A number of changes were announced to the permanent employer-sponsored skilled visa programmes (Employer Nomination Scheme - ENS and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - RSMS) on the 18th of April 2017. It is now time for these to come into effect starting 1 January 2018. Some changes will come into effect on 1 March 2018.
- From 31 December 2017, the DIBP will commence the collection of Tax File Numbers for permanent employer-sponsored skilled visa holders. The data will be matched with records held by the Australian Tax Office to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
- Only jobs on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will be available on the Direct Entry stream for both ENS and RSMS, with some additional occupations available through the RSMS to support regional employers.
- The eligibility period to transition from temporary to permanent residence will be extended from the current two years to three years.
- Applicants must be under 45 years of age.
- Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund, replacing the current training obligation requirements.
- At least three years of work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
- Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold of AUD 53,900.