On 18 April 2017, the Australian Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) will be abolished and be replaced by the new Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS Visa) in March 2018.
Previously, skilled foreign workers were allowed to come to Australia and work for an approved business for up to 4 years, and offered a pathway to permanent residency.
The announced changes are significant and will be introduced in stages commencing immediately. The final stage will see the replacement of the Subclass 457 visa with the Temporary Skills Shortage Visa (TSS Visa). The 457 Visa will continue to operate, albeit in modified form until March 2018.
Some of the more significant changes include:
- The list of approved occupations under which a skilled foreign national can be nominated for a work visa has with immediate effect been reduced from over 600 occupations to close to 400.
- The validity period of the work visa will be for either 2 or 4 years depending on the occupation that has been nominated.
- Only certain occupations will offer a visa holder a pathway to permanent residency.
- Visa Applicants will need to satisfy stricter eligibility criteria.
Employers, prospective applicants and current 457 Visa holders will be effected by these changes and there is a lot of information to be confirmed over the next 6 to 12 months. Further announcements are expected in July 2017.
Anyone considering temporary relocation to Australia should seek immigration advice as the requirements are likely to further change.
Contact us for more information or advice.