• High Income Earners Exemption Retained for Applications Submitted Prior to July 1
  • July 25, 2017
  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has clarified that the exemption to English language proficiency and skills assessment for high income earners with earnings of at least equivalent to the Australian Tax Office top income tax rate (A$180,001) will continue to apply to applications that were submitted, but not finalized, before July 1, 2017. This exemption will continue to be removed for high income earners who submitted their applications on or after July 1.

    This applies to the Direct Entry Stream under the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa and Temporary Residence Transition Stream under both the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) Visa.

    Background

    Previously, among the changes to the Direct Entry Stream requirements that took effect on July 1, 2017, was that evidence of English language proficiency and skills assessment would be required for high income earners who submitted their applications on or after July 1, 2017 as well as those whose applications were submitted prior to, but not finalized by, July 1, 2017. The English language proficiency exemption for high income earners applying under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream was also removed at that time.

    Following feedback concerning the lawfulness of applying the new rules to applications that were submitted, but not yet finalized, before the effective date of July 1, 2017, DIBP has decided to continue applying the exemption to English language proficiency and skills assessment for high income earners who submitted their applications prior to the change taking effect.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    DIBP’s announcement that exemption to English language proficiency and skills assessment for high income earners will continue to apply to applications submitted prior to, but not yet finalized by, July 1, 2017 will help clarify some of the confusion and should benefit affected employers and foreign nationals.