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Australia migration and visa changes for 1 July 2017!

Australia migration and visa changes for 1 July 2017!

Key terms: Migration Policy Changes – 1 July Changes – Subclass 189 Skilled Independent – Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa – Subclass 489 Skilled Regional Sponsored visa – Age requirements – English exemptions – MLTSSL – STSOL – Occupation Lists -

There are plenty of changes happening to the Australia migration programme on 1 July 2017. Here is a summary of the major changes affecting the most common visa subclasses.

Age requirements lowered for a number of visas!

The age limits of the following visas have been reduced to below 45 years of age:

At the time of application

- Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Direct Entry stream

- Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Direct Entry stream

At the time of invitation to apply

- Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated

- Subclass 489 Skilled Regional Sponsored

- Subclass 189 Skilled Independent

Previously it was announced that the lower age requirement was only applicable to the subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa application. The age limit does not apply to applicants for the NZ stream for the subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa.

Changes to the MLTSS, STSOL and RSMS Occupation Lists

Legislative instruments have been released for the revised occupations lists. We will be reviewing the legislative instruments and publish a separate blog about the changes in the occupation lists.

English requirements for Temporary Resident Transition streams

When applying for a subclass 187 RSMS or subclass 186 ENS under the Temporary Resident Transition stream the English requirement at the time of application is now raised to Competent English (IELTS 6.0 in all components, or equivalent).

Subclass 186 and 187 visas – English exemption for high salary positions REMOVED

Applicants will no longer be able to access English language exemptions based on high salary. This will affect all new applications AND applications submitted before 1 July 2017 but have yet to be finalised.

Subclass 457 visa - English exemptions for high salary positions modified

The English language exemption for high salary positions will now be only available for applicants who are employed by companies operating an established overseas business.

Training Benchmarks and Training Requirements

New legislatives instruments have redefined the acceptable expenditures for business sponsors to meet training benchmarks. The changes include:

- induction training will no longer be accepted

- only the salary of a full-time trainer employed by the business can be considered. If you are a manager training lower level employees, the time spent cannot be considered as training expenditure

- membership fees and professional publication subscriptions will no longer be accepted

- only expenditure in relation to attending conferences for CPD purposes will be considered as training expenditure

You are advised to check with a Registered Migration Agent to find out the changes and how it can affect your sponsorship application.

We expect more changes to come in the month of July, and will endeavour to bring you updates as soon as they are available. Subscribe to our newsletter if you want to receive the latest news about Australia migration and visas.

Comments from Principal Migration Agent and Lawyer Chris Johnston

The lower age limits for the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated and subclass 489 Skilled Regional Sponsored visas come as a surprise on short notice. The change to what can be considered to be training expenditure will also affect businesses which conduct a lot of internal training.

With the relentless changes being made to the 457, ENS and RSMS visas, employers may want to review options for their existing foreign employees, to prevent disruption to the normal business operations.

If you are affected by the changes please contact Work Visa Lawyers to find out if there are other visa options available for you and your family. It is best to seek professional advice as soon as possible before further changes can impact your options.


This information is accurate on 30 June 2017

Do you need help with an Australian visa or citizenship application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) Review, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention. We have also assisted applicants with Australian citizenship applications, especially for those with unusual circumstances.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa or citizenship options you can contact us through:

(08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956

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