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Changes to General Skilled Migration - Are you impacted?

Important changes will be introduced from July 2017 that may impact your prospects for a visa application. From 01 July 2017, the maximum age requirement for a Skilled Independent subclass 189 visa will be reduced from 49 years to 44 years. However, the age limit will remain as 49 years for a Skilled Nominated subclass 190 visa and a Skilled Regional Provisional subclass 489 visa.

The occupation lists namely, MLTSSL (Medium and Short Term Strategic Skills List) and STSOL (Short Term Skilled Occupation List) will also be revised from 01 July and some occupations may be added, which in turn will be highly beneficial for GSM applicants.

Additionally, a new permanent residence stream under a subclass 189 visa for New Zealand Citizens will also come into effect from 01 July 2017. This streamlined pathway will be introduced for New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who are usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016. They must have lived in Australia for at least 5 years at the time of visa lodgement. They will need to meet certain criteria including minimum income requirements as well as health, character and security checks. The applicants will however be exempt from:

  • Maximum Age Limit

  • Skills Assessment

  • Points Test

  • English language ability test

Furthermore, such applicants will be required to pay only a part of the visa application fee at lodgement, with the remainder of the fee at the time of grant. They may also be eligible for health waivers under specific conditions.

Despite the age restrictions announced for subclass 189 visa, the good news is that many states like ACT and Northern Territory will reopen their nomination programs for the subclass 190 visa. This will provide another possible visa option for many prospective applicants, provided they meet the relevant criteria.

If you are affected by above changes, consult our team of Registered Migration Agents to find the best visa pathway and achieve your migration goal.

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