Regional postcodes for RSMS and regional caveats

Recently the eligible regional postcodes for Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) were limited, effective 17 November 2017. However The WA Department of Training and Workforce Development (Perth’s RCB) stopped processing RCB applications from 13 March 2017. It is important to check with other Western Australian RCBs for further advice if these postcodes have now been eliminated.

Read: WA’s Regional Postcodes for RSMS have changed

Some caveats are based on regional area. Occupations that are affected by such regional caveats will not be able to access Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) or Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas (subclass 186) from 17 November 2017.

Read: A detailed guide to caveats (general guide – work experience, regional, occupation specific)

Read: 457 and ENS Visas: Caveats, The Latest Update (exceptions and specific caveats)

Read: Caveats for Chefs, Cooks, and Cafe and Restaurant Managers

 

Health requirements for 457 visa

From 18 November 2017, 457 visa applicants will not longer be required to provide evidence of health insurance. They will only be required to declare that they have made the necessary arrangements for health cover for their intended period of stay. This applies to all applications lodged before and have not been finalised by 18 November as well as applications lodged on or after 18 November.

 

Character requirements for 457 visa

All 457 visa applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017 require the submission of police certificates for each country in which the applicant has lived for a cumulative period of 12 months or more, over the last 10 years, since turning 16 years of age, if their stay in Australia will exceed 12 months.

 

Labour market testing (LMT)

The Singapore and Australian government are making amendments to the Singapore-Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) which is expected to come into force on 1 December 2017. Singaporeans will be exempt from LMT for the 457 visa program.

Read: A Detailed Guide to Labour Market Testing and Market Salary Rate

 

Processing time for ENS and RSMS

This is DIBP’s excuse for increase delay in processing ENS and RSMS applications

Processing times for ENS and RSMS applications are dragging due to the sheet volume of applications. Over 16,000 applications were lodged in just the month of July this year (roughly 4 times the average month’s applications). The DIBP advises that processing is ongoing and that more recently applications may be allocated for assessment ahead of older applications to facilitate more efficient processing.

 

Occupation lists

The Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) are set to change every 6 months. How are your applications affected by occupation list changes?

If you lodge your ENS 186 visa application before the date the occupation lists have changed, you will not be affected by the occupation list change.

457 visa holders will not be impacted by the change in occupation lists if they are applying for the ENS 186 visa under the TRT stream.

Direct entry stream ENS 186 applicants will be affected by occupation list changes if applied for after the date of the change.

 

From December 2017

Be reminded that before 31 December 2017, the following will be implemented:

  • The collection of Tax File Numbers (TFN) for 457 visa holders (and other employer sponsored visa holders) to facilitate data matching with the Australian Tax Office (ATO)’s records and ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary
  • The publication of details relating to sponsors sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation
  • The clarification of review rights for subclass 457 visa applicants

The taxman will be checking up on 457 visa holders to check they are not being underpaid. Will they be checking you are being paid your nominated salary rate? Unsure, but those below the TSMIT may get red flags