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May 2017 - News, Views & Clues from Migration Plus

In this month's issue, we take a look at recent and upcoming changes to the requirements for the 457 visa as well as other employer-sponsored visas. We also review the proposed changes to Australian citizenship requirements. In addition we have some exciting news about Migration Plus, as well as the details of our next seminar!


Subclass 457 Visa Changes: April 2017


On 19 April 2017, the Government announced changes to the subclass 457 visa programme. These aim to more accurately address Australia's skills shortages whilst protecting Australian workers.The changes narrow the number of skilled occupations that are eligible for this visa, and reduce the length of the visa term for many occupations.
In summary:
• 216 occupations were removed from the list of occupations that qualify for the 457 visa
• There are now TWO lists of qualifying occupations for this visa:
1) the Medium & Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), formerly named the SOL. This shorter list of 'high-value' skilled occupations
entitles eligible applicants to a 4-year visa. This list will be revised in July 2017;
2) the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL), formerly named the CSOL. This longer list of skilled occupations that reflects short-term labour market requirements entitles eligible applicants to a 2-year visa. This list will be reviewed & updated every six months beginning in July 2017.

The complete list of occupations (both MLTSSL & STSOL) now eligible for the subclass 457 visa is available here.

Certain occupations on the new lists are subject to additional conditions, such as a specific period of relevant work experience, location in a regional area (for some agricultural/farming positions), or requirements relating to the sponsor (e.g. size, turnover, type of business).

These changes affect all subclass 457 applications currently lodged with the DIBP, as well as all prospective applicants.

The changes do not affect current subclass 457 visas, which will remain in effect. However they will affect any future applications lodged by current visa holders.
Please complete our free online assessment to check whether or not you may be eligible for a subclass 457 visa 

457 Visa Replacement: TSS Visa

The Government has also announced that in March 2018 the subclass 457 visa will be abolished and replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa.

In July 2017 further changes will be made to the 457 visa, which reflect the proposed TSS visa requirements. From July:
•Applicants earning over $96,400 per year will no longer be exempt from the English language requirement
•ALL applicants must provide police clearances
•Training requirements for employers will be strengthened (details on this are yet to be provided)

-- In March 2018 the 457 visa will be replaced by the TSS visa --

There will be TWO STREAMS in the new TSS visa:
- a Short-Term stream for applicants with occupations on the STSOL and a minimum of IELTS 5 with 4.5 in each component. Visas in this stream will be valid for up to two years and may be renewed only ONCE while the applicant is in Australia;
- a Medium-Term stream for applicants with occupations on the MLTSSL and a minimum of IELTS 5 in each component. Visas in this stream will be valid for up to four years and may be renewed while the applicant is in Australia.

For BOTH streams, other requirements for this visa will be similar to 457 requirements as of July 2017. One important difference however is that ALL applicants will be required to have at least two years of relevant work experience.

Further details regarding these changes will be provided as they are announced by the Government.
See here for full details from the DIBP regarding upcoming changes to the 457 visa and the transition to the TSS visa

Permanent Employer-Sponsored Visa Changes

The changes made to the skilled occupation lists also affect the Direct Entry stream of the subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa.

In summary, 216 occupations have been removed from the list of eligible occupations that qualify for this visa, and access to 24 occupations will be restricted to positions located in regional areas.
There are now TWO occupation lists for this stream of the ENS visa: the MLTSSL, a short list of high-value skilled occupations; and the STSOL, a longer list of skilled occupations that will be reviewed by the Government every 6 months. The full list of occupations currently eligible for the Direct Entry stream of the subclass 186 ENS visa is available here.

These changes affect all ENS Direct Entry stream applications lodged on or after 19 April 2017. They do not currently affect the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the ENS visa, or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa.

From July 2017:
•IELTS 6 in each component will be required for ALL ENS & RSMS applicants
•ENS & RSMS Direct Entry stream applicants must be no older than 45 at the time of application (an age limit of 50 years will apply for TRT stream applicants)

From March 2018:
The MLTSSL will be the skilled occupation list for both ENS & RSMS applications (with additional occupations in the farming & agricultural sector available for RSMS applications). This is a MAJOR change as it means that many occupations will NOT be eligible for these visas from this date

•Employers must pay visa applicants the market salary AND this must meet TSMIT (currently $53,900 per year)
•Visa applicants must have at least three years of relevant work experience and be no older than 45 at the time of application
•Training requirements for employers will be strengthened

This means that as of March 2018 it will be much more difficult to qualify for a ENS or RSMS visa. We will provide further updates on these changes as they are announced by the Government.
Please complete our free online assessment to check whether or not you may be eligible for a permanent employer-sponsored visa

Sponsored Visa Holders: Data Matching

At some point during 2017 the DIBP will start collecting Tax File Numbers for all employer-sponsored migrants (e.g. holders of 457, ENS & RSMS visas).

Data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office's records to ensure that visa holders are paid the salaries nominated by their sponsors.
This is a timely reminder that it is CRUCIAL for sponsors to pay nominated visa applicants no less than the amount specified in their nomination applications. If a sponsor is found to have breached this condition then this may result in sanctions.

Please contact us if you have any concerns regarding salary payments as a sponsored visa holder or employer.

Skilled Visa Changes

From 19 April 2017, 216 occupations have been removed from the qualifying occupation list for the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa.

There are now two occupation lists that qualify for this visa: the MLTSSL and the STSOL (see above for further details regarding these lists).
Occupations on the MLTSSL (formerly named the SOL) qualify for subclass 189 Skilled Independent, subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) and subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visas. This list will be revised in July 2017.
Please complete our free online assessment to check whether or not you may be eligible for a Skilled visa

Australian Citizenship Changes

The Australian Government has also announced changes to the requirements for Australian citizenship.

The proposed changes include:
- increasing the residence requirements so that applicants will require four years of permanent residence prior to applying (currently only one year is required);
- introducing an English language test, meaning applicants will need to demonstrate competency in reading and writing;
-adding further questions to the Australian citizenship test, regarding Australian values and the responsibilities of citizenship;
- strengthening the Australian values statement and expanding the pledge of commitment.

The Government plans to introduce the relevant Bill into Parliament at the end of June. Should Parliament pass the legislation, the changes will take effect as of 20 April 2017. This means that applications lodged as of this date are likely to be affected by the proposed changes
Please contact us if you have concerns or queries regarding your citizenship application or your eligibility for Australian citizenship

New Director for Migration Plus


Mateja Rautner (MARN 1387375, Grad Cert Mig Law & Prac, MMIA) has been appointed a Director of Migration Plus and has taken equity in the business.

Mateja has been working with Migration Plus for over three years, and is well qualified in both experience and training in migration. She is also a lecturer in Migration Law at the Australian National University, a prestigious appointment that recognises her qualities and experience.
Mateja has moved from Melbourne, where she previously represented Migration Plus, to our head office in Cairns, where she will play an increasing role in the management and development of Migration Plus. Mateja holds similar philosophical and business goals to those of Migration Plus, where service to clients is paramount, and we are here to help and find solutions to often complex needs.

We all congratulate Mateja on taking on this critical role in the business, and know that it will ensure a great future for the needs of our clients and the business!

Merger with Visa Connection

We are delighted to share the exciting news that Migration Plus merged with Visa Connection on 2 May 2017.

Migration Plus and Visa Connection hold similar values and business philosophies, and we share over 100 years of experience in providing professional migration advice.
We are committed to continuing to service our clients with the highest professional integrity, and to achieving desired migration outcomes under the guidance and management of our founder Dr Christopher White.

We welcome Fiona Ryan and Penelope Binotto to our Migration Plus team, and are looking forward to providing exceptional service to our Visa Connection and Migration Plus clients in the future!


Migration Plus Seminar 10 May 2017

Keen for a clear-eyed explanation of the recent and upcoming changes to the 457 visa, other work visas and Australian citizenship requirements?

Come along to Migration Plus's seminar, where we will update you with the latest information on the changes and how they affect YOU!

Seminar Date: Wednesday 10 May 2017, 5:30PM - 8:00PM (AEST)
Seminar Location: Boland Centre, 14 Spence St, Cairns QLD 4870

Dr Chris White with over 30 years' experience in the Migration Profession, Lecturer in Migration Law at Australian National University (ANU) and Member of the Migration Institute of Australia, together with Director of Migration Plus and fellow Lecturer at ANU, Ms Mateja Rautner, will explain in understandable terms what the current changes mean to you, what they mean to our region, why your applications might be getting delayed or refused and things you can do about it!

Registration Fee $15, Bookings Essential!

Book online:  https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/migration-changes-tickets-34133580458





FREE Online Assessment


Click HERE for a free assessment of your eligibility for an Australian visa! 










Client Testimonials


"I am very delighted with how the staff worked together with me step by step till my visa announced granted. It was very helpful :)
"


"We would like thank and commend Marney Richardson for her diligence and commitment in assisting us, and even working on Christmas and New Year's Day. She patiently guided us navigate through the convoluted process and also kept us informed through the developments which was very important for us.

Overall our experience with the service provided by Migration Plus has been exceptionally satisfying. The client focus approach transpired as genuine and caring to the individual applicant rather than just a business activity. With this, we have no hesitation in recommending your service to anybody. In fact, I have personally spoken to some people about your service. I hope they will avail of your service and be satisfied of the outcome as we have."




"Special thanks to Dr Christopher & Mateja Rautner and all Migration Plus team, for highly professional service. Mateja very professional always answer my emails and phone call ASAP even straight at mid-night. Thanks Mateja & Chris"



"Tina was fantastic and very professional. Everything was so accurate it make a stressful process as calm as it could be!"



"Veronica helped us with our fiancee visa application. She was helpful and thorough throughout the entire process. She was always patient with our constant questions & endeavored to always reassure us & explain everything. We had a succesful outcome Jan 2017 & will continue to use the services of Migration Plus in the near future. Thank you!"




"Your customer service is excellent" 


See here for more feedback from our clients!








Book Your Complimentary Migration Consultation Today!


Click here 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.

Your first half-hour consultation is COMPLIMENTARY*!

*Note some conditions apply - please contact us for further details.






Free Migration Plus App

Our mobile app has been developed to keep our clients up to date on the latest news, views and tips from Migration Plus.

The app is packed full of really useful migration and business information, as well as tax tables, calculators and important dates, all of which you can access for free!

Our app is compatible with the iPhone, iPad or Android phones. Click here (for Apple devices) or here (for Android devices) to download your free Migration Plus mobile app! 


 

Migration Plus | Level 12, Cairns Corporate Tower,
15 Lake Street, Cairns QLD 4870
Phone: 07 4041 2620 | Email: visa@migrationplus.com.au

This newsletter is general information only.  Specific advice, taking into account your circumstances,
should be obtained before taking any action.
Dr Christopher R White MARN 9255749


We recommend the following links to you for information about the Migration Agent Profession:
Consumer Guide
Migration Agent Code of Conduct
www.migrationplus.com.au

Helping you, helping others

Migration Plus adds value to the community in which it works. At least 5% of our profit goes towards our contributions to what we call Step Up and Reach Out which assists selected young people from Australia and around the world who choose to improve their position in life through education and learning. Read more

Registration and regulatory information

Migration Plus is a long established, Australian based privately owned independent immigration consultancy with a team of highly skilled OMARA Registered Migration Agents who represent our clients from around the world.  Migration Plus provides fee-based services in addition to the official Government application fees and disbursements to advise, assist and represent our clients through the complex visa application process.

All decisions for granting of a visa remain with the Australian Government, subject to lodging a valid application using the forms or electronic lodgement systems available on the Government website and meeting the relevant criteria. Migration Plus is not affiliated with the Australian Government.  We act independently in assisting and representing our clients interests, we advocate for our clients. The Australian Government registers Migration Agents – all our Agents are registered under that system.  We are also licensed to provide Continuing Professional Development to Migration Agents and we belong to the Migration Institute of Australia.  We take great pride and offer exceptional professionalism in helping you achieve your immigration goal.