From 1 February 2018, Immigration SA High Points category will increase to 85 points.

The High Points category has been successful in attracting high quality applicants to South Australia.

From 1 February 2018, Immigration SA’s High Points category will increase to 85 points.

Applicants who can achieve 85 points or higher (including state nomination points) can gain access to the Supplementary Skilled List (SSL) and occupations on the State Nominated Occupation List which are listed as ‘Special Conditions Apply’. Applicants must meet all other South Australian state nomination requirements to qualify.

Quotas apply to nominations in the High Points category. Once this quota is reached, applications under this category may be closed for certain occupations

http://www.migration.sa.gov.au/skilled-migrants/nomination-process/skilled-nomination-requirements/high-points

Australian visas: What to expect in 2018?

From implementation of TSS visa, change in Occupation Lists to mandatory provisional visa before permanent residency, take a look at significant changes and what is in pipeline in 2018.

457 visa will be replaced with Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton (R) has defended the decision to scrap the 457 visa program.
From March 2018, the current 457 visa program will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream allowing stays of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream allowing stays of up to four years.

The Short-Term stream visa is renewable only once. The STSOL occupation list will apply for Short-Term Stream applicants.

The Medium-Stream visa holders may renew their visas onshore and may apply for permanent residence pathway after working for three years in Australia. The MLTSSL occupation list will apply for Medium-Stream visa applicants. This stream is relatively similar to the current 457 visa.

Tighter Regulations for both streams:

Increased Work Experience Requirements
Higher English Language Levels Requirements
Mandatory Labour Market Testing
Set Australian Market Salary Rates
Additional Character, Anti-Discrimination and Training Requirements
More information: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/WorkinginAustralia/Documents/abolition-replacement-457.pdf

Changes to Occupation lists in 2018

Skill Migrant
A number of changes were made to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) in April 2017 and again in July 2017.
Though the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL) is likely to remain the same, the STSOL which is a list of occupations nominated for temporary and short-term visas is likely to see some changes.

Some of the occupations flagged for removal from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List are Accommodation and Hospitality manager, Hair or Beauty Salon Manager, Recruitment Consultant and Building Associate..

University Tutor, Psychotherapist, Property Manager, Real Estate Agent and Real Estate Representative may be added to the list.

It is also likely that Skilled Occupations List will include Airline Pilots in 2018 to address the shortage of pilots in Australia. Following lobbying from the peak body for regional airlines, SBS Hindi reported the Skilled Occupations List will be revised to allow foreign pilots to come to the country on a two-year work visa.

Plans to introduce mandatory provisional visas before permanent residency in Australia and reducing the number of visas from 99 to 10

Getting permanent residency in Australia
The Government undertook public consultation to transform Australia’s visa system in 2017.

The Australian government discussed plans to introduce mandatory provisional visas where migrants may need to spend a certain period of time before they are granted permanent residency and also to reduce the number of visas from 99 to 10 to simplify the process.

The Department received 255 submissions and approximately 184 representatives of industry, academia, community and government participated in roundtables across the country, with an additional 60 industry representatives participating in immigration reform workshops.

In December 2017, the department in a consultation summary said while approximately 55% opposed a provisional period, among those who supported the principle of provisional residence, a provisional period of a minimum of two years was most popular.

88% of the submissions supported visa simplification with suggestions that importance be given to transparency around decision making, reduced processing times and a system that was easier to understand and navigate.

The department though has not set a timeline for its implementation and says, ‘This is a long-term programme of improvement to the way we deliver our services. There is no immediate impact for visa applicants or holders. The first step will be broad consultation with the market on the design and build of a new visa processing platform.’

Temporary sponsored parent visa

parent visa
The image is for representation only.

In the 2017-18 federal budget, a new temporary sponsored parent visa was announced – to be available from November 2017. However, the new visa which will allow migrants’ parents to stay in the country for extended periods has been delayed.

The Bill enabling the new visa to come into effect has not yet been approved by the Senate.

Here are the six must know facts about the new long stay visa for parents.

 

3-year-visa will cost $5000, a 5-year-visa will cost $10,000 and a 10-year-visa will cost $20,000, with the opportunity of a single renewal for another five years at the same price.
15,000 people each year will be granted this long stay parent visa.
Children/Sponsors will be required to pay for their parents’ private health insurance. The children will also need to act as financial guarantor on any extra healthcare costs their parents rack up in Australia.
Those on the new visa will not be allowed to work, however, the government hopes they will take on family roles which would see “reduced pressure on childcare facilities.”
Those sponsoring their parents for the new visa need to be Australian citizens or permanent residents, or “eligible New Zealand citizens”.
The visa-holders would not be allowed to reapply beyond the 10 years and would have no pathway to permanent residency.

Partner Visa
Wedding
Proposed changes to Partner Visa were expected in 2017 but it has been deferred to 2018.

This is because the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 (Cth) (“the Bill”) is still before the Senate and has not been enacted.

If the Bill is enacted, it will establish a sponsorship framework for partner visas, placing more focus on the assessment of sponsors.

In particular:

 

The sponsorship assessment would be separated from the visa application process
Sponsors would need to be approved before visa applications are made
Legal obligations would be imposed on approved sponsors
If sponsors fail to meet their obligations, sanctions may be imposed
In certain circumstances sponsors can be barred from sponsorship

The new regulations propose partner visa sponsorship applications would need to be lodged under stricter criteria and approved before the overseas partner visa application could be lodged.

The new two-step process is expected to delay the lodgement of the overseas partner application and require the overseas partner to have a valid visa until a visa application for the overseas partner can be lodged.

Changes to Apply from March 2018 to ENS and RSMS

The main changes Changes to Apply from March 2018 to ENS and RSMS which will apply from March 2018 are as follows:

Occupations List

Applicants must in general have an occupation on the shorter MLTSSL (Medium Long Term Strategic Skills List) to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa from March 2018. Extra occupations will be available for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), but it is not yet clear which occupations these will be. If your occupation is not on the MLTSSL, you may no longer be eligible for permanent residence through the ENS or RSMS program from March 2018
Age

Applicants for ENS and RSMS must be under 45 at the date of application from March 2018. Currently, 457 holders applying for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream can be under 50 when applying
Minimum Salary

From March 2018, applicants must have a base salary of at least Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT – currently $53,900) to qualify. There is currently no minimum salary applicable to ENS and RSMS visas.
Work on 457 Visa – TRTS Requirement

Currently 457 holders who have worked for their employer in their position for the last 2 years may be eligible for ENS or RSMS through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS). The TRTS is a streamlined pathway which may not require the same skills assessment, age, English language ability and health requirements as the Direct Entry Stream. From March 2018, 3 years of work experience on a 457 will be required instead of the current 2 year requirement
Training Levy

A training levy will be applicable to all ENS and RSMS applications. The amount will depend on the turnover of the sponsoring business and will be $3,000 for small businesses and $5,000 for businesses with turnover of $10 million or more.
Grandfathering Provisions for 457 Holders or Applicants as of 18 April 2017

The Department of Immigration has announced that 457 holders and applicants as of 18 April 2017 will not need to meet all of the new requirements.
These “grandfathered” 457 holders have access to transitional provisions which would preserve their eligibility for ENS and RSMS through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

To be eligible for the transitional provisions, you must either have:

Held a 457 visa as of 18 April 2017; or
Have a pending 457 visa application as of 18 April 2017, and this application was subsequently granted
Grandfathered applicants will not need to meet all the new requirements when applying for Temporary Residence Transition Stream ENS and RSMS visas from March 2018, and in particular:
Occupation: grandfathered applicants will be able to apply even if their occupation is not on the MLTSSL
Age: they will be able to apply providing they are under 50 years
Work Experience on 457 Visa: they can qualify once they have worked in their occupation for their employer on a 457 visa for 2 years

Grandfathered applicants will still need to meet the requirements for minimum salary (TSMIT) and payment of the training levy from March 2018.
RSMS Postcodes

A new legislative instrument has been released yesterday which specifies the postcodes for RSMS, as well as the Regional Certifying Bodies. The Perth Metropolitan Area is now excluded from the RSMS program, though it is still possible to apply if your position is located in a postcode specified in the instrument.
The instrument comes into effect on 17 November 2017.

occupation ceilings for the 2017-18 Program Year

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

Accountant at 75 points and Mech at 70 points

Posted in GSM

Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa – Closure of ACT Migration Program to overseas applicants

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT
Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa – Closure of ACT Migration Program to overseas applicants
Effective immediately (23 August 2017 at 9.30 am AEST) the ACT Migration Program is now closed to overseas applicants.
• If your client is living overseas you will not be able to commence an application for ACT nomination of a Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa until the Program reopens in 2018.
• If you have started an application for ACT nomination prior to closure of the program, and the status is ‘in progress’, the application must be submitted, and the service fee paid before 11.59 pm (AEST) Thursday 24 August 2017.
o You must submit a complete application e.g. all supporting documents attached, as additional documentation will not be accepted after lodgement.
o The application must meet ACT nomination criteria as you will not be contacted to provide additional supporting information.
o If the application is not submitted, and the $300 service fee paid by Thursday 24 August 2014 (AEST), the application will automatically lapse.

CLOSE TIES TO CANBERRA
This action does not affect overseas applicants with close ties in Canberra. If your client has close ties (either family or genuine job offer) in Canberra; OR they have completed a PhD at an ACT university, they are still eligible to apply for ACT nomination
CANBERRA RESIDENTS
This action does not affect Canberra based applicants. If your client is living in Canberra and working in a skilled occupation, the program is still open. You are still able to lodge an application for ACT nomination of the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa if your Canberra based client meets the current nomination criteria.

TAS Sponsorship New Guidelines

 

From 1 July 2017:
 New Category for overseas applicants (489 visa only): A new Category for the
Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) has been introduced for
Tasmanian Government state nomination. Overseas (offshore) applicants will be
eligible to apply under this new Category.
 Changes to eligibility for ‘Category 3 – Family in Tasmania’: Applicants with
eligible family members residing in Tasmania will only be eligible for Skilled Regional
(Provisional) visa (subclass 489) nomination.

From 1 August 2017:
 Labour market testing for ‘Category 2 – Job Offer’ (489 visa only): For Skilled
Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) nomination, employer offering
employment for a position at ANZSCO skill level 4 or below will need to provide
evidence of genuine attempts to recruit workers from the domestic labour market.

From 1 October 2017:
 Three months prior employment requirement for ‘Category 2 – Job Offer’
(BOTH 190 and 489 visas): Onshore applicants with employment in Tasmania will
only be eligible for nomination if they have been working in Tasmania for 3 months
prior to lodging their application for state nomination.
[12:37 PM, 9/13/2017] +61 404 490 111: From 1 January 2018:
 Two year study requirement (190 visa only): Applicants will need to have
completed two years of study at a CRICOS-registered Tasmanian tertiary institution
instead of one year.
 Please refer to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP)
Australian study requirement as to what constitutes two years of study. If the
applicant is claiming regional study points with DIBP, they would meet the two year
study requirement.
 One year study requirement remains in place for provisional visa nomination
(489 visa).

TAS Sponsorship New Guidelines

https://www.migration.tas.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/151775/Fact_Sheet_-_Reforms_to_Tasmania_s_state_nomination_policy_-_6_July_2017_-_FINAL.pdf

Keep up with the latest changes and news from Engineers Australia!

Keep up with the latest changes and news from Engineers Australia!

English Language Test
From the 1st of November 2017, Engineers Australia will be accepting the Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) (Academic) for Migration Skills Assessment as well as for Membership assessment purposes. Applicants submitting their application after the 1st of November will be able to use either the IELTS, the TOEFL iBT or the PTE (Academic) to demonstrate their level of English in an assessment application.
Applicants must show a minimum score of 50 in each of the 4 modules (Listening, Writing, Reading and Speaking).

Required Points Drop for SkillSelect in August 23 Round.

To the relief of many applicants for General Skilled Migration, the required scores for 189 invitations have started to drop.

This article looks at the SkillSelect invitation rounds so far in the 2017-18 program year and looks at the required points and waiting times for the most popular skilled occupations.

Skilled Independent Subclass 189 – Non Pro Rata Occupations

For non-pro rata occupations, the minimum score for an invitation for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa has dropped from 70 to 65 in the latest round.
Waiting time with 65 points is 30 weeks, but we expect this to reduce over the next few rounds. Eventually, we expect the minimum score to drop to 60 but it is difficult to predict when this is likely to happen.

Accountants and Auditors

Minimum score for accountants and auditors remains at 75 points. Looking at waiting times, these are not reducing as quickly as expected, so the score may remain at 75 for the next few months at least.
points and waiting times.

IT Professionals

Minimum score for ICT Business and Systems Analysts remain at 70, but the minimum score for Software and Applications Programmers and Computer Network Professionals has dropped to 65 points in the most recent round.

Engineers

Most engineering specialisations are not pro rata so the minimum score will be 65 for these occupations.
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers dropped to 65 in the most recent round, and looking at the waiting times for Electronics Engineers, we expect this occupation to follow in the next invitation round.

Other Engineering Professionals is also likely to drop from 70 to 65, but this may take another round or two.

Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 – Family Sponsored

Minimum points for the Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 family sponsored option have been 60 for the whole program year.
We suspect that many of the invitations for this subclass have been for pro rata occupations.

Posted in GSM

BSMQ Update to QSOL: temporary removal of some occupations

BSMQ Update to QSOL: temporary removal of some occupations 21 August, 2017 By Official BSMQ

Please note that 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

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

Posted in GSM

SkillSelect Update: July-August 2017

The first 3 SkillSelect invitation rounds for the 2017-18 program year have been very different to last year.

We are seeing fewer invitations issued and a higher points score required for a 189 invitation compared to last year, even though occupation ceilings have increased for a number of key occupations.

This article looks at the last 3 invitation rounds in detail and gives an indication of what to expect in future rounds for the most popular occupations. It also looks at recent statistics for state nominations.

Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Invitations

Compared to the 2016-17 program year, much fewer invitations have been issued so far in 2017-18 for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa.
Only 1,000 189 invitations have been issued each round in July and August 2017 for a total of 3000 invitations so far this program year. After the first 3 rounds of 2016-17, 4,450 invitations were issued – almost 50% more than this year.

Table 1: 189 Invitations – 2016-17 versus 2017-18 Program Year

Round 2016-17 2017-18
Round 1 2,202 1,000
Round 2 848 1,000
Round 3 1,400 1,000
Total 4,450 3,000

The lower than usual invitation numbers along with a large backlog of EOIs in pro rata occupations largely explain the higher than usual points score to receive a 189 invitation – 70 in each round so far. Last year, the number of 189 invitations issued in the beginning of the program year was quite high for each round – 2,202 in Round 1 and 1,400 in Round 3. This had the effect of quickly clearing out the backlog of EOIs.

Immigration’s planning level for 189 invitations remains at 1,000 for the invitation rounds in August, so it appears this year the backlog will remain longer than last year.

Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 – Family Sponsored

More 489 family sponsored invitations have been issued so far compared to last year – 343 versus 300 for last year.
Table 2: 489 Family Sponsored Invitations – 2016-17 versus 2017-18 Program Year

Round 2016-17 2017-18
Round 1 100 110
Round 2 100 110
Round 3 100 123
Total 300 343

Waiting times are very low for the 489 family sponsored stream and 60 points is sufficient to obtain an invitation.

We suspect that pro rata occupations are receiving invitations for 489 family sponsored visas – this was rare last program year.

Non-Pro Rata Occupations

The number of places being issued to non-pro rata occupations is much lower than last year. So far this year, only 475 invitations have been issued in occupations outside the pro rata list. Last year after 3 rounds, 1,515 invitations had been issued in non-pro rata occupations – more than 3 times what we have seen this year.
Table 3: Pro Rata vs Non-Pro Rata Occupations – 2017-18 Program Year

Round Non-Pro Rata Pro Rata Total % Pro Rata
Round 1 144 966 1,110 87%
Round 2 144 966 1,110 87%
Round 3 187 936 1,123 83%
Total 475 2,868 3,343 86%

Table 4: Pro Rata vs Non-Pro Rata Occupations – 2016-17 Program Year

Round Non-Pro Rata Pro Rata Total % Pro Rata
Round 1 547 1,755 2,302 76%
Round 2 557 391 948 41%
Round 3 411 1,089 1,500 73%
Total 1,515 3,235 4,750 68%

Last year, 60 points were sufficient to receive an invitation in a non-pro rata occupation for 189 visas. So far this year, 70 points have been required. This is not surprising given the limited number of places available to such occupations.

The high score for non-pro rata occupations is also driving the minimum scores required for pro rata occupations. It is not possible for pro rata occupations to have a lower required score than non-pro rata occupations. A shortfall in 189 candidates with over 70 points in pro rata occupations might be resulting in 489 family sponsored invitations to reach target invitation numbers.

We are, however, seeing waiting times reduce significantly in the last few rounds for non-pro rata occupations. We expect that the required score for non-pro rata occupations to reduce to 65 points in the next couple of rounds.

Pro Rata Occupations

For pro rata occupations, the number of invitations issued each round appears to be 5% of the occupational ceiling. This will most likely mean that the ceiling for pro rata occupations will fill after 20 rounds (9-10 months).
The lower total number of invitations means that pro rata occupations are making up an higher proportion of total invitations compared to last year. Last year after 3 rounds, invitations in the 6 pro rata occupations made up 68% of total invitations. So far this year, pro rata occupations represent 86% of all invitations issued.

Below is a summary of results for pro rata occupations by occupational category:

Table 5: Number of Invitations by Occupation – 2017-18 Program Year
Occupation Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
Non-Pro Rata 144 144 187
Accountants 239 239 239
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 66 66 66
ICT Business and System Analysts 78 78 78
Software and Applications Programmers 310 310 310
Electronics Engineer 50 50 20
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 108 108 108
Other Engineering Professionals 50 50 50
Computer Network Professionals 65 65 65
Total 1,110 1,110 1,123
Table 6: Points Required by Occupation – 2017-18 Program Year
Occupation Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
189 – Non-Pro Rata 70 70 70
489 Family – Non-Pro Rata 60 60 60
Accountants 75 75 75
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 75 75 75
ICT Business and System Analysts 75 75 70
Software and Applications Programmers 70 70 70
Electronics Engineer 70 70 70
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 70 70 70
Other Engineering Professionals 70 70 70
Table 7: Waiting Times by Occupation – 2017-18 Program Year
Occupation Round 1 Round 2 Round 3
189 – Non-Pro Rata 4 2 1
489 Family – Non-Pro Rata 0 0 0
Accountants 13 8.6 6.6
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers 15.1 11.6 10.1
ICT Business and System Analysts 6 0.1 16.9
Software and Applications Programmers 11.4 4.7 0.7
Electronics Engineer 3.7 1.7 0.6
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers 3.7 1.6 1
Other Engineering Professionals 14 7 4
Computer Network Professionals 14.3 4.1 0.6

Accountants and Auditors

So far this year, 75 points have been required for an invitation as an accountant or auditor.
Waiting times have been reducing but are still over 6 weeks for accountants and over 10 weeks for auditors with a score of 75. Whilst the occupation ceiling has increased significantly for accountants for the 2017-18 year, we expect that the required score will remain at 75 for a few more rounds for these occupations.

IT Professionals

The required score for all IT occupations has been 70 so far this year, apart from ICT Business and System Analysts. For ICT Business and System Analysts, the required score was initially 75 but has reduced to 70 in the latest round.
Waiting times for Software and Applications Programmers and Computer Network Professionals are now under 1 week, so we expect to see the required scores for these occupations drop to 65 in the next round or two.

The occupation of ICT Security Specialist is not on the pro rata list. The ceiling of 2,391 for the occupation is quite generous so it is possible that the occupation may not be pro rata this year.

Engineers

Engineers require 70 points for the first three rounds of 2017-18. In terms of pro rata occupations, waiting times for Electronics Engineers and Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers are now under 1 week, so we expect these occupations to reduce to 65 points in the next few rounds.
Other Engineering Professionals still have a waiting time of over 4 weeks, so this occupation may require 70 points for a few more rounds.

State Nomination

State nomination numbers for July 2017 are available. Insights from these are as follows:
ACT: small number of 190 nominations approved.
NSW: large number of 489 nominations approved, but only a small number of 190 nominations. NSW has not yet released its state migration program, so we expect 190 nominations increase in number after this
Northern Territory: nominations for both 190 and 489 visas being issued. Still to update their state migration plan
Queensland: very large number of 190 and 489 nominations being issued
South Australia: large number of 489 nominations being issued compared to 190. Last year, there were about 50% more 190 nominations were issued as compared to 489, so suggests a change in policy by SA
Tasmania: large number of nominations. More 489 than 190 but that is consistent with last year
Victoria: very large number of 190 nominations issued – no 489 nominations.
Western Australia: zero state nominations issued – consistent with WA tightening their program after the recent state election

Table 8: State Nominations by Visa Type and State – July 2017
Visa subclass 190 489
ACT 14 0
NSW 9 63
NT 19 14
Qld 96 26
SA 66 314
Tas. 30 58
Vic. 185 0
WA 0 0
Total 419 475
Posted in GSM