457 Visa - abolished and replaced by Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa from March 2018
Changes to the occupation list associated with the 457 visa is expected to come into effect from 19th April 2017 - with informed sources suggesting that upto 200 occupations might be lined up for removal from the current approval list.
These changes will also have an impact on the Permanent Residence applicants, opting through the Employer Nomination Scheme(ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa.
The key takeaways on available information for the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa are:
Changes to occupation list - From 19 April 2017, the list of approved occupations will be made shorter, by removing upto 200 occupations from the existing list.
Changes to work experience requirement - A minimum of 2 years work experience will be compulsory. Currently, provided the candidate has relevant qualifications, the skill set can be met for the 457 visa. This will no longer be the case.
Labour Market Testing - Labour market testing requires that employers advertise locally within the country, to try to fill the vacancy, before they proceed with filing nomination for Immigrants. At present, it is required for trade occupations, nursing or engineering occupations for 457 visa.
According to the new announcement, it would be needed for most, if not all cases, applying for TISS visa. This could have a significant impact on the delay in lodgement of the visa application - particularly while filing an urgent application, for a applicant whose visa is about to lapse, or a firm planning to close an urgent role.
Validity period of Visa: Two news validity streams are being introduced, a short-term visa stream with 2 years validity(can be renewed only once) and a medium term-visa stream with a 4 year validity. The medium term visa requirements are likely to be more stringent. (English Language ability etc.,)
The changes to the occupations list for 457 visas will come into effect immediately - this is likely to impact employers in certain industries quite significantly. We expect the new list to be released in the following week and will update as soon as details are available.
The new TSS visa is likely to be more restrictive than the current 457 visa - of shorter duration with tougher requirements in terms of skill level and labour market testing. Businesses seeking to sponsor staff for temporary visas should look at lodging their applications well before March 2018.