457 Visa Changes - All You Need to Know

As you might be aware, the Department of Immigration last year announced the 457 visa changes and replacing it with two new temporary visas.

So, what’s changed and how does it impact you?

The upcoming visa reforms in March now states the 457 visa will be replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The TSS visa will be comprised of two separate visas:

  • A short-term visa of up to two years with no pathway to permanent residency
  • A medium-term visa of up to four years with a pathway to permanent residency following three years of employment with the same employer

The 457 Visa

The 457 visa, formally known as the Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visa, was introduced in Australia in 1996. It was a common work visa issued by the Immigration Department that allowed employers to bring highly skilled overseas workers into the Australian workplace to live and work temporarily.

On this visa you were entitled to:

  • Live and work in Australia for up to 4 years
  • Work in over 650 occupations
  • Bring family members over to Australia with them on a 457-secondary visa
  • Apply for permanent Australian residency after two years
  • However, with the pending 457 visa changes that take effect in March, this has all changed. Unlike the 457 visa, the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa — a two-year temporary visa specifically designed to recruit the best of the best will now not allow permanent residency as its end result.

    Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said. “The 95,000 people already in the country on a 457 work permit would be unaffected by the change and permitted to apply for residency. They will continue under the conditions of that visa.” Existing 457 visa holders are unaffected by the change and can continue to apply for permanent residency after two years of employment with the same employer via the Temporary Resident Transition stream.

    This is great news for businesses who were caught off-guard last time with devastating consequences in some cases.

    The TSS visa will come into effect in March 2018

    The following transitional arrangements have been announced by The Department of Home Affairs:

    • Employers who are already approved standard business sponsors for subclass 457 visas will be able to sponsor skilled overseas workers under the TSS visa program
    • Where a position nomination and subclass 457 visa application are both lodged prior to the commencement of the TSS visa, the applications will be processed under the current regulatory framework
    • Where a position nomination application is lodged without an associated subclass 457 visa application being lodged before the commencement of the TSS visa, the position nomination application will become redundant
    • Where a secondary visa applicant of a subclass 457 visa holder lodges a subsequent dependent visa after the commencement of the TSS visa, the applicant will be granted a TSS visa linked to the primary subclass 457 visa holder. The validity period of the TSS visa will match that of the primary subclass 457 visa holder
    • Where a subclass 457 visa holder wishes to change sponsor after the implementation of the TSS visa, their new sponsor must lodge a TSS nomination application to facilitate the change. Where a subclass 457 visa holder intends to change occupations or apply for a new visa, the visa holder will need to lodge a new TSS visa application referencing a new TSS nomination application.

    Sellanes Clark recommends you review your current workforce plans and commence any visa applications as soon as possible.

    The Department of Home Affairs has also announced that new skilled occupation lists for 186 ENS visa, 187 RSMS visa, and the new TSS visa will be published in March this year.

    Sellanes Clark and Associates still has places for individuals and employers wishing an assessment to determine if there are any areas that will be greatly impacted by the 457 visa changes.

    For more information, contact the migration experts - Sellanes Clark & Associates - specialising in immigration and permanent residency issues.

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