Australian Immigration Policy Changes as of 1 July 2018

As of 1st July, there have been many changes in policies of the Australian government . 


Australian Immigration Policy as of 1 July 2018 

  1. An increase in Visa application fee  

     There have been increases in application fees for some of the Visa schemes. 

     Eg) Partner Visa $7000->$7160. Student Visa $560-> 575. 


  2. Strengthening of evaluation standard for the Skilled Immigration Visas. 

     The evaluation standards for the Skilled Immigration visa such as the Skilled Independent Visa (189), Skilled Nominated Visa (190), and Skilled         Regional (Provisional Visa) (489).  

a. The cut-off score has increased to 65 points-In order to apply for an EOI, the cut-off score in the Skill Select has increased from 60 points previously to 65 points.  

b. The maximum age for an additional score for the Partner Skills component is standardized downwards to 45 years old.  Previously, when a partner had a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their nominated skilled occupation, there was an additional score of 5 points only when the partner was younger than 50 years old. However, only those who are younger than 45 years old can get such an additional 5 points. 


  3. Establishing a new Visa Scheme. 

       Starting from the 1st of July, the Global Talent Visa scheme would run on a trial basis for 1 year. The Global talent Visa was introduced to invite highly skilled and talented individuals to bring an innovation in the Australian technology industrial sectors.  


Policies to be introduced in future and their prospects  

   1. For the employer sponsored visas, SAF would be applicable. The Skilled Australians Fund is a government funding for vocational trainings and educations within Australia, and an employer or a corporate entity should pay the Nomination Training Contribution Charge depending on the turnover when nominating a visa in order to hire an employee.  

                     An amount of turnover 

       482 visa (TSS) 

        186/187 visa (ENS/SFMS) 

Small scaled

(An annual sales less than $10 million) 

 $1,200 per one a year  

Lump-sum payment of  $3,000 per one 



(An annual sales more than $10 million)

 $1,800 per one a year 


            A lump sum payment of  $5,000 per one


For the TSS visa scheme, the payment should be made according to the nomination period. For example, when nominating an employee who would work for a period of 2 years, smaller corporate entities have to pay $2400 upon an application of the Visa.  


  2. For the Skilled migration Visas, 17 vocations of the current Skilled Migration Occupation lists are planned to be removed and 6 of them are currently reviewed to be interchanged among the different lists. This seems to reflect the announcement in March 2018 of the Regional Occupation list as well as the Skilled Migration Occupation lists. 


a. Vocations To be removed  

Manufacturer, Visual Arts and Crafts Professionals nec, Director (Film, Television, Radio or Stage), Film and Video Editor, Program Director (Television or Radio), Stage Manager, Technical Director, Video Producer, Middle School Teacher, Textile, Clothing and Footwear Mechanic, Watch and Clock Maker and Repairer, Cabler (Data and Telecommunications), Telecommunications Linesworker, Chemical Plant Operator, Library Technician, Residential Care Officer, Insurance Loss Adjuster) 


b. Vocations to be changed 

1) Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) -> Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) 

     Management Accountant, Agricultural Consultant, Civil Engineering Technician 

2) Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) ->  Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) 


3) Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) -> Regional Occupation List (ROL) 

                        Dentist, Anaesthetist 


c. Future Prospect: An increase in application for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visa  

International students who want to acquire a Permanent Residency in Australia in future would be more likely to apply for the General Skilled Migration (GSM) Visa as getting a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa has become more difficult.  


Thus, it would be relatively easier to get higher points than the previously required in order to receive an invitation after submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI). 


 3. An addition of a separate process requirement for the Partner Visa Scheme 

a. Content: It is currently reviewed to be changed to applying for a Partner Visa after an approval of the sponsorship. (2-stage process) 

b. A Reason for the change and a disadvantage: The change is intended to protect a Visa applicant from domestic violence. However, it would take longer time till an approval of the Partner Visa. 


 4. Carrying forward to strengthen the eligibility for a citizenship application (currently pending) 

If any Act regarding strengthening the eligibility standard for a citizenship application  


(i.e. such as  extension of a period of residence in Australia or introduction of English examination) are passed by this year, it is predicted to be even more difficult to get  a Australian citizenship. Currently, the government is discussing the details about the Act in order to reform the current Australian Citizenship Act. 


Existing prerequisites 

Possible changes currently under review 

Residence Period 

Minimum of 1 year residence in Australia out of a 4-year-long Permanent Residency visa. 

At all times throughout a 4-year-long Permanent Residency Visa. 

English requirement


Passing of a primary school-level  conversational English test 


Key Contacts