The Federal Government has recently abolished the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa 457 and introduced in its place the Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) visa, which will come into full effect in March 2018. The current four-year visa system, which permits current migrants to apply for permanent residency at its expiry, will be replaced by a two-year visa that does not allow permanent residency at its conclusion. It is important to note that the 95,000 skilled migrants currently on 457 visas will be unaffected by the recent changes.
The new visa will still work to bring the best and brightest skilled workers to businesses, albeit with more stringent requirements and procedures in place in regards to their eligibility. Studies have found that the recruiting of 457 visa workers by employers was used not so much for the treatment of skills shortages, but for a recruitment problem, or ease of hiring. Employers welcome the change to the visa program, which will hopefully institute fairer demand on skilled workers and introduce a stronger workforce, and employees alike can look forward to newly introduced safeguards that will protect their right to work.
Facts you need to know about the Temporary Skill Shortage visa:
- The list of occupations that qualify for a temporary visa will be reduced
- As opposed to the current four years of the 457 visa, the TSS visa will comprise a Short-Term stream of two years (which does not offer permanent residency) and a Medium-Term stream of four years (where you may apply for permanent residency after three years)
- The new visa requires increased English language competency and a full criminal check.
- Increased testing and auditing will be introduced to confirm that Australian workers are unable to fill certain positions.
- Tougher testing will occur to confirm the applicant is the best fit and appropriately required for the role, and in particular possessing minimum 2 year’s work experience
- The maximum eligible age to transfer to PR will be reduced from 50 years to 45 years old.
To find out more information on how the recent changes may affect you or your business, visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection website, and its corresponding article on recent reforms to the visa program: