Australia’s 457 visa is the most commonly used among employers who look to overseas workers to fill gaps in the number of available on-shore, skilled workers. It provides a way for workers to temporarily enter the country either through business sponsorship or self-sponsorship. Reforms will begin now until March 2018 that will abolish the original 457 visa and replace it with the new Temporary Skills Shortage visa (or TSS).
Why is the 457 Visa Changing?
The recent and future changes are made to focus on genuine skill shortages. Safeguards will also be implemented to help ensure that Australian workers receive priority when it comes to hiring. The larger goal is to increase the overall quality and economic contributions of skilled workers coming from other countries and to address concerns about displacement of native-born Australian workers.
Future 457 Visa Applications
If you have not yet applied for a 457 visa, you should pay close attention to changes to the eligible occupations list. A total of 216 professions were removed while 59 more were restricted as of 19 April 2017. Another review will be done this July that may result in additional changes to the list. Other updates will include an English language exemption for individuals earning $96,400 or more and clearer policy guidelines for training benchmarks.
What If I Already Applied for a 457 Visa?
If you have not received a decision yet and you lodged your application by 18 April 2017 or earlier, you may be eligible to receive a full refund of your application fee. Nominating businesses may also be eligible for a fee refund.
What If I am in Australia on a 457 Visa?
Workers that already have a 457 visa can remain in the country until their visa has expired. Once that happens, you may be affected by the recent changes if you wish to renew and remain in Australia. Even if your visa is valid, you should still pay attention to changes to the occupation list and related requirements, so you don’t encounter any surprises later on.
What If the 457 Visa Changes Make Me Ineligible?
The changes could become an obstacle for some foreign workers. If you are concerned about how this will impact your ability to stay in the country, you should talk to an expert. Emergico’s registered migration agents are ready to help you understand the system and determine the best course of action for your future. Contact us today or take our free online visa eligibility assessment.