Changes announced on Tuesday, 18 April 2017 to the Australian Sub-class 457 program were hailed as politically correct and vote winning. Gerald Santucci, Migration Law Director at Snedden Hall & Gallop, discusses what we know so far.
8 things you need to know about the new 457 visa system
- There are two new occupation lists and any new 457 applications lodged on and from 19 April 2017 will have to have the occupation on one or other of those two lists.
- The first list is called the Short-term Skillled Occupation List (STSOL). This is basically the former Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) but 216 occupations have been removed.
- The second list, which is a brand new list, is called the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). It contains many of the professional jobs that were in the previous CSOL including engineers, medical practitioners and allied health professionals, nurses and IT specialists.
- Anyone who has made an application for a Sub-class 457 visa, which has not been decided by 18 April 2017, will no longer be able to be approved if their occupation is not on either of the two lists. Quite simply, their documents will be returned and refund of fees made.
- If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 and your occupation is on the STSOL, you will be given a visa for only two years. You may extend that visa for a further two years. You will not be able to apply for permanent 186 or 187 visas under that occupation if it is and remains on the STSOL.
- By contrast, if you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the MLTSSL, you can be granted a visa for four years. You will be able to apply for a permanent 186 or 187 visa after three years if that company decides to nominate you.
- In March 2018, there will be a new visa known as the TSS Visa which will have replaced the 457 visa. Before being able to apply for that visa, you will need to have had two years work experience in your occupation which will have to be on one of those two lists. If it is on the STSOL, you will have to show you only want to stay in Australia temporarily.
- From March 2018, to apply for permanent residency, in addition to having your occupation on the MLTSSL, you will also need to commit to working for the company for three years and have an IELTS score of 6+ and be under 45 years of age.
Consequences of 457 visa changes in the short term
- Occupations such as cook and restaurant managers are on the STOL. So you will be able to be sponsored for two years by a restaurant on the 457 visa and gain another two-year extension. However, you can no longer apply for a permanent visa unless that occupation is added to the MLTSSL if you are in a designated regional area. For example, the ACT is a regional area, but not a designated regional area.
- Positions for regional managers are still available in regional area for the 187 visa. From March 2018, this will cease.
- Most student graduates will not be eligible for temporary or permanent company sponsorship after March 2018 because they will require at least two years full-time work experience from that date.
In summary, the changes to the Australian 457 visa do not, of themselves, address any shortages in relation to Australian workers who would otherwise apply for jobs. There is the possibility that these changes may impact negatively on many fine workers who bring families and settle in and contribute positively to Australia. We shall look with interest on the developments.
How can Snedden Hall & Gallop’s migration team help you with 457 visas?
We will keep you up-to-date with further changes, consequences and time-lines in relation to 457 visas and other aspects of Australian migration law as they come to hand.You can contact us by phone on (02) 6285 8000 or by email and you can see details of our migration team.