March 2023 News – General Skilled Migration Invitation Updates

March 2023 News – General Skilled Migration Invitation Updates

March 2023

Welcome to this month’s issue of First Class Migration’s Australian Immigration Update, March 2023.

In this edition:
– GSM Skill Assessment Update
– 485 Temporary Graduate Visa Update
– Working Holiday Makers Update
– Student Visa Update
– Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Reminder
– ANZSCO Comprehensive Review

Another month, another slate of the latest Australian immigration news and updates.

As always, there have been a number of developments that could impact those of you who are either planning to migrate to Australia or are already in the process. We have curated a round-up of some of the key things you need to know to get you caught up on all things migration for this month.

GSM Skills Assessments Obtained Within the 60-day Invitation Period

The Department of Home Affairs is now accepting suitable skills assessments that were obtained within the 60 days upon receiving an invitation to apply for a General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa.

This applies to the following points tested GSM visas that require a suitable skills

– Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) — Points tested stream
– Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
– Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) — Invited Pathway
– Skilled Work Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 491)

To apply for any of the above listed GSM visas, you must have a suitable skills assessment for your nominated application undertaken by an assessing authority. The assessment must be for an occupation that is on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

The Department has advised in their website regarding this recent update in GSM Skills Assessment policy:

Delegates of the Minister will now accept a suitable skills assessment for an applicant’s nominated skilled occupation which has been obtained within the 60 day invitation period.

This change of approach is made as a result of the decision of Thapa v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs [2021] FCCA 686 (Thapa). The Minister will administer the Migration Regulations 1994 in accordance with the decision in Thapa, but the Minister reserves the right to make submissions in a Court that Thapa was wrongly decided.

Skills assessment validity periods are calculated as follows:
– If no validity period is shown on a skills assessment, the assessment is
valid for 3 years from date of issue,
– If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is less than 3 years, the
assessment is valid for the period stated on the assessment,
– If the validity period shown on a skills assessment is more than 3 years,
the assessment is valid for three years from date of assessment-

What this means to applicants is that they will now have 60 more days to obtain a skills assessment from the date of receiving an invitation.

Prior to the change, applicants were required to complete their skills assessments before they submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) for a GSM Visa. This put applicants in a tight spot if they did not manage to complete a skills assessment before receiving an invitation, or if the validity of their assessment expired after they received the invitation.

The policy has been eased to allow GSM skills assessments obtained within the 60 day period of receiving an invitation – this then gives the applicants the extra time should any issues with obtaining their skills assessment arise.

The Department still encourages applicants to arrange their skills assessment prior to submitting their EOIs and advises against relying on the skills assessment obtained during the 60 day invitation period.

Visa Updates

The Department has announced some changes which will take effect on 1 July 2023: Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485)

Ready to get started? Contact First Class Migration today to begin your visa application process with the support of experts who truly care about your future in Australia.