Over the next few months, some very significant changes are coming to the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa. This includes a lowering of the maximum age, a reduction in the number of occupations eligible for sponsorship, and increased English language requirements.

Most significantly, from March 2018, occupations on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will longer be eligible to be sponsored for permanent residency through the Direct Entry stream of the subclass 186 visa. Only occupations on the much shorter Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) will then be eligible to be sponsored for permanent residency.

The impact of the coming changes in March 2018 will be compounded by a reduction in the maximum age for the Direct Entry stream from 50 to 45 on 1 July 2017, as well as a further review of the occupations on the lists at that time.

How does this affect me?

This means, if your occupation is on the STSOL, there is a brief window of opportunity for you to secure your permanent residency before the law changes in March 2018.

After the law changes in March 2018, occupations on the STSOL will no longer have a pathway to permanent residency. Because further occupations may be removed from the list in July, people who are currently eligible for permanent employer sponsorship should apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out.

I am over the age 45 years. How does this affect me?

If you are over 45, you may only have until 1 July 2017 to apply for permanent residency under visa subclass 186 due to proposed government changes.

What should I do now?

If you need advice about securing your permanent residency, or if you have questions about how the law changes will affect you, please contact our friendly team on (03) 9088 6264.