream applicants.
Visa applicants for the following point-tested skilled visas must be under the age of 45, at the time of invitation.
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489).
Genuine need and nominee to be identified
The 1st July changes also mandate that all ENS and RSMS TRT stream and DE stream nominations provide evidence of ‘Genuine need’ for the person to be employed in the nominated position.
Moreover, information about the identity of the nominee must be included in ENS and RSMS DE nominations
In addition to above, the Federal Government has introduced further changes. For a detailed explanation please visit http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/1-july-2017-changes# or get in touch with Sky Legal today.