The government has implemented changes effective immediately to the 457 visa with a view to abolishing it – or to better term the situation – replacing it with two new visas which appear to be modified versions of the existing systems. March 2018 has been as the date for the new visas to be introduced.
There will a Short Term Stream for a two-year visa with no permanent residence outcome at the end of that. There will also be a Medium Term stream. This will target higher skills, will have a shorter skills occupation list and will be for a period of 4 years. It is anticipated that the visas could be applied for either offshore or onshore.
There will be added requirements, including previous work experience, better English language skills and labour market testing for businesses. A new training fund will also be established for the sponsor to contribute to for satisfying the training requirement under the legislations.
Effective from 19 April 2017. There will be significant changes to the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, which includes the subclass 457 visa. The new list will see the reduction of occupations available for the 457 visa stream (and the new visas when introduced) by some 200 occupations. 16 occupations will be cut from the list under the general skilled migration.
For those people currently on a 457 visa, there will be some arrangements that will allow they will continue under the conditions of that visa. The new system should not impact (unless further changes are made in the future) to current holders of 457 visas who would be eligible for permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme – Temporary Residence Transition stream.
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