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This page summarises some of the changes in the Australian Migration Laws and related news. 

 December 2010


  • Some popular occupations such as cook, hairdresser, management consultant, marketing specialist etc were removed from schedule 3.


  • A new points test system has been proposed to be effective 1 July 2011. The major changes in that announcement will include the emphasis of higher level of English language skills, adjustment in age grouping, and 65 points as the new passmark. Further details are yet to be finalised.


26 April 2008

  • Automatic grant of work permit for student visa holders 


1 January 2008 

  • Removal of Assurance of Support requirements for General Skilled Migration Stream and for Carer visas


1 October 2007

Changes to sc457 (Temporary Business Long Stay) visa.

  • The sponsor and the nomination must be for the position directly related to the sponsor's own business.


1 September 2007

There were a few changes primarily related to the General Skilled Migration visas.

  • Restructuring of visa classes and subclasses for onshore and offshore applications
  • Increasing English Language threshold for ASCO levels 1 - 3.
  • Adjusting points test for applicants, benefiting those with strong English language skills, and advance education in Australia. 
  • Making MODL points only claimable for those with work experience in the closely related field.
  • Standardising work experience requirement for making a valid application
  • Creating a path to allow overseas students (recent Australian graduates) to seek work experience in Australia

1 October 2006

Exemption request for IELTS test in relation to the General Skilled Migration can only be processed if the applicant has not failed an IELTS test in the last 12 months prior to the visa application or during the application process.

  • Remove the requirement to maintain health insurance for bridging visas associated with an application for certain permanent skilled visas because they will have access to Medicare.
  • Provide that the either the main applicant or spouse can relate to the sponsor for the sponsored skilled visas, but the main applicant must meet the age, work experience and skill assessment requirements.
  • Remove the provision that allows the spouse of the main applicant to contribute points for skill, age, English language, bonus points and work experience in lieu of the main applicant, for class BQ, DE and DB visa applications.
  • Provide that any skill assessment obtained as a result of qualification obtained in Australia, while the applicant was a holder of a student visa, the qualification must have been obtained as a result of full-time study of a registered course.


1 July 2006

The changes include:

  • Increases in DIMA fees (for details see the 1 July 2006 version of Form 990i on the DIMA website http://www.immi.gov.au).
  • The removal of the Subclass 139 Skill-Designated Area visas, and the replacement of such visas with a 2 stage visa process (3 year provisional visa, followed by a permanent visa application).
  • Allowing applicants whose visas were cancelled but subsequently reinstated after MRT setting aside the original decisions, to apply for Overseas Students GSM visas and SIR visas.
  • The introduction of increased salary levels required for Subclass 457 visa applicants including a requirement that regional employers must offer certain minimum salary levels. The minimum salary level must also satisfy the requirement at the time of decision.
  • An amendment to the rules relating to Subclass 457 visa so as to allow same sex partners of principal applicants (and their children) to be included in applications as secondary visa applicants
  • Working Holiday visa holders are now allowed to work for the same employer for up to 6 months.
  • require that where an assessment that the applicant's skills are suitable for the nominated occupation is based on an Australian qualification obtained while the applicant was a student visa holder, that qualification must have been awarded as a result of full-time study of an Overseas Student registered course;
  • Confirming that for the purpose of the allocating Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL) points the relevant MODL will be the one in force at the time of application or at the time of assessment, whichever is more favourable to the applicant. 


1 Sept 2007

From 1 Sept 2007, the General Skilled Migration program has undergone significant changes:

  • Restructuring of visa classes and subclasses, and as consequences, new application forms (from 1276 and 1277) are replacing the old ones (47SK and 40)
  • Increasing threshold of English language requirements, favouring applicants with strong English language ability.
  • Re-definition of 2 year study requirements.
  • Uniform work requirements (12 months work experience in the last 24 months) for all offshore GSM visas.
  • Changing English language requirement to be the time of application criteria for permanent visa applications
  • Removal of $100,000 bonus points
  • Removal of Assurance of Support requirement for GSM visas and carer visas (effective 1 Jan 2008)

Contributory parent visa has reached the quota for the current financial year. DIAC is waiting for the minister to increase the allocation before granting more visas.