Changes to the 457 visa
Yes, the 457 visa will be scrapped by next year and yes, there are many changes to 457 visa criteria. For those who are trying to understand what those changes are and what they mean to you, here are a few changes that will take place from now until March 2018.
What is changing?
From 19 April 2017, the following changes will take effect for the current 457 visa:
The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is being replaced by the Medium and Long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This list is used for the new visa replacing the 457 visa which will grant the applicants a 4 year visa with a pathway to Permanent Residence.
For those applying for any of the following visas:
Skilled Independent (subclass 189)
Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) and
Relative Nominated stream of the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489)
the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
Occupations currently listed on the SOL will remain available for visas that use the SOL list – such as the (the Skilled Independent (subclass 189), the Graduate Work stream of the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) and the Eligible Relative Nominated stream of the Skilled Regional (Provisional) (subclass 489).
The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) is replaced by the Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). This was the list that was used previously for the 457 visas. The list is reduced from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted. This list will only enable the visa applicant to apply for a temporary 2-year visa which can only be renewed once with not avenue or pathway to permanent pathway. If your occupation is on this list, contact us immediately at 61 02 9286 8700.
For further information with regards to the removed lists please refer to the link:
From 1 July 2017, the following changes will take effect for the current 457 visa:
The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment. This may result in alterations and further occupations may be reduced from the list.
There English language exemption for the high salary income threshold (salaries over $96,400) will be removed
There will be changes to the training benchmarks for the 457 visas
Character checks will be mandatory; you will be required to provide penal checks for the 457 visas
From 31 December 2017, the following changes will take effect for the current 457 visa:
The Department of Immigration will commence data sharing with the Australian Tax Office. The Department of Immigration will collect Tax File Numbers for 457 visa holders (and other employer sponsored migrants), and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
The Department will also begin to publish details sponsor sanctions for companies that fail to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation.
From March 2018, the following changes will take effect for the current 457 visa:
The 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa. The TSS visa will consist of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years. The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.
The Medium-Term stream (MLTSSL) will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of high skill and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced. This pathway will have options for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years.
The Short-Term stream (STSOL) will not enable a pathway to permanent residency and can only be renewed onshore only once. The regional list for the Short-Term stream will have further occupations.
For further information please Fact sheet one: Reforms to Australia’s temporary employer sponsored skilled migration programme:
What is different for both streams:
Work experience: there will be a requirement for the employee to have at least 2 years’ work experience prior to applying for both visas
Labour Market Testing: Labour Market Testing (LMT) will be mandatory unless it contravenes Australia’s international obligations
TSMIT: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements
Police checks: mandatory police checks (penal clearance) requirements
Non-discriminatory test: A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
Training requirements: further rules regarding training requirements will be introduced