There are a number of legislative changes that will come into effect on 1 July 2015 affecting the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186 Visa) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187 Visa).
Ministers of Religion occupation
From 1 July 2015, the occupation of Minister of Religion (ANZSCO 272211) will be ineligible for both the Direct Entry Stream and the Temporary Residence Transition stream of the Subclass 186 Visa and Subclass 187 Visa, or the Temporary Work (Skilled) Subclass 457 Visa.
Religious organisations must sign up to the available Minister of Religion Industry Labour Agreement before lodging an employer nomination for Subclass 186 Visa under the Agreement Stream. For the Subclass 457 Visa, religious organisations must also sign up to the Minister of Religion Labour Agreement before a nomination for a temporary worker can be lodged.
From 1 July 2015, exemptions will no longer be available for Ministers of Religion for the age, skill and English language requirements under the Direct Entry and the Temporary Residence Transition streams of the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 Visas. Applicants must meet the requirements as outlined in the Minister of Religion Industry Labour Agreement.
If an employer nomination for a Minister of Religion is lodged before 1 July 2015 and is subsequently approved after this date, the corresponding visa application can be lodged for the relevant stream of the Subclass 186 or Subclass 187 Visa. However, the exemptions to age, skill and English language available to Ministers of Religion will no longer apply.
Information on the key features of the Minister of Religion industry labour agreement, and on how to request a labour agreement, is attached.