The Australian government announced that it will end the 457 visa (for temporary workers). But have no fear, the brand new TSS (Temporary Skill Shortage) will take its place.
The TSS program will be composed by two strands, the first one is a short term one and it will go up to two years, the second one will be mid term and can go up to four years. They both intend to fight the shortage of certain skills that may arise in companies, but these don’t come without some safeguards to guarantee priority to Australian workers.
But our mates from down under still love us. If the Prime Minister talks about the rights of the Australian workers, it’s not less important to any given country to have qualified workers from all over the world that can contribute with something different, diversify the skillset. That’s also what the TSS will ensure, it will help companies operating in Australia to attract qualified labour to that beautiful country.
And that’s why we’re here, to help you follow your Australian dream. If you have any doubt, don’t hesitate in contacting us, meanwhile you can read about some of the changes in the list below:
The new visa includes the following requirements:
- New and more specific list of occupations, with a better alignment with the skills in demand in the Australian labour market
- Applicants must have at least two years of experience in their field of expertise
- Minimum wage rate to guarantee foreign workers can’t reduce Australian workers’ salaries
- Mandatory labor market test, unless an international obligation is met
- When under the short term strand, the visa can only be renewed once in Australian soil
- Ability to renew the visa and get permanent residency after three years when under the mid term strand
- Permanent residency eligibility period stretches to three years instead of two
- No discrimination test to make sure employers don’t discriminate Australian workers
- Reinforced requirements for employers to contribute in the qualification of Australian workers
- The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will collect Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records
- Mandatory penal clearance certificates to be provided.
- Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas, including but not limited to:
- tightened English language requirements
- a requirement for visa applicants to have at least three years’ work experience
- applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application
- strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training Australian workers, and
- employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).
Concessions for regional Australia will continue to be available:
- Employers in regional Australia will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
- Existing permanent visa concessions for regional Australia, such as waiving the nomination fee and providing age exemptions for certain occupations, will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement.
The 457 visa is designed to fill job vacancies which are difficult to find Australians for and is Australia’s most common temporary work visa. There were reportedly 95,758 457 visa holders in September 2016.
We urge any potential 457 employees or employers to contact us regarding these sweeping changes. We have up to date and current advice on the issues surrounding the 457 visa changes and can help you navigate through the complexities.