Changes to 457 Visas and the new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa

Practice Area: Immigration

The Prime minister of Australia announced earlier this month that the 457 visa is being replaced by an entirely new visa, the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa. We were informed that the changes will occur in stages, beginning from April 2017. If you are currently waiting for a decision on your 457 application, or if you intend to apply for a work visa in Australia in the future, these changes will apply to you. We have prepared a brief summary to assist those who may be affected by these changes and we are happy to as assistance with your application or questions please feel free to contact our office.

Changes from April 2017 – March 2018

Reducing the Occupation Lists

The Occupation Lists have been renamed. Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) is now the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every 6 months. The Skilled Occupations List (SOL) is now the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). 216 occupations will be removed from the list and further restrictions will be placed on 59 others. The Government will review the lists again in July 2017.

Collection of Tax File Numbers

The Department will begin collecting the tax file numbers of 457 holders from April 2017. This means that the Department will be able to check data against ATO records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than the salary nominated in their visa.

Changes to English Language Requirements

From July 2017, there will no longer be an English language exemption for applicants whose salary is above $96,400. If you are applying for a work visa and will have a salary above $96,400, you will need to meet the same English language requirements as all other applicants.

Mandatory Police Clearances

All applicants for Australian work visas will need to provide police clearances from any countries they have lived in for 12 months or more from July 2017.

Validity Period

Under the new scheme, if your visa has been granted for an occupation on the STSOL (previously CSOL), the maximum duration of your visa will be two years. Whereas if your visa has been granted for an occupation on the MLTSSL (previously SOL), the maximum duration of your visa will be four years.

 

The New Temporary Skills Shortage Visa

By March 2018, the 457 visa will be completely abolished. It will be replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa. This visa will have two groups: Short-Term stream and Medium- Term stream.

Short-Term Stream

Visas under the short-term stream will be granted for a maximum of two years and can only be renewed in Australia once. This will mean that after two years you will need to make a new application for a TSS visa and once again meet all of the requirements.

 SHORT – TERM STREAM CRITERIA 
Validity Period Granted for a maximum of two years and can only be renewed onshore once.
Occupation List Occupations must be on the STSOL list. There are additional occupations available for positions in regional Australia.
English requirements IELTS (or equivalent) score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.
Genuine entry Applicant must satisfy the “genuine temporary entrant” requirement.
Work experience Work experience of at least two years’ relevant work experience.
Labour market testing Now mandatory
Minimum market salary rate Applicants must be paid the Australian market salary rate and at least $53,900 (as at 12 April 2016).
Character Applicants must provide police clearances.
Workforce: There will be a non-discriminatory workforce test to make sure that Australian employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.
Training requirement There will be changes to training requirements.

 

Medium-Term Stream

Medium-Term Stream visas will be granted for a maximum of four years and can be renewed in Australia. There will be a pathway for permanent residence after three years.

 MEDIUM – TERM STREAM CRITERIA 
Validity Period Granted for a maximum of four years and can be renewed onshore. Permanent residence options after three years.
Occupation List Occupations must be on the MLTSSL list. There are additional occupations available for positions in regional Australia.
English requirements IELTS (or equivalent) score of 5 in each test component.
Work experience Work experience of at least two years’ relevant work experience.
Labour market testing Now mandatory
Minimum market salary rate Applicants must be paid the Australian market salary rate and at least $53,900 (as at 12 April 2016).
Character Applicants must provide police clearances.
Workforce: There will be a non-discriminatory workforce test to make sure that Australian employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.
Training requirement There will be changes to training requirements.

 

If you have any questions feel free to contact us on 02 8072 9557 or info@ktlegal.com.au

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