Visa Changes - 1st July Updates

July 1 brings more changes to General Skilled Migration Visas

On July 1st, 2018, the Government introduced significant changes to eligibility requirements for some permanent skilled visas, claiming that the modifications have been designed to “better align the permanent and temporary programs.”

Introduced on July 1st

Australia’s skilled migration program is essentially a points-based system, aimed at attracting highly qualified experienced professionals and matching them to its national requirements. These points apply to most skilled migration categories and are accumulated according to age, experience, English capabilities etc.

Until July 1st applications required a minimum acceptable level of 60 points but for applications lodged from July 1st, a pass mark of 65 points became the minimum prerequisite to achieve eligibility for an invitation to apply for;

  • Skilled-Independent (Permanent) (Class SI) Subclass 189 Visa
  • Skilled-Nominated (Permanent) (Class SN) Subclass 190 Visa
  • Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP) Subclass 489 Visa

Why have the requirements been increased?

The Government claims that its new pass mark reflects the current high level of enquiries regarding skilled migration into Australia and the increasingly high calibre of prospective applicants expressing interest in the program. It considers that, with the numbers of admissions restricted, the revisions will go a long way in ensuring that places available will be filled by the most suitable applicants.

Under the transitional arrangements, the pass mark from the previous instrument will be preserved for all visa applications for subject visas made prior to, on or after July 1st 2018, where made in response to an invitation given by the Minister before July 1st.

Skill Select

The visas mentioned above are part of the Skills Select initiative, launched by the Australian Government on 1st July 2012; a service which provides for skilled persons, interested in obtaining an Australian visa, to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with information covering their specific skills and attributes.

Skills Select EOI’s become available to certain State and Territory government agencies, together with Australian employers who may then identify persons with skills to suit various labour markets and this may result in invitations to proceed to sponsored applications.

It should be noted however, that each skill must be listed within a specific (ANZSCO) occupation group and that each occupation group has an annual ceiling.

Global Talent Visa Scheme

Commencing on July 1st 2018, The Global Talent Scheme will operate on a trial basis for the next twelve months.

Designed to attract highly skilled workers to Australia’s Technology sector, it consists of two streams; the start-up stream and the established business stream. However, as a sponsored program, employers will need an established history of hiring and training Australian workers.

Other changes introduced on 1st July

  • Among its raft of changes, the Government has introduced plans for implementation of the Skilled Australians Fund which, when initiated, will introduce the Nomination Training Contribution Charge (NTCC) for sponsoring employers under Temporary Skills Shortage visas.
  • Skilled partner age limits, applicable to visa subclasses 189 and 190, have been lowered from 50 years of age, to 45 years of age.
  • Visa application fees have been generally increased.

Professional assistance is invaluable

In the complex and rapidly changing world of immigration law, nothing is constant and nothing is simple. It really does pay dividends therefore, to obtain professional assistance, skilled specialists, specifically trained in the processes, enabled to assist you in achieving the finest possible outcome in the shortest possible time.

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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