Immigration Update for Business – 1 July 2016

Accredited Sponsor 457 VisaAccredited Sponsor Program

The change:  More business will be able to access the benefits of accreditation from 1 July 2016. The benefits of accreditation include:

  • Accredited sponsorship approval for a term of 6 years rather than 5 years.
  • Priority process – 2 weeks for nomination and subclass 457 visas, rather than the current 6-8 weeks.
  • New streamlined processing for nomination applications (not visas) which:
    • Related to occupations in Skill Level 1 or 2 under ANZSCO
    • The base salary is about the Fair Work High Income Threshold for recruitment consultant, sales representative (industrial product), customer service manager, corporate general manager, procurement manager, quality assurance manager, sales and marketing manader, specialise manager NEC (not elsewhere classified), hotel / motel manager, contract administrator, and information and organisation professionals NEC, or
    • The base salary is $75,000 for all other occupations.

Sponsors qualify for accreditation if they:

  • Are a government agency, publicly listed company, or a private company with a turnover of more than $4 million in the past 3 years
  • Have sponsored at least 10 primary subclass 457 visa applicants in the past 24 months
  • Have been an active sponsor for at least 3 years with a break of no more than 6 months in the past 3 years
  • Have had no adverse information such as warnings or sanctions
  • Have lodged a specified number of decision-ready applications over the past 2 years
  • Have an approval rate of more than 97% in the past 3 years
  • Have at least 75% Australian workforce
  • Provide fair employment terms in accordance with National Employment Standards
  • Pay award or market salary rates

Who is affected: Existing accredited sponsors will be reviewed to ensure they meet the new criteria, and those who do meet the requirements can upgrade their status to access new streamlined nomination processing. Standard business sponsors who meet the requirements for accreditation can apply to upgrade to accredited status after 1 July 2016.

High Income Threshold

The change:  The high income threshold will increase to$138,900 per annum, effective 1 July 2016. The previous threshold was $136,700 per annum until 30 June 2016.

Who is affected: Regional Skilled visa and Employer Nomination Scheme visa applicants over 49 years. RSMS and ENS applicants who are over the maximum age of 49 must now be paid above the new high income threshold to benefit from the age exemption for RSMS and ENS visa categories.


The change:  New SOL and CSOL have been published, with effect from 1 July 2016. There have been no changes to the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL), which applies to employer and state sponsored visas.

Nine occupations have been removed from the Skilled Occupation List (SOL):

  1. Mining Engineers ANZSCO 233611
  2. Petroleum Engineers ANZSCO 233612
  3. Metallurgist ANZSCO 234912
  4. Environmental Health Officer ANZSCO 251311
  5. Occupational Health and Safety Adviser ANZSCO 251312
  6. Dental Hygienist ANZSCO 411211
  7. Dental Prosthetist ANZSCO 411212
  8. Dental Technician ANZSCO 411213
  9. Dental Therapist ANZSCO 411214

The following occupation have been added to the Skilled Occupation list:

  1. Orthotists and Prosthetists ANZSCO 251912
  2. Audiologists ANZSCO 252711

Who is affected:  Applicants will now require employer or state sponsorship to apply under one of these occupation categories removed from the SOL.  Businesses requiring these skills will need to sponsor rather than employees obtaining an independent skilled visas.

For further information about how The Migration Agency can assist your business to take advantage of these opportunities, please contact us (02) 8896 6056 or


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