DIAC Announcements 26 June 2012

Important Changes affecting our clients

Additional key reforms as follows:

457 Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
From 1 July 2012 TSMIT will be set at $51,400. This has been increased from the previous TSMIT of $49,330. All 457 visa holders must be paid Australian market rates. If the market rate for an occupation is below AU$51,400 then the 457 visa will be declined.

English Language Requirements
Some trade applicants for 457 visas must satisfy English testing requirements. Applicants are exempt from testing if they are native English speaker and from a designated country (USA, UK, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand), have a minimum of five continuous years of secondary/tertiary education in an English speaking environment, or the base wage of the 457 visa applicant is at least AU$92,000 (increased from AU$88,410).

A new occupations list will be introduced on 1 July 2012. New regulations will allow Subclass 457 and 442 visa applications lodged on or before 30 June 2012 to continue to be processed and have their nominated occupation assessed against the Instrument in place at the time of lodgement.

Age Requirements
To qualify for employer-sponsored residency, employer-sponsored applicants who are more than 49 years of age must hold a 457 visa for four years. Applicants also must receive a salary that meets the minimum Fair Work Australia salary for the entire four year period.

High Income Threshold
For the purpose of employer-sponsored applications, the high income threshold will be set at AU$180,001 (reduced from the current $250,000). Permanent employer sponsored applicants who meet the high income threshold will be exempt from meeting English and skills assessment requirements.

Training Benchmarks
From 1 July 2012, the new ENS (not RSMS) visa will have training requirements for the nominator’s business to meet if the business is at least 12 months old, or an auditable training plan if the business is not 12 months old. The business is required to show that the training that the ongoing training provided to Australian citizen and permanent resident employees is related to the purpose of the business.

As we are approaching 1 July 2012, DIAC will continue to release further legislative updates and announcements. The changes are complex, so close review is required. Perdaman Global Serviceswill continue to monitor developments and will announce important changes.

We recommend that you consult with a Registered Migration Agent from Perdaman Global Services for assistance or clarification as required.