457 visa is a temporary employer sponsored skilled visa. It is recently being abolished and replaced with entirely new visa program: Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa. The new visa program in entirety will come into effect by March 2018. The changes are introduced in 4 phases throughout the year; April 2017, June 2017, December 2017 and the final changes in March 2018. By March 2018, 457 temporary work visa will cease to exist.
The scrapping of 457 visa, is hoped to focus more on actual skill shortage faced by Australian economy and addressing it with more robust plans of meeting the skills shortage. It is feared that scrapping of 457 visa is to discourage skilled immigration to Australia. However, having a focussed and updated plan for meeting acute skill shortage of the country puts more emphasis on specific skills and those skills will be highly sought after by the Australian immigration department. The experts opine that many skills might get added over a period.
Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa
The new visa, Temporary Skills Shortage Visa is expected to have revised requirements, such as, labour market testing, better English language proficiency and mandatory previous work experience. TSS visa will be valid for as short as 2 years up to 4 years. There would not be permanent residency visa options available for applicants holding short-term (2 years) TSS Visa. For those who are sponsored by their employers for mid-term (3-4 years) TSS Visa, will be eligible for permanent residency pathway after 3 years.
Short-term TSS Visa
- Short-term TSS visa can be renewed only once onshore
- IELTS or equivalent test score for English language proficiency should be 5, or at the least 4.5 in every section
- The applicant must be genuine temporary entrant
Mid-term TSS Visa
- Mid-term TSS visa can be renewed onshore
- IELTS score must be at least 5
Note: The current 457 visa holders will not be affected by the change in policy.
Changes brought in phases:
The first phase of changes to temporary work visa (457 visa) will be in effect by April 2017. The changes that will be in effect from 19th April,2017, are here:
Validity: For the occupations that are on STSOL (Short Term Skilled Occupation List), the 457-visa issued from 19th April 2017, will have validity of 2 years to the maximum. The occupations listed on MLTSSL (Mid-term and Long Term Strategic Skills List) will be valid for 4 years at the maximum.
Occupation List: The occupation list has undergone quite a lot of changes from 657 occupations to 435. 216 occupations are removed and around 59 occupations are restricted.
Contact us to check if your nominated occupation is in the occupation list or not. The occupation list is going to be updated every 6 months, so make sure your skills are listed prior to applying.
The second phase of changes will come into effect from 1st July 2017. Read further how the changes affect you here:
Proficiency in English language: Earlier, the applicants with salary over AUD96,400 were exempt from the English language requirement. With July 1st, 2017, this exemption will be removed.
Occupation list: Expect revision of skills listed in STSOL and MLTSSL.
Training: To set the training standard requirement will be made statutory that will bring more clarity to this requirement.
Character: A certificate of clean criminal records will be made mandatory.
By 31st December 2017 below changes will affect existing 457 visa holders:
Tax Verification: The DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) will cross verify whether the temporary work visa holders are paying stipulated tax. The Tax File Numbers will be matched with Tax Office Records for verification.
Publication of details: The sponsoring employers who fail to meet Migration Regulation 1994 and related regulations, will be published.
The last phase of changes will be in effect by March 2018. Check them below:
Labour Market Testing: The labour market testing requirement will be made mandatory. Except in those cases where international arrangements are made with regards to this requirement.
Relevant Work Experience: Minimum 2 years of relevant work experience is mandatory for nominated occupation.
Workforce Test: The employers must give non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure there is no biased hiring.
Character: Compulsory criminal clearance certificate must be provided.
Training: The sponsoring employers for Temporary Skill Shortage, must contribute to Skilling Australians Fund at the time of nominating an overseas employee.
- Small businesses, with annual turnover of less than $10 million, will have to pay $1200 per year or part year.
- Other businesses, will have to pay $1800 per year or part year.
Competent Salary Rate: This requirement must be met by the employers to ensure they are paying market rate salaries to the sponsored workers and not less than that. With this they must meet the TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) condition.
Talk to our expert advisors and get clarity on temporary work visa requirements, rights and obligations.
Other Recommended Read: Australia Post Study Work Visa (2017) : The Complete Guide