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Australian Immigration Daily News

Breaking Australian immigration news brought to you by Migration Alliance and associated bloggers. Please email help@migrationalliance.com.au

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Ruslan-Ahmadzai

Ruslan-Ahmadzai

Solicitor specialising in corporate immigration.Registered Migration AgentSpecialities: Migration Law, Employer Compliance in Immigration, Business Stream Visas, Family and Partner Visas, CPD Training. Contact me on ross@visacorp.com.au or call +61 2 9283 6500.

Posted by on in General

There is no doubt that the removal and addition of occupations to the List is somewhat of a mystery.  Unfortunately, the short answer is that there is no way to predict whether a particular occupation will remain on the List for the following financial year.  However, it is important to understand how decision is made to keep or to remove a particular occupation.  The understanding of the review process is now more important than before given the Government’s recent overhaul of the Temporary Visa Framework.

The Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (SCOL)

This List has been significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed. The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) has been renamed to the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.

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Last night the Coalition Government delivered the Budget.  This has provided some interesting insight in relation to Australia’s immigration programme for the year ahead.  Below is key point summary of the Budget:

Job Cuts at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection:

Evident restructure within Government departments was seen across all sectors. Around 245 positions will go from Immigration and Border Protection, explained through "net movements in measures and operational pressures".  This could mean further delay in visa application processing times.  Current 457 visas take around 59 days to be processed with approximately 90% of cases processed in 6 months.

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Some welcome news at a State level for subclass 457 visa holders impacted by recent legislative changes! South Australian Government is accepting nominations for 457 visa holders currently working in South Australia for a 190 or 489 General Skilled Migration visa allowing these individuals to remain in South Australia. The added bonus the fact that these visa pathways place no requirements on the employer.  Where a subclass 457 visa holder has worked in South Australia for 12 months or more, they will have access to more than 400 occupations.  This is welcomed news by those visa holders who are no longer eligible for another 457 visa or subclass 186 as a result of the changes last month.  The changes are summarised here:  http://migrationalliance.com.au/immigration-daily-news/entry/2017-04-key-dates-introduction-of-temporary-skill-shortage-visa-tss-and-phasing-out-of-temporary-work-skilled-subclass-457-visa-457-visa.html

In addition to having more occupations available to choose from, South Australia is offering further concessions on English language requirements. Applicants securing a state nomination can get up to 10 extra points for DIBP’s points test. Five will be awarded for state nomination relating to subclass 190 visa and ten relating to a state nomination for subclass 489 visa.

Securing a subclass 489 or 190 visa will also allow visa holders access to local school fees.

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Operation "Sovereign Borders" has been a primary focus of the government to deal with 'people smuggling'.

On April 23, days after announcing changes to Subclass 457 Visa and Citizenship, Minister for Immigration Peter Dutton released the following statistics for comparison.

Under Labor, Australia saw:

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It has been somewhat of a turmoil in Australian Immigration arena since the announcement made by the Turnbull Government on 17 April 2017 to phase out the existing Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa (“457 visa”) and introduce a new replacement visa, the Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (“TSS visa”).  The main confusion and frustration following the announcement lies in the fact that there has been little or no prior consultation.  The announcement blindsided both Migration Agents as well as current and prospective visa applicants.

Migration Alliance is here to inform you of key dates relevant to new TSS visa as well as existing 457 visa:

  • 19 April 2017 – Removal of 218 skilled occupations from list of sponsorable occupations as well as introduction of two new skilled occupations lists:
    • Medium - Long Term Strategic List (MLTSSL) and Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
    • Changes to the validity period of a 457 visa for applications lodged and/or approved on or after 19 April 2017.  Two years will be granted if the occupation is on STSOL or up to four years if the occupation is on MLTSSL
    • Opportunity given by DIBP to withdraw a 457 nomination and/or visa application in progress where an occupation is no longer on the either list
  • 1 July 2017 – Further review of existing 457 visa arrangements
    • Possible removal of occupations from both lists (MLTSSL and STSOL)
    • Introduction of providing police clearance as part of the 457 visa application process
    • Changes to existing training benchmark requirements
    • Changes to English language requirements
  • 1 December 2017 – Data Matching Introduced
    • DIBP will start collecting Tax File Numbers (TFN) for existing 457 visa holders for the purpose of cross checking salary against earnings declared on a recent 457 nomination
  • March 2018 – Abolition of the 457 visa and introduction of the TSS visa
    • 457 visas will be abolished
    • TSS will be introduced
    • There will be two streams available under TSS
      • Short Term Stream Visa will be valid for two years which will not lead to permanent residency
      • Medium Term Stream Visa will be valid for up to four years with potential pathway to permanent residency after three years
      • Caveats for certain occupations including minimum salary requirements as well as certain occupations reserved exclusively for regional areas
      • Mandatory prior employment experience for both streams
      • Labour Market Testing (unless exempt under International Obligations)
      • A non discriminatory workforce test to be introduced

To add to the confusion already created last week, it appears that revised instrument specifying occupations listed under MLTSSL and STSOL released on 19 April 2017 appears to be no longer in force which left us with the previous list.  As expected, DIBP is yet to update this information and I encourage everyone to check legislation regularly before submitting an application during this transition. For further information please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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