Latest Immigration Information

1. Entrepreneur visa and Point Test Updates

Department of Immigration (DIBP) is making changes to the visa system as part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda. These changes will help Australia attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and the skilled, talented people Australia needs to drive ideas from research to commercial reality.

On 10 September 2016, a new Entrepreneur visa stream and amended the points test for the skilled migration programme is launched.


The Entrepreneur visa is part of the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme. Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Entrepreneur visa will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory government.

Key eligibility criteria includes:

Applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.

The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.

Applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30 per cent interest in their entrepreneurial venture.

There must be one or more funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.

Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP). Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.

Applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.

An Entrepreneur visa holder can progress to permanent residency after four years if they can meet a measure of success, which includes factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.

The amendment to the points test will enhance the pathway to permanent residence for students who have completed Doctoral or Masters by research-level qualifications in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or specified information and communication technology (ICT) related fields in Australia.

The current points test will be amended to award five additional points for Doctorate and Masters by research-level qualifications gained from Australian universities in STEM, specified ICT and other related fields.

The following fields of education qualifications are proposed to be accepted under this new measure and are defined by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):

Field of Education:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Other Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Other Information Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering and Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Geomatic Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
  • Maritime Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
  • Other Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Process and Resources Engineering.

Graduates who want to determine whether their qualification is eligible are able to search the CRICOS website. If their qualification is at Doctorate or Masters by research-level and their field of education is listed in the above table then they will be eligible for five additional points towards their points test.

2. Queensland Skilled Occupations List




Effective 25 July 2016

This list is for applicants that are not currently working in their nominated occupation in Queensland. BSMQ can nominate applicants for the following visas:

  • The subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa is a permanent residency points tested skilled migration visa for applicants nominated by a state or territory government.
  • The subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa is a points tested skilled migration provisional visa with

pathway to permanent residency. This visa requires applicants to live in a regional area for two years, and

be employed for 12 months. Employment can be shown in one of the following ways:

  • Work for one or more employers
  • Two-part time jobs
  • Be self employed
  • Own your own busines

Skills Occupation List is as following:



Skills occuption_list

for more information, please refer to


3. Updated Skilled Occupations List (SOL)---- Accountant and IT are still in the main list.

On 1 July 2016, a new SOL will be introduced with a number of changes to the occupations. If you intend to apply on or after 1 July 2016 for an independent or family sponsored points tested visa or a temporary graduate (subclass 485)-graduate work stream visa, you need to make sure your occupation is listed on the new SOL. If you have lodged a valid application before 1 July 2016. Your application will not be affected by these changes.

Occupations being added to the SOL from 1 July 2016 are:
Orthotist or Prosthetist (ANZSCO 251912)
Audiologist (ANZSCO 252711)
Some other occupations such as Accountant and IT are still in the main list.

Occupations being moved from the SOL from 1 July 2016 are:

  • Mining Engineer (Excluding Petroleum)
  • Petroleum engineer
  • Metallurgist
  • Environmental Health officer
  • Occupational Health and Safety Adviser.
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Dental Prosthetist
  • Dental Technician
  • Dental Therapist

The review of the SOL has not impacted the composition of the consolidated sponsored occupations list(CSOL). Occupation currently listed on the CSOL will continue to be listed from 1 July 2016.

4. EOI new policy announcement

In late 2013, the department conducted an evaluation of occupational ceiling to assess how they have operated to date and to consider changes to ensure they are performing their intended function.

Based on feedback received as part of the evaluation, the following changes will be in place form 1 March 2014:

  • State and territory nominated visas will no longer be subject to occupational ceiling limitations
  • The minimum ceiling for each occupational group will be 1000 invitations

As there are still high levels of interest from prospective skilled migrations in the following six occupations, pro rata arrangements for these occupational groups will continue:

  • Chemical and Materials Engineers
  • Electronics Engineers
  • Other Engineering Professionals
  • ICT Business and Systems Analysts
  • Software and Applications Programmers
  • Telecommunications Engineering Professionals

Details of the cut-offs for these occupations will continue to be included in the regular invitation round reports.


5. International student VISA framework

A simplified international student VISA framework commences the 1st July 2016.

Student Visa_Framework

6. Significant Investor Visa

The Australian Government has announced a new visa pathway for migrant investors coming to Australia. This visa will commence from 24 November 2012.

The significant investor visa will be part of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (Subclass 888) visa.

Visa applicants must:

  • submit an expression of interest in SkillSelect
  • be nominated by a state or territory government
  • make investments of at least five million Australian dollars into complying investments.

Visa applicants do not need to satisfy the innovation points test and there are no upper age limits. The visa stream features a residence requirement of 160 days spent in Australia over four years while holding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa.

Visa holders can extend their visa term if they would like to. They will be allowed to extend their provisional visa by an additional two years, with a maximum of two extensions permitted.


Source: DIAC and IMMI websites


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