457 visa changes 2017
It’s been over a week since the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unexpectedly announced his plans to abolish the 457 visa. Whilst the initial shock may have worn off, there are still a lot of unanswered questions.
So what do these 457 visa changes actually mean?
It is important to note that current 457 visas will remain in effect – they will not be cancelled.
Whilst the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa will not come into effect until March 2018, there are some 457 visa changes already in effect. From 19 April 2017, two new occupations lists have been introduced – the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). In creating the STSOL and MLTSSL, over 200 occupations have been removed.
The introduction of the STSOL and MLTSSL as of 19 April, not only impacts what occupations are now eligible for a 457 visa but also what visa validity period applicants will be granted.
- For those who have 457 applications pending and their occupation has been removed, unfortunately it means their 457 application can no longer be approved. These individuals should seek immigration assistance urgently to assess what other visa options may be available
- Similarly, those who have a 457 visa due to expire shortly and their occupation has been removed, should also seek immigration assistance urgently
- For those whose occupation remains eligible but is on the STSOL, they will be issued a 457 visa for a period of 2 years only
- For those whose occupation is on the MLTSSL, they will be issued a 457 visa for a period of 4 years
Between now and March 2018, we will also see changes to following 457 visa requirements:
- English language;
- Work experience;
- Training requirements for sponsors;
- Labour market testing; and
- Enhanced data sharing between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and the Australian Taxation Office.
Changes to Permanent Residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme were also announced last week.
There are still a number of outstanding details regarding these 457 visa changes and we would expect to receive further information in the coming weeks and months.
In light of these 457 visa changes and other recent changes (eg. dependency rules), it’s more important than ever to ensure you work with an experienced Migration Agent who can assist you with developing an immigration strategy to help achieve your desired outcome.
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