Countdown to Christmas: Top 10 Migration Moments

The festive season is upon us in Australia.  As many start counting down to Christmas, here’s our count down of the major moments in Australian visas and migration these past 12 months.

It has been a year of full of changes. These changes have affected visa sponsors, skilled applicants and partners.

  1. Perth, Western Australia is no longer classified as a regional area, impacting would-be Regional Skilled Migration visa sponsors and applicants.
  2. The 457 visa was split into 2 stream: a short term visa, valid for 2 years, and a longer term visa, valid for 4 years.
  3. The pathway to permanent residency visa holders changes. Now 457 visa holders on short term visas cannot apply for PR through the temporary resident transition stream.

    A long list of visa changes in 2017

  4. The Skilled Occupation List and the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List go. They are replaced by the Short Term Strategic Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL).
  5. The English requirements for applicants applying for direct entry permanent residency changes, increasing to the equivalent of an International English Language Test (IELTs) level 6.*
  6. A record number of professions are removed from the skilled occupation lists.
  7. A few months later, some of those occupations are reinstated. (Some are reinstated to the MLTSSL, others are relegated from the MLTSSL to the STSOL, and others are promoted from the STSOL to the MLTSSL.)
  8. New Zealand citizens now have another pathway to permanent residency via the Special Category visa, a stream of the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189).
  9. The working holiday maker “backpacker” tax rate is now a different tax rate other Australian residents. The “backpacker” tax rate changes, meaning those on a working holiday 417 visa are now taxed at a different rate to other Australian workers.
  10. The Citizenship Bill, which proposed changes that included extended residency requirements and an “Integration Test”, is rejected by the Australian Senate.


*Passport holders from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom, the United States of America and Republic of Ireland are exempt.

The Australian Business Migration Group provides visa and migration advice to clients through its registered migration agent.

If you have a visa or migration enquiry, please contact us. We are open throughout Festive Season.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, from all of us at the Australian Business Migration Group,