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Changes in the Upper Age Limit for General Skilled Migration

As announced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), there will be a number of changes to be introduced on 1 July 2017. One of the major changes include changing the upper age limit for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program, which encompasses the following visa subclasses:

  • Skilled Independent (subclass 189)

  • Skilled Nominated (subclass 190)

  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489)

From 1 July, the maximum age limit for the above visas will be reduced from 50 to under 45, This means for the above visa classes, applicants would need to receive an invitation to lodge a visa application prior to turning 45.

The proposed change will make it more challenging for the older GSM visa applicants to meet the threshold.

Alternatively, if you are a New Zealand citizen you may be eligible for the new NZ Citizen stream within subclass 189, which will have a number of advantages compared to the traditional SkillSelect pathway:

  • No upper age limit

  • No English language test or skills assessment required

  • Not subject to occupation list

Other changes to the age requirements scheduled to take place from 1 July include:

  • Upper age limit of under 45 for ENS and RSMS Direct Entry (DE) applicants

As a consequence of these changes, we foresee that the GSM program becoming more competitive in the coming year.


Contact SCA Connect today for an expert advice on strategic visa solutions to address the recent and upcoming legislative changes to migration.

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