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July 1st marked the launch of more immigration changes for Australian visas. One notable change is that Australia have reduced their Skilled Occupation List (SOL) by more than 200 occupations. This in an addition to the earlier changes that were announced.

General Skilled Migration changes

All applicants must now be under the age of 45 by the date of invitation. This relates to the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa, the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visas and Skilled Provisional Subclass 489 visas.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 Visas

Further changes to the 457 visas included:

Training benchmarks: regarding 457 sponsorships, there has been added restrictions regarding what training is acceptable.

What are training benchmarks?

In basic terms, if a business wants to sponsor you under the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 Visa they will need to show that their business has contributed to the training of Australian Citizens and any other permanent residences within their business.

Updated Occupation list for the 457 visas

A new list of the Australian visas has been uploaded as of July 1st, many occupations previously removed have been re-added. However a high proportion of occupations have now been removed. You can click here to see if your occupation is on this year’s list.

Skills assessment

For trade occupations a formal skills assessment will be a part of the visa process.

Police clearances

All 457 applications that are made as of July 1 2017 will require a police clearance as part of the approval process.

The expansion of accredited sponsorship

Applying for a visa with an accredited sponsor means that your application will receive priority processing. Helping you to achieve your dream quicker and your future employer to fill their skills gap quicker. More sponsors will be able to apply for an accreditation providing they have a minimum turnover of 4 million Australian dollars and at least 90% Australian staff in their business. This means that applying for a sponsored visa could be a quicker process for you.

New visa for Tasmania

Anyone interested in moving to Tasmania will be happy to hear they have introduced a new visa category. The new category for the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 489) is for Tasmanian state nomination visas for overseas applicants. Anyone moving to Tasmania under this visa will be able to live and work in the state for up to four years. This is also a pathway to permanent residency.

Permanent residency in Tasmania

After living in Tasmania for at least two years whilst working full time for at least one of those years, will become eligible to apply for permanent residency. You can find out more information about the new visa by visiting Migration Tasmania.

Fee increases

It is also worth noting that a 2% increase has been applied to the Department of Immigrations fees for most visas. This will affect the charges due from the first visa application for the main applicant and any dependent family members also applying.


If you would like to seek further advice on Australian visas, get in touch with one of our licensed advisers who would be able to advise you on the best visa options for you.

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