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ENS and RSMS: What has changed from 1 July 2017?

By July 1, 2017October 22nd, 2018No Comments

With the Department’s flurry of activity in the days before 1 July 2017, see how the changes regarding occupation lists, age and English, impact your eligibility for permanent residence through Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas.

Occupation Lists

Eligible occupations for the Direct Entry (DE) stream of the ENS will be those listed in the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). These lists have been updated and include caveats to certain occupations.  The full occupation list for DE of ENS is available here

Eligible ENS Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream occupations will continue to be those that were approved for the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 (457) visa.

RSMS will remain unaffected by changes to the occupation lists. Eligible occupations will be ANZSCO skill level 1, 2 and 3 occupations. The full occupation list for RSMS is available here.

Age

From 1 July 2017, visa applicants for the ENS and RSMS in the DE stream must be younger than 45 years of age. This applies to visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017. The current age exemptions will still be available.

The age requirement for TRT stream visa applicants will remain at less than 50 years of age until 1 March 2018 when the less than 45 year age limit will become effective.

This is an amendment to the relevant Migration Regulations and applies to visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017. There are no transitional arrangements.

English language requirements.

Under the new changes, visa applications for ENS and RSMS made under the TRT stream lodged on or after 1 July 2017 will require, at a minimum, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component (Competent English). There are no transitional arrangements.

English language requirement – exemptions

The English language exemption for both ENS and RSMS visa applicants has been removed for those who have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (AUD 180,001). This will apply to all visa applications including those lodged before 1 July 2017 that have not been finally determined. There are no further transitional arrangements.

Skills

The exemption from a skills assessment for visa applicants under the DE stream of both ENS and RSMS has been removed for those who have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (AUD 180,001). This will apply to all visa applications including those lodged before 1 July 2017 that have not been finally determined. There are no further transitional arrangements.

Nomination

Regulations have been introduced to prevent a second nomination for the same position being linked to an undecided visa application that was lodged in association with the first (withdrawn or refused) nomination.

Genuine need

Regulations have been updated to require that ENS and RSMS TRT stream nominations provide evidence of ‘genuine need’ for the person to work in the nominated position.

Regulations have also been updated to require that ENS DE stream nominations provide evidence of ‘genuine need’ for the person to work in the nominated position. Departmental case officers may request additional information where they are not satisfied that the need is genuine.

These amendments apply to employer nominations lodged on or after 1 July 2017. There are no transitional arrangements.

Nominee to be identified

The regulations have been updated to require that ENS and RSMS DE stream nominations include the identity of the nominee.

These amendments apply to employer nominations lodged on or after 1 July 2017.

Training requirements

Policy settings for training benchmark requirements have been clarified and tightened, by setting out (1) the types of training funds eligible for training benchmark A; and (2) the types of expenditure on training that are acceptable for training benchmark B.

Next steps

Given these significant changes, it is crucial you 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.

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