Abolition and replacement of the 457 visa – Government reforms to employer sponsored skilled migration visas
On 18 April 2017, the Government announced that the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa in March 2018.
There are two main streams available under this new TSS visa program:
- Short-term stream – this is for employers to source genuine temporary overseas skilled workers in occupations included on the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL)1for a maximum of two years (or up to four years if an international trade obligation applies)
- Medium-term stream – this is for employers to source highly skilled overseas workers to fill medium-term critical skills in occupations included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)1 for up to four years, with eligibility to apply for permanent residence after three years
Temporary Work Visa (Subclass 457)
Temporary Work Visa (subclass 457) visa works two-ways. It provides an opportunity to Australian employers to hire skilled labors. And, it allows qualified workers of a foreign country to explore their job opportunities in Australia. However, first an employer must nominate an employee.
The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) gives an opportunity for skilled workers to come to Australia and work for an approved business for up to four years. The visa applicant can apply for subclass 457 visa from outside of Australia.
1) The employer must be nominated to work in an approved occupation on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List (CSOL) by an authorized business
2) The designated person must fulfill the skill requirements for the chosen profession
3) The applicant will be required to do a skill assessment depending on the selected occupation or country of passport
4) The applicant must satisfy registration and licensing obligations (if applicable)
5) The applicant should meet the necessary English requirement
6) The candidate must meet health, health insurance, and character requirements
It is crucial that the applicant can speak, write and understand a standard level of English while working in Australia. The following tests are used to determine the level of English language proficiency:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – overall test score of at least 5.0 with minimum 4.5 in every component
- Occupational English Test (OET) – Score of at least ‘B’ in each test segment
- TOEFL iBT- total score of at least 36 with a minimum score of 3 for listening and reading. A score of at least 12 for writing and speaking.
- PTE Academic Test – overall PTE Academic test score of at least 36. Minimum score in each of the four components is 30
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) Test (must be conducted on or after 1 January 2015) – the applicant must have an overall score of 154 or higher. And the applicant must have 147 in each of the four segments
After getting subclass 457 visa, one can stay up to 4 years in Australia and work for the approved business. The applicant can also travel inside and outside of Australia after getting the VISA. Moreover, the 457 subclass visa holder can apply for PR after two years. In that case, the sponsor must nominate the person again before applying for PR.