Update on recent changes and announcements on key dates


Oct, 2017

Justin Browne

Justin Browne

Justin Browne is the CEO of Four Points Immigration.

Update on recent changes and announcements on key dates

Summary of recent DIBP changes impacting visa and citizenship applications.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have provided changes and updates to skilled visa and other immigration programmes. These include updates to the Temporary Skill Shortage visa and recent trade agreements that have impacted domestic immigration policy.  The key updates are:

  • Updated information on reforms that take effect in March 2018.
    • Updated Occupation lists: The eligible list of skilled occupations will be reviewed every six months.  A number of changes to the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) were announced in April and again in July.  The next update is in January 2018 prior to the introduction of the TSS Visa.
    • Labour Market Testing changes: Labour Market Testing will be compulsory for TSS visa applicants when the visa replaces the Subclass 457 visa in March 2018. The requirements are still to be confirmed but the DIBP has recommended: (1) advertising positions for a reasonable period of time before attempting to fill positions with foreign workers; (2) ensure that advertisements specify the nominated position, including the terms and conditions that are eventually offered to a foreign worker; and (3) ensure that advertisements can be accessed nationally.
    • Transitional Provisions Available: The DIBP has indicated transitional provisions from March 2018 may be available to those who held or lodged applications for Subclass 457 visas on or before 18 April 2017. This would allow these individuals to have access to an employer-sponsored pathway to permanent residence.  It is likely that additional information will be available in the next month or so.
    • Increased costs associated with the TSS visa: Introduction of the new TSS visa programme will bring additional costs with employers required to pay into a Skilling Australians Fund.  Employers should bear this in mind especially if you have foreign workers who might need to apply for a new temporary Australian work visa in 2018.
  • Increase in Visa processing times.
    • Subclass 457 applicants: Processing times have increase for employers without accredited sponsorship status.  The DIBP has advised that it is finalising 75% of 457 visa applications within 5 months with 90% being finalised within 10 months.  For restaurants, you need to consider these processing times when looking for staff for peak periods.
    • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa (RSMS): Due to an influx of new applications for these visas, processing times in these categories has increased. Processing times have varied to anywhere from 6 to 15 months.
  • Some visa applications will require additional labour market testing documentation.
    • From October 1, 457 visa applications that require labour market testing must be supported by copies of advertisements and receipts for any fees paid. The Domestic Recruitment Table (DRT) is no longer sufficient evidence that the market has been tested.
  • International trade agreements allow four-year 457 visas available in certain situations. The DIBP has clarified how international trade agreements affect certain 457 visa applicants where a visa may be granted for 4 years, rather than 2 years. The points of clarification are:
    • The nominee is (1) not working in China, Singapore or Thailand; (2) is a citizen or permanent resident of a World Trade Organisation country; (3) is an intra-corporate transferee; and (4) is nominated as an Executive or Senior Manager.
    • The nominee is an intra-corporate transferee who works for an Australian associated entity of the sponsor that is operating in China, Singapore or Thailand.
    • The nominee is an independent executive or senior manager establishing a branch office in Australia for a business operating in China or Thailand.
    • The nominee is a Chinese national nominated for a job as a Wushu Martial arts instructor (under ANZSCO 452317), Mandarin language tutor (under ANZSCO 249299) or a practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine (under ANZSCO 252214).
  • Some occupational caveats don’t apply to intra-corporate transferees. The occupational caveats do not apply for the following occupations:
    • Chief Executive or Managing Director (ANZSCO 111111).
    • Corporate General Manager (ANZSCO 111211).
    • Corporate Services Manager (ANZSCO 132111).
    • Sales and Marketing Manager (ANZSCO 131112).
    • Supply and Distribution Manager (ANZSCO 133611).
  • Peru has been added to Australia’s Work and Holiday programme.
    • Effective 1 October, 100 spots for visa applicants from Peru will be available to obtain work and holiday visa to travel, work and study in Australia.  This is a reciprocal agreement with the same available to Australian citizens wishing to do the same in Peru.
  • The government’s citizenship bill has been rejected by the Australian senate.
    • The Turnbull Governments citizenship has not passed through the Australian senate. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has advised that all citizenship applications received after April 20 will be assessed under existing laws.


Please contact one of our migration agents if you wish to discuss your future visa applications in Australia.

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