March 2018 - Selected Changes

Change Detail Effective as of
 Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and Complementary Reforms

Amends the Migration Regulations to repeal the Temporary Work (Skilled) (Subclass 457) visa and introduce the new Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482) visa. The Subclass 482 visa enables employers to access a temporary skilled overseas worker if an appropriately skilled Australian worker is unavailable. An overseas worker must be nominated by a sponsoring business and obtain a Subclass 482 visa before they can commence work in Australia. 

Also amends the Migration Regulations to implement changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa complementary to the introduction of the Subclass 482 visa. In particular, the changes tighten eligibility for these visas by reference to criteria dealing with age, employment history, salary, English language, and eligible occupations. Changes to eligibility requirements for the Temporary Residence Transition stream in the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 visas will not apply to persons who held or had applied for a Subclass 457 visa when the changes were announced by the Government on 18 April 2017. This transitional cohort will be defined in, and have existing eligibility preserved by, legislative instruments made under regulation 5.19 and the Schedule 2 criteria for Subclass 186 and Subclass 187.

Migration Legislation Amendment (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa and Complementary Reforms) Regulations 2018:

 18 March 2018
Skilled occupation lists

Home Affairs website:

Ou website - all lists:

189/190/485/489 visa: Migration (IMMI 18/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities) Instrument 2018

482 visa: Migration (IMMI 18/048: Specification of Occupations—Subclass 482 Visa) Instrument 2018

186 visa: Migration (IMMI 18/049: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities—Subclass 186 Visa) Instrument 2018

187 visa: Migration (IMMI 18/043: Specification of Occupations—Subclass 187 Visa) Instrument 2018

407 visa: Migration (IMMI 18/050: Specification of Occupations—Subclass 407 Visa) Instrument 2018

18 March 2018
 Training Benchmarks

SBS - It specifies training requirements for Australian citizens and permanent residents for standard business sponsors.

 Migration (IMMI 18/017: Specification of Training Requirements for Regulation 2.87B) Instrument 2018:

Training benchmark for 186 Direct Entry nominations: Migration (IMMI 18/047: Specification of Training Requirements for Regulation 5.19) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
Labour Market Testing - time

482 Nomination applications lodged on or after 18 March 2018 and before 18 June 2018 - LMT must have occured in the 12 month period immediately before the nomination is lodged.

482 Nomination applications lodged on or after 18 June 2018 - LMT must have occured in the 6 months immediately before the nomination is lodged.

Migration (IMMI 18/059: Period within which labour market testing is required to be undertaken) Instrument 2018:

18 March 2018
Labour Market Testing - no more occupation exemptions  Migration (IMMI 18/058: Specification of occupations exempt from labour market testing) Repeal Instrument 2018  18 March 2018

Specifies how to determine Anual Market Salary Rate.

Specifies TSMIT.

Migration (IMMI 18/033: Specification of Income Threshold and Annual Earnings and Methodology of Annual Market Salary Rate) Instrument 2018:

18 March 2018
English language requirements for 482 visa applicants

Specifies minimum English language requirements for 482 visa and exemptions.

The test must not be more than 3 years old on the day on which the applicant provided the evidence of the test.

Migration (IMMI 18/032: Language Test Requirements—Subclass 482 Visa) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
Mandatory Skills Assessment for some 482 applicants

Specifies persons required to undertake 482 skills assessments by passport and occupations. Specifies persons who are exempted from undertaking the assessment.

Specifies skills assessing authorities and time periods for the skills assessment validity.

Migration (IMMI 18/039: Mandatory Skills Assessment—Subclass 482 Visa) Instrument 2018:

18 March 2018
Exempt occupations - direct employment relationship

The instrument operates to specify exempt occupations for direct employment relationship.

Migration (IMMI 18/035: Specification of Exempt Occupations) Instrument 2018:

18 March 2018
 Transitional arrangements for 457 holders

Transitional arrangements for persons who on 18 April 2017:

(a) held a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa; or

(b) were an applicant for a Subclass 457 (Temporary Work (Skilled)) visa that was subsequently granted

Migration (IMMI 18/052: Transitional operation of regulation 5.19 for certain 457 visa holders) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
186, 187 exemptions

Exemptions from age, skills and English language requirements for 186 and 187 visa: 

Migration (IMMI 18/045: Exemptions to Skill, Age and English Language Requirements for Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 Visas) Instrument 2018:

18 March 2018
 Bridging visa arrangements

 Specifies places and manners of making a bridging visa application

Migration (IMMI 18/057: Arrangements for Applications for Bridging Visas) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
 Visa attracting STAC

Includes 482 visa in the list of visas that attract the subsequent temporary application charge.

Migration (IMMI 18/055: Visas attracting a subsequent temporary application charge) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
 Sponsor obligations notifications Migration (IMMI 18/040: Manner for Providing Details of an Event to Immigration) Instrument 2018:  
 Regional Australia and Reguonal Certifying Bodies  

The instrument operates to specify the state and territory bodies who have responsibility for the local area where the nominated position for 187 visa is located and who may advise the Minister about the matters relating to the nominated position. A specified body may be referred to as Regional Certifying Body.

The instrument also defines the meaning of ‘regional Australia’ for the purposes of subregulation 5.19(16) of the Regulations.

Migration (IMMI 18/037: Regional Certifying Bodies and Regional Postcodes) Instrument 2018:

 18 March 2018
Work and Holiday 462 - Bangladesh removed from a list of eligible countries Migration (IMMI 18/023: Arrangements for Work and Holiday and Working Holiday Visa Applications) Amendment Instrument 2018 15 March 2018
Work and Holiday 462 - Czech Republic and Austria added

Migration (IMMI 18/023: Arrangements for Work and Holiday and Working Holiday Visa Applications) Instrument 2018

Austria added on 15 February 2018

Czech Republic added on 1 March 2018

15 February 2018
Credentialled Community Language Qualifications

The purpose of the instrument is to incorporate a new certification scheme for the credentialled community language qualifications offered by NAATI. The instrument incorporates an additional qualification for persons who are seeking recognition of their credentialled community language skills so that they are eligible for five points for their visa application, but are not seeking formal qualification as an interpreter or translator.


26 March 2018
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Migration Agents Code of Conduct

The Code of Conduct for registered migration agents is set out in legislation to regulate the conduct of registered migration agents (direct link here). 

It prescribes obligations of migration agents towards their clients.

Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958 and is prescribed in Schedule 2, Regulation 8 of the Migration Agents Regulations 1998.

Consumer protection - see MARA Consumer Guide.

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