New Occupations List
On 11 March, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) released a new list of eligible occupations affecting Subclasses 482, 189, 190, 186, 187, 407 and 485.
Eight new occupations have been added to the Medium-Long term list enabling applicants to obtain a four year 482 visa and provide a pathway to permanent residence under the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme program. These include telecommunications network planner, pressure welder, dancer, footballer (minimum salary $120,000), tennis coach, music director, artistic director and art administrator.
Five occupations have been added to the Short Term list such as visual arts and crafts professionals, textile professionals, watch and clock repairer, chemical plant operator and library technician.
Several caveats have been updated including the lowering of the annual salary for Recruitment Consultants from $90,000 to $80,000 and for Medical Professional applicants, they now need to present their health workforce certificate at the time of application.
DHA have indicated the next round of updates are anticipated to happen mid-2019.
Three year Working Holiday Visa
Changes have also been announced to the Subclass 417 (Working Holiday visa) and Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa programs. Previously, visa holders were granted an initial twelve month visa with the option of renewing it if they complete three months of regional work while on their first 417/462 visa.
Amendments have been made allowing holders of a second Subclass 417 (Working Holiday) visa or Subclass 462 (Work and Holiday) visa to obtain a third visa of the same type if they spend a further six months of regional work. This is in addition to the three months regional work required to obtain the second visa.
The practicalities of this would be three months of regional work on the first 417/462 to qualify for the second visa followed then by another six months of regional work on the second 417/462 to qualify for the third visa, totalling nine months of regional work.
Other recent changes include increasing the upper qualifying age to 35 (inclusive) for Canadian and Irish nationals from the current 30.
Announcement of the Five Year Parent Visa
From 17 April 2019, parents of Australian citizens or permanent residents will have the option of applying for long term five year parent visa known as Subclass 870. This will be a temporary visa with no pathway to permanent residence. The government has allocated 15,000 spots for this.
The differences between this visa and the traditional parent visa options are quicker processing for the 870 visa and applicants not needing to satisfy the balance of family test (ie. where the majority of children need to be Australian residents). Costs are anticipated to be $5,000 for the three year or $10,000 for the five year visa.