April 18, 2017

BREAKING NEWS: 457 visa to be abolished

No more 457 visa for foreign workers in Australia! Today, 18 April 2017, the Australian Government has announced to abolish the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457).

The Australian Prime Minister, Mr Malcolm Turnbull, advised: “We are putting jobs first and we’re putting Australians first by abolishing 457 visas. We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians.”

The Government plans to introduce a new visa called ‘Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa’ in March 2018.

The TSS visa program will be comprised of two streams:

1) Short-Term stream of up to two years with no permanent residence outcome at the end of that.

2) Medium-Term stream of up to four years. This will target higher skills, better English language skills and labour market testing. This stream can be applied for either offshore or onshore.

Here’s an overview of the major changes:

  • a requirement for visa applicants to have at least 2 years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
  • the permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from 2 to 3 years
  • applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of application

Current 457 visa holders will not be affected by the changes and they will continue under the conditions of that visa.

Good news for businesses and applicants in regional Australia! The following concessions will be available:

  • Employers in regional Australia will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
  • Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.

Read the full overview here.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the Government would also reduce the number of occupations eligible to apply for Skilled Migration including the new visa commencing from 19 April 2017. Currently there are more than 650 occupations available on the Consolidated Skills Occupation List (CSOL).

In September 2016, there was 95,758 foreign workers holding a 457 visa in Australia. The majority of the visa holders were from India, which accounted for almost a quarter of the intake, followed by the UK at 19.5% and China at 5.8%.

Watch the video message from Prime Minister Turnbull here.

The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.

Please contact us should you, your business, your family or friends be affected by these changes.

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