From 1 July 2018, several changes have been introduced as follows:

Changes to point-based skilled migration

The points threshold for General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas has now increased from 60 to 65. This affects the Skilled Independent visa Subclass 189, Skilled Nominated visa Subclass 190 and Skilled Regional visa Subclass 489.

Also affecting these visas is the lowered age limit for a skilled partner from 50 years to 45 years. Previously, applicants for General Skilled Migration visas whose spouse or de facto partner aged under 50 years of age, could claim an additional five points.

Visa applications lodged prior to 1 July 2018 based on achieving a score of 60 and/or claiming points for a partner under 50 years of age, will be still considered according to the pre-1 July 2018 provisions.

Increased visa fees

The visa application charge for most Australian visas increased on 1 July 2018. The amount of change varies for each visa subclass. For Partner visa applications, a prospective applicant will now need to pay $7,160 instead of $7,000.

Fair Work High Income Threshold increase

The Fair Work High Income Threshold increased on 1 July 2018 from AUD 142,000 to AUD 145,400.

Changes to employer sponsored visas

The Skilling Australians Fund will commence on 12 August 2018 for employer sponsored visa categories. The associated training levy, known as Nomination Training Contribution Charge (NTCC) will be payable by employers who nominate workers for temporary or permanent skilled work visas.

Nominations relating to Subclass 482 visas will incur an annual fee of $1,200 for businesses with a turnover of less than 10 million dollars. Businesses with a turnover of at least 10 million dollars will be charged $1,800 per year.

Nominations relating to permanent visas (Subclass 186 and 187 visas) will incur a charge of $3,000 for businesses with a turnover of less than 10 million dollars. Businesses with a turnover of at least 10 million dollars will be charged $5,000.

The Skilling Australians Fund replaces the current Training Benchmark A and B requirements.

Introduction of the new Pacific Labour Scheme stream to Temporary Work International Relations visa Subclass 403

The new Pacific Labour Scheme stream will grant applicants a multiple entry visa of up to 3 years in the Seasonal Workers Program stream.

Introduction of Global Talent Scheme (GTS)

GTS has been introduced by the Government to enhance talent and innovation in Australia. If the 12-month pilot program is successful, it will be fully implemented by June 2019. Access to GTS is by invitation only under the agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.

There are two streams in the GTS:

  1. Established Business stream
  • The business must already be an accredited sponsor;
  • Employer must demonstrate that the GTS will support job opportunities and skills transfer to Australians;
  • Employer must provide evidence of labour market testing for the specific position;
  • The business must have a history of compliance with immigration and workplace laws;
  • The business must be publicly listed or have an annual turnover of at least AUD 4 milllion for each of the past 2 years.
  • Applicant can transition from temporary to permanent residency;
  • The position must have minimum annual earnings equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold, $145,400 as at 1 July 2018.
  1. Startup stream
  • The startup business must be technology based or operating in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field;
  • The business must be endorsed by the independent GTS startup advisory panel
  • Employer must demonstrate that the GTS will support job opportunities and skills transfer to Australians;
  • Employer must provide evidence of labour market testing for the specific position;
  • The business must have a history of compliance with immigration and workplace laws;
  • Applicant can transition from temporary to permanent residency;
  • The position must have minimum annual earnings at the market salary rate, but not less than AUD 80,000. This can include equity, but the cash component must not be at least equivalent to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, $53,900 as at 1 July 2018.

If you have any questions regarding an Australian visa or Australian citizenship, please feel free to contact us on hp@swiftmigrationaustralia.com or phone 07 5526 6869.