Recent Permanent Visa Reforms and How They Affect You

I’m sure a lot of visa holders and potential applicants are keeping a close eye on the combined list, now we know that it will be updated every 6 months. The combined list has now been split up into 3 categories;

  • STSOL (Short-term Skilled Occupation List)
  • MLTSSL (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List)
  • ROL (Regional Occupation List)

*Caveats apply to all occupations

 

ENS Subclass 186

From 18th of March 2018, to apply for permanent residency via the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) you must have an occupation on the MLTSSL. Unless you are subject to transitional arrangements.

 

RSMS Subclass 187

To apply for permanent residency via the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) you must be nominated by an Australian employer in regional Australia. You must have on occupation on the MLTSSL or ROL. Unless you are subject to transitional arrangements. There are 3 streams available within ENS/RSMS;

  • Direct Entry (DE)
  • Temporary Residence Transition (TRT)
  • Labour Agreement

 

Direct Entry

  • Occupation on MLTSSL for ENS / Occupation on MLTSSL or ROL for RSMS - subject to transitional arrangements (see below)
  • Competent English (unless exempt)
  • 3 years of work experience required
  • Skills assessment must be completed or applied for (unless exempt)
  • Company must have offer position for at least 2 years
  • Company must show strong supporting evidence that Australian is not available to fill the position, assessment expanded
  • Must be 45 years of age at time of application (some age exemptions apply)
  • Training benchmarks apply until SAF implementation (see below)

 

Temporary Residence Transition

  • Occupation on MLTSSL for ENS / Occupation on MLTSSL or ROL for RSMS - subject to transitional arrangements (see below)
  • Competent English (unless exempt)
  • Evidence of having completed 3 years on Subclass 457/Subclass 482 - unless subject to transitional arrangements (see below)
  • Skills assessment is not mandatory but can be requested
  • Must be 45 years of age at time of application (some age exemptions apply)
  • Training benchmarks apply until SAF implementation (see below) – ENS only
  • Department can re-assess skills and genuineness of the position

 

Labour Agreement

  • A Labour Agreement is a formal agreement between the Australian Government and an Australian business to allow the hire of overseas workers where there is an evidenced skills shortage.
  • Some Labour Agreements have a provision to nominate workers for permanent residency via the ENS Subclass 186. RSMS Subclass 187 is no longer available via the Labour Agreements stream – this is due to very low usage.

*Please note this is not an exhaustive list of requirements and is to be used as a guide only.

 

Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)

Bill is still before parliament, currently awaiting implementation. Once implemented employers wishing to nominate an overseas employee via the ENS or RSMS, will be required to pay;

  • $3000 one-off (business annual turnover less than $10 million)
  • Other businesses $5000 one-off

 

Transitional Arrangements

If you are a 457 visa holder, you may have access to transitional arrangements to apply for permanent residency via ENS/RSMS. If you held a 457 visa, or applied for a 457 visa (that was subsequently granted) on 18th of April 2017;

  • Current occupation lists will not apply
  • You will have to show evidence of at least 2 years work on 457 Visa/TSS Visa (instead of 3 years)
  • Age limit will be 50 at time of application

These arrangements will not remain in place indefinitely so if you have been putting off the process, now would be the time to get things started.

 

Future TSS applicants

Your occupation will ultimately determine whether you will have an option to apply for permanent residency, now that the TSS Subclass 482 visa has been implemented. If your occupation is on the STSOL then you will have the ability to apply for a 2 year TSS Subclass 482 & then a further TSS Subclass 482 visa only. If your occupation is on the MLTSSL then you will have the ability to apply for a 4 year TSS & you will also have a pathway to permanent residency via ENS. If you are working in a regional area, and your occupation is on the MLTSSL OR the ROL then you will have access to RSMS. The full specification of occupations for RSMS can be viewed here. Get in touch with Simply Visas if you are interested in assessing your options or getting your application for permanent residency underway!

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