Age limit lowered for partners of Australian skilled visa applicants

Age limit lowered for partners of Australian skilled visa applicants

Recent changes surrounding skilled permanent visas include lowering of the maximum age limit for partners of applicants. Previously, an additional and usually much-needed five points were available to applicants for general skilled visas whose spouses or de facto partners were under 50 years of age, but this has now been brought back to 45 years of age.

What brought about this reduction?

In July 2017, amendments to the Migrant Legislation included the lowering of the maximum age at which applicants themselves could claim the five points but the amendments omitted to include applicants’ partners. The latest changes serve only to rectify this oversight. Now, both the applicant and the applicant’s partner must be under the maximum age of 45 years “at the time of invitation”.

Which visas are affected?

These changes were made effective from July 1st 2018 and apply to Skilled Independent visas, Subclass 189 and 190 (permanent visas) plus the Skilled Regional visa, Subclass 489 (which provides a pathway to permanent residency).

Why were age limits reduced?

The Department justifies its decision to lower maximum age limits on the basis that the younger demographic will prove more beneficial to Australia’s economy. The Department determined that older residents tend to engage in lower rates of labour force participation and also, at an earlier date, contribute to higher costs of government-subsidised health care and support services.

Substantial impact for more mature applicants

With Australian skilled migration strictly linked to a rigid points-based system (apart from Employer sponsored skilled migration), this latest amendment creates a significant challenge for applicants with spouses over the age of 45 years. Points are awarded according to age and are calculated on a sliding scale; then education, work experience, English proficiency etc. A bonus of five points is available for a state nomination but each application needs to accrue a minimum of 70 points overall, in order to be considered a strong chance for success.

Additional options do exist, such as the NAATI CCL test which offers an extra five points. You can read further on our recent blog dated 17 August 2018, see this link .

If you are not sure, your migration professional can advise you when and if these should be considered.

We are always here to help

In the complex and constantly changing world of immigration law, nothing is constant and nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain professional assistance, skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, comprehensively trained to achieve the finest possible outcomes in the shortest possible time, whilst avoiding so much unnecessary expense.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.


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