Thursday the 2nd April 2015
Volume 367
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Some major changes coming!                                         
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Significant changes starting 18th of April are coming

The major change to take place on the 18th April as far as international students are concerned will be the lowering of the English requirement in order to be granted the 485 and 476 visas.

The following information has been made public;
Lower English

Enable lower English language test scores to be specified for the Skilled Recognised Graduate and Temporary Graduate visas so that these visas can be more responsive to Australia's labour market requirements. The tests and scores will be specified in an instrument made by the Minister.

Time of Invitation for Points tested GSM applicants


Allow an English language test score to be accepted for points tested skilled visas if the test was conducted three years before the applicant was invited to apply for the visa, rather than three years before the application was lodged. This ensures that English test scores do not become invalid between the invitation to apply for the visa and the application being lodged


457 Sponsorship Requirements

Extend the time frames in which an approved sponsor must notify the department of certain events relating to the sponsored person (for example, a change in work duties). The amendment extends the time frame from 10 working days to 28 calendar days to ensure there is sufficient time to comply with the requirement. It also reduces confusion for businesses as it would align with other comparable reporting periods that must be met by business


Booking for Medical Tests

Repeal the requirement that an applicant for a Temporary Graduate visa must provide evidence of having made arrangements for medical examinations at the time of application for the visa. The amendment removes an unnecessary burden on applicants as many applicants may not be required to have a medical examination to meet the health requirement at the time of decision for the visa


Limiting overseas flight crews

Limit the number of domestic flights that foreign aircrew are permitted to work on while holding a Special Purpose visa. The amendments provide a limit of two connecting domestic flights for foreign air crew and one connecting domestic flight for positioning foreign air crew (persons forming crew on departure). This ensures that opportunities for Australian workers on domestic flights are protected 


Overseas Police checks mostly removed for the 485 visa

IMMIGRATIONews has received word from the DIBP that it has mostly removed the requirement of overseas police checks for the 485 visa;

"The department no longer requires all applicants for the Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa to provide overseas police certificates from each country they have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after turning 16 years of age.

Applicants will only need to provide overseas police certificates for Temporary Graduate (Subclass 485) visa applications if they are requested by the department.

The department's website will be updated in due course to reflect this change.

Australian Federal Police checks

There is no change to the requirements in relation to Australian Federal Police (AFP) checks.

Applications currently with the department

If you have previously been asked by the department to provide overseas police certificates for particular applications please continue to provide these unless the department specifically advises you not to."

This change in policy is currently in effect. It is not clear at the moment what circumstances will trigger the DIBP to request an overseas police certificate to be provided. No doubt if you have a criminal conviction in Australia this will be one reason they will ask for an overseas check to be completed.

Latest Skill Select Results
Squeeze on Accountants on IT software professionals 
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The latest results from the DIBP Skill Select program indicates only 576 Accounting places are left for this financial year and 500 for Software and Applications Programmers.

Currently there are still invitations issued for Accountants at 60 points and taking around one month to receive. Overall the remaining places will still likely be issues at the 60 point level as most of the higher point applicants will have already received their invitations.

You can read the full DIBP report details here


ACT SMP applications close tomorrow

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Unfortunately the ACT government will close its State Migration Plan online applications from tomorrow for overseas residents;

"As of 5 pm AEST tomorrow Friday 3 April 2015, the ACT is closing applications for the Skilled Nominated Visa (190)  from all overseas residents due to reaching our 2014-15 numbers . The ACT Government  will continue to process applications from ACT residents.

Acceptance of overseas applications,  will recommence on 1 July 2015.


Kind Regards

Michele Luis | Small Business and Skills"  

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The change to the lower minimum English

requirement to obtain the 485 and 476 visas is rumored to be 6.0 overall on a single IELTS general or academic IELTS result with no less than 5.5 on any individual section.


We will have to wait and see if any other test results will be acceptable.


This change will be welcome news for the onshore international students who are looking towards applying for the 485 visa.


The other change regarding time of invitation and validity of English test results are simply to ensure visa applicants are not disadvantaged if their result expires in the time between receiving their invitation and lodging their application.





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