Currently there are 6 different (points tested) General Skilled Migration visas. From 1 July 2012, these visas will be replaced by 3 new points tested skilled migration visa subclasses.
> Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent)
- replacing Subclass 885 (onshore) and 175 (offshore)
> Subclass 190 (Skilled nominated)
- replacing Subclass 886 (onshore) and 176 (offshore)
> Subclass 489 (Skilled regional)
<4 year provisional visa for 887 visa>
- replacing Subclass 487 (onshore) and 475 (offshore)
As you can see, DIAC has removed the distinction between the onshore and offshore applications.
Non-points tested skilled migration visa subclasses - such as Subclass 485 (skilled graduate) will not change. Remember, as our previous newsletter explained, there will be new Graduate visas in early 2013.
Subclass 887 (skilled regional) visa will be changed to allow for applications from the new subclass 489.
Existing points tested skilled migration visas granted in Australia (subclasses 885, 886 and 487) will be closed for new applications from 1 January 2013, whereas visas granted outside Australia (subclasses 175, 176 and 475) will be closed from 1 July 2012.
Former international students who are fortunate to be covered by the transitional arrangements (read Volume 204) do not need to be concerned as the existing visa subclasses will remain open to meet the promises made on the 8th February 2010.