Australia Migration Planned Changes
Planned Changes Between April 2017 - March 2018
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Planned Australia Visa Changes – April 2017 – March 2018

What’s Next Following The Recent Changes

So it’s been a big week as far as Australian Immigration news is concerned and we’ve had quite a few questions posted on our forums and in the article comments in relation to when certain changes will come into effect.

With this in mind and with input from one of the recently published fact sheets, we thought it would be useful to provide a summary of the key events planned over the next 12 months and the consequences of these events on people looking to emigrate to Australia, starting from the date the changes were announced through to March 2018.

Changes from April 2017

From 19 April 2017, for new applicants for permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes:

– Occupation lists: The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will be significantly condensed, with 216 occupations removed, and access to 24 occupations restricted to regional Australia (e.g. occupations relating to farming and agriculture). The CSOL currently underpins the Direct Entry stream of the ENS visa.

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– The CSOL will also be renamed the new Short-Term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be
updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.

– The other occupations list used for skilled migration, the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This list will contain occupations that have been assessed as being of high value to the Australian economy and aligning to the Government’s longer term training and workforce strategies.

Changes from July 2017

From 1 July 2017, for permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes:

Occupations lists:

  • The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment.
  • The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review.

English language requirements:

  • A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component.
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  • A maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream
  • A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants.

Changes by December 2017

Before 31 December 2017, for permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes:

  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) will commence the collection of Tax File Numbers for these visa holders, and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
  • The Department will commence the publication of details relating to sponsors sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation.

Changes from March 2018

From March 2018, for ENS and RSMS:

  • For the ENS and RSMS visa: The MLTSSL will now apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employers for the RSMS.
  • Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the
Changes Announced To The MLTSSL and STSOL Lists

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.


  • The permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from two to three years.
  • Work experience: At least three years’ relevant work experience.
  • Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.
  • Training requirement: a strengthened training requirement for employers to contribute towards training Australian workers.


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Written by Mark

As the founder of Getting Down Under, Mark is passionate about demystifying the process associated with a move to Australia. Having launched Getting Down Under in early January 2006 and made the move to Australia from the UK in the same year, Mark continues to share resources and support for those looking for assistance. If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Community Forums. Please note All information provided on Getting Down Under should be considered in conjunction with our disclaimer. Please seek professional advice if you have any doubts! 

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