Welcome to our Monthly Migration Matters newsletter!
Our newsletter will feature topics of interest for our readers who are seeking to migrate or have family and friends who want to migrate to Australia and current visa holders already in Australia.
We have been informed that there would be a few important changes which will take effect 16 November 2019.
These changes relate mainly to the following visa subclasses which will be addressed in this newsletter
Removing Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme [RSMS Visa] and replacing it with the NEW Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa
Removing the Subclass 489 designated area points tested visa [State Nominated and Family sponsored streams] and replacing it with the NEW Subclass 491 Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa
Amending the points for Subclass 189, Subclass 190 and the new Subclass 491 skilled visas
Introducing the NEW Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa
SUBCLASS 187 REGIONAL SPONSORED MIGRATION SCHEME [RSMS VISA] CHANGES
From 16 November 2019, the department of home affairs will no longer accept any new applications for the SC187 RSMS visa. This visa subclass will cease to exist for new applicants from 16/11/2019.
The department is trying to encourage regional settlement to migrants to grow the economy and business in designated regional areas throughout Australia.
What are your options if you currently hold a Subclass 457 visa or a Subclass 482 visa?
Transitional Subclass 457 visa holders
If you held a Subclass 457 visas on 18 April 2017, or applied for a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 that was subsequently granted, then you will still be able to apply for the Subclass 187 RSMS visa under the Temporary Residence Transition stream as long as you meet the requirements of the TRT stream at the time of application.
Transitional Subclass 482 visa holders
If you held a Subclass 482 visa in the medium-term stream on 20 March 2019 , or applied for a Subclass 482 visa in the medium-term stream on 20 March 2019, that was subsequently granted, then you will still be able to apply for the Subclass 187 RSMS visa under the Temporary Residence Transition stream as long as you meet the requirements of the TRT stream at the time of application.
For applicants that do not meet the transitional criteria above and who have been offered an employment position in designated regional areas must first apply for a provisional (temporary) visa known as Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa [SC494ESR] visa which will be valid for up to 5 years.
From the 16 November 2019 the changes will be as follows:
The SC187 RSMS visa will be replaced by the new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa [SC494ESR] visa which will be valid for min 3 years up to 5 years.
Any applicant offered an employment position in designated regional areas must first apply for a provisional (temporary) visa known as Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (provisional) visa [SC494ESR] visa which will be valid for up to 5 years.
Designated Regional Areas
At commencement of the new regional visas, it is intended that any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Perth will be designated as a regional area
Regional visa holders may live in any designated regional area and can move between designated regional areas
NEW SUBCLASS 494 EMPLOYER SPONSORED REGIONAL VISA EXPLAINED
The new SC494ESR visa will be very similar to the overview of the current SC482 Employer Sponsored visa but will have conditions relating to designated regional areas and have transition arrangements into permanent regional employer sponsored streams [aka Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa which only commences on the 16 November 2021
INTRODUCTION TO NEW SUBCLASS 491 SKILLED REGIONAL PROVISIONAL VISA
The Subclass 489 Visa will cease to exist from the 16/11/2019.This will be replaced by the Subclass 491 – Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa which will have two streams namely, State/Territory sponsored and family member residing in designated area sponsored
Transitional arrangements for Subclass 489 visa holders PLUS Applicants planning to lodge a Subclass 489 visa before 16/11/2019
Current Subclass 489 visa holders will continue to have access to the Subclass 887 Skilled Regional visa
Applications for first Subclass 489 may be made before 16 November 2019
Applications for second Subclass 489 visas may continue to be made on and after 16 November 2019
Since this visa is a points tested visa, applicants must meet the points thresholds for each stream.
Some changes to the skilled points tested visas which will come into effect from 16/11/2019 and be applicable to not only the new Subclass 491 visa, but also benefit the other points tested visas such as Subclass 189 Skilled independent visa and the Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa
Sections of the Migration Regulations 6D to be amended are:
Invitations for points tested visas will be ranked in the following order:
First – primary applicants with a skilled spouse or de facto partner
Equal First – primary applicants without a spouse or de facto partner
Second – Primary applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who can demonstrate competent English, but does not have the skills for skilled partner points (age and skills)
Third – Primary applicants with a partner who is ineligible for either competent English or Skilled partner points. These applicants will be ranked below all other cohorts, if all other points claims are equal
SUBCLASS 191 PERMANENT RESIDENCE (SKILLED REGIONAL) VISA
This Visa subclass will only be available to Subclasses 491 and 494 visa holders at the time of application.
Must have held the Subclass 491 or 494 for at least three years and substantially complied with the conditions of the visa and Condition 8579
Must have met a minimum threshold taxable income level for at least three years while holding the Subclass 491 or 494 (threshold to be specified by legislative instrument)
Dependent children included as members of family unit for the Subclass 491 or 494 visas, may be included in Subclass 191 application, even if no longer able to meet the definition of dependency
Health PIC 4007 and character PIC apply to all primary applicants and members of family unit, whether applicants or not
May apply and be granted inside or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance
VAC – Base application charge: primary applicant $385; additional applicant over 18 years: $195, under 18 years: $100
Permanent visa allowing holder to travel to and enter Australia for a period of 5 years from grant date
You are not restricted to a particular regional post code and may move around within all designated areas
The increase allocation of points for the subclass 491 allows applicants to meet these easier than the current points threshold
Conditions 8503 and 8534 may be waived where that visa holder has a genuine intention to apply for a Subclass 494 visa
Holders of Bridging Visas A, BVB and BVC may apply for the SC494 and SC491 if onshore
Equal opportunities for relationship status by allowing applicants to claim points under this category
From 16 November 2019, there will no longer be direct entry pathways to permanent residence for regional area sponsorships
Applicants must maintain conditions of the Provisional Subclass 494 and SC491 Visas for minimum 3 years before being eligible to apply for permanent residency through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa
Even though these new visa subclasses provide easier initial eligibility criteria, applicants who are granted these visa subclasses are restricted from applying for any of the following visas for a period of 3 years unless ‘special circumstances’ apply. Special circumstances are yet to be defined.
Should you, a family member or a friend require assistance before the changes will take effect please contact us now
Mygration specialize in several areas of visas for Australia. Speak to one of our registered migration agents now and receive real time advise and assistance for your matter. We look forward to assisting you.