Employer Sponsored visa news

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Summary of the immigration changes in 2023

      • ENS PR subclass 186 opened up to all occupations

      • Subclass 482 STSOL visa ceiling removed

      • Labour Market Testing – removal of Workforce Australia

      • Minimum Salary Level and TSMIT increased to $70,000

    Subclass 186 – Temporary Residency Transition Stream 

    From 25 November 2023, the following will apply to  the Employer Nomination Scheme, Suclass 186 permanent visa applications lodged under the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream:

      1. All occupations covered under the subclass 482 lists can now access the permanent pathway, subject to meeting all the criteria. These lists include:

        • Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL),
        •  Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MTLSSL),  
        • Regional Occupation List (ROL) and
        • Labour Agreements

        1. Nominated occupations and positions will be assessed against the information outlined in the Australia New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).  The occupation needs to be the same that is held by the visa holder under their current subclass 482 visa.
        2. TSS visa holders will be required to demonstrate that they have worked in their position with their sponsoring employer for two years full time in the last three years, a reduction from the current requirement for three years full time in the last four years.
        3. The maximum age limit for ENS subclass 186 remains at below 45 at the time of the nomination and visa application, unless an age exemption applies either through limited occupation type or salary exceeding the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) for each year being sponsored under the subclass 482 by the same company. FWHIT is index linked and increases annually on 1 July – see details here

        COVID-19 concessions for the ENS TRT program

         The following COVID-19 concessions will become redundant and will end:

            • Periods of reduced work due to COVID-19 will not count towards meeting the work experience requirements for new ENS/RSMS TRT stream nomination applications.

            •  The COVID-19 concession to the age exemption for high income earning applicants will not apply for new ENS/RSMS visa applications.

           Subclass 482 changes to the Short Term Skilled Occupations (STSOL)

          The age exemption for legacy 457 workers in Australia for 12 months during the pandemic from 1 February 2020 to 14 December 2021 will apply for ENS visa applications lodged before 1 July 2024.

          From 25 November, there will no longer be a limit to the number of onshore TSS applications that
          can be lodged in relation Short Term Skills Occupation List (STSOL) occupation

          Currently, STSOL TSS applicants would need to travel offshore to facilitate lodgement of their third application, and also would need to demonstrate an intention to only remain in Australia as a genuine temporary entrant (GTE). This GTE requirement will also be relaxed for this cohort.

          Labour Market Testing – removal of Workforce Australia

          Migration (LIN 18/036: Period, manner and evidence of labour market testing) Amendment (LIN 23/072) Determination 2023

          Instrument LIN 23/072 amends the principal instrument LIN18/036 which determines how Labour Market Testing (LMT) must be conducted for Temporary Skills Shortage Sc482 nominations under s140GBA of the Migration Act 1958.

          This instrument:

              • removes the requirement to advertise all nominated positions on the Workforce Australia platform

              • clarifies that the principal instrument allows for LMT over two or more overlapping periods and this must be for a minimum duration of at least four weeks

              • two or more overlapping advertisements are acceptable, allowing for applications or expressions of interest to be received for a continuous (unbroken) duration of at least four weeks.

            This amendment applies to applications made on or after the commencement of this instrument and applications made before the commencement of this instrument but not finally decided 

            This Instrument commenced on 11 December 2023

            To summarise, Labour Market Testing continues to be mandatory unless an exemption applies. The testing period is 28 days or more with two (2) national adverts.

            Minimum Salary Level and TSMIT increased to $70,000

            The Government has increased the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000 .


            Employers who wish to nominate workers for subclass 482, 494, 186 and 187 must meet certain salary and employment condition requirements. These requirements help to ensure that:

                • overseas workers are paid no less than an Australian worker would doing the same work in the same location, Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)

                • these visa programs are not used to undercut the Australian labour market

                • If the overseas worker will be paid an annual salary less than AUD 250,000you need to show:

                  • you have determined the AMSR correctly

                  • the overseas worker will not be paid less than the AMSR, that is, less than an Australian worker would be paid

                  • both the AMSR and what the overseas worker will be paid, excluding any non-monetary benefits in both cases, is no less than the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

                Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold

                The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold is now $70,000. All previously lodged applications (pre 1 July 2023) that have not be finalised since 1 July are not affected as the change is not retrospective.

                Both the Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR) for the nominated occupation and the guaranteed annual earnings you will pay to the worker must be at least as much as the current TSMIT.

                The TSMIT does not include non-monetary benefits such as accommodation or a car. Such benefits must be paid in addition to the TSMIT.

                Annual market salary rate

                The Annual market salary rate (AMSR) is determined by looking at what you would pay equivalent Australian workers, enterprise agreements or industrial awards, job outlook information, advertisements for the last 6 months in the same location, remuneration survey or advice from unions or employer associations.

                Determining the AMSR

                Where there is an equivalent Australian worker, the AMSR is what you are paying this worker.

                If the worker’s salary is based on an enterprise agreement or industrial award, you provide:

                    • the salary level or occupation group that applies to the nomination

                  If there is no relevant agreement or award, or you are paying your Australian employees above the award rate, provide:

                      • copies of relevant employment contracts and

                      • pay slips for this employee

                    Where there is no equivalent worker but there is an enterprise agreement or industrial award


                        • the name of the agreement or award as recorded by the Fair Work Commission, where applicable

                        • the salary level or occupation group that applies to the nomination

                      Where there is no equivalent worker, agreement or award

                       You must determine and then show us what the AMSR is.

                      Explain how you used relevant information to determine what the equivalent worker will be paid. Relevant information could include at least two of the following:

                          • Workforce Australia information

                          • advertisements from the last six months for equivalent positions in the same location (e.g. state, urban vs regional area)

                          • remuneration surveys completed by a reputable organisation

                          • written advice from unions or employer associations

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