Changes to the Australian Permanent Residency Visa Program (2017)

2017 Visa Changes – When it comes to laws and government, things tend to change. That’s especially true for Australia’s visa programs. Updates can mean serious complications for foreigners visiting or living in the country. 2017 is bringing forth some significant updates that could affect you if you plan to apply for a permanent residency visa.

2017 Visa Changes You Need to Know About

The first thing any visa holder should do is learn more about the 2017 changes. This will give you an understanding of what’s been done, what’s coming, and how this could alter your status in Australia.

April Changes

As of 19 April 2017, subclass 186 (ESN) visas will use the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). No changes were made to subclass 187 (RSMS).

July Changes

July is fast approaching, and it could bring additional changes to the STSOL. The maximum age for the Direct Entry Stream will now be 45 while the Temporary Residence Transition Stream maximum age will be 50.

December Changes

Near the end of the year, the government will collect Tax File Numbers for visa holders to ensure that they are paid their nominated salary. Details of sponsors that did not meet their obligations will also be published.

Visa Changes for 2018

The overhaul process will continue into next year, with plans to complete all changes by March. By then, the new Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will apply instead of the STSOL. All minimum market salary rates will also apply. The permanent residency eligibility period will be extended from two years to three. Applicants must have a minimum of three years of relevant working experience and must be under 45 years of age. Training requirements will also be strengthened.

How to Prepare for This Year’s Visa Changes

Reviewing the list of current and proposed visa changes can be intimidating. For many workers, this could completely alter their plans for the future. The first thing to do is read through all the changes, including those that have not happened yet. Next, determine if the update will alter your eligibility as a visa holder.

If you have questions, are concerned about eligibility, or simply want help navigating the changes, Emergico can help. Our registered migration agents are committed to helping clients understand the system. We can help you find all available options so you can plan your future with confidence. Reach out today or visit our website to take a free online visa eligibility assessment.

Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)