The Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457 visa) will be abolished and by March 2018, replaced with the completely new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa.
The TSS visa programme comprises of
- a Short-Term stream of up to two yearsand
- a Medium-Term stream of up to four years
TSS aims to supports businesses in addressing genuine skill shortages in the workforce with safeguards which prioritise Australian workers.
It is part of a Government reform package to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent employer sponsored skilled migration programmes.
The Key reforms are:
- Introducing the TSS visa with new requirements, including but not limited to:
- new, targeted occupation lists
- at least two years’ work experience in their skilled occupation
- Pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
- mandatory labour market testing
- 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
- employers must contribute to training Australian workers
- Tax File Numbers and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.
- Mandatory penal clearance certificates.
- Tightening eligibility requirements for employer sponsored permanent skilled visas, including but not limited to:
- tightened English language requirements
- at least three years’ work experience
- maximum age of 45 at the time of application
- contribution 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 will continue to have access to occupations under the temporary and permanent visas, to reflect their skills needs.
- Existing permanent visa concessions will be retained. Consideration will be given to expanding the occupations in regional Australia that are exempt from the age requirement
- The occupation lists used for skilled migration visas, including the subclass 457 visa, from 19 April 2017 will be significantly condensed.
The implementation of these reforms will begin immediately and will be completed in March 2018.