457 Visa Changes

457 VISA CHANGES AND REPLACEMENT

 

Written and edited by: Kellee Gray & Megan Shorter

 

We know that some of our clients and many others are concerned over the 457 visa changes. The 457 visa has been a hot topic in the media since Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on April the 18th that the program will be abolished.

 

There is a lot of speculation amongst the facts that are being put out there so we are writing today, with the support of our colleagues of People Migration Consulting to provide some clarification.

 

Please know that there is no need to panic. Changes will come into effect between April 19th 2017 and March 2018, with these occurring in stages. Our Migration Director Kellee Gray (MARN 1678793), has broken these up below outlining firstly, what has changed as of today, secondly what will change on July 1st 2017 and finally what is proposed to change.

 

What is happening to the 457?

The 457 visa will be abolished, but replaced by a similar visa- the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa in March 2018. The TSS will comprise of 2 streams:

  1. Short-Term Stream (up to 2 years)
  2. Medium-Term Stream (up to 4 years)

The visa will aim to address genuine skill shortages, with similar requirements to the 457 in addition to:

  • New occupation lists (see below for more information on this)
  • Specific requirements for occupations regarding work experience
  • Tightening of Labour Market testing requirements
  • Higher character requirements with mandatory penal clearances
  • Different onshore renewal allowances, depending on the stream- limited capacity for the Short-Term Stream and renewal allowances & permanent pathways for the Medium-Term stream.
  • Different training requirements for employers

 

What has changed already?

New Occupation Lists

As of 19th April 2017, the occupation lists have changed:

This lists have been released but will be reviewed again in July 2017.

 

Changes to 457 Validity period

The period of grant for new 457 visas has been changed. New visa periods are:

  • Up to 4 years granted for occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Up to 2 years granted for occupations not featured on the MLTSSL

 

Introduction of ‘Caveats’ for Certain Occupations

Some occupations, whilst on the relevant occupation lists, will need to satisfy additional criteria for the 457 program. This has been introduced as ‘Caveats’ or notes on certain occupations and has been separated into 3 groups:

  1. Work experience requirements
  2. Regional Location requirements
  3. Occupation specific requirements

always check the requirements for your specific occupation when assessing eligibility under the 457 program.

 

What will be changing on 1st July 2017?

The following is proposed to come into effect from 1 July 2017:

  • Possible further changes to the Occupation lists
  • Changes in skills assessment requirements
  • Minor changes in training benchmarks for Sponsors
  • New Police Clearances requirements

We will provide further information on this as it is released.

 

What else will be changing?

They will be tightening requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas including:

  • Tightened English requirements
  • Stronger requirements to evidence terms that are comparable to Australia Citizens or Permanent Residents
  • Maximum age requirement changed to 45 (previously 50). Changes will be made to age exemptions also.
  • 3 years’ work experience required
  • Different requirements for nominating employers.

There is no date for these changes as yet and no specific details released but we will continue to advise and review eligibility for all applications.

 

What does this mean for you?

  • If you Currently hold a valid 457 visa: This change will not affect your current visa. You will only be impacted when you need to apply to renew your 457 visa.

 

  • If you have lodged an application for a 457 visa: You will need to check that you are eligible under the new provisions. The department will be offering refunds to those that are no longer eligible due to the changes. The check could be done through your Migration agent.

 

  • If you are preparing an application for a 457 visa: You will need to confirm your eligibility under the new requirements.

 

How are Medical Practitioners specifically effected?

The good news is that Medical Practitioners are not greatly affected at this time. General Practitioners have been included on both the MLTSSL and STSOL so will be eligible for the 2 year and 4 year visa. There are no occupation specific requirements for GPs that have been introduced. There is talk about changes in English requirements for GPs but this is not different at this point.

 

Further changes will occur after July 2017 and we will release the updates as we receive them both on this blog and on our social media business pages People Medical Consulting and People Migration Consulting

 

We understand what a trying time this must be, with such uncertainty and we want to do all we can to provide clear, concise information so that you can feel safe. You are not alone.

Help will always be given at People to those who ask for it

 

Useful contacts
People Migration Consulting email: ask@peoplemigration.com; Ph.: 07 3503 1444

 

Links
Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/mltssl
Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/Work/Skills-assessment-and-assessing-authorities/skilled-occupations-lists/combined-stsol-mltssl