Changes to temporary working visa

There have been recent changes in relation to the temporary and permanent and skilled migration programmes which the government had announced on 18th April 2017.

Here's the summary of the changes:

With effect from 19 April 2017
The Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been revised and is now known as the Medium to Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
The Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) has been revised and is now known as the Short Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)
Between the two new lists, there has been 216 occupations removed as well as a further 59 occupations being ‘restricted’.  ‘Restricted’ simply means that there is a higher level of experience and qualification required in order to be nominated for any of those 59 job titles.
If the occupation is on the STSOL, the maximum time granted for the 457 is 2 years.
If the occupation is on the MLTSSL, the 457 can be granted for up to 4 years (same as current).
With effect from 1 July 2017
There may be possible further changes made to the current eligible occupation lists.
There will be minor changes made to the training benchmarks for 457 sponsors, which have not been announced.
457 applicants will no longer be excluded from penal checks, therefore police clearance certificates are to be provided from all the countries resided in.
For 457 applicants, there will be no longer be the English Language exemption for high income earners, which is more than AUD $96,400
With effect from December 2017 (before 31 December 2017)
Department of Home Affairs will begin to collect TFN (Tax File Numbers) of 457 visa holders. This is to ensure that their salary is in compliance with their employment contract.
Home Affairs will begin to publish details of sponsors that have been previously sanctioned for not meeting their obligations, making it easy for an applicant to search if their employer has been penalised before for not adhering to the sponsorship requirements in accordance with regulations.
With effect from March 2018
Subclass 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with two different visas. The TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) visa will be a short term 2 year visa, whilst another stream will be medium term for 4 years.
The Short-Term stream is meant for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with overseas workers only on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be found.

Some of the requirements:

  1. This stream of visa can only be renewed once
  2. The occupations eligible are available on the STSOL
  3. Regional - the occupations are STSOL and additional occupations to support regional employers.
  4. Compulsory english testing of minimum score of overall 5 and 4.5 in each component

The Medium-Term stream is meant to allow employers to find overseas workers to address shortages in a narrower range of high skilled and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be found.

  1. Ability to renew onshore and seek permanent residency after 3 years
  2. The occupation list available on MTSSL and additional occupations to support the regional employers
  3. English test minimum score of 5 in each component

Both streams have to meet :

  1. Mandatory labour market testing
  2. Police clearance is mandatory
  3. At least 2 years’ working experience
  4. Minimum market salary rate - Employers must meet TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold)*
  5. Training requirements to be strengthened to ensure that employers contribute towards the training of the Australian workers
  6. Non discriminating policy to ensure employers are discriminating against Australian workers
For ENS and RSMS visa:

  1. Employers must meet the market salary rate in Australia and meet the TSMIT*
  2. There will be a requirement of 3 years relevant work experience
  3. All applicants must be 45 or under at time of application
  4. The PR eligibility period has now been extended from 2 to 3 years.
  5. There will be a strengthened training requirement for employers to meet to contribute towards training
* TSMIT is set at AUD $53,900 as at 12 April 2016

 

Current 457 holders

For existing holders of 457 visas, your visas remain in force and you still have a pathway to permanent residence through the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream under the 186 and 187 Visas.  The new occupation lists don’t currently apply to the TRT scheme.

 

457 holders will still be eligible for TRT until March 2018. if they have met the minimum of two years full time work with their existing sponsor (employer).

 

Applicants for 457 visas

If the application is not yet decided, or the application has not been lodged yet, and;

 

If your occupation is still on one of the lists, STSOL or MLTSSL - you may be able to be granted the 457 visa pending meeting all other criteria. The visa will be granted in line with the new regulations from 19th April 2017:

•Occupation on STSOL: Up to 2 years

•Occupation on MLTSSL: Up to 4 years

If your occupation has been removed, then in all likelihood,  Home Affairs will ask you to withdraw the application and issue a refund for the VAC (Visa Application Charge).

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