On April 18 2017, the Australian Government announced several changes in its immigration policies. These changes include axing of 457 visa, as well as replacement of SOL and CSOL with new lists. Below are some of the highlights from today’s announcements.
Please note: This is a developing news. We’ll publish update as new information becomes available.
What are the new changes?
- 216 occupations have been removed
- Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will also be renamed as the new Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.
- The Skilled Occupations List (SOL) will be renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
- The maximum duration of 457 visas issued from this date for occupations that are on the STSOL will be two years. Occupations on the MLTSSL will continue to be issued for a maximum duration of four years.
Please note current 457 visa holders are not affected by these changes.
When are these changes taking place?
From 1 July 2017
- For the existing 457 visa – along with English requirement, training benchmark, character: Provision of penal clearance certificates will become mandatory.
Before 31 December 2017
- For the existing 457 visa: – the DIBP will collect Tax File Numbers for 457 visa holders (and other employer sponsored migrants), and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
From March 2018
- The 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.
What do we know about the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS)?
The Short-Term stream (two years) will include the following criteria:
- You can renew your visa onshore once only.
- Occupations will can only be from STSOL with additional occupations available to support regional employers.
- IELTS score of 5, with a minimum of 4.5 in each test component.
- A genuine temporary entrant requirement (GTE).
The Medium-Term stream (up to four years) will include the following criteria:
- Capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years.
- Occupation lists will be from the MLTSSL with additional occupations available to support regional employers.
- IELTS 5 (or equivalent test) in each test component.
Eligibility criteria for both streams will include:
- At least two years’ relevant work experience.
- Labour market testing (LMT will be mandatory unless specified
- Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold requirements ($53,900).
- Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.
- A non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers.
- A strengthened training requirement for employers to contribute towards training Australian workers.
Want to read about the new changes?
Contact our office for a confidential consultation if you think you’re / will be affected by these changes.