English Requirements and Exemptions From 1 July 2017

Tougher requirements all round. Employer sponsored visas have become more and more difficult to be successfully applied for and its value to potential overseas skilled workers as well as employers are substantially decreased.

These ‘improvements’ may ironically push away more genuine applicants and employers than it will stem abuse of the programme. The toughened requirements for permanent employer sponsored visas affect applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017 are not much better, forcing those who have held a 457 for 2 years and apply for a permanent visa visa the to use the temporary residence transition stream to have a higher basic level, competent. Either which way, the avalanche of new requirements has confused employers and applicants alike, and we are quite sure they have confused the Department of Immigration and Border Protection themselves.

 

Temporary work (skilled) visa (subclass 457)

The English requirement for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) remains unchanged for now at:

Read: English Proficiency Tests

It used to be that 457 visa applicants would receive an exemption for meeting the English requirement if the applicant’s remuneration (base salary) surpasses an income threshold of $96,400. This exemption was repealed via a legislative instrument release on 30 June 2016, to come into effect on 1 July 2017. This will affect all 457 visa applications made on or after 1 July 2017.

The applicant will not need to demonstrate having met the 457 visa English requirement if:

  • The applicant holds a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and are citizens in one of those countries
  • The applicant has completed five years of consecutive full time study in a secondary or tertiary institution where all instruction was delivered in English, OR
  • The applicant is nominated for an occupation that is to be performed at diplomatic or consular mission of another country or an Office of the Authorities of Taiwan located in Australia, OR
  • The applicant is working in Australia for an overseas company or an associated entity of an overseas company and will be paid a base salary of at least $96,400
  • The applicant is nominated in an occupation that requires registration, licensing or membership and in obtaining that, was required to demonstrate a level of English language proficiency that meets the minimum 457 English requirements or higher, and has been granted the registration, license or membership

 

Temporary residence transition stream (TRT) ENS 186 visa / RSMS 187 visa

From 1 July 2017, applicants for the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) under the TRT stream need to meet at least a competent level of English (previously vocational). Applications lodged before 1 July 2017 are not subject to the new requirements.

 

Vocational (applications submitted before 1 July)

 

Competent (application submitted on or after 1 July)

The applicant may be exempted from the English requirement if:

  • The applicant holds a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and are citizens in one of those countries
  • The applicant has completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English



Direct entry stream ENS 186 / RSMS 187 visa

The English requirement for the direct entry stream Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) remains at competent level. However, from 1 July 2017, the high income English exemption (applicants earning in the maximum taxable income bracket) has been removed. Applications lodged before 1 July 2017 are not affected by the change.

The applicant may be exempt from the English requirement if:
  • The applicant holds a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland and are citizens in one of those countries
 

 

 

 Karl Konrad
 Managing Director, Australian Immigration Law Services
 MARN 9904238

 Meet the team!

SKILLSELECT GLITCHES

andry_at_laptop.jpgIt appears that SkillSelect has been causing a little grief. Forum posts report malfunctioning of the system; the last thing you want after all the hard work in getting your application ready, especially with all the new changes and the time sensitivity involved in making an application.

The system seems confused by the occupation lists, with invitations sent for occupations not on the appropriate list and new additions to the MLTSSL not being available for selection. On the same tangent, our team has been religiously checking the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) website for an update as to the occupation ceilings for programme year 2017/18. We are well into July but there have been no updates.

We are not sure what is going on in DIBP’s plumbing but the trigger happy releases of toughened requirements and new releases has most certainly caused a clog. Hopefully the DIBP will get these issues sorted quickly.

 

Changes to Training Requirements for Employer Sponsored Visas

The visas that will be affected by the training requirements are:

  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) – Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186) – Direct Entry stream

 

Training benchmarks need to be met in applications for the above visas. As recently promised by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, interim regulations will come into effect from 1 July 2017 that will detail what the DIBP will accept as training expenditure. March 2018 will see the replacement of the requirement with a contribution to a new “Skilling Australians Fund (SAF)”. The following training requirements will affect applications lodged on or after 1 July 2017. Continue reading “Changes to Training Requirements for Employer Sponsored Visas”

Tasmanian Sponsorship for 190 & 489 Visas Revisited

There’s been a few changes recently so instead of making you dig back through articles, we thought we’d lay it out cleanly for you instead. Here are Tasmania’s nomination criteria broken down by visa Continue reading “Tasmanian Sponsorship for 190 & 489 Visas Revisited”

Tasmania Amends Recent Reform to Stop the Exodus of International Students

Just last week Tasmania announced changes to its nomination requirements. They introduced new pathways for overseas applicants, but tightened onshore rules for their state sponsorship.

Amongst those rules were to lengthen the minimum study requirement for international graduates from one year to two years who intend to be applying for the Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190). This was to come into effect on 1 January 2018. The state sponsored Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) study requirement remains at one year for international graduates Continue reading “Tasmania Amends Recent Reform to Stop the Exodus of International Students”