Another year is coming to an end, and there were a lot of changes to Migration Legislation for Australia in 2017.
The maximum age for Skilled Permanent Visas, as well as for Employer Nominated Permanent Visas has been reduced from 50 years to 45 years.
If you have employees applying for a Subclass 186 (ENS) Employer Nominated Permanent Visa or a Subclass 187 RSMS via the Direct Entry Stream, they will have to be aged under 45 years.
If your employees want to apply for the visas above via the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRT) however, they will be able to apply if they are aged under 50, as long as they had a 457 visa on the 18th April, or had applied for one and had a pending application at that date.
On the 18th April, the Prime Minister announced major changes to the 457 Visa Program and the shockwaves are still being felt now, eight months down the road.
The big bulk of the changes will come into effect on the 1st March 2018 though.
Summing up the changes as much as possible, they were:
On the 18 of April, the Prime Minister announced via a video posted on his Facebook Page, that he was abolishing the whole program.
He will be abolishing the 457 from the 1st March 2018, but he will be replacing it with another temporary visa for workers to fill the demand for overseas skilled labour.
That visa will be called the TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa) and will work in pretty much the same way as the 457 but with certain differences:
The change that will cause the biggest impact, in our opinion, is the fact that from 1st March 2018 fewer people will be eligible for PR after a 457 or TSS visa.
At the moment workers can apply for the ENS 186 and the RSMS 187 visas normally, via the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (the TRT) or the Direct Entry Stream in some cases.
From March 2018 onwards, however, people holding the future TSS visa and people holding 457 visas granted after 19 April this year, whose occupations are on the STSOL, will NOT have access to a permanent employer nomination visa ENS 186 or RSMS 187 via Temporary Transition anymore.
Only those whose occupations are on the MLTSSL will have that option. These people are lucky but, they will have to wait three years after getting a 457 or a TSS to be able to apply for a permanent employer visa, instead of the 2 years that are required now. This is part of the new rules coming into effect for the Permanent Employer Visas.
The Direct Entry option will be limited as well, as the Department said they would apply the MLTSSL to this stream from March onwards.
There have also been some proposed changes, which never actually happened.
In April, the Australian Government proposed changes to Citizenship Requirements, which were later in the year opposed by the Labor Party.
Finally, in October, the Senate rejected all the changes and they did NOT become law.
The 2 major changes proposed were:
At the moment applicants for Australian Citizenship need only to demonstrate “Basic Knowledge” of English. The proposed changes would require applicants to have “Competent” English.
But these changes didn’t go ahead, but, something very important: the government already said they will try to bring about those changes again in 2018 around July.
These are in our opinion the biggest and most important changes in migration legislation we saw in 2017. It’s our edit to you, to help you make sense of all of them.
Be ready because 2018 will bring about more changes, but we will be here ready to inform you with facts, in a straightforward manner.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to discuss visa options for your employees and your business eligibility to sponsor you.
We take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a fabulous 2018!!!