Here is a summary of the new 457 Temporary Skilled visa, 186 ENS visa and 187 RSMS visa changes that are being introduced in stages and what they mean for you:
Any 457 sponsorship, nomination or visa applications that have occupations that are NOT listed in either the STSOL or MLTSSL Occupation List and NOT decided by 18th April 2017 will no longer be able to be approved. Refund of DIBP application fees may be available upon withdrawal of your visa or nomination application.
Any new 457 applications lodged from 19 April 2017 onwards will have to have their occupation on the STSOL or MLTSSL occupation lists.
If you are granted a Subclass 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the STSOL list, it can only be granted for 2 years. There will be one (only) further extension allowed after that for another 2 years. You will not be allowed to apply for a permanent Subclass 186 ENS visa or a Subclass 187 RSMS visa under that occupation if it is on the STSOL.
If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the MLTSSL list, it can be granted for 4 years. You will be able to be apply for a permanent 186/187 visa after a period of at least 3 years on a 457 visa, if that company agrees to nominate you.
From March 2018 the new TSS visa will have replaced the 457 visa. You will need to have at least 2 years work experience before applying and your occupation will have to be on the STSOL or MLTSSL lists. If you are on the STSOL list you will also have to show you only want to stay in Australia temporarily.
From March 2018 you need to have your occupation on the MLTSSL occupation list to apply for company/employer sponsored permanent residence. You will also need to commit to working for the company for 3 years, have an IELTS of 6+ (or equivalent) and be under 45 years of age.
Some consequences of this:
1. Occupations such as cook and restaurant manager are on the STSOL list. While you can still be sponsored for 2 years by a restaurant on the Subclass 457 visa and gain another 2 year extension, you can no longer apply for a permanent visa unless it is added to the MLTSSL list for you being in a designated regional area.
2. Retail manager is still available in regional areas for the 187 visa at the moment. But from March 2018 this will not be the case, as this occupation is not on the MLTSSL list.
3. Most student graduates will not be eligible for temporary or permanent company sponsorship after March 2018 as you require at least 2 years FULL-TIME WORK EXPERIENCE first.
The Prime Minister and Minister for Immigration confirmed that existing 457 visa holders (as of 18 April 2017) will still be able to apply for a Permanent visa and will not be affected by these changes. (See News.com.au article: http://www.news.com.au/finance/work/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-457-visa-changes/news-story/3894724396a5c7f99491c961ae9b8088)
Timeline of future 457 changes are:
from 19 April 2017 - 216 occupations removed and 59 others restricted, 24 occupations restricted to regional Australia, Occupational lists renamed, validity period for occupations on STSOL 2 years.
from 01 July 2017 - English salary exemption $96,400 to be removed, training benchmarks to be changed, mandatory penal clearance certificates.
before 31 December 2017 - collection of Tax-file Numbers (TFN) for Subclass 457 visa holders for Australian Tax Office (ATO) data matching, publication of sanctioned sponsors.
from March 2018 - the current Subclass 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with TSS visa which will comprise the Short-Term stream (2 years) and Medium-Term stream (4 years).
Timeline of future 186 ENS/187 RSMS changes are:
from 19 April 2017 - CSOL condensed, 216 occupations removed, 24 occupations restricted to regional Australia, Occupational lists renamed as STSOL and MLTSSL.
from 01 July 2017 - review of STSOL and MLTSSL, a work commitment of 3 years, IELTS 6+ required in each component, changes in age (Direct Entry - DE stream 45 years old, no change to Temporary Residence Transition - TRT stream).
*Please note that the work commitment of 3 years, the requirement to have an IELTS of 6+ and the requirement to be under 45 years of age will apply from 1 July 2017 not March 2018.
before 31 December 2017 - collection of TFN for 457 visa holders for ATO data matching, publication of sanctioned sponsors.
from March 2018 - the MLTSSL will apply to Subclass 186 ENS and Subclass 187 RSMS visas with additional regional occupations, Market salary rate will apply and meet TSMIT, eligibility period for Permanent Residency (PR) extended from 2 to 3 years, contribution towards training fund.
If you would like to discuss your individual situation or you would like to know how the new changes affect you please contact us, or phone: +61 4 977 888 91.