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News & Updates: Australia

23-03-2017: Updates on Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) Significant Investor

The Victorian Government has a number of priority sectors into which they want to encourage investment from SIV and other investors, they are:

1. Construction technologies

2. Creative industries

3. Defense technologies

4. Digital technologies

5. Food and fibre

6. International education

7. Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals

8. New energy

9. Professional services

10. Retail, transport distribution, logistics and postal

11. Transport technologies

12. Visitor economy


Victorian Nomination Criteria for the 888 Permanent Visa:

  • State nomination is required in order for an applicant to apply for an 888 permanent visa.
  • DIBP will be responsible for assessing whether an investment was complying or during the temporary visa period. In addition they have the following requirements for investors wishing to apply for permanent residency:
    1. Investors must have held a complying investment and visa for 4 years (or 3 years and 11 months for pre-July 2015 applicants)
    2. Investors must have spent 40 days a year on average in Australia (or 180 days a year for the spouse)
    3. Other requirements such as health and character checks
  • TheVictorianGovernmentwillrequirethefollowing:
    1. Investor must have maintained complying investments of economic benefit to Victoria
    2. Investors must have established a residence in Victoria and spent a majority of their Australian residence in Victoria
    3. Investors must have a genuine commitment to remain in Victoria and undertake business activity there
  • Victorian sponsorship to apply for an 888 visa only lasts for 3 months so investors should not apply until they are ready or close to ready to meet the DIBP’s requirements and apply for their 888.
  • Applications for the permanent visa will be given priority processing and should be granted within 1 week assuming all documentation is provided.

How to Apply?
  1. Apply for Victorian visa nomination:
    - Complete the downloadable nomination application form available at www.liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
    - Prepare supporting documents including evidence of economic benefit and residence
    -Email form and documents to  businessmigration@liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au
  2. Lodge a Visa application with the DIBP

Extension Nomination (Temporary 188c Extension):
To be considered for Victorian extension nomination:
  • You must hold a subclass 188 visa in the Significant Investor or Significant Investor Extension Stream
  • If you hold a subclass 188 visa in the Significant Investor stream, it must have been held for at least 2 years and 9 months (from date of visa grant)
  • You must have maintained complying investments for the duration of your provisional visa
  • You must demonstrate you are likely to meet the Victorian nomination criteria for the permanent subclass 888 visa in the future.


17-05-2016: Announcement of new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016/2017

The Department of Immigration & Border Protection had announced a new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for 2016/2017. The new SOL will come into effect on 1 July 2016.

Occupations being added to the SOL from 1 July 2016 are:
  -Orthotist or Prosthetist (ANZSCO 251912)
  -Audiologist (ANZSCO 252711)

Occupations being removed from the SOL from 1 July 2016 are:
  -Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum) (ANZSCO 233611)
  -Petroleum Engineer (ANZSCO 233612)
  -Metallurgist (ANZSCO 234912)
  -Environmental Health Officer (ANZSCO 251311)
  -Occupational Health and Safety Adviser (ANZSCO 251312)
  -Dental Hygienist (ANZSCO 411211)
  -Dental Prosthetist (ANZSCO 411212)
  -Dental Technician (ANZSCO 411213)
  -Dental Therapist (ANZSCO 411214)

The review of the SOL has not impacted the composition of the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL).  Occupations currently listed on the CSOL will continue to be listed from 1 July 2016.

19-02-2018: Upcoming Changes to the Skilled Visa Programs

Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa update:

  • Standard business sponsorship (SBS) applications lodged before the implementation date will continue to be processed under the old rules subject to minor transitional arrangements to the benefit of employers.

  • Subclass 457 nomination applications for existing subclass 457 visa holders lodged before the implementation date will be processed under ‘old rules’

  • Subclass 457 nomination applications for visa applicants lodged before the implementation date if a related visa application was also lodged before implementation date then both nomination and visa applications will be processed under ‘old rules’, but if no related visa application was lodged before implementation date then the nomination application will be administratively finalised and the nominee fee refunded (without a written request for a refund).

  • Subclass 457 visa application lodged before the implementation date will be processed under ‘old rules’ and if satisfied, a subclass 457 visa will be granted.

  • An existing SBS sponsorship can nominate overseas workers under the new TSS visa program, including existing subclass 457 visa holders for whom a new TSS nomination is required to facilitate a change of employer or occupation.  Apart from that, you can lodge a new renewal form prior to the expiry of your sponsorship as long as you are an Australian business.

  • An approved subclass 457 nomination that has not ceased  cannot lodge a TSS visa application without lodging a new TSS nomination first.

  • An approved subclass 457 nomination that has not ceased can request for their approved nomination for a visa applicant be withdrawn and the fee refunded, if they were not able to lodge a related subclass 457 visa application before the implementation of the TSS visa.

  • A subclass 457 visa in effect can ask a new employer to lodge a TSS nomination application if they want to change jobs. They can also ask their current employer to lodge a TSS nomination application to change their skilled occupation. Apart from that, they can lodge a TSS subsequent entry visa application for members of their family unit where required or lodge a new TSS visa application prior to the expiry of their subclass 457 visa.


New sponsorship renewal process
Existing sponsors will be able to complete a very short form in ImmiAccount to ‘renew’ their sponsorship for a further five years. The same fee will need to be paid but the data entry has been significantly reduced, and the renewal application should ‘auto approve’ unless one of the following applies: 

- There are integrity concerns 
- The sponsor is seeking accreditation for the first time or
- The sponsor declares they no longer meet accreditation criteria.

Upcoming changes to sponsorship accreditation

The Department is again revising the accreditation arrangements. This is to ensure that more employers can get the benefits of these arrangements, including priority processing of nomination and visa applications, as well as, auto-approval of nominations that meet certain criteria from March 2018 onwards. The new sponsorship accreditation criteria will be specified in the new TSS Sponsorship Procedural Instructions. Updated information about sponsorship accreditation will also be available on the Department’s website from the implementation date.

Labour Market Testing (LMT) for TSS

LMT settings for the new TSS visa will seek to balance prioritising Australian workers and recognising industry practices, and will be informed by the approach taken by comparable countries.  

LMT testing will be mandatory unless international trade obligations apply. Where LMT is required, the Government has indicated its intention that: 

  • multiple methods of LMT will be recognised, and could include national recruitment websites and print media/radio, but are not expected to include a general classifieds website 
  • LMT will need to be undertaken for a minimum duration and to have occurred within a specified period before lodging the nomination 
  • the advertisement will need to be in English and 
  • current policy flexibility will continue in respect of nominations for an existing visa holder due to a change in business structure or the pay rate of the position, and for talent-based position

Work experience requirements for the TSS visa

As per the Government’s 18 April 2017 announcement, TSS visa applicants will be required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years. Work experience related caveats that apply at the nomination stage for the subclass 457 visa will not apply to TSS nominations.  

Policy settings will be outlined in the TSS visa Procedural Instructions that will be published on the implementation date. Interim guidance for agents is provided below:  

  • Work experience will be considered flexibly in the context of the nominated occupation and industry practices 
  • The work experience should have been undertaken in the last five years and would need to be calculated in terms of full time work. Part time work experience may be considered 
  • Experience gained as part of the research components of a Masters and/or PhD may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations, such as medical and research occupations 
  • Experience gained through clinical placements and internships may be considered as work experience for medical practitioners, including Resident Medical Officers (RMOs) 
  • The internship component of the Professional Year Program may be considered as work experience for relevant occupations 
  • Performance experience gained while studying may be considered for applicants with a performing arts occupation. 

Visa determined by nomination

Under the new TSS arrangements when implemented, the employer will select in the nomination form: 

  • the nominated occupation – which will determine the stream of the related visa application 
  • an employment period – which will be a period of 1, 2, 3, or 4 years subject to the stream of the visa that they are nominating an overseas worker for. The employment period will then determine the length of the visa that is granted to the nominated overseas worker. 

Repeat TSS visas 

In general, all applicants for a TSS visa (i.e. primary and secondary) can either be inside or outside Australia. If the application is for a Short-term (ST) stream visa, however, the primary visa applicant must be offshore if all of the below apply:

  • they have held more than one ST stream TSS visa 
  • they were in Australia when the application for their most recent TSS visa was made and  
  • this requirement would not be inconsistent with any international trade obligation (ITO).  
Holders of two ST stream TSS visas in a row (where the second application was made in Australia) can apply for a further visa TSS ST stream visa offshore. They should, however, be aware that their immigration history may be relevant in terms of whether they are considered to have met the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement for this visa stream. Further guidelines on this matter will be provided in the procedural instructions on TSS visa applications. 

What is condition 8607?

Condition 8607 is a new condition that it is anticipated will apply to all primary TSS visa holders. It is similar to condition 8107, which currently applies to subclass 457 visa holders. Subject to final drafting of the regulations, however, condition 8607 will require TSS visa holders who wish to change occupation (as opposed to employer), to have a new nomination approved and a new visa granted before they start work in a new occupation.

Changes being introduced for March 2018

The key changes being introduced in March 2018 for the ENS and RSMS visa programs, subject to the transitional arrangements and the final drafting of regulations, are: 

  • Skilled occupation lists: The MLTSSL will apply to the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers 
  • Salary arrangements: the new market salary framework planned to be introduced for the TSS visa will also apply to ENS and RSMS, including Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) requirements 
  • Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years 
  • Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required 
  • Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application. 

For more information, feel free to contact us or visit this website.

20-04-2017: Changes to the Australian Citizenship

The Australian Government has recently announced the changes to the Australian citizenship requirements. 
The changes are: 

  • Changes to the General Residence Requirement 
    Applicants for citizenship by conferral would generally need to show that they meet the "General Residence" requirement. 
    This would mean showing that they have been present in Australia for at least:

    1. The last 4 years, on any temporary, permanent or bridging visa, with a maximum of 12 months overseas; and
    2. The last 12 months, on a permanent visa, with a maximum of 3 months overseas.

    Previously, it was possible to count time spent in Australia on a temporary visa or bridging visa towards the 4 years requirement.

    The announced changes would require that applicants hold a permanent visa for 4 years before applying. This would potentially require applicants to wait a further 3 years before applying for Australian citizenship.

  • Changes to the English Language Requirement
    Applicants will need to show competent english when applying for Australian citizenship.

    This will require many applicants to do an English test which was previously not required.

    An IELTS score of 6 (or equivalent) would be required. 

    Passport holders from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and New Zealand are usually exempted from the English language testing in demonstrating competent English.

    English tests are usually valid for 3 years - we would hope that applicants who have previously done an English test for their permanent residence application would be exempt for English language testing.

  • Changes to the Citizenship Test 
    A new citizenship test will be developed which tests Australian values more thoroughly.

    Applicants will be able to attempt the test a maximum of 3 times. If a person is found to be cheating on the test, this will result in an automatic fail.

    The current citizenship test has a low failure rate. The most important aspect of this change will be to reinforce Australian values and make the importance of integration into the Australian community more clear.

  • Changes to the Integration Requirement
    According to the discussion paper, applicants will need to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community by providing documentation on their integration into Australian society.

    This is likely to include providing evidence that you are:
    - Working, are actively looking for work or seeking to educate yourself
    - Actively involved in community or voluntary organisations
    - Properly paying your taxes
    - Ensuring your children are attending school

    If there is evidence of the following, your application might be refused:
    - Criminal records
    - Breaching social security laws
    - Family Violence including any AVOs
    - Involvement in gangs and organised crime

    Applicants previously needed to show that they were of good character, but the changes give Immigration more discretion to refuse applicants who are not sufficiently integrated into Australian society.




19-04-2017: 457 VISA TO BE REPLACED BY TEMPORARY SKILL SHORTAGE (TSS) VISA

Some changes to the Temporary work (Skilled) Subclass 457 visa program will take place progressively (effective 19th of April 2017) following with the abolishment and replacement with the introduction of a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. 


Click here for more information.

10-04-2017: Temporary Suspension of Queensland Skilled Visa Nomination for subclass 190 & 489

Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) has temporarily suspended the acceptance of all applications for Queensland Skilled Visa Nominations under the State Nominated scheme Subclass 190 & 489, due to having reached their DIBP allocated ceiling. BSMQ will advise shortly as to when the nomination process will reopen.  

If applicants currently have a paid application with BSMQ that has not finalized, they can either choose to:  

1.  stay in the queue to be processed once applications have been reopened  

OR  

2.  request a fund and their application will be withdrawn.  

If clients have submitted an EOI with Skillselect that has not been considered, your EOI is no longer valid and you will be required to resubmit and EOI once the application process has been reopened. Please note that there may be changes made to the Queensland Skilled Occupation list. Only EOIs meeting new criteria will be considered.

25-08-2015: Queensland SIV Nomination Criteria

Queensland Government has released new criteria for nomination under their SIV program today. Below are the information:

(a) Queensland welcomes investment from high net worth individuals who wish to invest and       live in Queensland, Australia;
(b)  In order to be considered for Queensland nomination under the Significant Investor Visa,       applicants will be required to invest at least AUD$2.5M across the complying investment       framework directly into Queensland’s economy.  Of the mandatory AUD$5M investment,       the federal government requires;
(c)  At least AUD$500K in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s)       investing in start-up and small private companies;
(d)  At least AUD$1.5M in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs)       that invest in emerging companies;
(e) Additionally, the applicant can invest in a ‘balanced investment’ of up to $3 million in      managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include Australian      listed securities, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the     10 per cent limit on residential real estate), or alternatively the remainder into the venture     capital or small micro capped portion.

Contact details.

Worldlink Business Consultants Sdn Bhd

Suite A1203, A12th Floor,
Wisma Lim Foo Yong,
No. 86, Jalan Raja Chulan,
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Malaysia
Tel: (+603) 2144 4190 
Fax: (+603) 2144 4184

Worldlink Business Consultants Pty Ltd

Level 13, 200 Queen Street,  
Melbourne, Victoria 3000,
Australia
Tel: (+613) 8648 6486 
Fax: (+613) 8676 4908


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