Australia to Abolish Most Common Temporary Work Visa

On April 18, 2017 Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the most commonly used temporary work visa program, subclass 457, will be abolished and replaced with a new visa stream.

Some changes are immediate, but the abolition is not. The subclass 457 visa will continue to be granted until March 2018. However, the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) will be replaced by the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) will be replaced by the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL), effective April 19, 2017.

The new lists eliminated over 200 occupations eligible for employment visas to limit the visas to the most skilled and high-demand occupations. Occupation-specific restrictions also apply to job positions in customer service, marketing and sales.

Current 457 visa holders are unaffected and can continue working until the validity period of their visas. However, pending 457 visa applications are subject to the new occupations list and will be issued under the new rules.

The New Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa

In March 2018, the TSS visa will replace the subclass 457 visa. The TSS offers two streams: (1) Short-Term (2 years) and (2) Medium-Term (4 years). The applicable visa stream is not based solely on the length of assignment, but the type of occupation, the skill/qualifications of the candidate, salary, etc. The Labour Market Test will apply for both streams. In contrast, the Labour Market Test only applies to certain occupations under the 457 visa program.

Graham Adair is closely monitoring any new developments, and we will release information as it becomes available. Please reach out to the attorney overseeing your case or Sam Adair for advice on next steps, check our website for further updates and follow us on twitter for real-time updates as they become available.