July 2017 has seen a number of immigration rule changes, for instance:
– The maximum age for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa has been reduced from 49 to 44.
– A new permanent residence pathway for NZ citizens
– The skilled occupations lists have been reviewed
– Occupational ceilings has been released


Age requirements lowered for a number of visas

The age limits of the following visas have been reduced to below 45 years of age:
At the time of application
– Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Direct Entry stream
– Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Direct Entry stream
At the time of invitation to apply
– Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated
– Subclass 489 Skilled Regional Sponsored
– Subclass 189 Skilled Independent

Previously it was announced that the lower age requirement was only applicable to the subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa application. The age limit does not apply to applicants for the NZ stream for the subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa.


Changes to the MLTSS, STSOL and RSMS Occupation Lists

Legislative instruments have been released for the revised occupations lists.


English requirements for Temporary Resident Transition streams

When applying for a subclass 187 RSMS or subclass 186 ENS under the Temporary Resident Transition stream the English requirement at the time of application is now raised to Competent English (IELTS 6.0 in all components, or equivalent).


Subclass 186 and 187 visas – English exemption for high salary positions removed

Applicants will no longer be able to access English language exemptions based on high salary. This will affect all new applications AND applications submitted before 1 July 2017 but have yet to be finalised.


Subclass 457 visa – English exemptions for high salary positions modified

The English language exemption for high salary positions will now be only available for applicants who are employed by companies operating an established overseas business.


Training Benchmarks and Training Requirements

New legislatives instruments have redefined the acceptable expenditures for business sponsors to meet training benchmarks. The changes include:

– induction training will no longer be accepted

– only the salary of a full-time trainer employed by the business can be considered. If you are a manager training lower level employees, the time spent cannot be considered as training expenditure
– membership fees and professional publication subscriptions will no longer be accepted
– only expenditure in relation to attending conferences for CPD purposes will be considered as training expenditure

You are advised to check with a Registered Migration Agent to find out the changes and how it can affect your sponsorship application.


  Source :


Online Visitor Visa Lodgement for Indian Passport Holders.

From 1 July 2017, all Indian passport holders will be able to lodge Visitor visa applications online — a move which will see quicker processing of visitor visa applications in India and will also give the applicants the option to monitor the status of their application.

The Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Alex Hawke, said the online application option would make applying for Australian Visitor visas easier and ultimately enhance the visitor experience for Indian.

“Indian nationals wishing to visit Australia will soon be able to apply for a Visitor visa in a more convenient and accessible manner,” Mr Hawke said.

“Online lodgement for visitor visa applications is a significant enhancement that will benefit Indian applicants seeking to visit Australia as tourists or business visitors, or those wanting to reconnect with family and friends.”

By providing the option to check applications online, online lodgement allows Indian applicants to finalise their visit sooner and feel confident that they have the correct visa for their stay in Australia.

To learn more about online lodgement for Visitor visa application, contact LIME by sending an email to