It’s the start of the financial year again, and here are some of the visa changes which have been updated on the Migration Legislation from the 1st of July 2023.
1. Skills Assessment is back for the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream
Originally, only graduates with courses that lead to a role on the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and with positive skills assessment on their nominated occupation, can be eligible for the 485 Graduate Work stream visa; that is, if they also satisfy the rest of the criteria for this visa.This requirement was removed from the 1st of July 2022 until the 30th of June 2023. The temporary removal of this requirement gave way for graduates of any course or packaged courses to become eligible for the 485 Graduate Work stream.
From the 1st of July 2023, Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream applicants should ensure that they have a skills assessment for their nominated occupation listed on MLTSSL. For example, graduates of Commercial Cookery and Hospitality will be required to get a Provisional Skills Assessment (PSA) as a Chef from Trade Recognition Australia (TRA) before they can apply for the Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Graduate Work stream.
2. Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485) Post-Study Work stream extension of another two years for graduates of select health, technology, engineering, and education courses
This is great news for current 485 visa Post-Study Work stream visa holders whose course is listed on this link:https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2023L00916
There’s no visa fee for this extension, nor a need for English test or Australian Federal Police check at the time of application. New applications for this visa will also be granted an additional two-year visa duration, extending their work rights from:
• two years to four years for select Bachelor degrees
• three years to five years for select Masters degrees
• four years to six years for all Doctoral degrees.
Read the announcement from the Minister of Home Affairs.
3. Student Visa work limitation (condition 8105) set to 48 hours per fortnight
This condition was relaxed during the pandemic and until the 30th of June 2023. International students enjoyed unlimited work hours during that period and most of them will now be only allowed to work for 48 hours per fortnight, except those who have been working in the Aged Care sector since 9 May 2023. This exemption is only available until 31 December 2023.
Those who are enrolled in Masters by research and doctoral degree can still work unlimited hours and those who are dependents of student visa holders taking up Masters by coursework, Masters by research, and doctorate degree.
4. TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) increased from $53,900 to $70,000
This affects employers/sponsors and visa applicants who intend to apply for Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) 482 visa, Employer Nominated Stream (ENS) 186 visa, and Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494). If you are sponsoring an employee or if you are being sponsored on any of these visas, ensure that the visa applicant’s salary is at least $70,000 and within the annual market salary rate for the nominated occupation.
5. New Zealand (NZ) citizens on Special Category Visa (SCV) subclass 444 direct pathway for Australian citizenship
There are many NZ citizens on a 444 visa and some of them also aspire to become Australian citizens. Before the changes were implemented, NZ citizens had to apply for the Skilled Independent subclass 189 NZ stream visa and then satisfy all the residency and income requirements before they can apply for Australian citizenship. From the 1st of July 2023, NZ citizens on SCV 444 are considered Australian Permanent Residents when applying for Australian citizenship.
These are just a few of the changes we are expecting to be implemented, and there are more migration updates to come. Should you require more information on how these changes affect you, it is suggested that you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent or an Immigration Lawyer.