Immigration Change Summary

On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. A number of changes has been made since and these changes form part of a package of reforms to the subclass 457 visa program. Below is the summary of changes to major skilled visa programs. It is critical to keep these changes in mind if you plan to apply one of the following visas.

19 April 2017 changes 1 July 2017 changes March 2018 changes
457 Temporary Work Visa Occupation lists are changed: STSOL, MLTSSL Reviewed/revised occupation lists.

English exemption for high salary-over AUD$96,400- was removed unless the person is employee of overseas business who is coming to Australia.

Penal Clearance certificate became mandatory for all visa applicants.

Mandatory skills assessments are expanded.

457 Visa will be completely abolished and replaced with TSS visa.

Training Benchmarks is no longer required to meet and will be replaced by a requirement to pay a contribution to the new Skilling Australians Funds (SAF)

186 Visa – Direct Entry Stream Occupation lists are changed: STSOL, MLTSSL Reviewed/revised occupation lists.

Age: maximum age of 45

English and skills exemption for high salary of over $180,000 was removed.

Nominations must provide the evidence of “Genuine Need”.

Work Experience: at least three years to the particular occupation will be required.

Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

186 Visa – Temporary Residence Transition Stream No impact Age: maximum age of 50

English: IELTS score of 6 in each component (competent English)

Occupation lists MLTSSL will now apply but there is no need for your occupation to be on either of the lists.

Residency: The eligibility to apply transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years, it will only apply to those who applied for their 457 visa after the April 2017 announcements.

Age: maximum age of 45, but 50 for those applied their 457 prior to April 2017

English: IELTS score of 6 in each component (competent English) remains.

Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa No impact No impact Occupation lists MLTSSL will now apply with additional occupations available to support regional employers.

Minimum Market Salary Rate -> Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold ($53,900 set as at 18 April 2017)

Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund.

Many questions still remain about the visa changes to be introduced by March 2018
including the following:

1. What will happen in respect of Subclass 457 visa applications that are undecided
by the Department when the Subclass 457 visa is replaced by the TSS visa?

2. What will happen in respect of Subclass 457 visa applications and nomination
review applications before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal when the changes
commence?

3. What will be the position of Subclass 457 visa holders who wish to apply for a
transitional Subclass 186 or 187 visa but who will not qualify before March 2017?

4. For those that applied and were granted an 18-month 457 visa prior April 2017, how these transitional arrangements will affect their eligibility through the TRT stream? Will they need to renew the 457 visa in order to meet either 2 or 3 year requirement?

5. For those who applied 457 visa prior to April 2017 but have since transferred to another employer, if they need to renew their 457 visa to meet 2 year requirement with the new employer and will be eligible to apply under these transitional arrangements or new arrangements?

The good news is the 457 holders who applied before April 2017 won’t be affected much of the changes. However, lots of questions remains.

Unfortunately, we won’t know the answer until any further announcement is made from the department, however, if you wish to apply any of the visas above, we highly recommend to do it before March 2018.

Any questions? Call us now at 1300 188 999 to book an appointment with one of our skilled visa expert registered migration agents in Melbourne!