What is changing?

As previously communicated, the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187) programs will also be impacted by the March 2018 changes. The main changes, as outlined in Fact sheet two: Reforms to Australia’s permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programme (598KB PDF)are as follows:

  • the nominee’s occupation will need to be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)unless:
    • their employer is in a regional area, in which case additional occupations will be available for selection (more details to come in February), as well as occupations on the MLTSSL; or
    • the transitional arrangements outlined below apply.
  • TSS salary and condition provisions will apply, with employers required to pay the Australian market salary rate and meet Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)requirements
  • the eligibility period for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT)stream will be extended from two to three years
  • at least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required
  • subject to any age exemptions, all applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application, unless the transitional arrangements outlined below apply, and
  • sponsors will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) at nomination stage.


Transitional arrangements – subclass 457 visa holders and applicants applying for permanent residence after March 2018


Advice regarding the impact of recent reforms on subclass 457 visa holders and applicants who wish to apply for permanent residence remains available on the Department’s website at:Impacts for existing 457 visa holders wishing to apply for permanent residence.

These arrangements remain subject to final approval. A summary table has, however, been provided below to assist agents to determine which options may remain available to their clients.


Note: These transitional arrangements are relevant for TRT stream applications only. No transitional arrangements are in place for Direct Entry (DE) stream applicants who are expected to meet the requirements in place at time of application. New requirements will not be applied to pipeline applications.


Client Cohort TRT requirements expected to apply

Client held a subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 and continues to hold this visa or a TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application


Client lodged a subclass 457 visa application on or before 18 April 2017 which was subsequently granted and continues to hold this visa or a TSS visa/related bridging visa at time of application.

New requirements apply subject to the transitional provisions outlined below:

·         occupation list requirements will not apply;

·         the age requirement will remain at less than 50 years of age with existing age exemptions still available; and

·         the minimum period an applicant is required to have been employed in their nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 457 or TSS visa will remain at two years.

All other applicants. New requirements apply.

Source: Department of Home Affairs