The Australian government has announced sweeping changes to the 457 visa program from 19 April 2017. However, the changes will not only have a direct influence on 457 visa applicants and employers, but also on various Australian skilled visas, in particular, the 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa, also known as the employer sponsored permanent resident visa.
However, the news is that foreign CEO’s who had applied for permanent residency before 1 July and are awaiting approval from the Immigration Department will no longer be impacted by the retrospective application of the Government’s new permanent residency rules.
Under the new rules, CEO’s annual wages of above $180,000 and who are under the age of 45 years will be able to apply for a permanent skilled visa.
VETASSESS has introduced procedural changes for their skills assessment applications to welcome the new Financial Year. By way of overview, VETASSESS has streamlined the application process and effectively reduced processing times.
Key changes include:
Assessments are now to be made regarding the highest qualification level regardless of relevance to the nominated occupation;
Changes to how employment experience is assessed and
A processing time of 8-10 weeks for assessment ready applications.
If you have been seeking to come to Australia on a General Skilled Migration visa, the changes mean that you will now be able to progress your application in a shorter space of time.
Under Australia’s Skilled Migration program, applicants can apply for a variety of visas that enable both temporary and permanent residency of Australia. These visas are points-tested and require the applicant to meet a minimum threshold in order to become eligible for the program.
There are two (2) primary permanent residency pathways, points-tested visas: the Skilled Independent and the Skilled Nominated. The major difference is that the Skilled Nominated requires a State or Territory Government’s support in order to be successful.
Each applicant is awarded points for age, IELTS skills, qualification level, work experience, as well as other factors such as meeting Australia’s study requirement, demonstrating partner skills and even having specific accredited language skills. The more points you accumulate, the better chances you have of being offered a place to apply for permanent residency. If you just miss the threshold, perhaps Skilled Nominated is worth looking into as a Government can provide additional points towards your total.
Temporary visa options could include a Regional Skilled visa that enables you to live and work in an area of Australia typically out of the major city areas. This visa is sponsored by the Government and you can claim even more points for pursuing this pathway. After residing on this visa for at least two (2) years, a unique and subsidised permanent residency can be sought which then enables you to access all the rights and responsibilities of being an Australian permanent resident.
If you want your skills to be assessed in Australia you have to contact the designated authority for your trade or profession.
Australia guarantees that all migrants have the right to get their overseas skills assessed and, if suitable, transferred into recognized Australian professions. Under Skill Select, which applies to all skilled visa applications, a successful skills assessment is a condition to lodge a valid visa application. Occupations are in Australia classified as either general professional occupations or trade occupations. Australia and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, ANZSCO, is structured to help determine the correct ode that best describes your occupation.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations supports the process through its role in approving migration assessing authorities. VETASSESS for instance claims to be the leading vocational education and training assessment provider.
Under VETASSESS regulations (VETASSESS is one of the skills assessing authorities in Australia) a skills assessment can be used within Skill Select under General Skilled Migration Stream visa applications and for the 457 visa or other employer sponsored visa applications e.g. Employer Nomination Stream. Regardless of what visa one applies, the assessment outcome (if positive) can be used for other visa application within the validity period. The criteria and requirements are the same for the visa streams.
The only difference would occur were the visa is a subclass 485 visa or a trade skills assessment is required – these immigration pathways require a different VETASSESS assessment entirely and cannot be used for other purposes.