Summary of 1 July Changes 2017

webster By Mark Webster
Monday, 03 July 2017

A number of changes to Working Holiday, General Skilled Migration and Employer Sponsored visas have been announced as part of the 1 July changes.

This article goes through these changes and gives brief explanations of the impacts.

General Skilled Migration

From 1 July, all applicants for General Skilled Migration must be under 45 at the date of invitation. Previously, legislation was released which amended the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa, but it is now clear that this will also be the case for Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visas and Skilled Regional Provisional Subclass 489 visas.

New skilled occupations lists also apply for people invited on or after 1 July 2017 - one for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 or Family Sponsored 489 visas, and a separate one for State/Territory Nominated Subclass 190 or 489 visas.

Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 Visas

There were a number of 1 July changes to 457 visas including:
  • Training Benchmarks: more restrictions on which training is acceptable for 457 sponsorships and ENS nominations, as well as calculation of payroll expenditure for these benchmarks
  • New 457 Occupations List: a new occupations list applies to 457 visas with many occupations added back the approved list. A few have been removed entirely from the approved lists, with a number of occupations moving between the MLTSSL and the STSOL.
  • English Language Exemption: previously, applicants with base salary of $96,400 were exempt from English language testing. From 1 July, the high salary exemption will only apply where the applicant is already working for an associated entity of the sponsor overseas
  • Skills Assessment for trade occupations: formal skills assessment will be required for more trades and passport countries
  • Police Clearances: police clearances will be required for 457 applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017
  • Accredited Sponsorship Expanded: accreditation gives priority processing to 457 nominations and visas. Previously, it was only available for "high volume" sponsors who lodged at least 10 457 visas in the last 2 years. From 1 July, "low volume" sponsors will also be able to be accredited providing they have minimum turnover of AUD 4 million and have at least 90% Australian staff

Permanent Employer Sponsorship (ENS and RSMS)

For the Direct Entry Stream of ENS and RSMS, the following changes were made:
  • New occupations list for ENS Direct Entry - the RSMS list is essentially unchanged
  • Maximum age of 44 for applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017
  • Removal of English testing and skills exemption for people with a base salary of at least $180,000 - this change affects applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017, or prior to this if they are still undecided
For the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS), the changes were:
  • Higher English requirement: Competent English is required for applications lodged on or after 1 July - this is the same as for the Direct Entry stream
  • Genuine Position: Employers must now show that there is a genuine need for a paid employee in the position - similar to the Direct Entry stream

Fee Increases

Department of Immigration fees were increased by 2% for most application types. This affects the first Visa Application Charge for both the main applicant and any dependent family members. The Acacia Immigration Fee Calculator has been updated to reflect the new fees.

Working Holiday Visa Age Limit

The maximum possible age for the working holiday visa at grant was raised from 30 to 35 years. This will only be available for countries which have a bilateral agreement with Australia to this effect. There are no countries as yet specified with the higher age limit.


The above is a very brief summary of the 1 July changes. If you would like detailed advice on how the changes will affect you, please book a consultation with one of our advisors.

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