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Immigration Lawyers Melbourne

Are you worried about the changes to 457 Visas?

In April this year, Immigration Minister, Mr Peter Dutton, announced changes to the 457 Visa scheme. These changes are far-reaching and will affect the lives of current visa holders and prospective visa applicants.

What is the 457 Visa?
The 457 Visa is a temporary Visa that allows employers to sponsor skilled international workers enabling them to come to Australia for a maximum of 4 years, to assist in areas where there are shortages of skilled workers in Australia.

Soon, things will change and our team at Erskine Rodan and Associates will be there to assist you along the way.

457 Visa Abolition
The abolition of the 457 visa means a new Visa will take its place with tougher rules to come into effect in March 2018.  The Government announced on 18 April that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa.

How does this impact me?
What is changing? 

Changes beginning from April 2017  for the existing 457 Visa:

 Occupation lists: 

– The occupation lists that underpin the 457 visa were significantly condensed from 651 to 435 occupations, with 216 occupations removed and access to 59 other occupations restricted.

– Of the 435 occupations, access to 24 occupations has been restricted to regional Australia (e.g. occupations relating to farming and agriculture).
– The Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) was renamed the Short-term Skilled Occupations List (STSOL) and will be updated every six months based on advice from the Department of Employment.
– The alternative occupations list used for skilled migration, the Skilled Occupations List (SOL) was renamed the new Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This list will contain occupations that have been assessed as being of high value to the Australian economy, aligning with the Government’s longer term training and workforce strategies.

Changes beginning from July 2017 for the existing 457 Visa:

Occupation lists:
The STSOL will be further reviewed based on advice from the Department of Employment. The MLTSSL will be revised based on outcomes from the Department of Education and Training’s 2017-18 SOL review.

– English language requirements:
English language salary exemption threshold, which exempts applicants whose salary is over $96,400 from the English language requirement, will be removed.

– Training benchmarks:
Policy settings about the training benchmark requirement will be made clearer in legislative instruments.

– Character:
Provision of penal clearance certificates will become mandatory.

Changes before 31 December 2017 for the existing 457 Visa:

– The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will commence the collection of Tax File Numbers for 457 visa holders (and other employer sponsored migrants), and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
– The Department will commence the publication of details relating to sponsors sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation.

Changes from March 2018:

– The 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa.

– The TSS visa will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years, and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years.

– The Short-Term stream is designed for Australian businesses to fill skill gaps with foreign workers on a temporary basis, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.

– The Medium-Term stream will allow employers to source foreign workers to address shortages in a narrower range of high skill and critical need occupations, where a suitably skilled Australian worker cannot be sourced.


If I apply for a visa under the new scheme, how long can I stay in Australia?

– Validity period:
The maximum duration of 457 visas issued from this date for occupations that are on the STSOL (Short Term Skilled Occupations List) will be two years. Occupations on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List) will continue to be issued with a visa for a maximum duration of four years.


Does this change affect current 457 Holders and Applicants?

Current 457 Holders:

– If you have been granted a 457 Visa before the change, then this will not affect your current visa or its validity.

Current 457 Visa Applicants:

– If a 457 Visa Application was lodged before these changes and are yet to receive a decision, your application will now be assessed under the new changes. Therefore, if your occupation is now found on the STSOL you will only be granted a 2 year visa which can only be renewed once. Options to then apply for a Permanent Residency may no longer be possible.
– 457 Visa Applicants who lodged their application and are yet to receive a decision and their occupation is found on the MLTSSL – after a successful assessment, a 4 year visa will be awarded and this will include a pathway to permanent residency after being on this visa for 3 years.
– However, for some applicants, this change may drastically affect the success of their application. If applicants who had lodged before these changes and are still awaiting a decision and their occupation has now been removed from both lists, then they may be asked to withdraw their application and/or they may be eligible for a refund.


We can help!

If you, or someone you know believe they may be affected by this change, please contact our office to arrange a consultation with one of our Specialised Immigration Lawyers. They will be able to provide you with advice in regards to your current 457 Visa Situation and clarify your matter to let you know what next steps you should take to secure your time in Australia.

Please do not hesitate to contact us on 03 9329 8744. Alternatively, email your queries to and someone from our team will get back to you shortly.

At Erskine Rodan and Associates we will go above and beyond to help with your situation and will be there to support you every step of the way.


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