Global Alerts

Australia – Subclass 457 Visa to be Abolished

The Australian government announced this week that the Subclass 457 Visa will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa to be in place by March 2018. The current 457 visa system will remain in effect until February 2018.

However, 216 occupations that foreign nationals were able to previously access the 457 subclass can no longer do so. Applications that have not yet been approved, categorized under occupations that are no longer available for purposes of the program, will have the option to withdraw their application and receive a refund.

A new list, a medium and long term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSCOL) now list occupations granted for four years, and others for two years. There is also an inclusion of 59 occupations on the new occupation lists that hold caveats, which introduce further requirements by the business sponsor and or applicant.

Beginning July 2017, the English language exemption will no longer apply for high earners (base salary of A$96400). All foreign nationals will be required to prove English ability. Police clearance certificates will also be required, which will stay consistent with the current temporary visas that require a PCC for stays longer than 12 months. The training benchmark will also be changed, however, further details have not yet been released.

The Temporary Skills Shortage Visa will have the following streams:

  • Short-Term Stream
    • Valid for up to two years and extendable once onshore.
    • Not eligible for permanent residence
  • Medium-Term Stream

As the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa replaces the Subclass 457 in March 2018, the following key reforms will take place:

  • All current 457 visas will remain in force until due expiry date;
  • Applicants must have at least three years’ work experience;
  • Applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application;
  • Employers must strengthen their contribution to the training of Australian workers;
  • New Occupations List;
  • Employers must meet the minimum Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.

The Australian Government hopes to support businesses and address the skill shortages in the Australian workforce.

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