Changes to Skilled Visas - November 2019

The Dept. of Home Affairs announced a number of changes to the Skilled Migration visa options as of 16th November 2019, including:

  • Additional Points: Several changes and additions have been made to the number of Points that can be scored towards submitting an Expression of Interest for a 189, 190, or 491 skilled visa. This will likely result in a re-shuffle of people within the EOI pool of would be applicants. Use our updated Points Calculator (November 2019) to see how you may be impacted. In the Minister's explanatory statement he advised that these changes "introduce a revised points system for the subclass 491 visa as well as existing General Skilled Migration visas. Points are awarded for attributes that are linked with the applicant's ability to make the greatest economic contribution, as the key purpose of the skilled migration program is to maximise the economic benefits of migration to Australia."
    • Change 10 points for applicants with a Skilled Partner (NB: requires partner to be aged under 45, and provide evidence of Competent English and a positive skills assessment for an occupation on the same skilled occupation list). Currently 5 points.
    • New 5 points Partner has Competent English, is an applicant for the same subclass of visa as the primary applicant, and is not an Australian (PR or Citizen).
    • New 10 points for applicants who do not have a Spouse/De facto partner, or who have a partner who is an Australian citizen or a Permanent resident
    • New 15 points for applicants Nominated for the new Subclass 491 visa who are sponsored either by a State or Territory government, or an eligible family member (the Subclass 489 visa only provided 10 points).
    • Change 10 points for applicants with eligible Specialist Educational qualifications (Australian STEM qualifications). Currently 5 points.
  • Two New Regional Visas: Introduction of two new Provisional Regional visas on the 16th November 2019. Both of these visas are Provisional/Temporary visas which provide a potential pathway to Permanent Residence. These visas require its holders to live and work in regional Australia for a period of at least 3 years prior to applying for permanent residence via this pathway. The pathway to permanent residence, from a 491 or 494 visa, requires the eligibility criteria of the Sub Class 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa to be met.
    • Subclass 491, Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa: This is a points based visa requires sponsorship by State, Territory or eligible family member.
    • Subclass 494, Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa: This is an employer sponsored visa in regional Australia.
  • Closure of two Regional visas the following two visas cease on the 15th November 2019, to coincide with the introduction of the above two visas (applications cannot be submitted after 11:59pm):
    • Subclass 489: Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa
      • The last day that states/territories can nominate an individual, and for invitations to be issued, for a subclass 489 visa is 10th September 2019
      • The last day that via applications can be submitted for a subclass 489 visa is 11.59pm on the 15th November 2019
      • 489 visa holders, and those who have lodged a 489 visa application prior to 16 November 2019, will continue to have a PR pathway through the 887 visa.
    • Subclass 187: Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.
      • The last day that via applications can be submitted for a subclass 489 visa is 11.59pm on the 15th November 2019
If you are looking for professional assistance with a visa application, please feel free to contact us.