UPDATED POST ON 18th MAY.
The Prime Minister posted a video on his Facebook on 18th April and created panic and commotion.
In the video he announced major changes to the most popular visa program – the 457 visa.
The changes will happen is 3 different stages:
Stage 1 started on the 19th April – the next day after the announcement – and the changes below are already in place since then.
- 216 occupations completely removed from the program
From that day onwards, 216 occupations were completely removed from the 457 visa program.
This means that any applications for a 457 visa where the nominated occupation is one of those 216 removed will not be approved. This includes applications lodged from that day onwards and applications lodged before the announcements that were pending as well.
See the list of occupations removed from the program here.
If your occupation is on the list, but you already have a 457 visa, your current visa will not be affected.
This change, however, affects your ability to apply for a Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Permanent Visa via the Direct Entry Stream. Once those occupations were removed from the program, people cannot apply for this visa anymore, unless via the Temporary Residence Transition Stream. We are still to confirm until when this will be possible as the government announced transitional arrangements.
Before you panic, the usual suspects have not been removed from the list: Café/Restaurant Manager, Accountant, Marketing Specialist, Cooks and Chefs, and most IT Occupations remain.
- Caveats (Restrictions)
The very popular occupations above that remained on the list will now only be approved for a 457 visa if the business or in some cases the visa applicant, meets specific requirements. Some examples:
– Businesses will only be able to sponsor Accountants if they have an annual turnover of at least AUD$1 Million and five employees;
– Businesses will only be able to sponsor Customer Service Managers, Sales & Marketing Managers, or a Marketing Specialist if they have an annual turnover of at least AUD$1 Million and the salary being offered is of at least $65,000.00.
- Goodbye CSOL. Hello MLTSSL and STSOL.
The CSOL was split into 2 different lists:
The ‘Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List‘ (MLTSSL) featuring occupations that are in high demand nationwide;
The ‘‘Short-term Skilled Occupation List‘ (STSOL) where all other occupations in the program appear
457 Visas could be approved for up to 4 years before the changes. Now they can only be approved for four years if the occupation nominated for the visa is on the MLTSSL. If your occupation is on the STSOL, your 457 visa will only be approved for two years.
Stage 2 will start in July 2017
The department will continue to implement changes until March 2018, when the 457 will be replaced by a totally new visa.
But in July there will be a few more changes:
- A review of the MLTSSL and the STSOL. They may or may not change the occupations in this list, there is nothing confirmed.
- Applicants for the 457 visa will start being asked to produce police checks for this application – this is usually only asked for permanent visa applications now.
Stage 3 will start in March 2018
The 457 will not exist anymore from the 1st March 2018.
A new visa will replace it and it will be called the ‘Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa’.
The government said the requirements will be stricter, especially when it comes to English, work experience and employer training obligations towards Australians.
What happens to permanent residence?
The government indicated that visa holders whose occupations are on the STSOL will not have access to a permanent employer nomination visa, only those on the MLTSSL but we need to wait to see the details of this, as well as if there will be transitional arrangements for people holding the “old” 457 visa.
We will be hosting a Webinar soon with more information about the 457 changes.
Co-Founder, Director and Registered Migration Agent 0532487