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Changes proposed in the Occupation lists – 2018 – Skilled Migrants

There are a few Updates made to the occupation lists meant for Temporary and Permanent Skilled Nominated Visas which came took effect on 17th January 2018. These updates were done after a review was conducted by the Department of Jobs and Small Business in 2017.

The proposed changes include occupations that were:

  • Included in the lists of eligible skilled occupations
  • Transferred from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List to the Short-term Skilled Occupation List, for specified visa programs
  • Removed from the lists of eligible skilled occupations

These changes will have an impact on the applications submitted on or after 17 January 2018. Applications given before this date will not be affected owing to this update.

Introducing mandatory provisional visas before obtaining permanent residency in Australia and curtailing the visa numbers from 99 to 10
The Government consulted the public in 2017, for changing the visa system of Australia. There was a discussion for introducing mandatory provisional visas asking the migrants to spend a specified time before they receive permanent residency. There was a plan to reduce the visa numbers from 99 to 10 for simplifying the overall process.
At present, the department has not set any timeline for implementing this decision and has stated that this was a long-term program of improving the way of delivering the services. At present, there would be no immediate impact for any category of visa applicants or visa holders. The initial step will be to consult the market regarding the design and devising the new platform for visa processing.

This is the ideal time to submit an application for any change in rules happens.

Temporary Skill Shortage Visa
The present 457 visa program will come to an end from March 2018. It will be replaced with an entirely new Temporary Skill Shortage visa. The TSS visa will have a Short-Term stream which allows a stay of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream which allows a stay of up to four years.
The Short-Term Stream Visa can be renewed only once.  The STSOL occupation list will be the basis for applicants in the Short-Term Stream.
Temporary Sponsored Parent Visa
In the federal budget of 2017-18, a new visa meant for temporary sponsored parents was announced. It was planned to be made available from Nov 2017. This new visa for the migrants’ parents to stay in Australia for an extended period has been held up. The proposed Bill for the new visa has not been approved by the Senate so far.
These are the important facts to know regarding the New Long Stay Visa for Parents.

  • The cost of a 3-year-visa is $5000, of a 5-year-visa is $10,000, and of a 10-year-visa is $20, 000. There is a provision for a single renewal for the next five years by paying the same charges.
  • An annual upper limit of 15,000 people has been kept for giving long stay parent visa.
  • Children/Sponsors must pay for the private health insurance of their parents. They must act as financial guarantors for any additional healthcare costs incurred by their parents.
  • The individuals arriving on the new visa are not permitted to work, and the government expects them to take up a family role leading to decreased pressure on childcare facilities.
  • The individuals sponsoring their parents for the new visa have to be citizens or permanent residents of Australia, or eligible citizens of New Zealand.
  • The holders of visa cannot reapply beyond the ten year period and there is no pathway for them to get to permanent residency.
Partner Visa
A few changes were proposed to the Partner Visa in 2017 but have now been deferred to 2018. The reason is that the Migration Amendment (Family Violence and Other Measures) Bill 2016 still remains before the Senate and the enactment has not been done.
The new regulations propose that the applications for sponsorship of partner visa should be lodged with a strict criterion and get approval before the application for overseas partner visa can be lodged.
The new process is expected to delay the lodgment of the application for an overseas partner and needs the overseas partner to take a valid visa until the visa application for the overseas partner is lodged.

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