The 457 visa is abolished as of 18 March 2018 and is being replaced by the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa. This will be a change which affects all employers who sponsor staff, and the changes to the legislation are extensive.
The changes are effective 18 March 2018. After this date:
Changes also apply to permanent employer sponsored ENS and RSMS visas lodged on or after this date.
457 visa applications lodged before 18 March 2018 will continue to be processed. They will be assessed as per the Migration Regulations which applied prior to this date.
Employers must nominate one of the three TSS application streams. These are as follows:
For the short term stream:
For the Medium Term Stream:
This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.
To be eligible for a TSS visa, the applicant must have at least 2 years of work experience. This would need to be in the nominated occupation or “related field”. It was possible to apply for a 457 visa with no work experience, providing you hold a relevant qualification. This would mean that people without work experience would not be eligible for a TSS visa – for example international students.
There does seem to be some flexibility in considering work experience which is not necessarily in the nominated occupation, but in a related field.
If sponsored under a Labour Agreement, a waiver of the 2-year work experience requirement is possible.
For the Short Term Stream, the English requirements are the same as for the 457 visa – that is an average of 5 in the IELTS, with no scores under 4.5 in any of the 4 bands. A range of alternative English tests are also accepted as per the 457 visa.
For the Long Term Stream, the English Requirement is higher. A minimum of 5 in each band of IELTS is equivalent, and an average of 5 is not sufficient.
Similar to the 457 visa, exemptions from English language testing are available for:
For the Labour Agreement stream, the requirement is less strict – applicants must show they have the English language skills to perform the occupation, without reference to formal English testing.
To qualify for a 457 or TSS visa, applicants must in general to show they do not have any medical conditions which are:
The structure of the list for the TSS visa has changed – we now have the following classifications:
There have been no changes to the MLTSSL or STSOL, but occupations have been added to the Regional list. This means that some occupations which were not eligible for 457 visas may be eligible for a TSS visa if the position is located in a regional area.
TSS Visas are similar to the condition which applied to the 457 visa and broadly speaking is as follows:
The application fee depends on which stream is being applied for:
The Government has also announced that a Training Levy will apply to TSS nominations. When the training levy is introduced, this will significantly increase the cost for employers of obtaining a TSS visa.
When a Standard Business Sponsorship is granted after 18 March 2018, it will be valid for a period of 5 years in most cases. Previously, it would be valid for a lesser amount of time if the business was a start-up.
The TSS visa is similar in concept to the 457 visa, but different in detail in a number of important ways. If you would like advice on applying for TSS visas for your staff, or how the changes will impact your business, please call on 080-49016425 or email us with your queries. A For a detailed discussion a basic consultation fee will be applicable.
The recent changes are also likely to result in further efforts made by the Department of Immigration, to strengthen the integrity of the employer sponsorship program.
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