The abolishment of 457 visa and introducing the TSSV (Temporary Skill Shortage Visa)
You’ve probably heard or talked about this somewhere along the way. I’ve tried to make sense of it by reading newspaper articles. I will post the links at the bottom of the post. The abolishment of the 457 visa made radio headlines for a couple of days, but it was then overshadowed by the changes to citizenship.
You can read the info here: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Work/457-abolition-replacement but I’ve broken it down a bit so that I can understand it a bit better and hopefully this helps you guys and girls out too. I’ve written it out in question form. It just made more sense that way.
The government statement is in italics, but if you’d rather just read the stuff you need to know the most about, skip past this bit.
Here is what the government issued:
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.
The TSS visa programme will be comprised of a Short-Term stream of up to two years and a Medium-Term stream of up to four years and will support businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages in their workforce and will contain a number of safeguards which prioritise Australian workers.
This new visa is part of the Government’s significant reform package to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.
Key reforms include:
- Introducing the temporary skill shortage visa with new requirements, including but not limited to:
- new, more targeted occupation lists which better align with skill needs in the Australian labour market
- a requirement for visa applicants to have at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
- employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)1 which ensures that overseas workers cannot be engaged to undercut Australian workers
- mandatory labour market testing, unless an international obligation applies,
- capacity for only one onshore visa renewal under the Short-Term stream
- capacity for visa renewal onshore and a permanent residence pathway after three years under the Medium-Term stream
- the permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from two to three years
- a non-discriminatory workforce test to ensure employers are not actively discriminating against Australian workers
- strengthened requirement for employers to contribute to training 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, and
- 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)1.
- 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.
- Significantly condensing the occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017.
Me again! Okay, here’s an interview I did with myself while researching this one. I hope it helps.
What’s the new visa?
The Temporary Skills Shortage Visa.
New rules apply: an English test and a police criminal history check.
The changes will see two new temporary skills visas come into place:
Two year visa
Four year visa
The four year visa is “targeted at higher skills” and might lead to permanent residency. MAYBE. I’ll explain as we go on.
Why the change?
It’s all politics of course. At the moment the Australian government is worried about protecting jobs in Australia for people who currently live here. This is similar to the USA at the moment. The government also wants to stop people using the temporary skills visa as a way to get permanent residency.
The government also want to make sure that people who are coming on temporary skills visas are filling jobs where there is a real shortage of people who can do that particular job. They have cut back on a lot of the jobs in the areas of science, teaching and technology.
What if you’re already on a visa?
Current visa holders aren’t going to have any changes made to their conditions. If you see the term ‘grandfathering’ when you read about the visa, this means that whoever is under the current visa will have the old rules in place, not the new ones.
Can I use a temporary skills shortage visa to get permanent residency?
It’s a little unclear. No one really knows. The media and the government are saying two different things.
It looks like the four year visa (medium term) could lead to a permanent residency pathway. Also, if you live in a regional area, this could also lead to residency.
Which skills are they looking for?
There has also been a lot of talk around possible jobs that are no longer going to be accepted on the temporary skills visa. A list of possible ‘scrapped’ jobs is here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-18/government-abolishing-457-visas/8450310#jobs (it is at the bottom of the page and is called ‘Attachment A’ with a scroll bar on the side.)
Another thing that is important to mention is that some of these jobs actually go under different titles which ARE accepted for temporary skills visas.
Some helpful links:
My travel goals for the next few years are to take my daughter to the Gold Coast and to visit Perth and Darwin.
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