457 visa to be abolished by Government

On 18 April 2017, the Turnbull government announced the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with a new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018. The Government has adopted a new “Australians first” approach to skilled migration, announcing it will abolish the controversial 457 visa program for temporary skilled migrants. The existing scheme will be replaced by two temporary skills shortage visas that will enforce tougher English language tests (IELTS), stricter labour market testing, at least two years of work experience and a compulsory police check.

Implementation of the new visa will begin immediately, with full implementation to be completed by March 2018.

The 457 visa will be replaced initially by a new temporary two-year visa specifically designed to recruit the ‘best and the brightest’ in the national interest, Mr Turnbull said.

“We are putting jobs first, we are putting Australians first,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. “We are an immigration nation, but the fact remains that Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs.

“Australian workers must have priority for Australian jobs, so we are abolishing the 457 visa, the visa that brings temporary foreign workers into our country. We will no longer allow 457 visas to be passports to jobs that could and should go to Australians.”

The announcement follows a crackdown on 457 visas last month, when Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton, said the Government would scrap the fast-track arrangements in place for 457 skilled work visas for fast food chains.

As of September 2016, there were over 95,000 457 visa holders employed in Australia with India, United Kingdom and China making up over half of the current visa holders. The total number of 457 visa holders is equal to less than 1 per cent in the Australian labour market.

What is the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS)?

The new TSS visa programme will be comprised of a Short-Term stream (two years) and a Medium-Term stream (four years). The TSS visa programme will aid and support businesses identifying and providing solutions to skill shortages in the workplace. The TSS aims at prioritising the future of Australian workers.

Under the government’s plan the list of 650 occupation classifications that qualify for a temporary visa will be reduced by 200. The removed occupations are below:

OccupationANZSCO Code
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker411511
Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers NEC211199
Aeroplane Pilot231111
Air Traffic Controller231112
Air Transport Professionals NEC231199
Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)323111
Amusement Centre Manager149111
Antique Dealer142112
Apparel Cutter393211
Art Director (Film, Television or Stage)212311
Artistic Director212111
Bed and Breakfast Operator141911
Betting agency Manager142113
Boarding Kennel or Cattery Operator149911
Broadcast Transmitter Operator399511
Building and Engineering Technicians NEC312999
Business Broker612111
Butcher or Smallgoods Maker351211
Call or Contact Centre Manager149211
Canvas Goods Fabricator393111
Caravan Park and Camping Ground Manager141211
Cinema or Theatre Manager149912
Clinical Coder599915
Clothing Patternmaker393212
Clothing Trades Workers NEC393299
Commissioned Defence Force Officer139111
Commissioned Fire Officer139112
Commissioned Police Officer139113
Communications Operator342312
Community Arts Worker272611
Conservation Officer234311
Construction Estimator312114
Corporate Treasurer221212
Court Bailiff or Sheriff (Aus) / Court Collections Officer (NZ)599212
Deer Farmer121314
Defence Force Member – Other Ranks441111
Defence Force Senior Officer111212
Dental Hygienist411211
Dental Prosthetist411212
Dental Therapist411214
Director of Photography212313
Dog or Horse Racing Official452318
Drama Teacher (Private Tuition)249213
Dressmaker or Tailor393213
Driving Instructor451211
Education Reviewer249112
Electorate Officer224911
Electronic Engineering Draftsperson312411
Electronic Engineering Technician312412
Emergency Service Worker441211
Engineering Patternmaker323411
Entertainer or Variety Artist211113
Environmental Health Officer251311
Exercise Physiologist234915
Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors NEC212399
Financial Institution Branch Manager149914
Fire Fighter441212
Fire Protection Equipment Technician399918
First Aid Trainer451815
Fisheries Officer311311
Flight Attendant451711
Floor Finisher332111
Flying Instructor231113
Food Technologist234212
Funeral Director451311
Funeral Workers NEC451399
Futures Trader222212
Gallery or Museum Technician399311
Gas or Petroleum Operator399212
Goat Farmer121315
Graphic Pre-press Trades Worker392211
Helicopter Pilot231114
Horse Trainer361112
Human Resource Adviser223111
ICT Support and Test Engineers NEC263299
ICT Support Technicians NEC313199
Importer or Exporter133311
Insurance Investigator599611
Insurance Risk Surveyor599613
Intellectual Property Lawyer271214
Intelligence Officer224411
Interior Decorator399912
Kennel Hand361115
Leather Goods Maker393112
Legal Executive599112
Liaison Officer224912
Licensed Club Manager141411
Life Scientist (General)234511
Life Scientists NEC234599
Light Technician399513
Maintenance Planner312911
Marine Surveyor231215
Marine Transport Professionals NEC231299
Market Research Analyst225112
Master Fisher231211
Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson312511
Media Producer (excluding Video)212112
Metal Casting Trades Worker322114
Metal Polisher322115
Migration Agent (Aus)224913
Mothercraft Nurse411412
Multimedia Designer232413
Music Director211212
Music Professionals NEC211299
Musical Instrument Maker or Repairer399515
Natural and Physical Science Professionals NEC234999
Nurse Researcher254212
Operating Theatre Technician311214
Optical Dispenser (Aus) / Dispensing Optician (NZ)399913
Optical Mechanic399914
Other Sports Official452323
Painter (Visual Arts)211411
Park Ranger234314
Parole or Probation Officer411714
Pathology Collector (Aus) / Phlebotomist (NZ)311216
Petroleum Engineer233612
Plastics Technician399916
Plumbing Inspector312115
Police Officer441312
Policy Analyst224412
Policy and Planning Manager132411
Potter or ceramic artist211412
Prison Officer442111
Procurement Manager133612
Production Manager (Manufacturing)133512
Public Relations Manager131114
Quarantine Officer311313
Radio Journalist212414
Radio Presenter212113
Railway Station Manager149412
Regional Education Manager134412
Research and Development Manager132511
Retail Buyer639211
Retirement Village Manager141912
Safety Inspector312611
Sail Maker393113
Sales Representative (Industrial Products)225411
Sales Representative (Medical and Pharmaceutical Products)225412
Saw Maker and Repairer323315
School Laboratory Technician311414
Screen Printer392112
Senior Non-commissioned Defence Force Member139211
Small Offset Printer392312
Sports Administrator139915
Sports Umpire452322
Stock and Station Agent611112
Surveying or Spatial Science Technician312116
Technicians and Trades Workers NEC399999
Telecommunications Cable Jointer342412
Telecommunications Technician342414
Television Equipment Operator399517
Television Presenter212114
Training and Development Professional223311
Travel Agency Manager142116
Travel Attendants NEC451799
Tribunal Member271213
Turf Grower121218
Vehicle Painter324311
Vocational Education Teacher (Non-Trades)242211
Vocational Education Teacher (Trades)242211
Web Developer261212
Wood Turner394214
Wool Buyer639212
Wool Classer399917
Workplace Relations Advisor223113

The new temporary skills visas will require applicants to have previous work experience.

A second four-year visa will require a higher standard of English language skills as well as a proper criminal check.
The new system would be ‘manifestly, rigorously, resolutely’ conducted in the national interest to put Australian jobs first, Mr Turnbull said.
On 19 April 2017, the:

  • Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) replaced the previous ‘Skilled Occupation List’ (SOL)
  • Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) replaced the previous ‘Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List’ (CSOL)

More information on the MLTSSL and STSOL can be found here.

What about existing 457 visa holders?

People currently on a 457 visa, which lasts for four years, will be exempt from the new regulations.

Anyone now in Australia on a 457 visa would not be affected by the new arrangements.

‘They will continue under the conditions of that visa,’ Mr Dutton said.

What should you do if you want to work and live in Australia?

If you were considering applying for a 457 visa, your best option will be to discuss your immigration requirements with our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers. After speaking with our team, we can provide you with any migration options you may have to enable you to work, live and stay in Australia.

If you wish to speak with our team of Registered Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers, please feel free to contact us.

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