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New Member Briefing
6 December 2017

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 On behalf of the Management Committee and Operations Team, we wish you and yours a very merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Please note that our office will be closed from Monday 18 December 2017 and will be re-opening on Wednesday 3 January 2018.

 

Survey for Organisations and Individuals Affected by Changes to the Australian Skilled Migration Program

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey regarding the changes to the skilled migration program, including the employer sponsored visas, which were first announced by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on 18 April 2017. Some of these changes came into effect on this date, with changes also made on 01 July 2017 and further changes to be made in December 2017 and March 2018. 

The information provided will be used by the Cairns Chamber of Commerce, so that we can advocate on your behalf to the DIBP in respect to these changes. The information provided by you, the Australian organisations and individuals affected by these changes, will help us with this advocacy. 

Please complete the questions below, provide your business name and details, if you choose to do so, and click the submit button at the end. 

Please feel free to forward this survey to any persons who would also like to participate.

The Changes 

From the Australian Government’s perspective, these changes have been implemented to ensure skilled migration programs:

  • Better meet Australia’s skills needs; and 
  • Address public concerns about displacement of Australian workers.   

The concerns expressed by businesses, educational institutions, and other organisations are that the changes to the Temporary Work (Skilled) (457), the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (187), and the Employer Nomination Scheme (186) do not take into account the specific needs of regional Australia. While the Government has espoused the development of regional Australia to reduce the pressures on the major cities, there are likely to be adverse impacts to businesses, the economy, and society if employers cannot readily sponsor skilled overseas workers where Australian citizens or permanent residents cannot or do not fill positions. 

Temporary Work (Skilled) (457) Visa

Temporary Work (Skilled) (457) Visa

The DIBP changes to the Temporary Work (Skilled) (457) Visa includes:

April 2017

  • Changes to the Occupations Lists, now called the STSOL and MLTSSL, that condensed the list from 651 to 435 occupations, removing 216 occupations and restricting access to a further 56 occupations. On a local level, many of the occupations relate to tourism, hospitality, agriculture, and education. The Government are envisioning that Australians will fill these positions.   
  • Occupations on the STSOL List will only have visas granted for (2) two years with an option for a further 2 years but no option to progress to permanent residence under the skilled programs. Occupations on the MLTSSL can be granted for a maximum of four (4) years and may be eligible for a permanent residence visa. 
  • Occupations NOT on the MLTSSL include the following: Accommodation, services and retail managers including restaurant managers, cooks, project managers, customer service managers, marketing specialist, ICT professionals, life scientists including Marine biologists, dive instructors, and farmers 

July 2017

  • Changes to the STSOL and MLTSSL Occupation Lists 
  • Removal of the English language salary exemptions (it has been clarified that this change will not be retrospective)
  • Mandatory requirement for character assessment (penal clearance certificates required)

December 2017

  • The DIBP will commence collecting Tax File Number and start data matching to ATO records. The DIB
  • DIBP will list sanctioned sponsors on their website (it has been confirmed that these will only be listed once review options have been exhausted)

March 2018

  • The Temporary Work (Skilled) (457) visa will be abolished and replaced by a Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa. One of the intended changes is that sponsors will be required to pay a levy to the Skilling Australians Fund of $1,200 per applicant, per annum, for businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million and $1,800 per applicant, per annum, for businesses with a turnover of more than 10 million. 
Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (187) Visa

Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (187) Visa

The DIBP changes to the RSMS (187) Visa includes:

July 2017

  • Changes to the age requirement so that applicants must be 45 years of age or under at the time of application 
  • Changes to the English Language requirement from 5 on each band of IELTS test to 6 on each band for Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants that is the 457 employees who have worked under the 457 sponsorship for 2 years or more.  

December 2017

  • The DIBP will commence collecting Tax File Number and start data matching to ATO records.

March 2018

  • The MLTSSL Occupations List will apply to this visa with additional occupations available for regional Australia 
  • The minimum market salary rate will be payable, meaning the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (currently $53,900) will have to be met
  • The eligible to transition to permanent residence will be extended from 2 years to 3 years. 
  • There will be a work experience requirement for particular occupation of at least 3 years 
  • All applicants will have to be 45 years of age or under at the time of application
  • There will be a compulsory training requirement where sponsors, at the time of nomination application, will have to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund. This will be $3,000 for small businesses (annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses (annual turnover or more than $10 million). 
Business Details
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Thank you for your time and feedback.