The Federal Government has made major changes which will affect users and holders of the sub class 457 visa.
Managing Director of VSA Dan Engles said the changes will make accessing temporary skilled labour for international markets more difficult
"The problem is that some existing 457 holders may be trapped with existing employers because new nominations are not being approved for those occupations, removed from the list"
"This announcement is a reaction to the politics around skilled migration in recent years as opposed to any significant flaws in the 457 visa system." Those in the offshore sectors will find that occupations where they've been able to fill gaps with skilled workers have now been removed. Vessels coming to Australia for resource projects will struggle to fill key positions. Maritime professionals are already in international short supply and companies will struggle to fill these roles."
The changes are complex and wide ranging; to assist with understanding the changes, Visa Solutions has prepared the following free tools to assist you through this process;
A brief summary of the key changes announced today is provided below along with links to the Federal Government web sites for those who require more detailed information.
To assist with implementing the announced changes, the following action items may be useful for HR and global mobility teams;
- Review the list of occupations removed immediately from the sc457 list; which of those occupations apply to assignees to Australia and will be immediately affected.
- Existing 457 visa holders who have visas likely to expire in the next 3 months should be reviewed as a matter of urgency;
- The occupations announced as being under a “caveat” affecting existing or prospective visa applicants should be reviewed as their use will be constrained effective immediately.
- Processing times may slow during the transition period and the time to obtain police clearances should be factored into documentation preparation times from 1 July 2017.
- Undertake a strategic review of the use of the 457 visa program in light of it being narrowed and abolished in 12 months; existing 457 visa holders are not affected.
- Communicate to management that companies will experience greater difficulty recruiting and hiring foreign skilled workers in Australia.
- If you wish to discuss the strategy for global mobility under the new changes please contact Visa Solutions to arrange a time to meet.
Visa Solutions held a Webinar this week to discuss the announced changes; a recording of the webinar has been shared on our LinkedIn, Facebook and Youtube pages. It will also be circulated via email in our upcoming newsletter.
A training seminar on the 457 visa changes will be held in the coming weeks.
The following outlines and summarizes the key dates and changes announced today;
- Effective immediately;
- The occupation list underpinning the sc457 visa is reduced to 435 occupations compared to the previous 651 occupations, a reduction of 216 occupations;
- A further 59 occupations are restricted for use under the sc457 program.
- Two new lists announced; The Short term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) and the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
- Occupations on the STSOL will granted visas for a maximum of 2 years; occupations on the MLTSSL will be issued for a maximum of 4 years.
- 1 July 2017 announced changes;
- further review of the occupation lists.
- English language salary exemption removed.
- Training benchmark changes.
- Character requirements strengthened.
- 31 December 2017 announced changes;
- data matching with ATO commences to ensure compliance with nominated salaries;
- publication of details of sponsors sanctioned for not meeting sponsorship obligations.
- March 2018 announced changes;
- The sub class 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa.
- TSS is announced to be a two stream system;
- short-term stream for renewal only once; fewer occupations; English language testing and Genuine entry.
- The medium term stream will include renewal options with a pathway to PR; larger number of occupations with additional occupations for regional areas.
Further information on the announced changes is available: