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Lowering the age limit under the General Skilled Migration (independent) Stream

From 1 July 2017 the maximum age for applicants under the General Skilled Migration (Independent) points tested Stream will be 45. While under current law applicants are not able to claim any points for age under that stream when they were aged between 45-50 or above but they could still apply (if invited) provided they were under 50 years of age.

Note that applicants who are below 50 years of age are still able to access the General Skilled Migration (Sponsored) points tested stream.

457 Visas will be abolished

The government has implemented changes effective immediately to the 457 visa with a view to abolishing it – or to better term the situation – replacing it with two new visas which appear to be modified versions of the existing systems.  March 2018 has been as the date for the new visas to be introduced.

There will a Short Term Stream for a two-year visa with no permanent residence outcome at the end of that. There will also be a Medium Term stream. This will target higher skills, will have a shorter skills occupation list and will be for a period of 4 years. It is anticipated that the visas could be applied for either offshore or onshore.

There will be added requirements, including previous work experience, better English language skills and labour market testing for businesses. A new training fund will also be established for the sponsor to contribute to for satisfying the training requirement under the legislations. 

Effective from 19 April 2017. There will be significant changes to the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, which includes the subclass 457 visa. The new list will see the reduction of occupations available for the 457 visa stream (and the new visas when introduced) by some 200 occupations. 16 occupations will be cut from the list under the general skilled migration.

For those people currently on a 457 visa, there will be some arrangements that will allow they will continue under the conditions of that visa. The new system should not impact (unless further changes are made in the future) to current holders of 457 visas who would be eligible for permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme – Temporary Residence Transition stream.

For further information and to discuss your specific matter in details, please contact us and one of competent advisor will attend to you promptly.

Free Student visa application charges

Visa applications for students who receive partial or full funding under a training scheme approved by the Commonwealth government will be considered to be “Commonwealth Sponsored”. The Visa Application Charge (VAC) is waived. Applications that are incorrectly identified as Commonwealth sponsored will be treated as invalid. Any student identifying as “Commonwealth Sponsored” must provide evidence of their scholarship or Commonwealth funding.

Risk ratings for Student Visas

Immigration risk ratings for countries and providers will be updated on 31 March 2017. These updated ratings will also be reflected in the Document list that student would be required to provide for visa assessment. The risk rating is a measure the Department Of Immigration and Boarder Protection (DIBP) calculates from various data it collects on compliance by previous visa holders, retention rate by providers among other internal measures.

The  next update to the immigration risk ratings will occur in September 2017.