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‘Simon will be out of state (Tasmania) from the 17 – 29 July 2021. He will be contactable via e-mail, and may be available for face to face consultations while in Tasmania. Otherwise, he will attend to any requested matters upon his return.’

Changes to the Permanent Employer sponsored categories

On 9 March 2012, The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) announced reforms to the ‘Permanent Employer-sponsored’ (PES) visa program to commence on 1 July 2012.

To avoid being overly technical,  in 2011 DIAC was tasked to look at ways of reforming the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS)/Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and has come back with changes to coincide with the Skill Select changes to the General Skilled Migration (GSM) program –of which it is a part- set to commence on the 1 July 2012.

The main changes are as follows:

  • Introducing  two new visa subclasses (ENS 186 and RSMS 187 – no longer on  or off-shore versions) to replace the existing six visa subclasses (856, 121, 857, 119, 855, 120) – to simplify  the administration of the ‘employer- sponsored’ visa program;
  • Increasing the age limit to ‘less than 50 years’ – (currently less than 45);
  • Introducing  3 slightly different streams to PSE including a Direct Entry stream (Positive skill assessment + 3 years  experience or executive salary of $250,000), a Temporary Residence Transition stream (including 2 pathways) for eligible 457 visa holders  (for those who have been working on 457 visas for at least 2 of the last 3 years in the same occupation) and the Agreement stream (labour agreement or RMA arrangements);
  • Changing the English language (IELTS 5 in all 4 modules) and IELTS 6 for Direct Entry;
  • Reducing the current 3 year work commitment to 2 years;
  • no longer on-shore and off-shore applications so that location at lodgment is now no longer relevant;
  • Replacing the 3 existing occupations-in-shortage lists (457, StatSOL and ENSOL) into ‘one’ single consolidated skilled occupation list (CSOL);
  • Removing the existing ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ waivers for age, English and skills and replacing them with the more restrictive/objective ‘Exemption’ provisions;
  • Market salary rate is to replace the existing Minimum Salary Level requirement, bringing it in line with the 457 visa program- currently $49330;
  • Training requirement is also to be brought in line with the 457 visa program benchmarks (A & B);
  • Introduction of E-lodgement.

It is important to note that these changes have only just been released so it’s difficult to consider the full effect until the final changes come into play on the 1 July 2012. But it is possible on the face of the changes to make some suggestions in light of these changes.

6  Things  to consider

  • Change to 457 visa as soon as possible if you do not have the tertiary qualifications because Sub-class 418, 421, 442, 428, 444 (NZ), and 461 visa holders will not be able to access the 2 year pathway after 1 July 2012 but will have to take the Direct Entry pathway , which requires a formal skill assessment and experience;
  • 457 holders should refrain from changing employers, roles or occupation (if possible) to enable the 2 year qualification to be met. Also important to note that condition 8107 precludes a 457 holder from undertaking tasks which are inconsistent with their nominated position. A breach of this visa condition will potentially lead to visa cancellation. This may come to the  attention of DIAC when you lodge your PES application. A person who has a visa cancelled will not be permitted to apply for an onshore application;
  • Non-English speakers – improve your English and apply via the 457 Stream, as only IELTS 5 is required;
  • For those persons who will not meet the age and English exemption requirements – you must lodge your ENS applications prior to 1 July 2012 seeking the relevant  waivers under exceptional circumstances. It is important to present valid arguments why exceptional circumstances exist;
  • Applicants over 45 and under 50 will no longer need to claim exceptional circumstances waiver;
  • RSMS continues to be slightly easier than ENS as long as  the new ‘exemptions’ are not too restrictive: See blog postExceptional circumstances versus Exemptions‘;

To find out more about these changes and how they might affect you- as there are winners and losers as usual when the department changes the rules – then please get in touch  or comment below.