Australian Immigration Update for 1 July 2017

IMPORTANT NOTICE

A number of changes to the Australian immigration and visa system will come into effect on 1 July 2017. These changes are summarised below for your reference:

VAC increase for all visas  
  • 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
  • VAC prices from 1 July 2017 
Skilled Migration Visas
Subclass 189 – maximum age lowered   

Legislative Amendment – F2017L00549 – Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2017

  • Lowers the upper age limit at invitation for Subclass 189 Skilled Independent, Points Tested stream applicants to 45 years old
189 NZ visa stream    

Legislative Amendment – F2017L00549 – Migration Legislation Amendment (2017 Measures No. 2) Regulations 2017

  • Creates a new permanent visa stream for specified New Zealand citizens who meet the regulatory requirements, to be granted Australian permanent residency 
  • 45 year old age limit does not apply to NZ stream applicants
NZ Citizens Income Threshold and Exemptions for subclass 189  

Legislative Instrument – F2017L00723 – IMMI 17/035  

Provides income thresholds for 2011-2017 and exemption categories 

Employer Nominated and Regional Sponsored Migration Schemes  
  • Occupations lists: The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment. The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review
  • English language requirements: All applicants require Competent English score of IELTS  score of 6 (or equivalent) in each component for both Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry
  • Age: A maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream applicants. A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants
Subclass 457 changes  
  • Expanding mandatory skills assessment
  • Introducing mandatory penal clearance checks
  • Tightening existing training benchmarks
  • Removing English language exemption based on a skilled migrant’s salary
  • The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment.
  • The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review
  • 457 online application system moving from eVISA to ePLUS system from 1 July – any ‘saved’ partially completed 457 applications in eVisa will be lost when the new ePLUS forms are turned on
Working Holiday Maker- VAC increase   

Legislative Instrument – F2017L00576 – Migration Amendment (Working Holiday Maker Visa Application Charges) Regulations 2017

The Visa application charge for Working Holiday Visas will be raised to $440.

Online Visitor visa lodgement for Indian nationals 

All Indian passport holders will have the option to lodge Visitor visa applications online from 1 July 2017, as part of the continued expansion of online access to Visitor visas globally 

AAT Migration and Refugee Division 

  • 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
  • The fee payable after an unfavourable review decision is made by the Migration & Refugee Division in relation to a protection visa will also be $1,731
  • In cases where a 50% fee reduction is granted the reduced fee will be $865.50

Online Protection visa lodgement

  • Temporary Protection subclass 785 visa (TPV), Safe Haven Enterprise subclass 790 visa (SHEV) or Permanent Protection visa (PPV) included in the online lodgement system
  • PPV, TPV and SHEV will have a single paper application Form 866 from 1 July 2017
  • Pre 1 July 2017 Forms 866  and 790 to continue to tbe accepted for a limited period of time
  • Form 1505 will be made available for subsequent applications for TPV and SHEV

Administrative

IMMI 17/036: Payment of Visa Application Charges and Fees in Foreign Currencies – (Notice 37: 15 June 2017)

IMMI 17/037: Places and currencies for Paying of Fees – (Notice 37: 15 June 2017)

APEC Business Travel Card 

Australian citizen business people will be able to apply online for the APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC)

SOURCE: MIGRATION INSTITUTE OF AUSTRALIA, MIA Notice No: 42 dated 26 June 2017.