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April 20, 2020

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Updates on Visa Migration in Australia plus the Parliament citizenship debacle

October 5, 2017

Now that the dust has had time to settle because of the April through July 2017 raft of sweeping changes to the Migration landscape, here’s some (but not all) important points to remember:

  • Processing times have blown out for skilled migration and partner visa applications with 457’s slowly coming back to pre-April 2017 processing times;

  • Training benchmark A & B (for an SBS or ENS) have been reviewed and tightened;

  • Caveats/inapplicability conditions have been implemented on some occupations;

  • Age limits have dropped on most skilled visas from 50 to 45 max;

  • English language levels have increased for new 457’s and ENS;

  • New occupation lists are in play STSOL & MLTSSL;

  • Occupation ceilings have been reviewed and most increased for GSM;

  • Genuine position criteria have been implemented;

  • Increased use of skills assessments for trades;

  • Police clearances are mandatory for all applicants over 18 for 457’s and partner visas;

  • Visa application fees have increased by approx. 2% and now will increase incrementally with CPI in July each year;

  • All citizenship applications are on hold pending the outcome of current Bill before Parliament.



Not all the changes have had a negative impact – there are now new pathways for NZ citizens who were usually resident in Australia on or before 26 November 2016.  Working Holiday maximum age was raised to 35 years (but wait for it), there are currently no countries that are participating in a bilateral agreement that specifies this.


A comprehensive list of all Labour Agreement holders is now freely available on the Department’s website.  I am putting my money on this being a precursor to a list of all Standard Business Sponsors also being available on th