Permanent Employer Sponsorship Update - November 2017

Permanent Employer Sponsorship Update - November 2017

josie By Josie Marr
Tuesday, 14 November 2017

The Department of Immigration has previously announced changes to the requirements for ENS and RSMS permanent employer sponsored visas which will apply from March 2018.

Further details have become available on the grandfathering provisions which will apply to current 457 holders who are applying for ENS and RSMS.

Changes have also been made to the RSMS postcodes with the Perth Metropolitan Area now excluded from the RSMS program.

Changes to Apply from March 2018 to ENS and RSMS

The main changes which will apply from March 2018 are as follows:

Occupations List

Applicants must in general have an occupation on the shorter MLTSSL (Medium Long Term Strategic Skills List) to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa from March 2018. Extra occupations will be available for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), but it is not yet clear which occupations these will be. If your occupation is not on the MLTSSL, you may no longer be eligible for permanent residence through the ENS or RSMS program from March 2018


Applicants for ENS and RSMS must be under 45 at the date of application from March 2018. Currently, 457 holders applying for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream can be under 50 when applying

Minimum Salary

From March 2018, applicants must have a base salary of at least Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT - currently $53,900) to qualify. There is currently no minimum salary applicable to ENS and RSMS visas.

Work on 457 Visa - TRTS Requirement

Currently 457 holders who have worked for their employer in their position for the last 2 years may be eligible for ENS or RSMS through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS). The TRTS is a streamlined pathway which may not require the same skills assessment, age, English language ability and health requirements as the Direct Entry Stream. From March 2018, 3 years of work experience on a 457 will be required instead of the current 2 year requirement

Training Levy

A training levy will be applicable to all ENS and RSMS applications. The amount will depend on the turnover of the sponsoring business and will be $3,000 for small businesses and $5,000 for businesses with turnover of $10 million or more.

Grandfathering Provisions for 457 Holders or Applicants as of 18 April 2017

The Department of Immigration has announced that 457 holders and applicants as of 18 April 2017 will not need to meet all of the new requirements.

These "grandfathered" 457 holders have access to transitional provisions which would preserve their eligibility for ENS and RSMS through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

To be eligible for the transitional provisions, you must either have:

  • Held a 457 visa as of 18 April 2017; or
  • Have a pending 457 visa application as of 18 April 2017, and this application was subsequently granted
Grandfathered applicants will not need to meet all the new requirements when applying for Temporary Residence Transition Stream ENS and RSMS visas from March 2018, and in particular:
  • Occupation: grandfathered applicants will be able to apply even if their occupation is not on the MLTSSL
  • Age: they will be able to apply providing they are under 50 years
  • Work Experience on 457 Visa: they can qualify once they have worked in their occupation for their employer on a 457 visa for 2 years

Grandfathered applicants will still need to meet the requirements for minimum salary (TSMIT) and payment of the training levy from March 2018.

RSMS Postcodes

A new legislative instrument has been released yesterday which specifies the postcodes for RSMS, as well as the Regional Certifying Bodies. The Perth Metropolitan Area is now excluded from the RSMS program, though it is still possible to apply if your position is located in a postcode specified in the instrument.

The instrument comes into effect on 17 November 2017.


Significant changes will be made to employer sponsored visas from March 2018.

It is encouraging to have confirmation that some level of grandfathering will apply to people who held a 457 or who had applied for a 457 as of 18 April 2017.

However, exact details of the Migration Regulations which will apply from March 2018 are not yet available. If you are currently eligible we would strongly suggest that you look at applying prior to changes coming into effect.

If you are a business owner or HR manager and would like more information on sponsoring staff for the ENS or RSMS visa, please call our corporate hotline on 02 9230 0488.

If you are an individual and would like an assessment of which migration pathways would be best for you, please book a consultation with one of our advisors.


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