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Recent Changes in Australian Migration Rules: How They Impact Students, Work Permit Visa Holders, and Potential Migrants


As the new year unfolds, Australia has introduced significant changes to its migration rules, raising questions about how these amendments will affect individuals planning to study, work, or migrate to the country. In this article, we’ll delve into the key modifications and their implications for students, work permit visa holders, and potential migrants.

I. Impact on students:

For students aspiring to study in Australia, the changes primarily revolve around English language requirements and alterations to the Post Study Work (PSW) visa. The English language requirement has been marginally increased from 6 to 6.5. While this change might not heavily impact students, the duration of the PSW visa has been reduced from 3 to 2 years, potentially influencing those with long-term migration plans.

II. Work permit visa sector changes:

The Australian government aims to streamline the work permit visa process by replacing the existing 482 subclass visa with a three-tier system: Specialist skills, core skills, and essential skills pathways.

1. Specialist skills pathway:

  • No occupation list restrictions.
  • Excludes trade workers, mission operators, and certain laborers.
  • Requires a guaranteed annual earning of at least $135,000.
  • Intends to process visas within 7 working days.
  • Limited to 3,000 visas annually.

2. Core skills pathway:

  • Covers a wide range of trades, skills, and professions.
  • The occupation list is managed by Jobs and Skills Australia.
  • Visas are expected to be processed in 21 days.
  • Requires a minimum annual wage of $70,000.

3. Essential skills pathway:

  • Anticipated for lower-income occupations (annual income less than $70,000).

These changes aim to address the specific needs of different occupations and streamline the visa application process.

III. Other work permit visa changes:

1. Labor market testing advertisement:

  • Employers no longer need to advertise on the workforce Australia website.
  • Reduces processing time by up to 4 weeks.

2. Validity of labor market testing:

  • Extended from 4 to 6 months.

3. Change of employer for 482 subclass visa holders:

  • Timeframe increased from 2 months to 6 months (180 days).
  • Provides more flexibility for those seeking to change employers.


These changes in Australian migration rules bring both challenges and opportunities for individuals planning to study, work, or migrate to the country. Staying informed about these amendments is crucial for making well-informed decisions and navigating the evolving landscape of Australian migration policies.

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