457 visa to be abolished and replaced
The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull and the Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, announced the 457 visa scheme will be abolished and replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program by March 2018.
Malcolm Turnbull said, “The new visa will better target genuine skill shortages including in regional Australia and will include new requirements including previous work experience, better English language proficiency and labour market testing.”
The new TSS visa will be introduced in March 2018, with the 457 visa still available until that time.
The announcement made several immediate changes to the 457 visa ahead of the new TSS visa being introduced, including significantly reducing the skilled occupations available under the 457 visa and reducing the visa period for 457 visas.
It is unclear how individuals granted 457 visas after the announced changes will be impacted in their options for permanent residence.
What is changing?
On 18 April 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced the 457 visa scheme will be replaced by a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program.
The TSS visa will be introduced in March 2018 however, the government is already making changes to the 457 visa to prepare for the new system.
On 19 April 2017, immediate changes were:
- Changes to the list of eligible skilled occupations
- Changes to visa validity periods and pathways to permanent residency
Changes to the list of eligible skilled occupations
Effective from 19 April 2017, 216 occupations <LINKS> are no longer listed as eligible for the 457 visa. In addition, restrictions have been added to 59 of the eligible occupations to immediately limit their use.
Changes to visa validity periods and pathways to permanent residency
Previously 457 visas were granted for a period of four years, with only a few exceptions.
Effective from 19 April 2017, the maximum four-year visa period will only be available to persons with an occupation listed on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
All other applicants listed on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) will be eligible for a maximum visa period of two years.
Once the new TSS visa is introduced, visa holders with an occupation on the STSOL will no longer have a pathway to apply for permanent residence through the Employer sponsorship schemes, while those with occupations on the MLTSOL will be able to transition to permanent residence after three years.
It is unclear whether individuals who were granted 457 visas before the changes will be eligible to transition to permanent residence after March 2018 when the new TSS visa comes into effect.
View our Frequently Asked Questions about the temporary work visa changes.
Interstaff will keep you updated on any new information as it is announced and will be on hand to advise on a migration strategy for your business or individual needs. If you have any queries, please call us on +61 8 9221 3388 (or National Free Call 1800 449 858).