1st of July 2017 – changes to Skilled Migration Program

I’m sure that many of you have several questions surrounding the changes to the Skilled Migration Program that were announced 1 July 2017. For this reason we have compiled the following information to give you a brief overview.

 

ENS (Employer Nomination Scheme) & RSMS (Regional Skilled Migration Scheme)

  • Eligible occupations for the ENS Direct Entry (DE) stream will be those listed in the STSOL & MLTSSL
  • Relevant caveats as specified in these occupation lists will also now apply to ENS applications
  • Eligible ENS Temporary Transition (TRT) stream occupations will be those that were approved for the Temporary Work (Skilled) UC-457 visa
  • RSMS will remain unaffected by the changes to the occupation lists. Eligible occupations will be ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 & 3 occupations

If you have an occupation with a caveat, you will need to check if this can be met prior to starting the application process.

Age

  • For applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017, visa applicants for the ENS & RSMS Direct Entry (DE) stream must be under 45 years
  • Age exemptions are still available
  • For applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017 the age requirement for ENS & RSMS Temporary Transition (TRT) stream the age limit will be 50 years, until 1 March 2017 when it will change to less than 45 years

English

  • The English language exemption has been removed, for applications lodged after 1 July 2017, and those lodged before that have not been finalized

Proving Competent English is a “time of application” requirement, If you have lodged an application, are currently awaiting a decision and you have applied for an exemption based on English, your application may not be successful.

Skills

  • The exemption from skills assessment for ENS & RSMS Direct Entry (DE) has been removed, for applications lodged after 1 July 2017, and those lodged before that have not been finalized

The Skills Assessment is a “time of application” application requirement, therefore if you have lodged an application, are currently awaiting a decision and have applied for an exemption based on skills, your application may not be successful.

Genuine Need

  • ENS & RSMS applications will now require businesses to prove that there is a genuine need to employ a paid employee to work in the position

Simply Visas will be able to guide the business on how to prove “genuine need” criteria.

Training

  • Training benchmarks have been clarified and tightened

Simply Visas will be able to guide the business on the types of training that are acceptable to meet the required benchmark.

 General Skilled Migration

  • From 1 July 2017 applicants for points tested visas (excluding the New Zealand pathway) must be below the age of 45 years at time of application, this change affects Subclass 189, Subclass 190 & Subclass 489

New Zealand Pathway

  • A new pathway for New Zealand Special Category visa holders has been implemented in the Subclass 189

Eligibility

  • hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa
  • have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to application, and have commenced that period of usual residence on or before 19 February 2016
  • have a taxable income at or above an income threshold for each income year in the five years prior to lodging an application (unless claiming an exemption)
  • meet mandatory health, character and national security checks
  • lodge a visa application and pay the relevant visa application charges

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