Australia’s SkillSelect has new choices, Updated May 2017
Desiring to have the brightest talents and skilled migrants it needs while maintaining the integrity of its skilled migration program, Australia continues to fine-tune its selection system: prioritizing processing for specific groups; identifying the specific skill sets needed and consolidating its residency and temporary work program through SkillSelect.
Highlights of the most recent changes:
- Abolition of the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) on 18 April 2017
- Replacing the 457 visa with the new Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa intended to “support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages.
- TSS includes the Short Term Stream of up to two (2) years and the Medium-Term Stream of up to four (4) years
TSS Key reforms include:
- Identifying and consolidating the new, more targeted occupation lists
- Requiring visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
- Mandating that employers must pay the Australian market salary rate – AUS$53,900 as of April 12, 2016 - and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) - to ensure that Australian workers are not undercut by overseas workers.
- Mandatory labor market testing, unless an international obligation applies,
- Setting a one-time only onshore renewal of Short-Term stream
- Permanent residency pathway after 3 years under the Medium-Term stream
- Extending eligibility period for permanent residency from two to three years
- Requiring a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
- Requirement to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund
Employment-sponsorship for Permanent Skilled Visas has been updated to:
- Tighten English language requirements
- Increase work experience of visa applicants to at least 3 years
- Setting maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application
- Require contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund, and
- Mandate that Employers pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) AUS$53,900 annually.
Job offers and employment in Regional Australia provide faster processing:
Employers in regional Australia will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.
Significantly condensing the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017.
Who can apply for what visa?
List of eligible skilled occupations
As part of the changes of the lists of occupations eligible for skilled migration or temporary work, Australia also identified which list to use to apply for a particular visa program: permanent or temporary.
The previous list Skilled Occupations List (SOL) posted as Schedule 1 has been replaced by the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
The other list Consolidated Skilled Occupations List published as Schedule 2 has been abolished as well and replaced by the Short Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL).
For ease of reference, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) combined both lists simply called the List of Eligible Occupations (LEO)
Which list to use if applying for a specific visa
The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) should be consulted for skilled migrants intending to apply for any of visa/subclass below:
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) - Family nominated
- Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work Stream.
The Combined List of Eligible Occupations (LEO) should be used as reference if a skilled migrant intends to apply for any of the visa/subclass below:
- Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) – Direct Entry Stream
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) - State or Territory nominated
- Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
- Training visa (subclass 407) - Nomination eligibility type 2 – Occupational training to enhance skills in an eligible occupation
Qualified applicants in the Express Entry pool need to meet basic requirements upon receipt of invitation to apply for permanent residence (below)
Skilled Independent 189
- Occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations
- Obtain a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
- Not yet turned 50 years of age
- Achieved the score specified in the letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
- At least competent English.
Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated
- The same basic requirements as Subclass 190 and,
- Nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency.
Subclass 489 – Skilled Regional (Provisional)
The applicant in this Subclass must have
- been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area
- nominated an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations
- a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
- not yet turned 50 years of age
- achieved the score specified in your letter of invitation based on the factors in the points test
- at least competent English
Evidence of having competent English
An applicant in the above-referenced Subclasses (and others required to prove having competent English) must provide evidence of one of the following:
- Hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and you are a citizen of that country.
- Achieve a score of at least 6 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
- Achieve a score of at least 'B' in each of the four test components of an Occupational English Test (OET) that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
- Achieve the following minimum test scores in each of the four test components: 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking, in a Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based test (TOEFL iBT) test that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
- Achieve a test score of at least 50 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic that has been undertaken in the three years immediately prior to lodging the visa application.
- Achieve a test score of at least 169 in each of the four test components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test that has been undertaken on or after 1 January 2015 and prior to lodging the visa application.