Subclass 186; 16 Nov 2019

In the closure of visa subclass 187 (Direct Entry Stream) on 16 Nov 2019, together with the craziness of information and legislation update for regional visas; visa subclass 491 and visa subclass 494, there also some changes for visa subclass 186 (Transitional Stream).

From 16 Nov 2019, there won't be any English language exemption for visa subclass 186; Transitional Stream.

"For the purposes of paragraphs 186.222(b) of Schedule 2 to the Regulations, persons who, at the date of application for a Subclass 186 have completed a minimum of five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all tuition was delivered in English", this will be repealed on 16 Nov 2019.

All subclass 186; Transitional Stream visa applicants have until 15 Nov 2019, 8:30pm to lodge their visa application if they want to be exempted from their English language requirement.

We wish everyone the best.
We still have a few more days to rush this through.
Hang in there everyone.

Definition of "Regional" this coming 16 Nov 2019

Migration definitions from 16 Nov 2019

1. Major Cities: Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane

2. Cities and major regional centres:
Gold Coast
Sunshine Coast Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie
Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong

  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
  • Priority processing on regional visas.
  • Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  • International students studying at regional universities will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.

3. Regional centres and other regional areas:

  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
  • Priority processing on regional visas.
  • Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  • International students studying at regional universities will be eligible to access an additional 2 years in Australia on a post-study work visa.
  • Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs).

Subclass 115 Remaining Relative Visa

Family is important unit of our life. It is hard to leave our loved one behind.

Visa Subclass 115 Remaining Relative is the Australian citizen or Australian PR (Permanent Resident) to bring the last family member to Australia as a Permanent Resident. 

However, please take note that this is an "offshore" application. The visa applicant needs to be outside of Australia on the lodging date. Hence, there is no Bridging Visa comes with it.

Please also take note that, the waiting period is around 32 years.

Will you wait for 32 years?
Please think carefully before lodging this visa application. 32-year is a LONG LONG time.

Subclass 186 & 187; 16 Nov 2019

We do understand that there might be some confusion about the changes coming this 16 Nov 2019.

Nothing changes for visa subclass 186, Employer Nomination Scheme this coming 16 Nov 2019.

Only subclass 187; RSMS Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme that will be abolished and replaced by subclass 494; Skilled Employer Sponsored.

Those who are on Medium and Long‑term Strategic Skills List, you still can proceed to subclass 186 as per normal. So, no panic.

Those who have or had applied for subclass 457 before or on 18 Apr 2017 (old rules), you still apply for visa subclass 186/187 as per normal, no panic.

The government will provide some transitional arrangement for those who are on 457/482 and will transit to subclass 187 (Transitional Stream ONLY), so please be patient and wait for some legislation announcement.

Those who want to apply for visa subclass 187 RSMS, usually Direct Entry (DE) you can still do so by 15 Nov 2019, 11:59pm.

Law and legislation changes are part of the Australian migration arena. You need to be in the game to win it.

Good luck everyone.

J Migration Team, since 2008


Subclass 491; Skilled Work Regional (Provisional)


1) A new Points-tested visa to assist regional Australia, for applicants with an eligible skilled occupation, nominated by a state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area. It is intended that the designated regional areas, to be identified in a

The legislative instrument will include all of Australia except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

2) This visa enables eligible skilled workers and their families to live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia for 5 years. Visa holders will be eligible to apply for a Permanent Residence visa after 3 years. Applicants for this visa must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or sponsored by an eligible family member residing in a designated regional area and be invited to apply for the visa, following submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect

Pathway to PR

Pathway to permanent residence Holders of this visa are eligible to apply for a subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa if:

• they have earned a minimum taxable income for three years as the holder of a regional provisional visa; and

• they have complied with the conditions of the regional provisional visa; particularly the requirement to live, work and study in a designated regional area of Australia. Dependent children are required to study in a designated regional area in order to meet visa conditions.

The Subclass 191 – Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa will commence in November 2022.

Visa Conditions 491 Visa:

1) The visa holder to notify Immigration of any change, within 14 days of the change occurring, to the holder’s residential address, an email address of the holder, a phone number of the holder, the holder’s passport details, the address of an employer of the holder, or the address of the location of a position in which the holder is employed.

2) the visa holder is in Australia, they must live, work and study only in a designated regional area.

• If a visa holder chooses not to reside in regional Australia, this may result in cancellation of their visa.

• In addition, for a Subclass 191 visa to be granted to an applicant who held a regional provisional visa that was subject to condition 8579, the applicant must have complied with the condition.

• The amendments also limit regional provisional visas holders from being granted any permanent skilled migration visa unless they have held their regional provisional visa for at least three years.

• The purpose of this amendment is to ensure that people who apply for a regional provisional visa and thereby agree to stay in a designated regional area, rather than moving to an urban centre.

• They are free to travel throughout Australia without restriction.

Visa application fee:

The amounts are:

• the base application charge (payable by an applicant seeking to satisfy the primary criteria) is $3,755

• the additional applicant charge (payable by an applicant seeking to satisfy the secondary criteria whose application is combined with that of a primary applicant) is:

- for an applicant who is at least 18: $1,875
- for an applicant who is less than 18: $940

The table in paragraph 1241(2)(b) sets out the second instalment of the visa application charge, payable before the visa is granted. The amounts are:

• for an applicant who was at least 18 at the time of application, and is assessed as not having functional English: $4,890

Transitional arrangements for the new Skilled Work Regional visa

The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) (subclass 491) visa will commence on 16 November 2019. 

The Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489) visa will cease at 11:59pm on 15 November 2019. 

This will affect the ability of states and territories to nominate and issue invitations for the subclass 489 visa and for intending migrants to lodge EOIs and lodge applications for this visa in accordance with the dates below.

10 September 2019:

LAST day for states and territory governments to nominate and for invitations to be issued to an intending migrant for a subclass 489 visa.

LAST day for intending migrants to lodge an EOI in SkillSelect for the subclass 489 visa.

15 November 2019:
LAST day for people who have been invited to apply for a subclass 489 visa to lodge a subclass 489 visa application.

From 16 November 2019: 

Intending migrants can lodge an EOI for the subclass 491 visa. State and territory governments can nominate and invitations are able to be issued to an intending migrant for a subclass 491 visa. Visa applications can be lodged for the subclass 491 visa for intending migrants issued with an invitation to apply.

It is important to note that throughout this period nominations, invitations, EOIs and applications are NOT affected for the 189 or 190 visa subclasses.


There are not of confusion about the "regional" area, usually for the ACT.

Please be informed that the whole ACT considered a regional area, despite they have lots of population growth for the past few years.

In the nutshell:
- The whole ACT, NT, TAS and SA are regional
- All other states, just follow the postcode.

Here is the full list of the regional area postcode:

Skilled Migrant; Jul-Aug 2019

Top 10 occupations by invitation; Independent Skilled Visa; subclass 189.

Jul- Aug 2019

Software and Applications Programmers: 133
Architects and Landscape Architects: 125
Accountants: 98
ICT Business and System Analysts: 93
Computer Network Professionals: 91
Registered Nurses: 68
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: 58
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers: 56
Database and ICT Security Specialists: 51
Civil Engineering Professionals: 41 

subclass 190 NSW

There are lots of interesting occupations available for visa subclass 190 for NSW that has just recently released on 22 July 2019.

Here are just some of them.

Chef; in high demand
Cook; in high demand
Restaurant Manager; medium demand
Baker; limited demand
Pastry Cook; limited demand

and many more

Visa subclass 190 is a visa for the Permanent Residency (PR).

You could apply for this visa by yourself, without any employer getting involved.

You need to have a 60-point for yourself, plus another 5 points from the state nominate; NSW.

60 + 5 = 65 points, that will qualify you for the visa subclass 190, the Permanent Residency (PR).

The occupation will be "closed" once the demand has been reached.

Visa subclass 190 in NSW is open for everyone. You don't need to be living at NSW at the time of the application. You may live interstate or overseas. That's doesn't matter. 

Once the visa (PR) is granted, then you need to reside in NSW for 2 years. You do not need to work in that occupation. 

A few things that you need to know about visa subclass 190:

1. Have the IELTS (or equivalent) result ready. IELTS (general) 6 each band; speaking, reading, writing & listening.

2. Pass your skill assessment 

3. Age less than 45

Australian population

2017 data may be a bit old BUT at least it gives us some idea of how the Australian population spread out. Big cities like Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne & Perth are quite populated. Hence, there is no surprise that the current government try to push the population growth to the regional area.

Think of migrating, think regional.
Most of the regional areas aren't that bad. They are livable, nice and quiet areas like Adelaide, Canberra, Cairns....and... many more. Good environment to bring up a family.

International Education

International Education is such a big industry for Australia. It's here to stay but I just hope that those private colleges provide a good education quality. Not just here to make money and take advantage of some international students.

There are too many low quality or no quality at all colleges around. They need to be gone.

New Regional Visas; 16 Nov 2019

New skilled regional provisional visas - commencing from 16 November 2019.

Definition of Regional Australia: Anywhere, except Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth.

A big bonus for Wollongong and Newcastle NSW.

There will be two new skilled regional provisional visas introduced in November 2019:

1. Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, subclass 494. This will replace subclass 187. It is for people sponsored by an employer in regional Australia and

2. Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa, subclass 491. This will replace subclass 489. It is for people who are nominated by a State or Territory government or sponsored by an eligible family member to live and work in regional Australia.

Under these new visas, migrants will be required to live and work in a regional area of Australia for at least three years before they are eligible to apply for permanent residence.

These new regional visas will provide greater incentives for regional employers to nominate skilled workers, including priority processing of applications and access to additional skilled occupations.

Based on current eligible skilled occupation lists:

• the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa will have almost 700 eligible occupations; and

• the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa will have over 500 eligible occupations.

These new visas will granted with a validity of up to a period of 5 years.

Independent Skilled Migrant, visa subclass 189; May 2019 invitation round

May 2019 invitation round.
The number of invitations for subclass 189:

80 points: 36
85 points: 37
90 or higher: less than 27

The minimum points for some of the occupations:

Accountants: 90
Auditors, Company Secretaries and Corporate Treasurers: 85
Electronics Engineer: 80
Industrial, Mechanical and Production Engineers: 80
Other Engineering Professionals: 80
ICT Business and System Analyst: 85
Software and Applications Programmers: 80
Computer Network Professionals: 80

Partner Visa, 17 Apr 2019 NOT!!!

Just got a message from the Department of Home Affairs.

Partner visa changes requiring sponsorship approval before a visa application is lodged will NOT be commencing 17 April 2019.

The separate sponsorship framework will first be implemented in the new Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa which will be open for sponsorship applications from 17 April 2019.

Further regulation and system changes are required for the new framework to apply to other visas. At this stage, there is no timeframe for expansion of the new sponsorship framework to other family visas and therefore the current arrangements for existing visas, including partner visas, will continue to operate from 17 April 2019.

Guess that the online system is not ready yet.

BUT... beware and be prepared...big changes are coming up.

Partner Visa; 17 Apr 2019

Partner Visa; from 17 Apr 2019, the sponsor needs to be an approved sponsor first in order for the sponsor to sponsor family members to Australia.

Hence, from 17 Apr 2019, Partner Visa (and all other family-related visas), the sponsor need to put in the application become an "approved sponsor" first.

The department is focusing on "domestic violence" and some other issues. Those who have the criminal record will be scrutinised and the waiting period will be lengthy. 

Beware and be prepared. Get your Australian police check certificate done ASAP.

To avoid any delay, you need to lodge your visa application before 17 Apr 2019.

DAMA Designated Area Migration Agreement, NT Northern Territory

DAMA Designated Area Migration Agreement
NT Northern Territory

DAMA NT Programme is a subclass 482 TSS, hence the visa application needs an employer to sponsor the visa applicant first.

In order for the employers to sponsor the overseas workers under the new arrangement; DAMA NT. The employers need to demonstrate that they have put in some effort to recruit the local workforce first, at least 4 months.

The evidence could be, but not limited:

- Evidence of all modes of advertising or recruitment efforts

- Detail of where the advertisement or recruitment took place

- Number of the applications received

- Number of applicants that were hired

- Reasons that candidates were not successful.

English language concession for subclass 482 TSS and subclass 186 ENS in The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA)

The Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) provides eligible businesses access to occupations not available through the standard stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) visa. 

It also provides for English language and Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) concessions.

Subclass 482 TSS concession:

IELTS (general) overall 5.0
Speaking 4.0
Listening 4.0
Reading, no minimum
Writing, no minimum

Subclass 186 ENS concession:
IELTS (general) overall 5.0
Speaking 4.5
Listening 4.5
Reading, 4.5
Writing, 4.5

Please note that visa subclass 482 TSS or subclass 186 ENS (PR) are employer sponsored visa. Therefore, you need an employer to sponsor or nominate you for the position.

NT DAMA, subclass 482 TSS, another pathway to PR

Northern Territory Designated Area Migration Agreement (NT DAMA) lets the Northern Territory (NT) employers sponsor skilled and semi-skilled overseas workers for positions they are unable to fill with local workers.

NT DAMA applies to the whole of the NT and is tailored to address current and emerging labour market shortages and local terms and conditions of employment.

NT DAMA utilises the labour agreement stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), businesses enter into a labour agreement with the Australian Government and workers are then granted a subclass 482 visa.

The key elements of NT DAMA are:

  • pathways to permanent residency for NT DAMA visa holders (including transitional arrangements for existing visa holders)
  • a broad range of occupations that reflect NT skilled and semi-skilled shortages, with no caveats to apply
  • English language concessions for some occupations
  • salary concessions that reflect NT market rates, ensuring that worker terms and conditions of employment are not eroded, and NT businesses and consumers are not subjected to inflationary costs
  • a range of risk and integrity actions to ensure that the rights of both employees and employers are protected
  • a five-year agreement to reduce red tape.

Businesses can access the NT DAMA if they are actively operating in the NT and:

  • are viable and have been operating for at least 12 months
  • have no history of not meeting its obligations to employees
  • are looking to employ overseas workers to fill full-time positions with duties that align with one of the occupations on the NT DAMA list
  • can demonstrate they cannot fill the position locally with Australian citizens or permanent residents
  • can provide terms and conditions of employment to overseas workers that are in accordance with those offered to Australian workers employed in the region.