Australian Government Abolish The 457 Visa
The Temporary Skill Shortage visa (TSS) (subclass 482) has officially replaced the temporary skilled visa program (subclass 457). The Government’s decision to replace the 457 visas is to assist businesses in addressing genuine skills shortages and to protect Australian workers and give them the first preference for potential employment. Results Migration take us through what all of these changes mean for new applicants.
This replacement brings many new eligibility requirements and complexities for applicants, including added work experience requirements, higher English language skills and the visa itself is far more costly than the 457.
Three streams available
The first list is the “Short Term Skilled Occupations List” (STSOL) and will replace the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). The second is the “Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List” (MLTSSL), which will replace the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
The first list is the “Short Term Skilled Occupations List” (STSOL) and will replace the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). This list has been designed for employers to fill skill gaps temporarily
- Valid for two years
- Can be renewed once for two more years
- No pathway to permanent residency
- The occupation list will be reassessed every six months
- The applicant needs to show genuine intention to stay temporarily in Australia
- Similar English proficiency to 457 visa
Short-term stream fees
- Primary Applicant – $1,150
- Dependant over 18 – $1,150
- Dependant under 18 – $290
The second list is the “Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List” (MLTSSL), which will replace the Skilled Occupations List (SOL).
- Similar to the 457 visa
- Valid for four years
- Possibility for permanent residency after 3 years
- Occupations are considered critical to the economy
- Possible caveats on occupations
- Higher English proficiency expectations
Medium-term stream fees
- Primary Applicant – $2,400
- Dependant over – $2,400
- Dependant under 18 – $600
Labor agreement stream
- Only to be used in exceptional circumstances
- Must need that cannot be met by the Australian labor market
- Can only be used if no other visas are available
- No formal English requirements needed
Do I need work experience?
Yes. The Australian Government has now decided that applicants will need at least two years of work experience in the relevant occupation and field of expertise. This is a complete change from the 457 visas, where one could just have the relevant qualification. This is one of the bigger changes and may make it difficult to be eligible for the TSS visa.
What if I was on a 457 before 2017?
Don’t worry, the old 457 rules will still apply to you! The Government has introduced ‘grandfathering’ provisions which means that if you already held a 457 visa you will retain access to the pathway to permanent residency. The work experience requirement will also stay the same, as will the age and language requirements.
What if I want to change jobs?
The TSS condition 8607 means that if you wish to change occupations, you must obtain a new nomination from a sponsoring employer and apply for a new visa. This is obviously significantly different to the 457 where you could just show you have the skills required for the new occupation.
Differences between the two main streams:
|Duration||2 years||4 years|
|Renewal||Can be renewed onshore only once||Can be renewed onshore|
|Permanent Residency||No pathway to permanent residency||Permanent residency pathway after three years|
|Occupation List||STSOL – can be reviewed every 6 months||MLTSSL – only ‘critical’ or ‘high value’ occupations are considered|
|English Requirements (IELTS or equivalent)||Similar to the 457 visas:
An overall score of at least 5 with a minimum score of 4.5 in each of the 4 test components
|Higher-level required than 457 visas: Overall score of at least 5 with a minimum of 5 in each component|
|Exemptions to English Requirements||
|Fees||Primary Applicant $1,150||Primary Applicant – $2,400|
|Employer Nomination Fees||$330|
|Employer Sponsorship Fees||$420|
|Prior Work Experience||Two years of work experience in the nominated occupation or related field|
|Age||Maximum age of 45|
|Health Requirement||All applicants must show they do not have any medical conditions which are of public health concern or would result in a significant cost to the Australian community.|
|International Trade Obligations||Labour market testing (LMT)|
|Character Test||Mandatory police check for all applicants from each country lived in for 12 or more months in the past 10 years|
|Adult Children||The visa will be valid until the child’s 23rd birthday|
|Employers||Must meet a non-discriminatory workforce test|
Changes for Sponsors
A Training Levy will be introduced for the TSS visa. This means sponsors will not need to prove the training of Australians in the business to become an approved sponsor. A TSS sponsorship will be valid for five years.
Changes to Nomination Requirements
The TSS visa is only available for full-time positions. The TSS also specifically requires the sponsors to pay the nomination fees.
A significant amount of occupations have been cut from both lists, leaving the short-term stream with 268 occupations and the medium-term stream with a small amount of 167 occupations. Such substantial cuts suggest that nearly all industries will be affected by this change. Many affected industries are actively working to have ‘critical jobs’ reinstated. Additionally, many occupations will find a variety of caveats that may be difficult to meet.
What does this really mean?
The 457 visa was very popular and successful, however with Australia continuously changing it was in need of an upgrade. The new TSS visa, while more challenging for applicants to acquire, will actually benefit businesses as it will be easier to meet the necessary training requirements. Whether the TSS is successful in addressing Australia’s skill shortages will be assessed in the next few years, but for now, we will just have to see how it unfolds.