Australian Citizenship

31 Jul What’s changed from 1st July 2019

The Australian Government has announced some of the significant changes made in recent years, including a large reduction in permanent intake.

Immigration cap lowered

The government has changed the maximum intake of permanent migration for the first time since 2011. Migrant intake has changed from 190,000 to 160,000 per year over the course of 3 years. 70% of migrants will be in the Skill stream and the remaining 30% will be in the Family Stream.

This change is a result of the issue of growing congestion in Sydney and Melbourne. The largest impact caused by the changes will be felt by those with or seeking Skilled Independent Visas, which have been slashed from over 43,000 to 18,000 visas. These changes could force an extended temporary residency period.

Regional visas

It is well known that one of the main objectives for the Australian Government is a guarantee that immigrants can live and work in regional areas. Australia still needs a lot of different professionals, however they can’t live in the larger cities anymore to permanently remain in Australia.

23,00 skilled visas are being reserved for those willing to live and work in regional areas. There are two new visas to be introduced in November of this year. The Skilled Employer Sponsor Visa and the Skilled Work Regional Visa will have 9,000 and 14,000 places respectively within the annual immigration cap of 160,000.

Extra points on Skilled Migration Points Test

While you must score a minimum of 65 points, this score is not always sufficient to be invited to apply. This year the government is offering some extra points:
· (10 points) for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner;
· (15 points) for applicants nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by a family member residing in regional Australia;
· (10 points)for having certain STEM qualifications ;
· (10 points) for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner; and
· (5 points) for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who has competent English

Fees increased for Visa Applications in 2019

Visa fees increased by 5.4% on July 1st.

Citizenship changes abandoned

According to the Media the Federal Government has abandoned legislation that would force migrants to wait longer and prove they have competent english proficiency before applying for Australian Citizenship.

The Greens senator Nick McKim was quoted saying the new laws were “divisive and hateful” and demanded the Coalition abandon them completely.

Coalition MPs furiously denied McKims claims. “This wasn’t about race; this was about making sure people had English and actually had a sense of belonging,” said one Liberal MP who asked not to be named.

The good news is that all citizenship applications will be processed according to the existing laws.


Do you want to know more about Australian Immigration and Visas? Contact us by email or phone number to have your first appointment and start your journey with us.

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24 May Thinking ahead: All the visa changes for 1 July 2019

We know that Australia is the dream country for most of the people that are living here temporarily. We also know that it’s getting harder to secure a visa in this country, and you need to keep up to date with all the news and changes if you want to make this dream come true. Here are a few visa changes that 1st of July applicants should know about:  

Fees are going up:

Government fees will increase on July 1st by 5.4%. If you have started your application, we suggest you finalise it before June 30th. We are more than happy to guide you if you are lost between forms and documents, just get in touch with us. If it’s not possible to submit before June 30th, please consider the increase cost on your finances.

Winter is coming:

Yes, we’re sorry to be dramatic, but it’s not just winter that’s coming; updates to application forms, new legislation and checklists, unannounced changes – these all could come on July 1st. Don’t panic though, we are a specialised immigration group with 12 years of experience. We have survived many “1 July” events already, and this will be no different.

Move away from the biggest cities:

Immigration’s SkillSelect and State Nomination quotas will reset on July 1st, opening up places in the Subclass 189, 190, and 489 (State Nominated) visa streams. Be organised and ready to submit an EOI for a 190 or 489 visa. This means gathering the required documents; skill assessments, qualifications, identity documents, and employment references.

Working holiday visas:

The government is giving 1 extra year, (3 years in total of working holiday visa), if the applicants complete at least 6 months of specific regional work while on their 2nd year visa. Only work undertaken from July 1st will be counted.

Married with my partner visa:

Partner visa sponsorships need to be approved first before applications are lodged. This will prolong the time that couples have to wait to get the permanent residence. This also means that potential offshore applicants and sponsors will have to pass through a stringent process to assess their character and history.  There is no date when the changes for the partner visa will come into effect.


Contact us by email or phone number (0414633637 | (02) 99071924) to have your first appointment and start your journey with us.

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17 Apr New Parents visa of Australian migrants in April 2019

The anticipated subclass 870 Sponsored Parent (Temporary) Visa will be available from 17 April 2019.  The new visa allow parents of migrants in Australia to visit their family on a temporary basis for up to 10 years. Under the new visa, parents of migrants would be able to choose between a three-year visa that comes at a cost of $5,000 and a five-year visa with a $10,000 fee. There will be an opportunity for a single renewal with the number of visas subject to an annual cap of 15,000.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the new visa demonstrates the Government’s commitment to migrant communities. “This new visa will help families reunite and spend time together,” Mr Coleman said. “It will provide a new pathway for parents and grandparents to visit their families in Australia, which will deliver great social benefits to the Australian community.

To be eligible for the visa, a parent must be the biological, adoptive, or step-parent of the sponsor, who must be an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen. Only two parents can be sponsored for this visa at a time. The child will act as a financial guarantor for the time their parents remain in Australia. This means the child is legally responsible for any debts to taxpayers as a result of any medical emergencies. “This new visa will ensure family reunions are possible for many migrant families across Australia, while protecting taxpayers with strict guidelines to ensure all public health debts including hospital and aged care fees are recovered by the Australian Government,” Mr Coleman said.

If you and your parents would be interested in applying for this visa or check all the other possibilities, we suggest contact us by email. You can also follow us on Facebook to be always up to date about Australian visas and culture.

Read more here!

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03 Sep Citizenship Requirements – Back on the Agenda

The Government initially announced these changes on 20 April 2017 and made attempts to have them take effect on the same date. However, a Bill was required to be drafted and passed through Parliament first, which subsequently failed on 18 October 2017.

The Australian Government has indicated that the proposed changes to Australian citizenship are back on the agenda for September 2018.

What are the proposed changes?

Following previous attempts, the proposed changes will require the applicant to:

  • have lived in Australia as an Australian permanent resident for at least 4 years
  • pass an English language test. Last year, the recommended pass level for Australian citizenship was competent English
  • pass a new citizenship test. This will be a `strengthened’ version of the current test and is designed to assess the applicant’s understanding of, and commitment to, Australian values
  • complete the citizenship test only once. This means applicants must pass the higher level test on the first attempt
  • prove their integration and contribution to the Australian community

What are the current requirements?

Through the general pathway, applicants for Australian citizenship need to start by meeting the residence requirement.

Under the current legislation, applicants must have been in Australia for at least:

  • the last 4 years, on any temporary or permanent visa. During this time, no more than 12 months can be spent overseas, and
  • the last 12 months, on a permanent visa, with no more than 3 months spent overseas.

In addition to this:

  • applicants have no English language test they need to pass
  • applicants are able to complete the current citizenship test as many times as they need (generally, the test failure rate is low),
  • applicants need to demonstrate they are of good character. The proposed changes to meet integration requirements now appears to give Immigration more discretion to refuse an application, if applicants are found to have not sufficiently integrated into Australian society.

When will this happen?

The legislation needs to be discussed and passed by Parliament. Last year, it took 6 months for the proposal to lapse however, this agenda has been the topic of discussion now for more than 12 months so has the potential to take effect soon.

Who will it affect?

The most commonly types of visa holders to be impacted by the residence requirement change will be:

  • Provisional partner holders who have had the temporary stage of their permanent partner application approved. Generally, they will have been living in Australia for at least 2 years before being assessed for the permanent stage. Provisional partner visa holders may be living in Australia for at least 6 years before meeting the proposed residence requirements
  • 457/TSS visa holders who lived and worked in Australia for a number of years before qualifying for permanent residence. It is common for 457/TSS visa holders to transfer to another sponsoring employer, after losing their jobs and after a considerable time with the same employer. In this instance, the time required to work in the new position for the employer will start again before they qualify for employer sponsored permanent residence. They could be living in Australia for at least 7 years before meeting the proposed residence requirements for citizenship
  • Student visa holders who complete studies in Australia before starting the process for a permanent visa through the General Skilled Migration program. In some instances this will see students in Australia for at least 8 – 9 years before they can consider lodging a citizenship application.

What should I do?

If the citizenship changes are passed the process to acquire Australian citizenship will become difficult and take longer for applicants to achieve.

Option 1 – Apply Now

If you meet the current requirements for Australian citizenship, consider lodging your application now – understand it may take some time to be processed:

  • If the legislation is passed, after you lodge the application and before a decision is made, the changes may be applied retrospectively meaning your application could be refused. At this stage, you lose the application fee of $285 but, the outcome would not impact the permanent residence you hold, nor would there be adverse consequences
  • Most of the legislative changes taking place over the last 16 months have not been applied retrospectively. This would mean there is an advantage to lodging your citizenship application before the legislation is introduced to Parliament.

Option 2 – Wait Until the Legislative Process is Completed

This would require you to keep a close eye on the developments and progress of these citizenship changes, which, recently, has not been a large topic of public discussion.

Option 3 – Wait to Meet the Proposed Residence Requirement

This will require you to wait an additional 3 years on your permanent residence visa and spend most of your time in Australia.

Option 4 – Apply for Citizenship under the Concessions to the Residence Requirements

This might be possible if you can show significant hardship or that you have needed to travel as a result of your employment.


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23 Mar Abolition of 457 and Introduction of Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 Visa

The 457 visa is abolished as of 18 March 2018 and is being replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa.

This will be a change which affects all employers who sponsor staff, and the changes to the legislation are extensive.

We have summarised the information which is most important for employers to know about the new TSS visa.

When do the Changes Come Into Effect?

The changes are effective 18 March 2018. After this date:

  • It is no longer possible to apply for a 457 visa;
  • The TSS subclass visa replaces the 457 visa

Changes also apply to permanent employer sponsored ENS and RSMS visas lodged on or after this date.

What Happens if I Have an Outstanding 457 Application as of 18 March 2018?

457 visa applications lodged before 18 March 2018 will continue to be processed. They will be assessed as per the Migration Regulations which applied prior to this date. If a 457 nomination is lodged prior to 18 March, but there is no linked 457 lodged by this date, then the nomination will no longer be processed and a refund may be paid. How are the Requirements for a TSS Visa Different to a 457 Visa? Changes have been made to the following requirements

  • The TSS has 3 different streams – the Short Term, Medium Term and Labour Agreement streams
  • Work Experience
  • English Language Ability
  • Health Requirement
  • Occupations List
  • Work Conditions for the Visa
  • Visa Validity Period for Adult Children
  • Higher Visa Application Fees
  • Training requirement for sponsorship approval
  • Employer Sponsorship validity and renewal process
  • Market Rate Salary
  • Labour Market Testing is required in most cases
  • Various Nomination Requirements

What Are the TSS Streams?

Employers must nominate one of the three TSS application streams. These are as follows:

1. Short Term Stream

For the short term stream:

  1. The nominated occupation must be on the STSOL (Short Term Skilled Occupations List)
  2. Applicants must show that they are Genuine Temporary Entrants
  3. The visa is valid for either 1 or 2 years (unless an International Trade Obligation applies)
  4. The visa can only be renewed onshore once

2. Medium Term Stream

For the Medium Term Stream:

  1. The occupation must be on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List)
  2. A higher English language requirement applies compared to the Short Term Stream
  3. The visa can be valid for 1, 2, 3 or 4 years
  4. The visa can be renewed without limitation and applicants may be eligible for permanent employer sponsored options

3. Labour Agreement Stream

This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

What is the Work Experience Requirement for the TSS Visa?

To be eligible for a TSS visa, the applicant must have at least 2 years of work experience. This would need to be in the nominated occupation or “related field”. It was possible to apply for a 457 visa with no work experience, providing you hold a relevant qualification.

This would mean that people without work experience would not be eligible for a TSS visa – for example international students.

There does seem to be some flexibility in considering work experience which is not necessarily in the nominated occupation, but in a related field.

If sponsored under a Labour Agreement, a waiver of the 2-year work experience requirement is possible.

What are the English Requirements for the TSS Visa?

For the Short Term Stream, the English requirements are the same as for the 457 visa – that is an average of 5 in the IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands. A range of alternative English tests are also accepted as per the 457 visa.

For the Long Term Stream, the English Requirement is higher. A minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS is equivalent, and an average of 5 is not sufficient.

Similar to the 457 visa, exemptions from English language testing are available for:

  • Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand
  • People who have completed at least 5 years of study in English medium
  • Intra-company transfers where the base salary is at least $96,400
  • Diplomatic/consular appointments

For the Labour Agreement stream, the requirement is less strict – applicants must show they have the English language skills to perform the occupation, without reference to formal English testing.

What is the Health Requirement for the TSS Visa?

To qualify for a 457 or TSS visa, applicants must in general to show they do not have any medical conditions which are:

  • of public health concern; or
  • would result in a significant cost to the Australian community; or
  • would result in use of scarce medical or community services

The 457 visa was subject to health criterion 4006A. This meant that if an applicant has a medical condition, they could still be granted if the employer signed an undertaking to meet the necessary costs. The issue with this was that employees had to disclose the medical condition to the employer to be granted the visa.

The TSS visa is subject to health criterion 4007. This means that if the applicant has a health condition, they can still be granted if the cost to the community is “not undue” via a health waiver. The applicant’s personal factors can be taken into account. Examples include:

  • pre-existing health insurance
  • financial capacity
  • ability of relatives to provide the necessary care

There is no requirement that the employer sign an undertaking, meaning that the employee does not need to disclose their condition.

Have there Been Any Changes to the Skilled Occupations Lists?

The structure of the list for the TSS visa has changed – we now have the following classifications:

  • 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: 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.

What is the Work Restriction on a TSS visa?

TSS Visas are subject to condition 8607. This is similar to the condition which applied to the 457 visa and broadly speaking is as follows:

  • The employee can only work for the nominating employer, in the occupation in which they were sponsored
  • If registration, licensing or professional membership is required to work in the position, the applicant holds this
  • The holder must commence work within 90 days of grant or arrival in Australia; and
  • The holder is subject to cancellation if they cease work for more than 60 days

I Have an Adult Child – How Long will the TSS Visa be Valid for?

If you are including a child in your TSS application, the visa will only be valid until the child’s 23rd birthday.

For a 457 visa, the visa could in some case be valid after the child’s 23rd birthday.

What are the Fees for a TSS Visa?

The application fee depends on which stream is being applied for:

  • Short Term Stream: $1,150
  • Medium Term Stream: $2,400
  • Labour Agreement Stream: $2,400

The application fee for a 457 visa is $1,080, so this represents an increase in application fees. There are no increases to the nomination or sponsorship application fees at this stage.

The Government has also announced that a Training Levy will apply to TSS nominations. The legislation for this has not yet passed, but the following amounts are likely to apply:

  • Large organisation (over $10 million turnover): $1,800 per year of visa validity
  • Smaller organisations: $1,200 per year

When the training levy is introduced, this will significantly increase the cost for employers of obtaining a TSS visa.

Can I Use a 457 Sponsorship Approval for the TSS Program?

Yes – you can use an existing Standard Business Sponsorship to apply for TSS Nominations and Visa Applications.

What is the Training Requirement for Approval as a Business Sponsor?

Sponsors no longer require to provide evidence of training of Australians in the business to be approved as a sponsor. This is because of the expected introduction of the Training Levy in the near future to replace the training obligation.

However, the sponsorship obligation to provide training will continue for sponsors who have already been approved.

Training will also be relevant when applying for permanent Employer Nomination Scheme visas

How Long is a TSS Sponsorship Approval Valid for?

When a Standard Business Sponsorship is granted after 18 March 2018, it will be valid for a period of 5 years in most cases. Previously, it would be valid for a lesser amount of time if the business was a start-up.

How is the Sponsorship Renewal Process Changing?

For sponsors operating in Australia, a simpler streamlined process of renewing the sponsorship is available after 18 March.

For overseas business sponsors, a new sponsorship application must be made each time, and the streamlined process is not available.

What are the Labour Market Testing Requirements for the TSS Visa?

Labour Market Testing requires the employer to show that it has not been possible to source an employee from the Australian labour market before sponsoring for a visa. Generally, this requires providing evidence that the position has been advertised and that no suitable candidates were available.

For the 457 visa, most management, professional and associate professional occupations were exempt from Labour Market Testing.

For the TSS Visa, Labour Market Testing is required in most cases. The main exception is where an International Trade Obligation applies.

Labour Market Testing must be conducted in the occupation within the last 12 months to meet TSS requirements – similar to the 457 requirement. From 18 June 2018, this must have been conducted within the last 6 months before application.

How is Market Rate Salary Assessed for the TSS Visa?

Compared to the 457 market rate salary requirement, there are detail changes and differences in terminology but the overall effect will be similar for most employers.

It is expected that minimum salary will continue to be specified for some occupations by caveats on the Skilled Occupations List instruments.

The method of assessing market rate salary has been revised for the TSS Visa as follows:

  1. If the applicant’s earnings are at least $250,000, the requirement is met
  2. The Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) for the position must be at least TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold). The TSMIT is unchanged at $53,900
  3. The nominee’s earnings must be at least AMSR
  4. The nominee’s earnings must be at least TSMIT
  5. Non-monetary benefits are excluded from the above considerations, unless the Minister considers it reasonable to include them (eg where an accommodation allowance is provided and this is necessary due to a remote location for the position)
  6. If the Minister has information that the employment conditions for the TSS applicant are less favourable that would apply to an Australian, then the application can be refused

The Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) is determined based on the following process: 1. If an Australian permanent resident or citizen is working in an equivalent position in the same workplace:

    If an industrial instrument applies to the Australian, the earnings as specified in the instrument

  • Otherwise, payslips or an employment contract for the Australian

2. If there is no Australian in an equivalent position:

  • If an industrial instrument would apply, the earnings as specified by the instrument
  • Information from Job Outlook, remuneration surveys, advice from employer associations or unions, job advertisements.

If relying on job advertisements to establish AMSR, they must be:

  • From a national recruitment website or from national print media
  • In English
  • Specify the salary arrangements for the position

What are the Changes to Nomination Requirements?

A large number of detail changes have been made to the nomination process. Some of the more important ones include:

  • For the 457 visa, whether the occupation was on the approved list was a time of decision requirement for the nomination and visa. As a result, if the list changed during processing, an applicant could be disadvantaged. For the TSS visa, this is a time of application requirement
  • The TSS will only be available for full time positions. For the 457, part-time positions were possible, providing the base earnings were at least TSMIT
  • The period of nomination must be specified and be exactly 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. We believe this is to facilitate payment of the training levy, which is based on how many years the TSS holder will be working in Australia
  • Previously, the legislation did not make it clear whether an employee can pay nomination costs for a 457 visa. The new legislation specifically mentions that the sponsor must pay the nomination fees. This will be particularly significant when the Training Levy is introduced.

Information provided by Acacia immigration service

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20 Nov Obligations for Temporary Business Sponsors

When sponsoring for 457 visas, employers need to be aware of potentially significant sponsorship obligations which apply.

Failure to comply with these obligations can result in cancellation of an existing sponsorship, refusal of a sponsorship renewal, fines and possibly court action.

The main sponsorship obligations are as follows:

Provision of Training

Employers must meet 457 training benchmarks for each 12 month period following approval as a business sponsor.

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: when sponsorship approval ceases

Cooperation with Inspectors

Employers are required to cooperate with Workplace Inspectors. The following would be considered a breach of this obligation:

  • Concealing the location of persons and documents
  • Obstructing inspector or preventing a person from assisting
  • Assaulting, intimidating or threatening inspectors

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: 5 years from ceasing to be a sponsor

Equivalent Terms and Conditions of Employment

Conditions for 457 visa holders must be “no less favourable” than conditions for Australian permanent residents and citizens

Employees must either be paid at least $250,000 or a market rate salary determined by conditions which would apply to Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Commences: date of approval of 457, or nomination if already the holder of a 457

Ceases: Cessation of employment or grant of further visa

Travel Costs

The employer must pay the cost of return travel for 457 visa holders if properly requested.

The request must be properly made – in particular it must:

  • Be made by the Department of Immigration, the primary 457 holder (ie the sponsored employee) or by a secondary 457 holder (ie members of the employee’s family unit)
  • Specify the persons covered
  • Specify the country of passport they wish to travel to
  • Be made whilst person holds 457

The employer’s obligation is to pay “Reasonable and necessary” costs only. Such costs would usually involve:

  • Travel costs for both primary and secondary visa holders
  • Travel to the point of departure from Australia
  • Cost of return to the country of passport via economy class air travel

The costs must be paid within 30 days of request

Commences: date of approval of 457, or nomination if already the holder of a 457

Ceases: grant of further visa, grant of nomination for new employer or permanent departure

Costs to Commonwealth – Location and Removal

This obligation would cover the cost of detection and removal incurred by the Commonwealth if the 457 visa holder overstays their visa. It only covers costs incurred between when the person becomes illegal and when they leave Australia. If return costs have already been paid by the employer, then only the difference between this and the actual cost is payable. A maximum limit of $10,000 is applicable for this obligation.

Commences: date person becomes illegal

Ceases: 5 years from date person leaves Australia

Maintenance of records

The employer is obliged to keep certain records, including:

  • Request for payment of return travel costs and when received
  • Details of payment of return travel costs – date, who for, amount
  • Details of notification to the Department of Immigration – when and how transmitted
  • Tasks undertaken by 457 holder + location
  • Training provided to Australians working in the business

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: 2 years after ceasing to be a sponsor and there are no primary or secondary 457 holders

Notification to Department of Immigration

The employer must notify the Department of Immigration of certain events via registered post or electronic mail to specified address which depends where the sponsorship application was processed by the Department of Immigration.

Notification must be made within 28 days, and examples of notifiable events include:

  • Cessation or expected cessation of employment
  • Change to training which may affect approval as a business sponsor
  • Changes to the legal structure of the employer
  • Payment of return travel for a 457 visa holder
  • Insolvency/bankruptcy/administration

Commences: date of approval of sponsorship

Ceases: 2 years after ceasing to be a sponsor and there are no primary or secondary 457 holders

Cost of Sponsorship Approval and Recruitment

The employer must not seek to recover or have another person pay for the cost of:

  • Obtaining sponsorship approval
  • Recruitment of the primary sponsored person

Commences: date of approval of 457, or nomination if already the holder of a 457

Ceases: grant of further visa, grant of nomination for new employer or permanent departure From 14 December 2015 it is unlawful for individuals to pay an employer to sponsor them for a visa. This would include situations where the individual directly pays the employer, or a deduction is made from their salary, or the individuals provides any other benefit to the employer. It will result in visa refusal, visa cancellation, fines and even imprisonment.



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15 Nov Important info for 457 visa’s lodged or granted before 18 April 2017 

Subclass 457 visa holders who held or applied for a 457 visa before 18 April 2017 will be able to access certain existing provisions under the Temporary Residence Transition stream:
  • occupation requirements stay the same (i.e. there are no restrictions as long as the nominee continues to work in the same position for the same employer as approved for their subclass 457 visa)
  • the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age
  • the work experience requirement and the requirement to have worked at least two out of the three years prior to nomination on a subclass 457 will remain at two years
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20 Oct Important news for citizenship!

The laws for citizenship have not passed in Parliament!
Thousands of migrants are no longer in limbo after plans to make it harder to become an Australian citizen were not passed in Parliament. Migrants who have already put in applications for citizenship, and those who still plan too, will be assessed under current requirements rather than the tougher measures announced by the government earlier this year. Read more here
Now its the right time to apply for Citizenship!
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30 Aug TSS Visa (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa)

The Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program will replace the 457 visa program from March 2018.

The TSS visa has a short-term stream and a medium-term stream. Applicants with occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) are eligible for visas of up to two years (renewable once, for a further two years), whilst those on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) can apply for up to four years (with eligibility for permanent residency after three years).

How much will the TSS visa cost?

The TSS sponsorship fee will be $420, the same as current 457 sponsorship fee.

The TSS nomination fee will be $330, the same as the current 457 nomination fee.

Visa application Charges (VACs) for the TSS visa are outlined below:

Visa Application Charges             Primary Application        Adult Dependent         Child Dependent

TSS (Short-Term stream)                            $1,150                              $1,150                              $290

TSS visa (Medium-Term stream)               $2,400                            $2,400                             $600


The Skilling Australia Fund levy (SAF) will replace the current training benchmarks for employers sponsoring applicants for Subclass 457 and Subclass 186 visas.


Business Size                                                                 TSS visa                                                               ENS / RSMS

Small (annual turnover less than $10 million)       $1,200 per year or part thereof                      $3,000 one-off

Other businesses                                                           $1,800 per year or part thereof                      $5,000 one-off

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04 Aug Occupation Ceilings Released for 2017-18

The Department of Immigration has finally released the occupation ceilings for the 2017-18 Program Year.

It appears to be good news for accountants, Software Engineers and Mechanical Engineers with significantly higher ceilings for these occupations.

Results of the 12 July SkillSelect Round have also been released and this gives a good idea of the minimum points required at the moment for an invitation.

Pro Rata Occupations

There have been increases in the occupation ceiling for the following pro rata occupations – it is quite possible that the required points score will reduce compared to the 2016-17 program year:

  • Accountants: Increased by 2285 places to 4785
  • Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: Increased by 639 places to 2178
  • Software and Applications Programmers: Increased by 540 places to 6202
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts: Increased by 92 places to 1574

The following occupations had a reduced occupation ceiling – as a result the required points or waiting times may increase:

  • Computer Network Professionals: Decreased by 108 places to 1318
  • Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers: Decreased by 86 places to 1327

Ceilings for the following occupations are unchanged at 1000 places:

  • Electronics Engineers
  • Other Engineering Professionals

We also have the results of the 12 July SkillSelect Round – we saw required points for pro rata occupations being very high. This is most likely a result of a 3-month backlog of EOIs in the system, and we would expect these to reduce over the next few months:

Occupation Points Weeks
Accountants 75 13.0
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 75 15.1
Electronics Engineer 70 3.9
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 70 3.7
Other Engineering Professionals 70 14.0
ICT Business and System Analysts 75 6.0
Software and Applications Programmers 70 11.4
Computer Network Professionals 70 14.3

Other Occupations

70 points were required for all non-pro rata occupations as well in the 12 July round. Waiting time was 3.7 weeks with this score.

We do not yet have an occupation ceiling for the ICT Security Specialist Occupation – this would appear to be an oversight.

The following occupations have experienced significant decreases in their occupation ceilings – It is possible that some of these occupations might go onto the pro rata list in the 2017-18 year:

  • Bricklayers and Stonemasons: Decreased by 480 places to 1271
  • Other Medical Practitioners: Decreased by 315 places to 1000
  • Metal Fitters and Machinists: Decreased by 1347 places to 5330
  • Solicitors: Decreased by 993 places to 4161
  • Engineering Managers: Decreased by 252 places to 1155
  • Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics: Decreased by 274 places to 1427
  • Social Workers: Decreased by 221 places to 1562
  • Special Education Teachers: Decreased by 126 places to 1000
  • Carpenters and Joiners: Decreased by 750 places to 6968
  • Medical Laboratory Scientists: Decreased by 115 places to 1487
  • Chefs: Decreased by 179 places to 2675
  • Electronics Trades Workers: Decreased by 115 places to 1878

Underlying Data

Occupation Ceiling 2016-17 Ceiling 2017-18 Change %
3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons 1751 1271 -480 -27.4%
2539 Other Medical Practitioners 1315 1000 -315 -24.0%
3232 Metal Fitters and Machinists 6677 5330 -1347 -20.2%
2713 Solicitors 5154 4161 -993 -19.3%
1332 Engineering Managers 1407 1155 -252 -17.9%
2333 Electrical Engineers 1254 1042 -212 -16.9%
3421 Airconditioning and Refrigeration Mechanics 1701 1427 -274 -16.1%
2725 Social Workers 1783 1562 -221 -12.4%
2415 Special Education Teachers 1126 1000 -126 -11.2%
3312 Carpenters and Joiners 7718 6968 -750 -9.7%
2346 Medical Laboratory Scientists 1602 1487 -115 -7.2%
3513 Chefs 2854 2675 -179 -6.3%
3423 Electronics Trades Workers 1993 1878 -115 -5.8%
3334 Wall and Floor Tilers 1475 1407 -68 -4.6%
2245 Land Economists and Valuers 1035 1000 -35 -3.4%
3322 Painting Trades Workers 2871 2780 -91 -3.2%
3332 Plasterers 2149 2103 -46 -2.1%
2414 Secondary School Teachers 8032 7910 -122 -1.5%
3223 Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers 4466 4426 -40 -0.9%
1341 Child Care Centre Managers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2241 Actuaries, Mathematicians and Statisticians 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2312 Marine Transport Professionals 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2322 Cartographers and Surveyors 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2331 Chemical and Materials Engineers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2341 Agricultural and Forestry Scientists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2347 Veterinarians 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2349 Other Natural and Physical Science Professionals 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2514 Optometrists and Orthoptists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2519 Other Health Diagnostic and Promotion Professionals 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2521 Chiropractors and Osteopaths 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2526 Podiatrists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2527 Speech Professionals and Audiologists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2531 General Practitioners and Resident Medical officers 3495 3495 0 0.0%
2533 Internal Medicine Specialists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2534 Psychiatrists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2535 Surgeons 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2633 Telecommunications Engineering Professionals 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2711 Barristers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3122 Civil Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3123 Electrical Engineering Draftspersons and Technicians 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3132 Telecommunications Technical Specialists 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3211 Automotive Electricians 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3222 Sheetmetal Trades Workers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3233 Precision Metal Trades Workers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3331 Glaziers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3422 Electrical Distribution Trades Workers 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3991 Boat Builders and Shipwrights 1000 1000 0 0.0%
3411 Electricians 9345 9354 9 0.1%
1331 Construction Managers 5289 5400 111 2.1%
2544 Registered Nurses 16346 16741 395 2.4%
2321 Architects and Landscape Architects 1391 1474 83 6.0%
3341 Plumbers 5169 5507 338 6.5%
3212 Motor Mechanics 5597 5980 383 6.8%
2541 Midwives 1017 1090 73 7.2%
2525 Physiotherapists 1345 1464 119 8.8%
2524 Occupational Therapists 1000 1109 109 10.9%
2512 Medical Imaging Professionals 1000 1113 113 11.3%
2723 Psychologists 1532 1750 218 14.2%
1342 Health and Welfare Services Managers 1177 1374 197 16.7%
3941 Cabinetmakers 1568 1905 337 21.5%
3241 Panelbeaters 1000 1344 344 34.4%
2411 Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teachers 1822 2639 817 44.8%
2332 Civil Engineering Professionals 2174 3296 1122 51.6%
2631 Computer Network Professionals* 1426 1318 -108 -7.6%
2212 Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers* 1413 1327 -86 -6.1%
2334 Electronics Engineers* 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2339 Other Engineering Professionals* 1000 1000 0 0.0%
2211 Accountants* 2500 4785 2285 91.4%
2335 Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers* 1539 2178 639 41.5%
2613 Software and Applications Programmers* 5662 6202 540 9.5%
2611 ICT Business and Systems Analysts* 1482 1574 92 6.2%


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