The Department of Home Affairs (Department) has set out the key changes being introduced in March 2018 for the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa programs, as explained below.
Outline of changes
The following changes are expected to take place in March 2018, subject to the passing of Regulations:
- Skilled occupation lists: The Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will apply to the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers.
- Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years.
- Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
- Age: Applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 years at the time of application. Existing exemptions for age or English will continue.
- Direct Entry stream: The Direct Entry stream will still be available for the ENS and RSMS programs.
Transitional arrangements for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream
The following transitional arrangements will apply to all applicants who either held a subclass 457 visa or had lodged a subclass 457 visa as at 18 April 2017 and continue to hold this visa or a 457 visa/TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application:
- occupation list requirements will not apply;
- the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age (and existing age exemptions still available); and
- the minimum period the applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.
If an ENS or RSMS nomination was lodged prior to March 2018, the associated visa application may still be lodged after March 2018 –the new Regulations are expected to specify which rules will apply.
For advice regarding skilled visas, please do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com for Australian immigration assistance.
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