Say goodbye to the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and hello to the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
When are these changes happening?
DHA is in the final stages of preparing for implementation of these changes in March 2018. The exact implementation date is dependant on legislation and systems release processes.
What visas are changing?
DHA is replacing the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) with a new Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482) ("TSS") and making related changes to the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) ("ENS") and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) ("RMS"). These changes are relevant to Australian employers and foreign workers looking to work in Australia.
Each of the TSS, ENS and RMS have their own separate occupations list, and knowing if your occupation is on the list or not is the first hurdle in determining eligibility for one of these visas. DHA will be updating the occupations lists (there are two: Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List and the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List) with additional occupations available to Australian employers in regional areas.
Caveats will continue to apply in relation to specific occupations.
Specific things to note about the TSS
We expect that the process for renewing sponsorships for Australian employers will improve with the implementation of a shorter renewal form, with exception of the DHA fees remaining the same. An additional improvement is the ability to view the expiry date of approved sponsorships in ImmiAccount.
Requirements regarding Labour Marketing Testing will be strengthened and include a minimum duration for advertising and requiring that the advertisement be in English for the local labour market. Australian employers can choose 1, 2, 3 or 4 years employment periods under the TSS, subject to the stream of the visa.
Visa applicants for the TSS are expected to have work experience in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least two years in the last five years. That experience must also be full-time although equivalent part-time work may be considered. Repeat TSS visas are allowed, however visa applicants should be aware that DHA will consider the Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement in assessing repeat applications.
Transitional arrangements will be in place to deal withold 457 nominations and visa applications.
Permanent Residencyand the ENS and RMS
Historically, a number of people have sought permanent residency through these work visas. DHA is making a number of changes to ENS & RMS schemes as follows:
- The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years. However, a Direct Entry scheme will continue to be available.
- Maximum age limits will continue to apply, with limited exemptions.
- Transitional arrangements will be in place to deal with old 457 visa holders applying for the 186 and 187 visas.
Author: Ellen Goh, Lawyer/Migration Agent
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