Among the changes to the company sponsored visas, there have also been changes to the general skilled migration visa cartegories.
Changes to points-tested skilled visas
From 1 July 2017 applicants for points-tested skilled visas (excluding the New Zealand pathway) must be below the age of 45 years at time of application. Information on the changes is available at each of the relevant points-tested visa web page and also within SkillSelect:
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)
New Zealand Pathway
An additional pathway to permanent residence for New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holders has been introduced. This pathway is included in the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa as a new stream. Applications for the New Zealand stream must be made online.
The New Zealand pathway has been introduced in acknowledgement of the special bilateral relationship between Australia and New Zealand and will provide New Zealand citizens who are yet to, or are unable to, apply for permanent residence or Australian citizenship, with an additional visa option.
Given these significant changes, you should speak to an immigration expert as soon as possible to determine your pathways to permanent residence in Australia. Contact us by email: [email protected] or phone: +61 3 9016 0484 to obtain further guidance.