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.