Changes to Assurance of Support Requirements

1 April 2018

Income Threshold for Assurers

The Assurance of Support scheme, which allows Australian citizens to support newly-arrived migrants, has been changed to lift the earning threshold. The complex new formula involves multiplying the Newstart Allowance by the number of people earning income and the number of people they’re supporting.

If a couple in Australia wanted to financially support their parents to migrate, they would need to earn a combined $115,475 a year. The previous figure was $45,185. A single person supporting their parents will now need to earn $86,606.

This change is effective from 1 April 2018.

Assurance of Support for Contributory Parent Visas

From 1 April 2019, the Assurance of Support for Contributory Parent visas will increase by 50% to AUD 15,000 for the main applicant and AUD 6,000 for the secondary applicant.

New TSS 482 Visa and Other Skilled Changes

18 March 2018

From 18 March it is no longer possible to apply for a 457 Temporary Skilled Work visa, or apply for 457 Sponsorship or lodge a 457 Nomination. The new 482 Temporary Skills Shortage visa commenced on 18 March and replaces the 457 category. Read more about the changes on the DOHA website here:

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/skilledvisas

An overview of changes:

Occupation Lists

  • MLTSSL: the short list of most in demand occupations. Eligible for 4 year visas, and for permanent residence options
  • STSOL: longer list of occupations which are eligible for a TSS visa valid for up to 2 years
  • Regional Occupations ROL: list of occupations which are eligible for a TSS only if the position is in a regional postcode. Also eligible for the permanent RSMS visa

There have been no changes to the MLTSSL or STSOL, but occupations have been added to the Regional list. This means that some occupations which were not eligible for 457 visas may be eligible for a TSS visa if the position is located in a regional area.

Duration       As was the case from July 2017, visas are limited to a maximum of 4 years for occupations on the MLTSSL, or 2 years for occupations on the STSOL. Exemptions apply to allow STSOL occupations to be granted for 4 years where International Trade Obligations apply, such as Free Trade Agreements.

Renewal       Visas in the MLTSSL stream may be renewed indefinitely while the occupation remains on this list. Visas for STSOL occupations can only be renewed once onshore. Subsequent renewals may be made for STSOL occupations from offshore but this may impact on claims the applicant is a Genuine Temporary Entrant. The applicant must demonstrate that they do not intend for their stay in Australia to be permanent.

Labour Market Testing         New requirements will mean sponsors must demonstrate at least two advertisements on:

  • National recruitment website
  • National print media
  • National radio; or
  • If an accredited sponsor, on their website.

Social media (such as LinkedIn or Facebook) and other websites are not acceptable.

Skills and Experience      Applicants must have the skills or qualifications outlined in the ANZSCO occupation to qualify. In addition, applicants must have at least 2 years’ full-time work experience in the occupation. Skill Assessment requirements remain largely as before, and include specified trades for specified nationalities as well as the occupations of ‘Project or Program Administrator’ and ‘Specialist Managers Not Elsewhere Classified’.

English        Applicants for the MLTSSL stream must obtain an overall score of 5.0 in IELTS (or equivalent in another English language exam) and a minimum of 5.0 in each stream.

Applicants for the STSOL stream must obtain an overall score of 5.0 in IELTS (or equivalent in another English language exam) and a minimum of 4.5 in each stream.

Exemptions apply where applicants have studied a requisite amount in English, obtained licensing which requires evidence of a greater level of English, are paid a base salary of $96,400 per annum plus super and are employed by an overseas business, or have a passport from the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.

Character       All applicants aged over 16 need to demonstrate good character by providing a police clearance from each country they have lived in for more than 12 months in the last 10 years.

Family Members      Only dependents under 23 can be included.

Fees        There has been a small increase in visa application fees for 2-year 482 TSS visas in STSOL occupations to $1150 per adult applicant. The fee for MLTSSL occupations is now $2400 per adult applicant. Partners pay the same fee.

Changes to Permanent 186 and 187 visas

  • All occupations must be on MLTSSL for both categories
  • Age <45 unless eligible for an exemption
  • 3 years work experience for both categories (not previously required for 187) including TRTS stream
  • IELTS 6.0 (both categories and all streams) unless eligible for an exemption
  • Skilling Australia Fund levy (SAF) must be paid by employer – $3000 for small businesses and $5000 large businesses (turnover > $10 million)
  • Grandfathering provisions apply to 457 holders or applicants on or before 18 April 2017. They can apply under the TRTS stream of 186 or 187 visas even if occupation not on MLTSSL, age < 50, with 2 years work experience and no caveats apply

Summary of 17 January 2018 changes to the lists of eligible skilled occupations

17 January 2018

The following occupations were added to the STSOL:

  • Property Manager 612112
  • Psychotherapist 272314
  • Real Estate Representative 612115

The following occupations moved from the STSOL to the MLTSSL:

  • Horse Breeder 121316
  • Management Consultant 224711

The following occupations were removed:

  • Building Associate 312112
  • Hair or Beauty Salon Manager 142114

Read more about the changes here:

http://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/trav/work/work/2018-changes-of-eligible-skilled-occupations

Costs of Living Expenses for Student Visas to Increase

1 February 2018

From 1 February 2018, the cost of annual living amounts will increase in line with Australia’s consumer price index. This will mostly affect Student visa applicants, but will also apply to other temporary residence visas. From this date, every application where evidence of funds is required should include the updated cost of living amounts in their calculation of funds:

Student or guardian: AUD $20,290   (increased from AUD $19,830)
Partner or spouse: AUD $7,100    (increased from AUD $6,940)
Child: AUD $3,040   (increased from AUD $2,970)

Grandfathering Provisions for 457 Visa Holders After March 2018

22 November 2017

If you held a Subclass 457 visa, at the time changes were made on the 18/04/17 or if you had lodged an application on or before the 18/04/17, you will be able to get the following concessions for Permanent residency through the Temporary Residence Transition stream (ENS and RSMS) after March 2018:

– age limit 50
– work for the sponsor 2 out of the last 3 years
– occupation not on MLTSSL

BSMQ Update: interstate skilled applicants no longer eligible for State Nomination

25 October 2017

Interstate applicants are no longer able to apply for Queensland state nomination. If you are currently interstate, in order to be eligible for Queensland state nomination, you must meet the Working in Queensland or Alumni pathway criteria. This would require you to move to Queensland and meet any working requirements before submitting an Expression of Interest to BSMQ.

If you have already received an invitation and you are an interstate applicant, BSMQ will still process your application. However, BSMQ will not be sending out any more invitations to interstate applicants.


Changes to Victorian State Nomination for Engineering and Building Occupations

12 October 2017

There will be a temporary closure on applications for engineering and building occupations on the Visa Nomination Occupation List for Victoria and they will not be accepted from 16 October 2017 to 12 January 2018.

Applicants who hold an offer of employment in Victoria in their nominated occupation or meet the streamlined PhD or 457 pathwaysare not affected by this closure and may apply for these engineering and building occupations during this time.

The occupations affected by the temporary closure are:

312112 Building Associate

233211 Civil Engineer

312211 Civil Engineering Draftsperson

233311 Electrical Engineer

312311 Electrical Engineering Draftsperson

233512 Mechanical Engineer

233914 Engineering Technologist

All applications received prior to 16 October 2017 will be assessed against the guidelines that applied at time of application.

Peru Added to Work and Holiday List

1 October 2017

Peru has been added to the list of eligible countries for a Work and Holiday 462 visa. From 1 October 2017, Peruvian nationals will be able to apply for Subclass 462 Work and Holiday visa provided they have not turned 31 at the time of application, have tertiary qualifications; or successfully completed at least two years of undergraduate university study.

To date, the following list of countries are eligible to apply for Subclass 462 visa:

  • Argentina
  • Bangladesh
  • Chile
  • China, People’s Republic of
  • Hungary
  • Indonesia
  • Israel
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • USA
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

Queensland Suspends Processing State Nominations in 24 Occupations

21 August 2017

Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) announces on 21 August that they would temporarily suspend processing of nominations in 24 occupations.

Due to high numbers of EOIs for the occupations listed below, BSMQ will not be accepting any further EOIs from 22 August 2017 for the below occupations until further notice:

  • 221111 Accountant (general)
  • 261311 Analyst Programmer
  • 263111 Computer Network & Systems Engineer
  • 262111 Database Administrator
  • 261312 Developer Programmer
  • 261111 ICT Business Analyst
  • 313112 ICT Customer Support Officer
  • 263211 ICT Quality Assurance Engineer
  • 262112 ICT Security Specialist
  • 263212 ICT Support Engineer
  • 263213 ICT Systems Test Engineer
  • 261313 Software Engineer
  • 261314 Software Tester
  • 262113 Systems Administrator
  • 261112 Systems Analyst
  • 313113 Web Administrator
  • 312111 Architectural Draftsperson
  • 611211 Insurance Agent
  • 232511 Interior Designer
  • 221112 Management Acct
  • 233512 Mechanical Engineer
  • 225311 Public Relations Professional
  • 251511 Hospital Pharmacists
  • 251513 Retail Pharmacist
  • 233914 Engineering Technologist

If you have lodged an EOI for an occupation prior to its removal off our QSOL, you are not guaranteed to receive an invitation to lodge an application with BSMQ. If you have not received an invitation, your EOI was not successful.

Please note that the removal of these occupations also apply to the PhD pathway.

South Australia Allows Civil Partner Registration

1 August 2017

Couples can now register their relationship with Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) if at least one person in the relationship lives in South Australia. Couples may apply irrespective of their sex or gender identity.

People who have been married before, been in a relationship registered in South Australia or in a ‘corresponding law’ registered relationship – a relationship registered under similar laws in another state or county –  will need to show that the previous relationship has ended with evidence such as a divorce certificate, nullity order, death certificate.

Go to the website for more information:

Registering a relationship in South Australia

The ACT Migration Program Is Now Closed To Overseas Applicants

23 August 2017

However, if you are living overseas and you have close ties (either family or genuine job offer) in Canberra; OR you have completed a PhD at an ACT university, you can still apply for ACT nomination if you meet the criteria.

If you have already submitted an application and paid the service fee before 23 August 2017, the application will be processed in queue order.

CANBERRA RESIDENTS – if you are living in Canberra, you can apply for ACT 190 nomination as soon as you meet the nomination criteria.