Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Skilled Migration

SkillSelect has changed the processing of Skilled Visa applications, and has been in place since 1 January 2013. As of 18 April 2017, the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOl) have been replaced by the Medium - Long-Term Strategic Skilled Occupation List (MLTSSL) and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). Skilled migration includes temporary and permanent visas through independent, state nomination or family sponsored pathways.

 

General Skilled Migration (GSM) Points Test

 

The General Skilled Migration Points Test measures your eligibility to apply for different subclasses. The points test takes factors such as your age, Australian, regional and overseas education, Australian and overseas employment, and English ability into account.  You may be eligible to obtain further points through state nomination or sponsorship.

Access to the DIBP Migration Points Test can be accessed through the following link: Click Here

 

Selected Occupations Lists

The Selected Occupations List (SOL) and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) have been replaced by the Medium - Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). In order to apply for different skilled visas, your occupation must be assessed as one of the occupations on the Selected Occupations List.

The applicable lists can be found at the following links: Combined Occupation List: Click Here


Applicable under the following circumstances:

  • independent points-based skilled migration applicants who are not nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • a Family Sponsored Points Tested visa
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) - Graduate Work stream

The applicable lists can be found at the following link:

Applicable under the following circumstances:

  • points-based skilled migration applicants who are nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan
  • Applicants under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), who must have been nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position in an occupation that appears in the CSOL
  • the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 482) if/when caveats are met: Caveats on 457 Occupations
  • the Training and Research visa (subclass 402)

Please note that for Subclass 190 (State Nominated Skilled Visa) each state has independent lists and criteria to fulfil according to specific demands, please refer to the Subclass 190 section for further information regarding this. 

It is also important to note that all occupation lists are liable to change according to Departmental and government assessment of Australia’s employment needs. These lists are updated approximately every financial year, however they can change at any stage. Please ensure that the information you are accessing is up to date.

Each occupation is defined by ANZSCO and falls within a set of parameters outlined by individual ANZSCO codes and detailed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics

Access to the ANSZCO codes and their descriptions can be found at the following links:    Australian Bureau Of Statistics and ANZSCO Codes and Occupations - DIBP

Skills Assessments

All ANZSCO occupations must be assessed by an authorized skills assessing body which varies for different occupations. The relevant assessing body can be found under the Department information on the occupation.

Our office can assist you in preparing a skills assessment application in accordance with the requirements of each skills assessment body and the ANZSCO guidelines.

In order to apply for any Skilled Visa application you must hold a valid skills assessment, reflecting your education and/or employment qualifications. This can be a complicated process, without which you cannot proceed with your visa application.

Our office is equipped to lodge skills assessment applications to a range of skills assessing bodies such as Vetassess, CPA, ICAA, IPA, EA, ACS, AMSA, including many others.

Links to various assessment authorities can be find on our webpage: Click here

English ability

Amongst other requirements, eligibility for skilled visa applications are reliant on your English language ability, assessed by IELTS or OET. Different visas carry different requirements for English language ability.

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) Visa

As of 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa (Subclass 457 Visa) will be abolished and replaced with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa in March 2018.

This visa is a temporary Skill Shortage visa, valid for up to two - four years after it is granted. Visa validity may conform upon the occupation nominated by the employee, if the nominated occupation is listed under Short-term Strategic Skill List (STSSL), the visa applicat can only apply for 2 years maximum and can be renewed only once for another 2 years. however, if the nominated occupation is listed under Medium to Long-Term Strategic Skill List (MLTSSL) the applicant can stay up to 4 years and could be eligible for Permanent Visa Application.

Just like Subclass 457, The 482 visa allows you to:

  • work in Australia for up to four years defend upon the occupation nominated
  • bring your family to work or study in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia as often as you want.

There are 3 processing stages in sponsoring an employee from overseas under the Subclass 457 visa program:

Sponsorship Your employer applies for approval as a standard business sponsor. This is required to nominate an occupation for a subclass 457 visa.

Nomination Your employer nominates an occupation for a prospective or existing subclass 457 visa holder.

Visa application You apply to work in your nominated occupation under the subclass 457 visa. This is the final step to obtaining your subclass 457 visa.

More information about 482

Global Talent Scheme

The Australian Government has announced that the new Global Talent Scheme come into effect from 1st July 2018 and will be trialled for one year.

It is believed that the new visa will attract people with exceptional technical skills and talent, which can be transferred to the Australian work-force and in turn encourage business growth.

Highlights of the new Global Talent Scheme:

A key feature of the Global Talent Scheme is that it will be split into two streams:

  • Established business stream

  • Start-up stream

Successful applicants under both streams will have access to a 4-year visa within the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa Programme which came into effect on 18 March 2018, providing visa holders a pathway to permanent residency after three years and certain age cap concessions.

Applications will be simpler and have faster processing times.

The new visa scheme in its current form is not limited to a specific list of occupations.

The features of the two streams:

  • Established business stream

  • Business must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least A$4 million for each of the past 2 years

  • Access up to 20 positions per year

  • Available to accredited sponsors and other businesses

  • If the position ends, the visa holder has 60 days to find a new sponsor and a new visa or depart Australia

  • Business must show a good history i.e. no breaches of workplace or immigration law

  • Business must demonstrate a track record of giving first preference to Australian workers

  • Labour market testing for the specific position

  • Applicants must meet health, character and security requirements

  • They must have no family relationship with directors/shareholders

  • Qualifications must be compatible with the highly skilled role

  •  Applicant must have at least 3 years work experience directly relevant to position

  • Capacity to pass on skills and help develop Australians workers

  • Position must have minimum annual earnings of A$180,000

Start-up stream

  • Business operates in STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field

  • A ‘start-up authority’ must endorse the business

  • Access up to 5 positions per year

  • Business must show a good history i.e. no breaches of workplace or immigration law

  • Business must demonstrate a track record of giving first preference to Australian workers

  • If the position ends (eg the start-up ceases trading) the visa holder has 60 days to find a new sponsor and a new visa or depart Australia

  • Labour market testing for the specific position

  • Applicants must meet health, character and security requirements

  • They must have no family relationship with directors/shareholders

  • Qualifications must be compatible with the highly skilled role

  • At least 3 years work experience directly relevant to position

  • Capacity to pass on skills and develop Australian workers

  • Minimum annual earnings at the market salary rate (this can include equity, but must have a cash component that is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (currently A$53,900)).

SAF Related Visa Information

The online forms are now operating in a similar manner to citizenship forms, where applicants cannot lodge the application without first uploading the required evidence.

However, if you do not answer the questions correctly and you will not be asked appropriate further questions or be prompted to attach required LMT evidence.

If you are lodging an application that involves:

  • a waiver of LMT due to an International Trade Agreement,

  • an intra corporation transfer, or

  • alternative LMT evidence for a select occupation or select position,

applicant must indicate this correctly in the first section of the form, otherwise applicant will not be prompted to answer further relevant questions or attach required evidence before paying and lodging the application.

For example, the Department reports some applicants have answered 'no' to the request for the ITO waiver (International Trade Obligation), but have later attached evidence that would support such a waiver.  Such inconsistencies are leading to refusals.

Similarly, if required evidence is not uploaded at the correct time during the application and even if uploaded immediately after the application is lodged, the application will be refused and the SAF levy will not be refunded.

Do not ignore the warning message on the LMT page that requires you to make these attachments 

Evidence of advertising 

Job advertisements must run for 28 days - members must show evidence of the full 28 days.  Many online advertisements are removed after the expiry date and cannot be easily validated by VPOs.

Members are again warned to provide sufficient evidence of the 28 days advertising, for example:

  • Screenshots taken on the first and last date of advertisement, demonstrating that the full 28 days occurred

  • Reports from the advertiser verifying the start and end dates of the advertising.

Select occupations and select positions

Members are also reminded that the evidentiary requirements for demonstrating an Australian cannot be identified for a select occupation or position are different to those of other LMT (Labour Market Testing) and are NOT interchangeable.

All LMT requirements are contained in Legislative Instrument (LIN 18/036)

>> MIA Notice 120 - 2018

Skilled Recognised Graduate Subclass 476 Visas

The Skilled - Recognised Graduate subclass 476 visa allows recent engineering graduates of recognised institutions to gain up to 18 months of skilled work experience

It is a good way to work in Australia to improve your chances of becoming eligible for a permanent or provisional skilled visa.

Criteria

The main criteria are as follows

Eligibility

You must:

  • be under 31 years of age
  • have completed an engineering degree at a recognised institution in the past two years
  • Not have been the primary visa holders of a subclass 476 or 485 visa.

Cost:

From AUD 365

English

You must provide evidence of your English language ability at date of lodgement by showing one of the following:

  • Hold a passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada or New Zealand; or
  • IELTS (Academic or General Training): overall average of 6 and at least 5 in each band; or
  • Occupational English Test (OET): B Pass in each band; or
  • Pearson (PTE Academic): overall average of 50 with at least 36 in each band; or
  • TOEFL iBT (Internet Based Test): total score of 64, with at least 4 in Listening and Reading, and at least 14 in Writing and Speaking; or
  • Cambridge (CAE): 169 overall average with at least 154 in each band.

Qualifications

You must have completed a qualification at most 2 years prior to lodgement. The qualification must be:

  • Bachelor degree
  • Master degree
  • Doctoral degree
  • Postgraduate diploma.

Your qualification must contain a major sequence of study or specialisation in engineering, such as:

  • Civil engineering
  • Structural engineering
  • Chemical engineering
  • Environmental engineering
  • Electrical and electronics engineering
  • Mechanical, production and plant engineering
  • Mining and material engineering.

Eligible Institutes

Washington Accord institutions

Any institution offering an Engineering qualification accredited under the Washington Accord is a recognised institution. The Washington Accord is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. It recognises the substantial equivalency of programmes accredited by those bodies and recommends that graduates of programmes accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognised by the other bodies as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering.

Other recognised institutions

Alternatively, your engineering qualification must be from one of the following institutions:

Argentina

  • Catholic University of Argentina

Brazil

  • Federal University of Minas Gerais

Chile

  • Universidad Catolica del Norte Catholic University of Chile—Antofagasta
  • University of Chile
  • University of Concepcion

Finland

  • HUT, Helsinki

Germany

  • RWTH, Aachen
  • Technical University of Berlin
  • Technical University of Clausthal
  • TU Bergakademie Freiberg
  • University of Hannover

Hungary

  • University of Miskolc

India

  • Anna University—Chennai
  • Baranas Hindu University—Varanasi
  • Indian Institute of Science—Bangalore
  • Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur
  • Indian School of Mines—Dhanbad

Iran

  • Amir Kabir University of Technology
  • University of Tehran

People’s Republic of China

  • Beijing Normal University
  • Beijing Petroleum University
  • Beijing University of Chemical Technology
  • Beijing University of Technology (formerly Beijing Polytechnic University)
  • China University of Mining andTechnology—Beijing
  • Guangzhou University
  • Shanghai University of Engineering Science
  • Shanghai Jiaotong University
  • Tongji University
  • Tsinghua University
  • University of Science and Technology—Beijing

Philippines

  • University of the Philippines

Poland

  • Wroclaw University of Technology

Slovakia

  • TU Kosice

Sweden

  • Lulea University of Technology

Tanzania

  • University of Dar es Salaam

Points Test

The Recognised Graduate subclass 476 visa is not points-tested.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

Unless the main applicant is an NZ citizen, all applicants must be outside Australia when the visa application is granted.

You can be in Australia when the application is lodged, but must depart Australia for visa grant.

As a result, no bridging visa is issued in general.

Including Family Members

You can include the following types of family members in your application:

  • Spouses, defacto partners and same-sex partners
  • Dependent children


If you already hold a 476 visa, you can apply for family members to join you in Australia on 485 visas.

Duration and Conditions

Valid for 18 months from the date of first entry to Australia.

You must maintain private health insurance whilst on a recognised graduate visa.

Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa

This visa is for eligible international students who have recently graduated from an Australian educational institution.

It lets you work in Australia temporarily after you have finished your studies and to use this period of time to obtain the required skills and / or points to be able to apply for a Skillselect visa.   

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you:

  • are younger than 50 years of age
  • are in Australia
  • hold an eligible visa
  • meet the two-year Australian study requirement
  • have at least competent English
  • have recently graduated with either an eligible qualification or with skills and qualifications that relate to an occupation on the skilled occupation list (SOL).
  • you must meet health and characther requirements.
  • you must have health insurance in Australia

Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

This visa allows skilled workers to live and work in specified regional areas in Australia for up to four years.



Invited Pathway

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited. When we sent your letter of invitation, you must also have:

  • been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area
  • nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupations list
  • a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • not yet turned 45 years of age
  • achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • at least competent English

Extended Stay Pathway

You can also apply for this visa if you hold a provisional visa in subclass 496, 495, 487 or 475.

The application process for different regional development programs may vary from region to region. Our office can provide assistance in this application process.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if invited. When we sent your letter of invitation, you must also have:

  • Nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • Not yet turned 45 years of age
  • Achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • At least competent English.

Subclass 189 Permanent Residence Pathway for New Zealand Citizens from 1 July 2017

New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for at least five years and shown a commitment and continuous contribution to Australia are eligible for permanent residence from 1 July 2017. The new pathway is part of the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa.

Residence Requirement

The new pathway is only available to NZ citizens who started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016. You will need to show that you were usually resident at this time

You also need to show that you have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to application, and have commenced that period of usual residence on or before 19 February 2016

You would need to have held a Special Category Visa (SCV Subclass 444) for the 5 years - this is the visa NZ citizens are usually granted on entry to Australia.

Income Requirement:

To be eligible for the Independent Skilled 189 (New Zealand) Stream, you must provide a copy of the Notice of Assessment (with the tax file number removed or obscured), issued by the Australian Taxation Office for each of the four most recently completed income years immediately prior to application showing that you have earned annual taxable income at least equivalent to TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) for the last 5 financial years.

The TSMIT has been $53,900 since 1 July 2013, but was $51,000 from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2013.

Table 1 – Income threshold for the past five years

Financial Year Income threshold for Skilled Independent 189 (New Zealand) Stream
2012/13 AUD$51,000
2013/14 AUD$53,900
2014/15 AUD$53,900
2015/16 AUD$53,900
2016/17 AUD$53,900

Income Exemption

Limited exemptions to the income requirement will apply - those currently announced include:

  • Maternity, paternity or carers leave - application of this exemption is discretionary; or
  • are prevented by an Australian authority from leaving Australia to return to New Zealand because the Family Court of Australia has assigned primary care of a child to the applicant and places restrictions on the applicant from removing the child from Australia; or
  • are receiving compensation for an injury which prevents them earning at or above the income threshold, and if they returned to New Zealand their ongoing rehabilitation and/or compensation would be discontinued

Age Requirement:

Unlike other skilled visas, there is no age limit for the NZ stream of the 189 visa. The age limit for the subclass 189 visa are otherwise reduced to 45 from 1 July 2017

Including Family Members

Even if they are not NZ citizens, spouses and dependent children can be included in the application. If applying onshore, they must hold a substantive visa or Bridging A, B or C visa.

Health and Character Requirement

All family members included in the application must meet health and character requirements.

The waivable health criterion 4007 applies

All family members included in the application need to complete health and character.

Application Fees

Application fees are in line with current fees for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. However, only 20% of the application fee needs to be paid at lodgement. The balance of fees would only be payable once you have met all other criteria and are likely to be granted the visa.

Fees payable are below:

Applicant Type

At Lodgement

Prior to Grant

Total

Main Applicant AUD$734 AUD$2,936 AUD$3,670
Dependants 18 or Over AUD$367 AUD$1,468 AUD$1,835
Dependants under 18 AUD$184 AUD$736 AUD$920

Unlike other permanent skilled visa types, there is no English Language Charge for applicants with less than Functional English.

In Conclusion

For NZ citizens who were living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016, and have been living in Australia for the last 5 years, the new permanent residence pathway is extremely beneficial. In particular:

  • There is no English language testing, skills assessment, points test, or sponsorship by an employer
  • There is no age limit
  • The income level is reasonable - and exemptions apply for people on parenting or carer leave
  • There is a health waiver for applicants and family members with health conditions
  • The bulk of the application fee is only payable once the requirements have been assessed and the visa is about to be granted

New Zealand Citizens who meet the criteria should consider applying for the new pathway as it offers very favourable access to permanent resident status. 

Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)

This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are nominated by a state or territory government agency.

It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

You might be eligible to apply for this visa if you were invited. When we sent you your letter of invitation, you must also have:

  • Nominated an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • Not yet turned 45 years of age
  • Achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
  • At least competent English
  • Been nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.

 

Different states impose different eligibility requirements, some of which may include:

  • Different levels of English language ability
  • Residence in the nominated state for a period of time prior to lodging the application
  • State in which you completed your Australian education qualifications
  • Job offers in the nominated state

 

Our office can help you determine your eligibility for different states. Different states also nominate different occupations, which are liable to change at any stage. Please see Click Here for the various state occupation lists available.

 

Subclass 175, 176, 487, 885 & 886

The Department ceased accepting applications for the abovementioned subclasses on 1 January 2013.

However, the processing for many of these applications is still pending.

Our office can assist you in the finalization of these visa subclasses.

 

Skilled — Independent (subclass 175)

Skilled — Sponsored visa (subclass 176)

Skilled — Regional Sponsored visa (subclass 487)

Skilled — Independent visa (subclass 885)

Skilled — Sponsored visa (subclass 886)

Skilled Visa FAQ's


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