Planned Changes Between April 2017 - March 2018
in ,

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.

– 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.


  • 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

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.

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 assitance, Getting Down Under.

If you have a question for Mark, please post in our Forums

What do you think?

350 points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. Hi Mark,
    Myself Mohinder Attri DOB 21/07/74. Skill assessment done by AIM as Manager Engineering (133211). Am i eligible to get EOI at 60-65 points ?

  2. Dear Mark, I am a Safety Professional, my profession is occupational health and safety adviser with ANZSCO 251312 in STSOL. I am planning to do Masters in the same field and get a PR and settle in AU. What are my odds? Your response is highly appreciated.

  3. Hi Mark,

    My boyfriend and I want to move to Australia, he is Web Developer, and I am Pharmacist( MPharm).. he is on MLTSS list, and I’m not.. he just finished his education on university and for now my job is in Clinical research.. Can you please tell me do we have slightly chance to move abroad?
    What is the next step for him? To contact agency… or to go in embassy?
    And if I’m not on this lists, is there any possibility to find myself a job?
    I really need your advice regarding this issue, we would be enormously thankful for your help.

  4. Hi mark,
    I was trying to apply for TOOL MAKER category under state sponsfer skilled occupation list. But the category removed from the list a year before. Is there a chance to get listed again? . If so, then, when is the period for changes in sol list (state). ??

  5. Hi mark,I applied for RSMS through direct entry stream as a store manager in kfc in July 2016 and a decision came after 17 months of waiting my nomination was refused saying retail manager general is not recognise position and now my company is going to appeal with you think will it consider and is their any chances of winning this and if not what are my other options as I live and work in darwin from over 9 years..

  6. HI mark,
    I am planning to apply for PR under ENS.
    My condition is as below:
    I am on dependent VISA (457)
    I am under 45 years.
    I am working with an australian company in sydney from last two years.
    My skill is under STSOL.
    My company is ready to sponsor.

    But Can I apply ? And if yes, then under which scheme ?
    What is the complesity and posibility ?


  7. hi mr mark.
    Assuming i have been getting a visa of Tss already and i want move to Australian this year 2017 .so please can i used that visa to travel .?because already i have got that TSS VISA and i dont known that it can start working now.thanks

  8. Hi Mark, thanks for helping people here. Would you please be able to let me know about 189 or skill indipendant visa changes in 2018. Is there going to be minimum 3years work experience requirement. I am doing JRP and will complete next year in April. Your help is appreciated in advance.

  9. Hi Mark , is my husband eligible for 5points for studying In Australia …my husband has completed his diploma in youth work ( one year in cert iv and one year in diploma ) in a package .

  10. Hello Mark
    My Brother applied for 457 in Facility Manger in October 2015 with Diploma of Business, and it was refused in Jan 2017, and we applied again 2 times but in end we applied for AAT. he is with same employer from last 3 years, His studies finished in March 2017. Now he is on Bridging visa A, Do you think if we apply his skill assessment in March 2018 we can apply after that for direct entry steam for permanent visa 186 or can we get his skill assessment in any related field, because he is also doing reception work in same place too.
    Hope to hear from you soon.

  11. Hi Mark
    I applied 187 DE as a baker in July 2017…is these changes will create any effect on my application after march 2018?

  12. Hi,

    My family and I are currently here on a 457 visa which was granted Aug/July time last year.
    Since then, my occupation (medical sales/cardiac technician) has been taken off the med/long term list, also the age has been reduced from 50 to 45 if you want to apply for PR. Are there any alternative roles/jobs that are on the list that may overlap my current role that may have age exemptions? Is the age requirement likely to be reassessed next year, or are there any rumblings that there will be any grandfathering for existing 457 visa holders who arrived prior to April 2017?

  13. Hi Mark,

    i am under student visa, i came for masters but changed to diploma of leadership and management. i completed two semesters of masters and done with diploma, i wanted to ask you what can i do next to gain PR? I had two options in mind:1) apply for sponsership before rules change 2) extend my visa which is valid until 15/03/2018. So in that case do i need to extend my visa next year as well?


  14. Hi Mark,

    I am planning to apply for skills assessment to Vetassess for the occupation 312211 (Civil Engineering draft person) for general skilled migration (190/189 visa).

    I would like to know whether this occupation needs any license or registration?

    Because in ANZSCO description in website it is mentioned like licensing or registration is required.

    I dont have any type or license or registration. Is this license or registration is mandatory?
    Can I apply without this?

    I have Bachelors degree in Civil Engineering (4 year course) from India and 6 years of experience as civil/structural draughtsman.

    Please advice.

    Awaiting for your reply.


  15. Hi mark,
    I m holding 457 visa from February 2017 as hotel manager.But it is in stsol list now. Would I apply for pr in 2019 or not.

  16. Hi Mark,
    I am in Australia on student visa since June, 2016. My marriage date is April, 2017. Can I sponsor my spouse for student visa?

  17. Hi mark, my occupation is architectural draftsman. im about to submit an EOI for subclass 190 but seems like most of the states are close for this particular occupation. and my chance of getting a PR is getting slimmer. how frequent does it open for this occupation? hope you can enlighten me thanks alot

  18. Hello Mark,

    I got +ve assessment for fleet manager, but its now removed in the new STSOL.

    do you think it can come back in next review of STSOL in October?

    please advise.

  19. Greetings Mark,
    I have studied hospitality 2 years diploma and worked in hotel for more than 8 years in australia, I had to go back to my home country for few reasons and now I am thinking to get back to Australia on RSMS ( cafe or restaurant manager). Just wondering how many months it will take to get approved when I applied and I heard march 2018 there is going to be major changes in immigration, those changes will affect my rsms if I apply in next couple months?.
    I would really appreciate if you help out here.
    Thank you

  20. Hi Mark
    I’m currently on a working holiday visa 417 an would like to know when there will be a change of the age limit from 30 to 35 years? Thanks a lot!

    • Hi Soren, a date is still to be confirmed however there were no increases as part of this weekend’s legislative updates with the limit remaining at 30 years of age

  21. Hello Mark,

    Im stuck at the crossroads as im unbale to figure out if my occupation – Recruitment Consultant (223112) has put on/will be on watch list for 2017-18 CSOL with strings attached?

    Appreciate your expert advise pls..

    Ashwin. D

    • Hi Ashwin, Recruitment consultant is on the newly published STSOL, however has the following criteria attached:

      Excludes any of the following positions: that have a nominated base salary of less than AUD$65,000, with businesses that have an annual turnover of less than $1Million, with businesses that have fewer than five employees.

  22. Hi
    Our occupation Call or contact centre manager (149211) was removed from the list. As we were working on this from last 2 years. What options we have now? Should we apply for Customer service manager or any other. What are your inputs about the occupation. Please advise. Are there any chances of occupation coming back.

  23. Hi, my husband and I are in the process of applying to migrate to Australia, I am a CILEx lawyer (alternative route to being a Solicitir and I’ve worked as a police station accredited representative for 7 yrs with an LLB law degree) before that as a paralegal. My husband is an Analyst for Energy company and also experience as an Anslyst in Telecoms. He is an EEA national with 11 yrs permanent residency in the U.K. By the time we apply he will be a British citizen. Do you think our jobs will qualify as any changes on the list in July I.e removal from the list etc. I know there’s not much information to go on but we are both under 35 yrs.

    • Hi Jessica, it’s difficult to say. Do either of your occupations align with those listed on one of the occupations lists? If they are, it really comes down to how your skills are assessed against these occupations by the relevant assessment body. If they meet the requirements of the role then yes, you should qualify.

  24. Hi Mark,

    My husband gave the skills assessment to VET-ASSES for 251312 (Occupation Health & Safety Officer) under 190 visa by April 1st week. Now it is on the STSOL list. We are waiting for the outcome from VETASSESS. By any chance will it be remove from the STSOL list in July?

  25. Hi Mark,

    Myself & my husband have submitted our EOI for Software Engineer with 65 points earlier this month, however our migration agent came back to us couple of days ago saying that from now on the required points are 75 for Soft Engineer. Will this subject to change in July 2017? If there is any chance that it will be back to 65 points at some stage this year?

    Many thanks,

    • Hi Alti, it really depends on the number of applicants meeting the new threshold. If there are not sufficient numbers meeting the new 75 point pass mark then the migration department may lower the threshold, however its very difficult to forecast without having visibility of the number of software engineers who have also submitted an EOI with more than 65 points.

      • Right, i see, thanks for the quick response!

        What would be the best way of tracking it?
        I went to the invitation round results websites to see the required points, is this the only to track it?

        Many thanks,

    • No, there are caveats associated with the types of restaurant. You couldn’t, for example, get rsms for being a manager in a MacDonalds.

  26. Hi Mark, i m doing diploma of horticulture. I m thinking about rsms from farms. Is new rules edfect rsms in farming?

  27. Hi mark i am a electrician and i got my 457 visa this year in January so is thier any chance ill be able to apply pr in 2019 or our door will also close towards pr

    • I think it depends on what list your occupation is on when you have completed your second-year Reshniel. The Australian government has been quite sketchy on detail on PR options for existing 457 holders seeking PR after March 2018 so I’m hopeful they clarify this position soon so we can provide some slightly more helpful guidance.

    • At time of typing, Electrician is on the MLTSSL so no, I don’t in the short term, however, this list is due to be revised in July so this position may change.

  28. Hi mark,i am hepatitis b positive,iam applying for electronics equipment trade worker,can i get visa ?. thanking u

    • Hi Bojo, I have heard mixed reviews on applying for An Australian visa when Hepatitis B positive. Whilst it is true that diseases do not automatically stop a person from applying for an Australian visa it will be a medical opinion that determines the success of a visa or not.

  29. Hi Mark!
    Do you anticipate any major changes (apart from occupation ceilings) in MLTSSL for subclass 189? Is MLTSSL final for 2017-2018? I am a Network System Engineer, planning to apply for subclass 189 (have 65 points). As the occupation ceiling is full for 2016-2017, I am really worried that whether I’d be able to apply in July or not. Any idea that “Network and System Engineer” will be still on list?

    • I would hope there aren’t too many changes John due to the large number of occupations already impacted as part of the most recent updates. With that said, your guess is really as good as mine mate!

  30. Hi Mark,

    My occupation is currently flagged as Materials Engineer** in the new MLTSSL. Could you please tell if this list is going to be revised anytime this year? or will it stay the same thought this year.


    • Hi Prasanth, We understand that the MLTSSL will be reviewed a little further before the final list for the 2017 – 2018 migration year is published in July.

  31. Hi mark…
    Is that any effect on the occupation 323214 metal machinist after July 2017 is that my occupation in demand?? How much % chance to get visa and which subclass is suitable for me . I have 7 years of experience in CNC machinist. And I’m only 27 years old!!

    • Hi Dinesh, It’s difficult to say. What I can say is that Metal Machinist was not one of the occupations flagged for removal earlier this year. Things may change, however.

      The role in question is currently on the MLTSSL. If it stays there you will have quite a few options including the Skilled – Independent (subclass 189) visa.

  32. hi Mark
    I have granted 457 on feb 2017, my job has been taken from the new list and I will be 45 end of June 2017, I was planning to apply to transition scheme after two years 2019, am I still eligible with the grandfathering policy to apply for transition PR scheme after two years considering my age will be 47 and the previous conditions that you can apply up to 50 years old.

  33. Helo sir
    My occupation is wholesaler 133312 and my assessment is positive but my occupation is removed in stsol list please suggest me my occupation is added in stsol list in future or not or any other visa to apply.
    Pls tell me can I apply NZ Pr under this category

    • Hi Vijay, unfortunately, you need to have this occupation on either the STSOL or MLTSSL to qualify for a skilled visa. Unless you marry an Australian, your options are quite limited unfortunately until the occupations lists are revised again.

  34. Hi Mark, my occupation was flagged on the old sol, podiatrist so does this mean that the mltssl occupations could be removed in July. Is it worth applying. Thanks for your help

    • Hi Stuart, the SOL has been replaced by the MLTSSL. There is a suggestion that the MLTSSL will be updated in July following recommendations by the Australian Education Department. Personally speaking, however, I’m not expecting any major changes to the MLTSSL list in July beyond some tweaking around the edges.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TSS Visa - Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

TSS – Temporary Skill Shortage Visa – How It Works

Australian Occupations List

Australian Occupations List