2017 Migration Changes

Many legislative changes will come into effect on 1 July 2017. The relevant changes are listed below:

  • VAC increase for all visas 

All current VACs will be indexed annually in line with the forecast Consumer Price Index and rounded to the nearest $5
Indexation applies only to the 1st instalment component of the VAC, for both primary and secondary applicants
Indexation does not apply to 2nd instalment VACs
VAC prices from 1 July 2017

  • Skilled Migration Visas (Subclass 189 – maximum age lowered):

Lowers the upper age limit at invitation for Subclass 189 Skilled Independent, Points Tested stream applicants to 45 years old

  • 189 NZ visa stream  

Creates a new permanent visa stream for specified New Zealand citizens who meet the regulatory requirements, to be granted Australian permanent residency

45 year old age limit does not apply to NZ stream applicants

Employer Nominated and Regional Sponosored Migration Schemes 

  • Occupations lists: The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment. The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review
  • English language requirements: All applicants require Competent English score of IELTS  score of 6 (or equivalent) in each component for both Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry
  • Age: A maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream applicants. A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants.

Subclass 457 changes

  • Expanding mandatory skills assessment
  • Introducing mandatory penal clearance checks
  • Tightening existing training benchmarks
  • Removing English language exemption based on a skilled migrant’s salary
  • The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment.
  • The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review
  • 457 online application system moving from eVISA to ePLUS system from 1 July – any ‘saved’ partially completed 457 applications in eVisa will be lost when the new ePLUS forms are turned on.

Online Visitor visa lodgement for Indian nationals

  • All Indian passport holders will have the option to lodge Visitor visa applications online from 1 July 2017, as part of the continued expansion of online access to Visitor visas globally

Online Protection visa lodgement

  • Temporary Protection subclass 785 visa (TPV), Safe Haven Enterprise subclass 790 visa (SHEV) or Permanent Protection visa (PPV) included in the online lodgement system
  • PPV, TPV and SHEV will have a single paper application Form 866 from 1 July 2017
  • Pre 1 July 2017 Forms 866  and 790 to continue to tbe accepted for a limited period of time
  • Form 1505 will be made available for subsequent applications for TPV and SHEV

AAT Migration and Refugee Division

  • The fee will increase to $1,731 for all new applications for a review of a migration or refugee decision by the Migration and Refugee Division where a fee is payable
  • The fee payable after an unfavourable review decision is made by the Migration & Refugee Division in relation to a protection visa will also be $1,731
  • In cases where a 50% fee reduction is granted the reduced fee will be $865.50

Source: MIA