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visa Changes in General Skilled Migration – Subclass 189/190/489

Skilled Occupation Lists:

The new skilled occupation list has been released for July 2017 – 2018. The new combined list of skilled occupation consists of both the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
You can view the list of Eligible Skilled Occupations on the DIBP website at


Occupations that are listed on the MLTSSL can qualify for skilled independent – subclass 189, State nominated – subclass 190, or Relative sponsored/regional nomination – subclass 489. However, an occupation listed on the STSOL can qualify only for State/Regional Nomination – subclass 190/489.


Age reduction:

From 1 July 2017, applicants for the subclass 189/190/489 must be under 45 years of age.


Pathway to permanent residence for New Zealand Special Category visa holders:

This pathway is a new stream in the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa.

New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who resided in Australia on or before 19 February 2016 can apply under this stream if, at the time of lodging an application, they resided in Australia for at least five years.

The requirements include:

  • Contributing to Australia, demonstrated through income tax returns which show taxable income at least equivalent to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for the qualifying period
  • Meeting mandatory health, character and security checks.

New Zealand citizens who are granted this visa will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after a period of 12 months.


Choosing the right occupation, the right skills assessment and the right subclass is crucial for your application. Please contact or for assistance in navigating the available options.