1 July 2017 - Selected Legislation Changes

Change Description

Occupation Lists changes

subclass 186 Direct Entry: IMMI 17/080 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00851

subclass 187 Direct Entry:
IMMI 17/058 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00847 (This Instrument also specifies skills, age and English language exemptions). AND
IMMI 15/109 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2015L01148

subclass 457: IMMI17/060 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00848

GSM visas subclasses 189/190/489: IMMI 17/072 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00850

subclass 407: IMMI 17/071 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00834

CAVEATS: Minister's power to impose caveats https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00818

Visa application charges increase

All current VACs will be indexed annually in line with the forecast Consumer Price Index and rounded to the nearest $5

Indexation applies only to the 1st instalment component of the VAC, for both primary and secondary applicants
Indexation does not apply to 2nd instalment VACs


AAT: The fee will increase to $1,731 for all new applications for a review of a migration or refugee decision by the Migration and Refugee Division, where a fee is payable.

Credit Union sucharge: a credit card surcharge of 1.9% of the amount paid using a China UnionPay credit card - Schedule 4 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

Foreign currencies

New exchange rates: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00665

Places and Currencies for Paying of Fees: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00666

New Permanent Visa 
Stream for NZ citizens

subclass 189

Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2017 / Schedule 1 - https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00549

The primary applicant must hold a Subclass 444 Special Category visa.
The applicant must have been usually resident in Australia, on or before 16 February 2016, for a continuous period for at least five years immediately before the date of application.
The applicant must have a specified minimum amount of income or be exempted: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00723

Eligible NZ citizen

Schedule 5 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

This amendment aligns the definition of ‘eligible New Zealand citizen’ in the Migration Regulations with the definition of ‘protected SCV Holder’ in the Social Security Act 1991.  New Zealand citizens who arrived before 26 February 2001 (and in certain cases within three months after that date) are classified as ‘protected Special Category’ visa holders by the Social Security Act.

Eligible NZ citizens will not be able to sponsor for subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship visa. They can sponsor for partner visas.

GSM visa
- max age under 45

At the time of invitation, the applicant must be under 45.

Subclass 189: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00549

Subclass 489 and 190: Schedule 6 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

Employer nominated visa
- max age under 45

A maximum age requirement of 44 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream applicants. A maximum age requirement of 49 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants.

Subclasses 186/187: Schedule 6 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

Employer nominated visa
- competent English

The English language requirement for the Temporary Resident Transition streams of the 186 and 187 subclasses is raised to ‘competent English’ at the time of application.
Schedule 6 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

Employer nominated visa
- genuine position and direct control

Schedule 6 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

The requirement that the nominated applicant work as a paid employee in the nominated position, working under the nominator’s direct control has also been added by this amendment.

The nominated position must be genuine.

Employer nominated visa
- refunds

Refunds may be made by the Minister for 186/187 visa applications in specified circumstances where the requirements cannot be met through no fault of the visa applicant

Schedule 6 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

 457 changes

Introduction of mandatory penal clearance checks.

Expanding mandatory skills assessment.

Removing English language exemption based on a skilled migrant’s salary: IMMI 17/057 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00835

Time period for English language requirements for Subclass 457 nominations IMMI 17/078 https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00849

Tightening existing training benchmarks

Subclass 457 Training benchmarks: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00796

Subclass 186 ENS Direct Entry: https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00789

WHV visas

There will be an increase from 1500 to 2000 reciprocal visa places for Australian and Chilean nationals.

There will be an increase from 700 places to 1500 visa places annually for Australian and Argentineans.

The eligible age for Subclass 417 Working Holiday will be amended to be:
- aged at least 18 and no more than 35 years old. If an age younger than 35 is specified in an instrument for a specified passport, that younger age limit will be applied

Subclass 462 Work and Holiday visas:
- the increase to the age limit of 35 years is only available for those countries where Australia has negotiated a similar bilateral age increase.

Schedule 9 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

 Protection visa online


Temporary Protection visas (TPV) and Safe Haven Enterprise visas (SHEV) will be able to be lodged online from 1 July 2017.

A single paper application form for temporary and permanent protection applications will be available from 1 July 2017.

A new paper Form 1505 will be introduced for subsequent TPV and SHEV applications. This form must be used for all subsequent applications.

Paper Forms 866 and 790 will continued to be accepted for initial applications only.

Safe Haven Enterprise Visa pathway The Subclass 790 Safe Haven Enterprise Visa allows holders who have studied and/or worked in regional areas for 42 months without accessing social security benefits, to apply for prescribed substantive visas that may lead to permanent residency.

This amendment allows visa holders to retrospectively count study or work undertaken in an area before it was declared regional to be counted towards the 42 month requirements.

Schedule 8 of https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017L00816

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Provision for a Code of Conduct for migration agents is set out in Section 314 of the Migration Act 1958.


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