UPDATE: General Skilled Migration (GSM) program – July 2020 

UPDATE: General Skilled Migration (GSM) program – July 2020 

In recent times there has been significant reduction in number of invitations issued to applicants to apply for a GSM visa. This has been based on a general reduction in visas invitations offered by the DHA and – understandably – the effects of COVID19. 

Whilst there appear to have been no formal announcements by the DHA, the GSM program has to a certain extent been put on hold as of 1st July, 2020. This date marks the new Australian financial year.

It is understood that the Australia government is considering how best to shape the migration program post COVID19.

A key part of the post COVID19 GSM program will be the state/territory nominated visas, namely the Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190) & the Skilled Work Regional visa (Subclass 491).

If you are an applicant who has submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI), or you hope to apply in the future, you can however be confident that the program will re-open soon and states/territories will be abed to provide clarification about their programs. 

An overview of the states/territories nomination status as of now is below:

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY (ACT) 

The ACT have advised that the guidelines for for any nomination applications submitted for a Subclass 190 or Subclass 491 visa after 1 July, 2020  are “To be advised”. 

NEW SOUTH WALES (NSW)

NSW is currently closed for accepting any nominations under the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491).

NORTHERN TERRITORY (NT)

At this stage, onshore GSM nomination applications will continue to be accepted and assessed, but no nominations can be issued until the Northern Territory has been allocated quotas for the 2020/21 financial year. 

QUEENSLAND 

The Queensland State Nomination Skilled Program is closed. This includes both the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) and Skilled Nominated (Permanent) (subclass 190) visas. Queensland has not yet received advice fromDHA in regards to their nomination allocation for financial year 2020/21 and when we they be able to re-open the skilled program.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA)

SA is currently closed for accepting any nomination applications for the Skilled Migration program, for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491). It is scheduled to re-open from early August. This will be dependent on the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for program year 2020/21. 

TASMANIA

Tasmania is currently not issuing any nominations under the Skilled Migration program, for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 190) and the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491) as the nomination quotas are yet to be allocated to the States by the Commonwealth Government for the 2020/21 program year.

VICTORIA 

The Victorian Government’s state nomination program will remain temporarily closed while they await the Commonwealth Government’s allocation of state nomination places for 2020/21.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Western Australia have made no specific comments with regards to their nomination program. 

If you want to discuss how you are effected, your current visa application or your visa options going forward please Contact Us.

Australian Travel Restrictions as of 20th March 2020

COVID-19 and Australian travel restrictions

Due to the worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic we are all living in unprecedented times.

As a response the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) have been constantly changing their policies to reflect how the pandemic is evolving and who can travel to Australia.

Current Travel Restrictions

Initially restrictions were limited to applicants who were travelling from, or had recently travelled to China, South Korea, Iran & Italy.

As of 9pm, 20th March 2020, the restrictions were expanded to the below:

Australian Permanent Residents & Australian Citizens can continue to enter Australia. They must self isolate for 14 days upon arrival.

  • New Zealand Citizens who are usually reside in Australia are not restricted from entering. They will need to show proof of residency such as a drivers licence or other documents showing an Australian address. They must self isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
  • Immediate Family members of citizens or permanent residents can enter as long as they hold or obtain a valid visa for entry. In addition, visa holders will also need to seek exemption form the DHA to travel. They must self isolate for 14 days upon arrival.
    • Without visa – You can’t come to Australia until you have a visa. Apply for a visa and include proof (such as your marriage certificate, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). If the DHA allow you to travel, you will need to self isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.
    • With a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders) – Attach proof (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) and request an exemption. Do not travel until the DHA advise that you can. You will need to self isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.
  • Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) & Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa holders can come to Australia. You do not need to request an exemption. You will need to self-isolate for 14 days, at home or in a hotel.
  • Temporary Residents and Temporary Visa Holders who are currently outside of Australia and are not a family member of a citizen or permanent resident, will not be able to re-enter Australia. Their visas will not be cancelled unless they attempt to enter.
  • Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders can’t travel to Australia at present.

If you want to discuss how this may effect your Australian travel plans or current visa status please Contact Us.

Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOL) closed until 1st July, 2019

Business and Skilled Migration Queensland have announced the following:

“Skilled visa nominations are now closed

BSMQ is now closed to receive EOI’s for the General Skilled Migration Program (GSM). The program will open again in the new financial year in July 2019. We will provide new QSOL lists and eligibility criteria prior to the program being re-opened in July will published on the BSMQ website.”

If you have any queries about what your visa options are please Contact Us.

QLD Business migration update – 2nd January 2019

Business & Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) temporarily suspends new invitations for business migration – will open again at a date to be advised https://t.co/nLPMWTsS2n— Australian visas (@CargilMigration) January 2, 2019

Brisbane

If you want to discuss how this will effect you, or plan for an application once the program opens again please Contact Us

Changes 1st July, 2018 – higher points required for GSM visas

Higher points required – GSM points test to increase by 5 points 

As usual at this time of the year, there have been some changes announced to the GSM visa programme by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA). 

From 1 July 2018, applicants will need to score 65 points to eligible to be considered for a GSM visa. This is an increase of 5 points. The effected GSM visa subclasses are:

  • Skilled-Independent (Permanent) Subclass 189;
  • Skilled-Nominated (Permanent) (Subclass 190; and
  • Skilled-Regional Sponsored (Provisional) Subclass 489

The increase is in response to the high demand for GSM visas. It also reflects the high scores that current applicants in the Skill Select Expression of Interest (EOI) pool are claiming. 

For applicants who are invited to apply for a GSM visa prior to 1st July 2018, they won’t be effected by the increase in points. These invited individuals can continue to prepare and submit their application. As is stands currently, any invited applicants will need to ensure that they lodge their applications within the required 60 days. 

If you could like to discuss how this will effect you please Contact Us.

Potential removal of occupations – 1st July, 2018 

Numerous occupations have been flagged for removal and addition

Every Australian financial year – 1st July to 30th June – the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) takes advice and makes amendments to its numerous skilled occupation lists.

Whilst no final decisions have been made for the upcoming new financial year, there have been a number of possible changes flagged. 

Details of these possible changes are detailed here.

The most significant changes are usually those made to the MLTSSL (Medium & Long Term Skilled Shortage List). Any changes made to the MLTSSL would effect applicants for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa OR a Subclass 489 visa (if they are sponsored by an eligible relative). 

Occupations on the MLTSSL that have been flagged for possible change include: 

Flagged for Removal

  • Management Accountant (221112)
  • Agricultural Consultant (234111)
  • Civil Engineering Technician (312212)

Flagged for Addition 

  • Footballers (452411)

If you want  to discuss the potential changes and how they may effect you please get in touch. We will provide any updates on this BLOG.  

Recent AoS changes to Parent visas to be reversed

Pre-April 2018 AoS income requirements to be re-introduced

Media releases are reporting that the April 2018 changes to the Assurance of Support (AoS) income requirements test will be reversed next week – 23rd May, 2018.

Exclusive: Coalition backflips on parent visa background 

If this is confirmed these changes will be of great relief to a significant number of current and future Contributory Parent (Subclass 143 & Subclass 173) visa applicants.

We will keep you updated once the formal decision to reverse the regulations are made.

If you have any queries please Contact Us.

Updated – Australian Skilled Occupation Lists (April 2018)

Occupation lists change … again … 

2018 has already seen a number of changes to Australian immigration. Some of these were detailed in our most recent post.

Following on from these changes, last week the Northern Territory have updated the occupations that they will consider nominating for the Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) Visa or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (Subclass 489) Visa.

If you would like to look at whether you may be eligible for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa, be a state or territory nominated visa – such as the Subclass 190 or Subclass 489 visa – or the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa please check out the list below.

Skilled Occupations – April 2018

If you would like a detailed assessment of your Australian visa options, please  CONTACT US .

Australian immigration changes – new visas and their impact on Australian immigration

The Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482), the effect on GSM visas and the Global Talent Visa scheme

A lot has been happening in Australian immigration in 2018. It has started with the skilled list for the Subclass 189 being amended. Some of the states & territories followed and their Subclass 190 & 489 visas have consequently been effected.

Most significant of all is that as fo 18th March, 2018 the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa has been replaced by the  Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482).

The changes and differences between the Subclass 457 & Subclass 482 are significant. We wont attempt to address them all here but will highlight some key points and how these changes may effect your plans and reinforce the importance of the General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program.

GSM Visa program

The GSM program has remained intact. It significance is shown by the figures below:

  1.  Subclass 189: 176 occupations remain eligible for this visa
  2. Subclass 190: 416 skilled occupations remain eligible for this visa program
  3.  Subclass 489:
    • 475 skilled occupations remain eligible for the State Territory nominated 489 visa program OR
    • 176 occupations remain eligible for the Family Nominated 489 visa programme

Temporary Employer sponsored visas – new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) 

As mentioned the temporary Employer Sponsored visa (Subclass 457) has been replaced by the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482).

Whilst the Subclass 457 could be granted up to 4 years, the Subclass 482 visas can vary:

  1. Short term – up to 2 years if the occupation is on Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
  2. Medium term – up to 4 years if on Medium Long Term Skilled Shortages List (MLTSSL) and a new Regional Occupation List (ROL)
  3. Labour Agreement Stream – this is where an employer has negotiated visa arrangements with the Department of Home Affairs (formerly the DIBP Department of Immigration & B0order Patrol).

Applicant requirements:

  • Work experience – Applicants must have a minimum of 2 years
  • English Language – Applicants must meet minimum english language requirements. e.g For an IELTS test they must score 5 overall, but have a minimum score of at least 4.5 on each component
  • Police clearances – Mandatory police clearances.

Sponsor/Employers:

  • Labour-market testing is required (e.g prescribed advertising standards must be met by the employer)
  • Applicant must be nominated in one of the 509 skilled occupations, unless the negotiated Labour Agreement allows otherwise.

Transitional arrangements – Individuals who are already in Australia on a Subclass 457 visa and need to renew this visa or apply for another visa (such as the Subclass 482 or a permanent visa – see below) will need to check with their employer or Migration Agent what their options are. 

Permanent Employer Sponsored visa – Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 visa & Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa

  • Applicants must be under 45
  • Applicants must have worked in Australia for 3 years (it was 2 years) on a 457 visa or 482 visa OR have undertaken a skills assessment under the Direct Entry Scheme
  • Applicants must have at least 3 years work experience
  • Applicants occupation must be on the:
    • MLTSSL for Subclass 186 visas (208 occupations)
    • MLTSSL or ROL list for Subclass 187 (673 occupations)

What are the key takeaways about these changes?

  •  It is more difficult to obtain a visa for Australia under both employer nomination schemes –  temporary and permanent residence. e.g Labour Market testing is required for almost all applications under the TSS visa. This wasn’t the case previously.
  • Students hoping to transfer onto an employer sponsored visa must have at least 2 years experience in the occupation for a temporary visa, or 3 years for a permanent employer visa.
  • Skilled applicants wanting to obtain permanent residency need to be under 45 years – unless some very limited exemptions are met.
  • If an applicant or their spouse is eligible for a GSM visa – 189/190/489 – then it is likely to be their best long term option to migrate to Australia permanently

Final comments

These changes have been a long time coming and even before the details were laid out, they have been widely criticised by the business community. They see this as as a significant disadvantage to recruiting, employing and incentivising skilled migrants to fill positions in Australia.

With this is mind, employers will be forced to look closer at the Australia employment market to fill their workforce needs. This will advantage applicants who hold a GSM visa or intend to apply for a GSM visa.

Global Talent Scheme 

In addition to the above there will be further changes to the Australian immigration program. The Department of Home Affairs have flagged a new scheme known as the Global Talent Scheme. This is a  pilot programme aimed at attracting high-income employees and tech specialists.  It is hoped it will alleviate some of the concerns from employers in Australia that they will miss out of skills need to grow their business due to the restrictions in the new Subclass 482 visa.

It will allow eligible established business and start-up companies seeking talent in STEM fields like biomedicine and agricultural technology to sponsor foreign nationals on a temporary residency basis, as well as offering a pathway to permanent residency. The scheme is due to commence on 1st July. As details emerge we will release them here.

 

If you would like to discuss your options – whether you would be eligible –  then please  Contact Us.

 

Victorian skilled nomination changes – engineers and building occupations

Changes to skilled applications for engineering and building occupations

Applications for engineering and building occupations on the Victorian Nomination List will not be accepted from 16 October 2017 to 12 January 2018 due to the large volume of applications received.

If you would like to discuss your options for a Victorian nominated visa – whether you would be eligible for the Subclass 190 or 489 visa, then please  Contact Us.