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:
|Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Worker||411511|
|Actors, Dancers and Other Entertainers NEC||211199|
|Air Traffic Controller||231112|
|Air Transport Professionals NEC||231199|
|Aircraft Maintenance Engineer (Avionics)||323111|
|Amusement Centre Manager||149111|
|Art Director (Film, Television or Stage)||212311|
|Bed and Breakfast Operator||141911|
|Betting agency Manager||142113|
|Boarding Kennel or Cattery Operator||149911|
|Broadcast Transmitter Operator||399511|
|Building and Engineering Technicians NEC||312999|
|Butcher or Smallgoods Maker||351211|
|Call or Contact Centre Manager||149211|
|Canvas Goods Fabricator||393111|
|Caravan Park and Camping Ground Manager||141211|
|Cinema or Theatre Manager||149912|
|Clothing Trades Workers NEC||393299|
|Commissioned Defence Force Officer||139111|
|Commissioned Fire Officer||139112|
|Commissioned Police Officer||139113|
|Community Arts Worker||272611|
|Court Bailiff or Sheriff (Aus) / Court Collections Officer (NZ)||599212|
|Defence Force Member – Other Ranks||441111|
|Defence Force Senior Officer||111212|
|Director of Photography||212313|
|Dog or Horse Racing Official||452318|
|Drama Teacher (Private Tuition)||249213|
|Dressmaker or Tailor||393213|
|Electronic Engineering Draftsperson||312411|
|Electronic Engineering Technician||312412|
|Emergency Service Worker||441211|
|Entertainer or Variety Artist||211113|
|Environmental Health Officer||251311|
|Film, Television, Radio and Stage Directors NEC||212399|
|Financial Institution Branch Manager||149914|
|Fire Protection Equipment Technician||399918|
|First Aid Trainer||451815|
|Funeral Workers NEC||451399|
|Gallery or Museum Technician||399311|
|Gas or Petroleum Operator||399212|
|Graphic Pre-press Trades Worker||392211|
|Human Resource Adviser||223111|
|ICT Support and Test Engineers NEC||263299|
|ICT Support Technicians NEC||313199|
|Importer or Exporter||133311|
|Insurance Risk Surveyor||599613|
|Intellectual Property Lawyer||271214|
|Leather Goods Maker||393112|
|Licensed Club Manager||141411|
|Life Scientist (General)||234511|
|Life Scientists NEC||234599|
|Marine Transport Professionals NEC||231299|
|Market Research Analyst||225112|
|Mechanical Engineering Draftsperson||312511|
|Media Producer (excluding Video)||212112|
|Metal Casting Trades Worker||322114|
|Migration Agent (Aus)||224913|
|Music Professionals NEC||211299|
|Musical Instrument Maker or Repairer||399515|
|Natural and Physical Science Professionals NEC||234999|
|Operating Theatre Technician||311214|
|Optical Dispenser (Aus) / Dispensing Optician (NZ)||399913|
|Other Sports Official||452323|
|Painter (Visual Arts)||211411|
|Parole or Probation Officer||411714|
|Pathology Collector (Aus) / Phlebotomist (NZ)||311216|
|Policy and Planning Manager||132411|
|Potter or ceramic artist||211412|
|Production Manager (Manufacturing)||133512|
|Public Relations Manager||131114|
|Railway Station Manager||149412|
|Regional Education Manager||134412|
|Research and Development Manager||132511|
|Retirement Village Manager||141912|
|Sales Representative (Industrial Products)||225411|
|Sales Representative (Medical and Pharmaceutical Products)||225412|
|Saw Maker and Repairer||323315|
|School Laboratory Technician||311414|
|Senior Non-commissioned Defence Force Member||139211|
|Small Offset Printer||392312|
|Stock and Station Agent||611112|
|Surveying or Spatial Science Technician||312116|
|Technicians and Trades Workers NEC||399999|
|Telecommunications Cable Jointer||342412|
|Television Equipment Operator||399517|
|Training and Development Professional||223311|
|Travel Agency Manager||142116|
|Travel Attendants NEC||451799|
|Vocational Education Teacher (Non-Trades)||242211|
|Vocational Education Teacher (Trades)||242211|
|Workplace Relations Advisor||223113|
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.