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

25 September 2014

Re-opening of the Non-Contributory Parent and Other Family visas

In June 2014, certain family visas were closed for new applications, however the ruling has been repealed and so from 25 September 2014, the following visa subclasses in the Family Stream of the Migration Programme are again open to new applications:

  • Parent visa (subclass 103)
  • Aged Parent visa (subclass 804)
  • Aged Dependent Relative visa (subclasses 114 and 838)
  • Remaining Relative visa (subclasses 115 and 835)
  • Carer visa (subclasses 116 and 836).

Only new applications will be accepted for these visa subclasses.

If you lodged an application for one of these visas after 2 June 2014 and before 25 September 2014 this application is still invalid and cannot be accepted by the department. You will need to re-lodge your application.

1 July 2014

New validity requirement for skills assessments

For certain skilled migration visas, a skill assessment is a mandatory part of the visa application requirement.

From 1 July 2014, if a skills assessment is mandatory, that assessment will only be valid for a period of three years from the date of issue, unless a shorter validity period is specified on the assessment.

Prior to 1 July 2014, the skill assessment result is valid indefinitely.

A skills assessment must be valid at the time of lodgement for the following visas:

  • Direct Entry stream of the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa
  • Direct Entry stream of the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa
  • Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa.

A skills assessment must be valid at the time of invitation to apply through SkillSelect for the following visas:

  • Skilled—Independent (subclass 189) visa
  • Skilled—Nominated (subclass 190) visa
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa.

These changes do not affect the Temporary Work (Skilled)(subclass 457) visa.

16 June 2014

Changes to Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) and Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

Skilled Occupation List (SOL)

The SOL is a list which contains the occupations that can be nominated under the General Skilled Migration scheme visa subclasses 189 and also visa subclass 485:

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

Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL)

The CSOL is relevant for applicants for:

  • points-based skilled migration who are nominated by a state or territory government agency under a State Migration Plan
  • 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 457)
  • the Training and Research visa (subclass 402).

Summary of changes

The following changes will apply to applications made for the above visas on or after 1 July 2014.

Occupations added to the SOL

The following occupations will be added to the SOL:

  • Chef (Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) 351311)
  • Bricklayer (ANZSCO 331111)
  • Wall and Floor Tiler (ANZSCO 333411)

Occupations added to the CSOL

The following occupations will be added to the CSOL:

  • Hydrogeologist  (ANZSCO 234413)
  • Exercise Physiologist (ANZSCO 234915)

Changes to occupation titles

The following titles will be changed:

  • Ship’s Surveyor will be titled Marine Surveyor (ANZSCO 231215)
  • General Medical Practitioner will be titled General Practitioner (ANZSCO 253111)

Changes to assessing authorities

For new applications for the above visas made on or after 1 July 2014, new assessing authorities will be specified for the following occupations:

  • Nurse Manager (ANZSCO 254311): Australian Nursing and Midwifery Accreditation Council (ANMAC)
  • Nurse Educator (ANZSCO 254211): ANMAC
  • Nurse Researcher (ANZSCO 254212): ANMAC.
  • Marine Transport Professional not elsewhere classified (ANZSCO 231299): Vocational Education and Training Assessment Services (VETASSESS)

1 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.

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 September 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.

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
  • 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.



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