457 Visa Changes and Migration to Australia

silhouette of a family

As many of you are aware on 19 April 2017 the Australian Government announced the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) will be discontinued, transitioning to a new multi-stream Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa system by March 2018.

The changes highlight the dynamic nature of migration law in Australia. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) recognizes the importance of understanding your migration options with this development. IOM offers migration advice through a registered migration agent and provides the following summary of the announced changes for 457 holders, future applicants and their business sponsors.

For current 457 visa holders there should be no immediate effect on your status. There will, however, be an impact should you intend to apply for a new 457 visa or for permanent residency. For some current 457 visa holders the pathway to permanent residency will become more protracted, extending to a three year period up from two years, and may no longer be available to others.

Changes taking immediate effect impact applications lodged before 19 April 2017 pending a decision and all applications lodged on or after 19 April 2017.

216 of the occupations listed on the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL) were removed with another 59 restricted, 24 of which are restricted to regional Australia as part of the employer sponsored visa programme.

For individuals planning to apply for or renew a 457 visa, as well as for business sponsors, based on current available information you can expect the following changes to the requirements.

  • From 19 April 2017 – if your occupation is on the Medium-Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), your visa can be granted for four years. If your occupation is on the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), your visa will be granted for two years, with only one extension of a further two years available.
  • From 1 July 2017 – Mandatory penal clearances will be required for applicants, the equivalent salary exemption above $96,400 will be removed and there will be more stringent training benchmarks for business sponsors. Applicants applying for permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS) will be required to achieve a competent level of English, representing a higher standard than the current requirement to achieve a vocational level.
  • Prior to 31 December 2017 – the collection of Tax File Numbers (TFNs) for Australian Taxation Office data matching and the publication of sanctioned sponsors will be implemented.
  • From March 2018 – the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa will be enacted, replacing the abolished 457 visa. The TSS visa will include the Short-Term (two years) and Medium-Term streams (four years). You will need to have at least two years of work experience for both streams before applying and your occupation will have to be on either the MLTSSL (four year stream) or the STSOL (two year stream). Those on the four year stream will be able to apply for permanent residency after three years, whilst those on the short-term stream will be able to re-apply for one additional visa only.

For many occupations, the new MLTSSL currently retains most of the occupations contained on the previous CSOL list, however, it is important to bear in mind that there are likely to be more changes that could impact on the success of future applications on the basis of occupation.

For further information about how these changes may affect your migration options, contact IOM on 1300 921 811.

NOTE: Information is current at 4 May 2017.

International Organization for Migration

Migration Services to Australia

© International Organization for Migration, 2017.

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities