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What do these 457 Visa changes mean for you?

21 April 2017

From the 19th April 2017, the Department will progressively intiate more changes to the current and prospective 457 visa holders until March 2018.

Changes from July 2017

From the 1st July 2017, the occupation lists STSOL and MLTSSL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment and Department of Education. A requirement of an International English Language Testing System score of 6 will be introduced in each component. The new maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream applications.

Changes from December 2017

From the 31st December 2017, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will commence the collection of TFNs for these visa holders to ensure visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary. The Department will make public the details of sponsors who are sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations. 

The cost of sponsoring a foreign worker has also gone up,with the fee for a four-year visa more than doubling to $2400 and a two-year visa to be $1150.

Transitional cases

Individuals who have lodged subclass 457 nominations and visa applications prior to the Government’s announcement for occupations now no longer approved for the purposes of the programme, which remain on hand, will be given the opportunity to withdraw their applications and receive a refund.

Changes from March 2018

The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian Businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis in instances where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced. The Medium-Term stream will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrow range of high skill and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.

The Short-Term stream will include the following criteria:

-    Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore once only.
-    Occupations: For regional Australia and non-regional Australia, the STSOL will apply with additional occupations available to support regional employers.
-    English language requirements: IELTS score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.
-    Genuine entry: a genuine temporary entrant requirement.

The Medium-Term stream will include the following criteria:

-    Renewal: Capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years. 
-    Occupation lists: For regional Australia and non-regional Australia, the MLTSSL will apply, with additional occupations available to support regional employees. 
-    English language requirement: IELTS score of minimum 5 in each test component.

Eligibility Criteria for both streams will include:

-    Work experience: at least two year’s relevant work experience.
-    Labour Market Testing (LMT): will be mandatory, unless an international obligation applies.
-    Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements.
-    Character: Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.
-    Workforce: A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.
-    Training requirement: A strengthened training requirement for employers to contribute towards training Australian workers.

Why?

These measures will tighten Australia’s employer sponsored skilled migration programmes to ensure they better meet Australia’s skills needs and increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants. The Government is changing the eligibility requirements for some permanent skilled visas to better align the permanent and temporary programmes. These measures will sharpen the focus of Australia’s skilled migration programmes to ensure they better meet Australia’s skills needs, increase the quality and economic contribution of skilled migrants and address the public concerns about the displacement of Australian workers.

AIMS consists of a team of expert migration agents and solicitors who provide professional assistance to people who intend to migrate to Australia or Australian residents and citizens who wish to bring their family here. Whether you are seeking to study, work or establish a business in Australia, we can advise you on your options and assist you in securing the right visa.  For more information or to set up a consultation with one of our agents, give AIMS a call on 03-9078 6819 or email us at team@thinkvisa.com.au.

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