MUST READ – 457 visa abolished!
On 18 April 2017, the Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Malcolm Turnbull, and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Hon Peter Dutton, jointly announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skilled Shortage (TSS) visa. This new visa will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages.
Here are more details about this change:
What has already changed?
The abolishment of the 457 visa is in effect as of 19 April 2017. This means you cannot lodge a 457 visa application any longer.
Has changes been made to the approved occupation list?
The first phase of a number of intended changes to the approved occupation list for the subclass 457 visa has already been implemented, with amendments made to the existing legislative instrument that specifies approved occupations for the programme.
The instrument referred to above has two schedules and lists the occupations that are approved for the purposes of the subclass 457 visa.
As of 19 April, the lists contained in these schedules have been renamed:
- The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) is now known as the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
- The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) is now known as the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
In addition, some significant changes have been made to the occupations eligible for temporary and permanent skilled migration.
From a subclass 457 visa perspective, this includes:
- 216 occupations removed from the list of eligible occupations; and
- Caveats added to 59 other occupations.
What still has to change?
As mentioned earlier, these changes forms the first phase of a number of intended changes. The next phase of changes will be implemented on 1 July 2017.
These changes include:
- Possible further adjustments to eligible occupation lists.
- An expansion of client cohorts for whom mandatory skills assessments are required.
- Minor changes to the training benchmarks for subclass 457 sponsors.
- The subclass 457 programme will no longer be excluded from standard policy around penal perks – with police certificates required to be provided from countries a visa applicant has lived in as per current policy for other visa subclasses.
How does this all affect you?
The degree to which you’re affected will depend on where you are in your migration. It’s best to contact us so we can speak to you about your options going forward.
If you have not started your application, it would unfortunately mean that the 457 visa is no longer an option for you.
Either way, keep up with developments by subscribing to our newsletter or following us on Facebook. We will post these as and when announcements from Australia happen.