Migration Plus
JULY 2018 - News, Views & Clues from Migration Plus

The popular "457 visa" has been replaced by new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. The new TSS visa allows the visa holder to work in their nominated occupation for the business that sponsors them for a period of up to two or four years, depending whether the occupation is listed on Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or on Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). Dependent family members can also be included in the application.

New important requirement under TSS visa is that the applicant must have minimum two years of relevant full-time post - qualification work experience in the nominated position obtained within the last five years. Casual employment is not accepted.

The new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy has been legislated (more details can be found below), but has not been implemented yet. It is expected to come in effect between July and September 2018, therefore there may be an opportunity for sponsors to avoid the new TSS levy payment. To know more visit our LATEST NEWS!

For applicants that lodged a subclass 457 visa application on or before 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted and continues to hold this visa or a 457 visa/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application, requirements apply as outlined below:
  • Occupation list requirements will not apply.
  • The age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available.
  • The minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.
Processing times are currently between four and six weeks, and priority processing are applicable in certain cases, click here and contact Migration Plus for further details.

For more information about the requirements for the new TSS visa application please visit our website

The SAF take the place of the previous mandatory training benchmarks, which applied to approved employer sponsors or those employers seeking to become approved as a sponsor, for the purposes of nominating candidates for the TSS visa, or employer nominated permanent residency. Existing sponsors must maintain the training compliance for period of their sponsorship approval and while employing 457 or TSS visa holders until the SAF levy is implemented.

The Skilling Australians Fund Bill provides for refunds of the levy paid in respect to TSS nominations, under certain circumstances. At present there appears to be no provision for a refund of a levy paid in respect to a permanent residency nominations.
Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions regarding the sponsorship or training benchmark compliance and the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy.
New stricter labour market testing requirements have already been implemented and further tightening will come into effect at the same time as the SAF levy.

One of the requirements of a TSS nomination is that the nominating employer provides evidence of having conducted Labour Market Testing (LMT).

Evidence for the LMT that will generally be considered sufficient includes at least two advertisements in Australia (in English) for the nominated position on a national recruitment website, Linkedin, in national print media, on national radio or, if the sponsor is accredited, on the business' website.

Please note that there are limited exceptions to the requirement to demonstrate LMT.

Visit our Latest News for details of the new Labour Market Testing Provisions and contact us if you have any concerns or questions regarding the new Labour Market Testing requirements.

 Visa Application Charges 
 Visa application charges have been increased from 1 July 2018 as revenue from these charges is expected to increase by AUD 394.4 million over the 2017–18 estimates.
 Visas for General Practitioners
 Visa initiatives to attract around 2100 overseas trained doctors per annum to work in areas of doctor shortages will be implemented from 1 January 2019.
 Temporary retirement visas will be closed to new applicants. A new pathway to permanent residency for existing temporary retirement visas holders will be introduced.
The mandatory skills assessment for all RSMS visa applications, which was planned to
come in effect on 1st of July 2018 has not been implemented – more news to come!

  Key changes have been introduced for the Employer Nomination Scheme and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa programs by the Department of Home Affairs:
Skilled Occupation List The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will apply to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers.
Age All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application.
English Requirements Existing exemptions for applicant age or English language testing will continue.
Salary New Annual market salary apply to ENS and RSMS, including Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements, currently AUD 53,900.
Period of Transition to Permanent Residency The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from 2 to 3 years.
Work Experience  At least 3 years of work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
Transitional Arrangements for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream For those who held or lodged a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 and continues to hold this visa or a 457 visa/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application, new requirements apply subject to the transitional provisions outlined below:
• occupation list requirements will not apply
• the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available, and
• the minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.

All other applicants:
New requirements apply (e.g. new age requirements and three year transitional period on a temporary visa).

As of April 30 this year, there were over 200,000 citizenship applications being processed by the Department of Home Affairs, and possibly a comparable number of permanent residency applications. According to the Department of Home Affairs, the average time from lodging an application to receiving citizenship has been extended from 12 to 16 months, with the backlog of citizenship applications over 120,000.

Further tightening of citizenship laws is expected to come in effect later this year, therefore clients should consider lodging citizenship applications as soon as eligible.

 Click here to contact Migration Plus and check Citizenship requirements and your eligibility.


Highly skilled workers from around the world have a new visa pathway into Australia as a part of the Government's new Global Talent Scheme program. From 1 July 2018 all businesses have been able to sponsor highly skilled and specialised workers who will help to grow their businesses and create more jobs.

The scheme includes two streams – one for established businesses and one for start-ups.All businesses sponsoring workers to Australia under the scheme will need to demonstrate that they have been unable to source suitable individuals in the Australian labour market.
Workers sponsored under the scheme will have access to a Temporary Skills Shortage visa and permanent residence after three years.

Contact our Registered Migration Agents for further information.


The pool and pass mark have been increased to 65 for applications made on or after 1 July 2018 for the following visas:

 - Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) (Class SP) Subclass 489
 - Skilled-Independent (Permanent) (Class SI) Subclass 189
 - Skilled-Nominated (Permanent) (Class SN) Subclass 190

According to latest result for June 2018 rounds, applicants trying to secure an invitation to apply for the Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa should be trying to build up a minimum score of 75 points, an increase from 70 points in recent months.

Similarly, Family Sponsored subclass 489 applicants are expected to reach 80 points before being considered for an invitation.

Despite the fact that these points necessary are very high, invitations are very slow. On average, up to 5 invitations are being issued per round.

Many States and Regions are currently not accepting nomination and it is expected that will publish new skilled occupation list later this year – watch this space for further updates.
Contact us for a complimentary assessment of your eligibility for an Australian visa or to make
an appointment with one of our Registered Migration Agents!

 We can help map out a pathway for your migration to Australia, answer your questions on different types of visas and provide advice on any other migration-related matter.

Migration Plus | Level 12, Cairns Corporate Tower,
15 Lake Street, Cairns QLD 4870

Phone: +61 7 4041 2620

Mateja Rautner
Registered Migration Agent No. 1387375
Migration Plus Network Pty Ltd
ABN 45 136 723 987

This newsletter is general information only. Specific advice, taking into account your circumstances, should be obtained before taking any action.

We recommend the following links to you for information about the Migration Agent Profession:

Information about the Migration Agent Profession

Migration Agent Code of Conduct