23/12/16 - Highlights and Trends of 2016 and What to expect in 2017 (Skilled, Student, Family)

Employer Sponsored Visas (subclass 457, 186 ENS, 187 RSMS)

Despite the 457 visa programme integrity report released in 2014 and its recently indentured labour scheme by specific 7-Eleven franchisees in September, the number of applications has nearly remained with a slight decrease of 1.9%, which translates to a few hundred lesser applications that have been submitted.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIPD) however, has been monitoring approved visa holders and sponsors whilst maintain a stricter assessment on applications.

Policies and trends include:

•removal of self-sponsorship for a 457 visa

•increased scrutiny on new businesses applying to be a Standard Business Sponsor

•increased scrutiny on genuine need for position in workplaces, e.g. does your restaurant really need another cook or chef?

•amendment of condition 8107 to 60 days instead of 90 days

•the Department’s policy to assess applications in detail are causing processing times to be longer


Student and Student Guardian Visas (Subclass 500 and 590)

On 1July 2016, the Student visa programme was streamlined into two subclasses. The visa subclasses are:

  • Subclass 500 Student Visa
  • Subclass 590 Student Guardian Visa

There has been an increased attention on Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criteria for the student visa applications to ensure the visa is not used by international students as a way of maintain de facto permanent residency in Australia.


Family Visas- Partner, Parent (Subclass 309/100, 820/801, 103, 143, 173, 101/802)


The high volumes of partner applications continue to persist and has apparent become more severe these past months. This has impacted the following trends such as:

  • Longer Processing times
  • Applications may be refused or returned if application criteria are not met.
  • Longer processing time require the relationship to remain genuine and ongoing which may be stressful if it is an offshore application.
  • DIPB stricter assessment if applications are weak and not supported by required and substantial documents and information to keep the programme outcome below planning levels.  

According to the statistics from the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) its current caseload consists of 10,626 cases related to migration review (excluding refugee reviews). While it is deciding about a 1000 cases a month, there is an average 1165 new cases being lodge each month.

The same has been apparent and expected for the parent visas even for subclass 143 Contributory Parent visa facing wait times of 2 years or more now.

Additionally, there are ongoing discussions to increase the contributory fee significantly to cover the costs of the public and social services in caring for a usually aged parent who will not be working.

For further information on trends and updates, please consult with one of Uvision’s migration agents to ensure your application is lodged successfully.

On behalf of the Uvision team, we wish you a happy new year.