Can I still apply for the 457?
Earlier this year on the 19th April, the Turnbull government announced that it is axing the 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa program. As you can imagine, this announcement had several people panicked believing they are no longer eligible to apply for the 457 visa.
However, the government’s announced was just another political stunt. Whilst the 457-temporary work visa may no longer be available from March 2018 onwards, it will be replaced by a similar visa known as the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa. So in reality it was the government just re-banding the commonly known 457 visa.
Since April and the 1st July changes, the government have tightened the rules of 457 visa.
In April, the significant changes were some occupations being removed, while some occupations had special conditions otherwise known as caveats attached to them. For example, if you apply for a Café or Restaurant Manager the caveat attached to this occupation is that you need to be working in a full-service restaurant.
Another significant change was the length of your visa, if your occupation is on the Short Term Skilled Occupation List, then your visa will only be valid for 2 years however if your occupation is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List, then your visa will be granted for 4 years.
In July, the skills list as previously advised by the department again underwent a review and there were some occupations removed.
There were also other changes implemented. A significant change that occurred recently was the English language exemption. Prior to this change, applicants who were earning a salary of over AUS$96,400 were exempt from meeting the English language requirement, however this exemption is no longer available for applications lodged on or after 1st July 2017.
Additionally, applicants now must provide police clearances and the skills assessments criteria has become mandatory for certain nationalities nominated for particular occupations.
In terms of the sponsorship applicant, there were changes to tighten the training benchmarks for the 457-sponsorship application. One of the common training expenditures evidence was internal training. However, this is no longer deemed acceptable expenditure unless the trainer is solely employed to provide training to Australian employees, then the trainer’s salary is deemed as acceptable evidence.
Additionally, any employer seeking to obtain sponsorship accreditation will be happy to know that this arrangement has been expanded to accommodate certain low risk sponsors who only use the subclass 457 program occasionally. This is to ensure that gaining access to regular priority processing will no longer only favour large volume users of the program.
Food for thought
We are currently in the forest, with the department implementing its changes in phases. We should be able to see the full landscape in March 2018 but until then we must be careful and act fast before we fall and lose all hope of surviving the forest. In other words, act now before any further changes impact you. If you have been impacted, we may be able to think of other pathways to lead you out of the forest.
AIMS consists of a team of expert migration agents and solicitors and specialise in 457 employment visa, we can advise you on your options and assist you in securing the right visa. For more information or to set up a consultation with one of our agents, give AIMS a call on 03-9078 6819 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org