Top 10 Changes in Australian Skilled Migration Program

Australian skilled migration

Top 10 Recent Changes in Australian Skilled Migration Program

Australian skilled Migration Program has undergone unprecedented changes in recent years, making it difficult to predict what will happen next.

Here we present 10 recent changes to Australian Skilled Migration Program that happened in recent years:

  1. Abolition of subclass 457 visa and introduction of a new subclass 482 TSS visa in 2017:

    • On 18 April 2017, the Australian Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa – Subclass 482 visa.
  1. Introduction of New Zealand Stream under subclass 189 from 1 July 2017

    • A new visa pathway for New Zealander living in Australia was introduced from 1 July 2017.
    • This new visa pathway allowed for a broader group of New Zealand citizens to be eligible to become permanent residents and eventually qualify for Australian citizenship.
    • Instead of creating a new visa for New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) holders who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001, and have lived in Australia for the last five years, the Department of Home affairs has created a new stream under subclass 189 called New Zealand stream.
    • This has resulted in significant reduction of invitations sent out to points tested stream.
    • In the 2017-2018 financial year, around 15000 invitations were sent for points tested stream as compared to 30000 invitation in the previous years.
    • In the 2018-2019 financial year, around 22000 invitations were sent for points tested stream.
    • In the 2019-2020 financial year, around 3000 invitations were sent for points tested stream in the first 6 months from July to December 2019.
  1. Increase in pass mark to 65 and reduced age limit from 1 July 2018 for Australian Skilled Migration

    • From 1 July 2018, the pass mark for the skilled migration points test was increased to 65 points. This applies to migrants interested in applying for:
      • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
      • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
      • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) – which was replaced by subclass 491 on 16 November 2019
    • The maximum age for claiming points for skilled partners was reduced from under 50 to under 45 years of age.
  1. Reducing the migration ceiling from 190,000 to 160,000 places and reducing the number of places under subclass 189 to around 17000 from 1 July 2019

    • For five years from 2012–13, the Australian Government granted 190,000 skilled and family permanent residency visas each year.
    • However, the number of skilled and family permanent residency visas granted in 2017-2018 was 162,417 well below the 190,000.
    • The 2019–20 Budget established 160,000 as the new ceiling for the next 4 years from 2019–20 to 2022–23.
    • Significant reduction has happened in subclass 189 visa as more places were given for subclass 491.
  1. Abolition of Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) (direct entry stream) from 16 November 2019

  2. Introduction of new subclass 494 from 16 November 2019

  1. Introduction of new subclass 491 from 16 November 2019

  1. Introduction of new points test from 16 November 2019 – Australian Skilled Migration

    • 15 points for nomination by State or Territory government or sponsorship by a family member residing in regional Australia
    • 10 points for STEM qualifications
    • 10 points for not having a spouse or de facto partner (Note: The Department of Home Affairs plans to allocate these points at the time of decision not time of invitation)
    • 10 points if you have a partner who is an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident
    • 10 points for having a spouse or de facto partner who has skill assessment on the same occupation list as you have selected + Competent English
    • 5 points for applicants with a spouse of de facto partner who has competent English
  1. Changes to skillselect invitations for points tested visas – Australian Skilled Migration

    • If people have the same points, then the priority for skillselect invitations will be given in the following order:
      • First priority will go for primary applicants with a skilled spouse or de facto partner
      • Equal First priority – primary applicants without a spouse or de facto partner
      • Second priority – Primary applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who can demonstrate competent English but does not have the skills for skilled partner points (age and skills)
      • Third priority – Primary applicants with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points. These applicants will be ranked below all other cohorts, if all other points claims are equal.
  1. Major changes to the Skilled Occupation Lists – Australian Skilled Migration

 

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